Well... sort of. Ish. A bit.
When asked if Valve were working on a new game set in the Half-Life/Portal universe, Newell replied with a simple "yep", before going on to confirm that the company was working on some sort of Half-Life/Portal movie project with JJ Abrams, a new single-player game, and a "full-sized" VR game.
Which many have speculated, without a great deal of evidence, is Half-Life or Portal-related.
You know: because nature abhors an information vacuum, and "people are stupid" (not my words - but the words of the pop singer Boy George; don't shoot the messenger).
For me, though, the most interesting remark from Newell was this: "The issue with Half-Life for me is that I was involved in a much higher percentage of the decisions about the games, so it's hard for me to look at them as anything other than a series of things I regret."
And in one fell swoop my feelings regarding Half-Life were turned on their head. That's right; their head.
That's the literal opposite of the bum!
Half-Life 2 - and its subsequent mini-sequels - remain my favourite games of all time. 13 years on, others still try, and fail, to emulate them. As a fan, it's hard to know what Newell's talking about when he speaks of his disappointment. For me, Half-Life 2 is close to perfection. Its atmosphere, its ideas, its visuals, its storytelling - they're sublime.
Like many, I've been frustrated that we've never got the promised Half-Life 3. As time has worn on, that frustration has occasionally boiled over into - if not actual anger - then irritation. It sometimes felt as if we were being denied more adventures in that universe through laziness or arrogance. Were Valve and Newell simply too bloated through all their Steam revenue to bother? Did they not respect us?
Why, those ghastly pigs! How dare they do this to their loyal fans?! We gave them money! We have rights! Etc. etc.
Now we know that the truth is, of course, down to the most basic of human emotions; fear. Newell fears going back to that well because all he sees is disappointment. There was a version of Half-Life and Half-Life 2 which we never got; the one which exists only in Gabe Newell's massive head. Clearly, the creation of these games were - as with most creative endeavours - an exercise in compromise... and Newell is paralysed by the thought of further disappointment.
What's really fascinating though is how Gabe Newell's regret over the Half-Life games highlights the gulf which exists between fans and creators.
In my experience, any creative project - particularly the passion projects, those with a personal investment from their creators, as opposed to a bill-paying hack job - never ends up exactly as the creator intended. Sometimes there are happy accidents along the way, but more often than not you'll lose a limb.
What's more, being that close to something means you can see the flaws in all their grisly detail, like a teenager peering at their zits in a mirror.
Just look at how George Lucas views the original Star Wars movie. All he remembers are the sandstorms, the concessions he had to make to arsey British technicians, the budget headaches, the nervous breakdown... Star Wars might've been Lucas's vision - we might've all fallen in love with it, and never seen anything like it - but it never ended up how he wanted it to be.
The Star Wars Special Editions were controversial (and, objectively, worse than the originals), but I completely respect the right of Lucas to go back and tinker with his work, to bring it closer to what he originally intended.
There's an astonishing arrogance among fans, who believe a work becomes theirs once they fall for it. It's understandable, but it's also entirely wrong.
First and foremost, it belongs to the creator; the person who put their imagination, their world view, their soul on show to be judged by the public. In order to produce work that is truthful, you have to primarily make stuff for yourself, and not kowtow to an audience. That's the difference between art and commerce, as wanky as it might be. It's reassuring to know that Gabe Newell still has that instinct, and hasn't become entirely about the bottom line.
I'd love to know more specifics regarding his regret over the Half-Life series. I'd love to know what he thought could be better, or what he'd do differently.
Heck - I'd even take a special edition of Half-Life 2 at this stage, so that he could show us.