Left 4 Dead 3 reference found in Counter-Strike 2 files

Left 4 Dead
(Image credit: Valve)

Brace yourself, Left 4 Dead fans – a Counter-Strike fan thinks they've found a reference to "Left4Dead3" in the files for CS2.

Via a screenshot posted to the Steam subreddit community, u/PaP3s shared code that they purport was located inside the CS2 files. If authentic, it's our best clue yet that Valve can indeed make games with the number "3" in them.

The code itself is entitled "Left4Dead3" and says version = 2, owner = triage*, severity = high, priority = none, category = ---, product = left3dead3, and component = other. Nope, I don't know what any of that means, either, but plenty of fans have had a chuckle over the "priority = none" bit, as L4D fans have been feeling for years that Valve hasn't been prioritizing a new Left 4 Dead game.

Left 4 Dead 3 spotted in CS2 files! from r/Steam

It's not the first time we've heard rumors pertaining to the highly-anticipated Left 4 Dead 3, of course, but it's long been considered that L4D3 was formally in development before Valve made the decision to abandon the project until Source 2 was available.

As is usually the case when it comes to these kinds of things, for now, we can only chalk this up to being a rumor. However, with the long-rumored Counter-Strike 2 finally confirmed earlier this week, it feels like things are finally falling into place, especially if Valve really was waiting to roll out Source 2. Watch this space, eh?

If you'd like to know about how the Left 4 Dead series began, earlier this year, a very early, playable prototype of Left 4 Dead leaked, allowing you to go hands-on with Turtle Rock's original concept.

The "historic leak" was the first time anyone outside of Valve and Turtle Rock, of course, had seen the Left 4 Dead prototype beyond a small number of screenshots. In a detailed video essay, the YouTuber who leaked it explains how a map called Zombie City, first developed in Counter-Strike: Source and then Condition Zero back in the early-2000s, eventually became Valve's iconic multiplayer zombie shooter.

Valve's official line is that it is not currently developing Left 4 Dead 3. The studio said as much in 2020, with its focus otherwise on Steam Deck and expansive VR experiences like Half-Life Alyx. Still, that hasn't stopped rumors from circulating in the many years since the release of Left 4 Dead 2.

For more about Left 4 Dead 3, here's a handy guide to the rumors, leaks, and everything we'd like to see in a new Left 4 Dead.

Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and GameIndustry.biz. Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.