Although Valve has gotten to be ... somewhat notorious regarding deadlines,there's a reason why Valve Time™ is a thing that exists after all. However, I believe that the results of such periods of wait have almost always been worth it. That's why this news, which my friend Rad was kind enough to bring my attention to, has me very excited indeed.
Basically, Gabe Newell himself has pretty much confirmed that a next-generation Source engine is currently in the works.
While the video linked in that article is worth watching, if only for the fact that they have Gabe pay $2.50 for a key to open his present, the real crux of what I'm excited about is basically this question and answer:
Fan: Is Valve potentially already working on a new engine?Source has been around since 2004 and has been behind a great deal of Valve's games; from Team Fortress 2, Left4Dead, and of course Half-Life 2 and it's sequels. The engine has also been used by third parties to make games such as E.Y.E. Divine Cybermancy and Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines.
Fan: Source 2? Could or… could not be?
Gabe Newell: We’ve been working on Valve’s new engine stuff for a while, we’re probably just [incomprehensible, subtitled as: "waiting for a game to roll it out with"]
Fan: Is it going to be more than just an extension to Source? Is it an entirely new engine?
Gabe Newell: Yeah!
If we do see a new Source engine soon then it could mean a whole new wave of games. Could sequels to a lot of famous franchises be in development even as we speak? There's a lot of potential here, and Valve have definitely been no slouches in the past when it comes to bringing all they have to the table in terms of potential quality.
This is also a good opportunity since the original engine, despite still being good, is decidedly starting to show its age. This could be a chance to bring the next-generation engine to all potential comers at once, which would mean even more people being able to get access to it.
It's only a pipe dream for now, but this confirmation is exciting indeed.