Longtime Valve writer Erik Wolpaw has officially left the company, as reported by Gamasutra. Wolpaw’s credits include Half-Life 2: Episodes 1 and 2, Portal and both Left 4 Dead games. Wolpaw had spent more than a decade with Valve, first joining the developer as a writer in 2004.
In 2015, Wolpaw confirmed that he was contributing to Double Fine Productions’ Psychonauts 2, which is set for release in late 2018. Wolpaw previously wrote for the first Psychonauts game, which won the Game Developers Choice Award for best writing in 2006.
Additional video games he has written for include Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and a comic book adaptation for the Team Fortress series.
In an email with Polygon, Wolpaw said that he was leaving Valve to “move back to Cleveland and work at my niece’s juice shop.”
Marc Laidlaw, a former employee of Valve who left the company last year, gave Wolpaw a witty farewell via his Twitter account.
@Wolpaw left Valve so I can now insult him freely without damaging the company’s reputation. He’s a comic genius and a true original.
— Marc Laidlaw (@marc_laidlaw) February 17, 2017
Laidlaw was the sole writer for Half-Life 1 and 2 and was assigned the Lead Writer for Half-Life 2: Episode 1.
When Laidlaw left Valve, he sent out a long and elaborate email to a fan detailing the reason why he retired from Valve, which can be read on Imgur.
One reason Laidlaw cited for his decision to retire was his age.
“An outwardly obvious reason is that I’m old, or anyway oldish,” Laidlaw said. “My nickname when I first started at Valve in 1997 was ‘old man Laidlaw’. The little baby level designer who gave me that that nickname is now older than I was then.”
Half-Life 3 has been rumored to be a new game, but there has been no confirmation that the plot of the game had even been completed. It’s a still a close secret amongst developers at Valve; they have been silent on the topic since the release of Half-Life 2: Episode 2 all the way back in 2007.