Confirmed: the writer of the Half-Life series has left Valve

This is sort of the opposite of the semi-regular posts we get to write about miniature glimpses of a possible Half-Life 3 - Marc Laidlaw, Valve employee of 18 years and writer of both Half-Life and Half-Life 2 has quit the gaming giant.

It began after a Redditor, frustrated by a new game's non-appearance, contacted Laidlaw for some kind of comment on where it was. Instead, he received the first public word of Laidlaw's resignation from Valve.

In the email, Laidlaw says: "I am no longer a full or part time Valve employee, no longer involved in day to day decisions or operations, no longer a spokesman for the company, no longer privy to most types of confidential information, no longer working on any Valve games in any capacity."

He describes his reasoning as "personal", but the decision comes down "outwardly obviously" to his age: "I'm old, or anyway oldish. My nickname when I first started at Valve in 1997 was "Old Man Laidlaw." The baby level designer who gave me that nickname is older now than I was then. Imagine how much older I am! [...] I had a good run but lately I have been feeling the need for a break from the collaborative chaos of game production, and a return to more self-directed writing projects."

Of course, any screenshotted email on a public forum is cause for some scrutiny (Laidlaw himself brings up how many times fake responses have been posted in his name). I got in touch with Laidlaw for some confirmation that the email was indeed real, and received a simple reply:

So, that's that.

But what does this mean for Half-Life itself? In the original email, Laidlaw says: "I don't and can't entirely know. Half-Life is fully owned by Valve. It came into existence before my arrival. Where Valve may choose to take it in the future is not in my hands. I have been a grateful co-creator, but my time of working on the series is behind me. [...] I appreciate all the interest and enthusiasm of Half-Life fans over the years; I loved working on the games and with the community, but I can no longer be considered a potential source of new information."

I highly recommend you read the full email, partly for the fullest amount of detail, but mainly because Laidlaw is, predictably, a great writer, and somehow makes a resignation letter a lot of fun. We thank him for his amazing work, and wish him the best on his further travels.

Let the speculation begin.

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Joe Skrebels
Joe first fell in love with games when a copy of The Lion King on SNES became his stepfather in 1994. When the cartridge left his mother in 2001, he turned to his priest - a limited edition crystal Xbox - for guidance. And now he's here.