Today, Chet Faliszek, writer, VR ambassador, and one of the key figures of Valve has revealed that he has left the company after 12 years.
For those that don’t know: Chet Faliszek is arguably one of the most respected, well-known, and ultimately influential writers ever in video games. Don’t believe me? Well then, just look at his portfolio: Half-Life 2: Episode One, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Portal, Left 4 Dead, Left 4 Dead 2, Portal 2, Counter-Strike Global Offensive, and Dota 2. That’s a list of projects almost any writer in the industry would die to be involved in.
It should be noted: Faliszek didn’t do it all alone though. He often worked with long time friend Eric Wolpaw and author Mark Laidlaw. Together, Faliszek and his contemporaries helped (instrumentally) create multiple gaming classics, and defined Valve as incredible story-tellers, at least during its more formative years. Notably, Faliszek was and is a strong advocate for VR technology and how it can evolve storytelling.
As you may now, Faliszek’s departure comes on the back of Erik Wolpaw leaving (back in February) and Marc Laidlaw who departed last year. Like the two before, Faliszek has not divulged what he is doing next. However, he did reveal to GamesIndustry that there was no hard feelings between him and Valve, and those who remain there. More specifically, Faliszek says the following:
“[It was]Nothing exciting or drama filled. I worked there 12 years, shipped a bunch of great games and some amazing hardware and wanted to change things up. There’s no news on what’s next etc, I will let you know when that happens.”
Callum Underwood, Senior Developer Strategy at Oculus (a rival of Valve in the VR space) had the following to say about Faliszek’s departure:
“Being mentioned alongside Chet in an article about ‘giving weird artists a chance’ was one of the highlights of my career so far. Chet has been instrumental at Valve in pushing VR forward, and has been a driving force with Developers from indie to AAA. He will be greatly missed in the VR community, but at least this may mean I don’t have to hear about his bloody cats quite so much anymore.”
Personally, whether or not it has anything to do with video games, I’m very excited to see what Faliszek does next: whatever it is, I’m confident it will be of the highest quality.
As for what Laidlaw, Wolpaw, and now Faliszek’s departures mean for the futures of franchises like Portal, Half-life, and Left 4 Dead: who knows. Even if the the above mentioned trio didn’t leave, I’m not confident we would have seen any of those IP anytime soon, let alone all three of them. But again, who knows, maybe we will: only time will tell.