The Half-Life series has long held a tradition of great storytelling and writing, though new information has revealed one of the series’ key writers, Marc Laidlaw, will be retiring from Valve and his involvement with the series.
Laidlaw announced his retirement from the company in response to a fan email, leaving the company after nearly two decades since starting with the company in 1997. Laidlaw specifically was responsible for the writing of the core installments of the series, from Half-Life and Half-Life 2 to each of the second title’s episodic installments, Episode One and Episode Two.
Laidlaw addressed retiring from Valve in a series of emails, indicating that his retirement is simply to move on to other areas and interests and that his leave is entirely on good terms with the company, as Laidlaw commented:
“I am no longer a full or part time Valve employee, no longer involved in day-to-day decisions or operations, no longer a spokesperson for the company, no longer privy to most types of confidential information, no longer working on Valve games in any capacity.”
“An outwardly obvious reason is that I’m old, or anyway oldish. 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.
“I had a good run but lately I have been feeling a need for a break from the collaborative chaos of game production, and a return to more self-directed writing projects.”
Laidlaw also added that his leave is intended to return to writing outside of video games that “it feels like the time is right to return to my roots,” adding that “it might well take me back into games by other routes, but certainly that’s not part of the plan.”
He finally added that “where Valve may choose to take Half-Life in the future is not in my hands,” while adding that “I have been a grateful co-creator, but my time working on the series is behind me.”
The last release in the Half-Life series was Half-Life 2: Episode Two back in 2007, though rumors and speculation on Valve’s development of Half-Life 3 have long been in secret for nearly a decade, with no official confirmation/announcment of the title having been released by Valve.