It’s another nail in the coffin for Half-Life 3, as series writer Marc Laidlaw has officially announced his retirement from Valve. Not sure how many more nails the coffin can hold exactly, but there we go.
Laidlow – who’s been Valve’s go-to guy for sci-fi since 1997 – was the sole writer on Half-Life 1 & 2, and was appointed lead writer on Half-Life 2 Episode 1 & 2.
In an email exchange with a fan, Laidlow explained his departure:
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.
Despite his plans to steer away from video game writing, Laidlow also said he wouldn’t rule out returning to Valve as a freelancer.
It feels like the time is right to return to my roots and see where that takes me. It might well take me back into games by other routes, but certainly that’s not part of the plan.
My friends know they can consult me if questions come up that I can help them answer.
He closes by saying:
Where Valve may choose to take Half-Life in the future is not in my hands. I have been a grateful co-creator, but my time working on the series is behind me.