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Half-Life series writer departs Valve, denies knowledge of Half-Life 3

Half-Life series writer Marc Laidlaw has retired from franchise creator Valve and is “no longer working on Valve games in any capacity,” according to an e-mailed statement shared on Reddit this week. Multiple sources verify the statement’s authenticity.

Laidlaw notes that he left the company “very recently,” and claims no knowledge of what his departure means for the Half-Life series in the future.

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Laying to rest any speculation regarding his role in future Valve products, Laidlaw explains that he is “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, [and] no longer working on Valve games in any capacity.”

Asked for the reasoning behind his retirement, Laidlaw cited “many reasons, most of them personal.”

“An outwardly obvious reason is that I’m old, or anyway oldish,” Laidlaw said. “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.”

Prior to joining up with Valve in 1998, Laidlaw produced several horror novels and works of science fiction. Polygon notes that Laidlaw was nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award in 1988.

During his tenure at Valve, Laidlaw wrote Half-Life and Half-Life 2, and contributed to level design throughout the series. Laidlaw was also credited as lead writer for the franchise’s most recent entry, Half-Life 2: Episode Two.

While a concluding chapter, Half-Life 2: Episode Three, was announced in 2007, the series has remained dormant in the years since. Speculation regarding Valve’s plans to continue the franchise has been a hot topic in the gaming community for nearly a decade.

“Since I no longer speak for Valve, it would be inappropriate for me to answer questions or speculate openly on the fate of the franchise,” Laidlaw explained in his e-mailed statement. “Where Valve may choose to take it in the future is not in my hands.”