Chet Faliszek, one of Valve’s longest-tenured employees and the writer for such hit games as Portal, Left 4 Dead and the first two Half-Life 2 episodes, has announced he’s leaving the developer. After a 12-year stint at the company, he said he was looking to “change things up.”
Although in more recent years Faliszek has been a true evangelist for Valve’s SteamVR platform and the HTC Vive headset, helping developers and consumers come to grips with the technology in various ways, his resumé is packed with writing credits. He wrote the story for several of Valve’s most well-received games over the past decade and has been a proponent of storytelling in gaming.
His reasons for leaving are simple. In a statement to GamesIndustry, he said that he simply wanted to start something new:
“[It was] nothing exciting or drama filled,” he said. “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.”
Comparisons have been drawn between Faliszek’s departure and Eric Wolfpaw and Marc Laidlaw, two other Valve writers who left the company within the past year. Wolfpaw also ran a popular gaming site with Faliszek back in the early 2000s, though neither suggested their near-simultaneous departure is any indication of collaboration between the two.
Much praise has been heaped on Faliszek at the news of his leaving Valve, with many highlighting his willingness to view new virtual reality ideas with an open mind, as well as his importance in raising the awareness of VR as a new entertainment medium.
Some fans expressed sadness at the news of his leaving, while others suggest that it could well be the final nail in the coffin for their hopes that Valve ever makes a Half-Life game again. With many of Valve’s long-time story writers having moved on to new pastures, there is even less indication that Valve would consider a new, single-player, story-driven experience as a future development.
Of course, with Valve you never know, as it rarely tells the world what it’s working on until when they are nearly ready, but it certainly does not bode well for anyone still holding out hope for Half-Life 3.
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