The man who wrote Half-Life and Half-Life 2 has left game developer Valve. Writer Marc Laidlaw has confirmed that, after 18 years with the company, he is no longer a Valve employee. The news comes through a series of emails with a fan, which were posted on Reddit, and later confirmed to be authentic by Eurogamer. "I had a good run," Laidlaw explains, "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 joined Valve while the original Half-Life was in the midst of development in 1997, and prior to that had published several science fiction and horror novels, including Dad's Nuke and The 37th Mandala. He continued to publish numerous short stories after joining Valve, many of which you can read on his website.
According to Valve, Laidlaw was the only writer on the first two games in the Half-Life series, and he also served as lead writer on the two follow-up episodes. "Even as Valve's writing team expanded, with the arrival of Erik Wolpaw, Chet Faliszek, Jay Pinkerton, and Ted Kosmatka," the company writes in Laidlaw's brief bio on its site, "Marc remains the lead writer of emails."
While he hasn't announced what he'll be doing next, it sounds like Laidlaw will be focusing on the kind of writing he did before his nearly two decades working in games. "I will almost certainly get back to writing more stories of my own," he says. For those hoping for any new information on the series and the eternally delayed Half-Life 3, however, Laidlaw doesn't have much to offer. "Where Valve may choose to take it in the future is not in my hands," he says.