Half-Life 3 confirmed? Not by Marc Laidlaw. The Half-Life writer has announced his retirement from Valve.

Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw has left Valve to work on own projects

Half-Life 3 confirmed? Not by Marc Laidlaw. The Half-Life writer has announced his retirement from Valve.

It’s time to stop asking Marc Laidlaw about Half-Life 3

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The famed sci-fi author, writer of Half-Life and Half-Life 2, and lead writer for Half-Life 2: Episode 1 and Episode 2 has retired from Valve.

His retirement was confirmed in an e-mail exchange between Laidlaw and a fan, posted on the Half-Life subreddit. Redditor TeddyWolf e-mailed the writer to ask the now-ages-old question, “What about Half-Life 3?” 

He probably didn’t expect a reply, but he got one. In it, Laidlaw offered a brief explanation for his decision to leave Valve:

“There are many reasons, most of them personal. 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. Imagine how much older I am! I had the unbelievable luck to fall in with the kids at Valve when they could have just dismissed me as an old fogey who didn’t know s**t about videogames. The only Zelda I’d ever heard of was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife. They taught me everything. 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.”

Sorry. Nope. Still not confirmed.

So what does this mean for the future of Half-Life 3? Laidlaw can’t say. He knows he’ll always have fond memories of and a relationship with the folks at Valve, but he’ll no longer be a part of the development of any Valve projects. As he says in the letter, “Where Valve may choose to take Half-Life in the future is not in my hands.”

If you’re a fan of Laidlaw’s work, however, take heart – while he’s not writing for Valve (or any other game developer), Laidlaw says he will more than likely return to writing stories of his own, calling this his “default setting.”

Is this the final nail in the coffin for Half-Life 3, or do you think another writer could take up the mantle? Are you hoping the game will still have a future, or do you think it’s time to let go of the Half-Life 3 dream? Let us know in the comments.


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Jessa wears a lot of hats - anthropology graduate, mother, obsessive book nerd, writer of both fiction and non-fiction - but her favorite hat is that of the gamer - a hat she's worn since owning an Atari was a "big deal."