In a piece of news that could dash hopes of ever getting a Half-Life sequel even further, Marc Laidlaw, famed for penning the game's apocalyptic plot appears to have left Valve.

For those who might not know, Half-Life is a wildly popular first-person shooter developed by Valve — purveyors of the PC gaming platform Steam. Most recent figures state that Half-Life 2 sold over 12 million copies. Eventually, the game received two episodes of DLC that left the game in a cliffhanger state. Fans have been waiting for almost ten years to find out if Half Life's story will be continued.

The news of Laidlaw's retirement emerged from reddit, where a fan sent a frank request for Valve to lay Half-Life 3 speculation to rest. Laidlaw replied with a pre-written list of statements regarding the nature of his retirement, and the reasons why he cannot respond to requests for information on the possibility of a long-rumored Half-Life 3.

Some of the statements read as follows (via imgur):

Is the rumor true?

Yes, it is true. I, Marc Laidlaw have retired from Valve.

What do you mean you're retiring from Valve?

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.

Why are you retiring?

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 nickname is older now 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 shit about video games. 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.

What does this mean for Half-Life?

I don't and can't entirely know. Half-Life is fully owned by Valve. It came into existence before my arrival. Where Valve may choose to take it in the future is not in my hands. I have been a grateful co-creator, but my time of working on the series is behind me. 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. I can speak about games I worked on in the past, to the extent this is public knowledge, but I have talked about those subjects endlessly over the years and I don't think there's much to add.

Marc Laidlaw goes on to thank fans for their enthusiasm and interest in the Half-Life series, reiterating that he can no longer be considered a source of information on the franchise.

While the news may come as a blow to long-time fans, there's no real reason Half-Life 3 couldn't manifest with a different writer on board. Still, most of Valve's more recent games focus on multiplayer and community driven content, seen in titles like Left 4 Dead, Counter Strike, DOTA 2 and Team Fortress 2.

Whether or not we'll see another Half-Life game after all these years will likely remain a mystery for the foreseeable future.

Source: Reddit, thanks Zom-B for the tip!