Half-Life writer and Valve veteran Marc Laidlaw has left the company

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!

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • Boa bla bla Mr. Freeman..
  • Fucck you valve! Could at least release a book or something else. Bunch of suuckers
  • $10 says they will release it, when VR gets cheap and easily available.
  • Then you owe me $10 because Chet Faliszek has already stated in public that Half-Life 3 will not support VR. You lost, now pay.
  • He didn't say it would be a VR title, only that VR pricing would dictate its release date.
  • which doesn't make sense because the game has nothing to do with VR, because it's been stated that it won't support VR.
  • And they also said that episode 3 will release less than a year after episode 2. We all remember how that turned out.
  • and then they stated the episodic release model was left behind, hence Episode 3 does not exist.
  • Lord Gaben what have you done...
  • I'm getting more and more fed up with Valve and Steam as time goes by. The way they're leaving us out to dry with Half-Life, the absolutely crap and impersonal customer support and sheer disrespect towards clients who aren't on Android or iOS have been really ticking me off as of late.
  • Aye, I can accept when companies don't make an app for Windows Phone cus of the market share or whatevers, but when you make an app a requirement for something on an existing and popular service and exclude certain platforms its a bit of a dick move.
  • It is a dick move plain and simple. Valve are scared of Windows and want to shoot it down for some stupid reason. They're 110% capable of making us an app but don't.
  • The problem is that they are forcing people to use their mobile authenticator, and not providing wp support. This is really bad
  • I'd like the Orange Box to come to Xbox One BC library. I tried Half Life, but didn't like it. I really want to give it another shot.
  • I'd love to see Orange Box on Xbox One.
  • Play it on pc, definetly one of the best campaigns you will ever play
  • Actually. Valve doesn't want the Half-life IP get bad named. That's why they won't release the HL3.
  • Exactly:-) ppl should start understanding that. You don't make a game billions of ppl waiting for knowing it will **** up in some parts because modern gameplay and ****. And nowadays ppl like to hate the **** outa games more then appreciate them ( except ea games .. **** those games .. **** those games in particular)
  • The Half Life franchise is dead. Anything they release would likely mirror the joke that was Duke Nukem. A shadow of its past self, not meeting expectations and and something that tarnished the reputation of the franchise. Valve waited too long to give a **** about the HL franchise.
  • Half Life was the pivotal FPS game that put valve on the map. I'm sure they won't abandon it. I think over the past decade the company has just grown so fast with hits like L4D, Portal, and TF2. I mean for a small studio to have that many big titles in such a short amount of time, maybe they had to put half life on hold.
  • I'm totally with you. The latest Duke Nukem was crap. And I fear Half-life would suffer the same thing
  • Sad day. Half Life 2 has been, and always will be in my top 10 favorite video games (unless Half Life 3 knocks it out). God, I hope valve just releases a new game soon, it's been awhile.
  • Looking at the release schedule over the last few years it is clear that Valve is barely a games developer anymore. Their release schedule is so minimal as to be almost non-existant and this is from a software house that has grown in size. It looks like Gabe's obession with the Steam Machine and the Steam OS has sucked the energy out of the games development side to focus on his home grown console idea. Which is a shame because the Windows 8 apocolypse didn't really happen.
  • I completely agree with you! It pains me to even fire up Steam these days when I think back to what Valve used to be, it's a real kick in the guts. I grew up through all the Half Life titles, owned and played every one of them a number of times, have never replayed games like that ever since, heck I don't even finish most games these days. Valve has become a different beat and too high and mighty for their own good.
  • Valve makes billions of dollars per year with steam , team fortress 2 , dota 2 and csgo. They don't need to make new games.
    They update portal 2 once a while so the communities self made new stuff works and that's it. Valve has no desire to make the game
  • I haven't played games in years. Decided to play Fallout on the PS4 at a friends house. I was utterly underwhelmed.
    To me, Half Life 2 is still a better game than the latest Fallout - and I dare say it is still better than most games in the genre!
  • That a joke right, by no means is HL even on the same page as Fallout. Is was a good game in its time but please don't compare a game so old to a game of today and say its better. It's your opinion state it as so.
  • I think it's perfectly ok to compare older games with newer ones. I still think Fallout2 is the best of the franchise. That being said, I haven't tried F4 nor any of the HLs
  • So...Half-Life 3 confirmed?
  • Valve wouldn't release half-life 3. He left to make it with another company. Hl3 confirmed.
  • Confirmed
  • I just want to know what happens after actually taking that helicopter :) ...
  • I just have a sinking feeling that I will die not ever seeing HL3. Still, the HL series is one if the best FPS franchises ever, and will leave a legacy for sure.
  • Yeah, I don't think it's coming either. It's a shame cus the story has been left at a weird cliffhanger.
  • Loved Half life the game play was class
  • http://i.imgur.com/E1KFWRa.jpg
  • I should've put this article banner image.
  • Hah!
  • Half life 3 has been cancelled. Watch the Know on YouTube the story was released in there
  • Yip.
  • The Know also said Microsoft purchased the Silent Hill franchise. They're a bad source of info.
  • Soooo, Half-Life 3 not confirmed :'(
  • For the billions time : Half life 3 wont come because
    1. Only 10 ppl are working on it, and they have nothing but core game and scripts
    2. The other guys are on dota , csgo and ts2
    3. Valve dont need the game. They make billions a year
    4. And thats sth a employee said ( also he said the same above ) : Ppl have way to high expectations for that game. If only one thing will be wrong or not in the game the shitstorm gets real and valve will become a new ea only just with one game.
    All in all : Valve has no desire and/or needs to make and release half life 3 (source : Internet, the know )
  •   I still play HL2DM!  There's still nothing quite as satisfying as a crossbow to me...
  • Half Life is still the best game I ever played. The story would have made for a great set of movies too.
  • This is so sad to read this. I was just thinking about HL3 the other day and read this. Will be a depressing day for me tomorrow. Goodbye Valve unless you release HL3. you've had years don't leave loyal fans in the dark, half life pit you where you are today don't ditch it for us loyal fans for god sake.
  • I was a huge fan of the Half-Life series.  Of course, it's been quite dead for many years (I don't think I'd classify it as "wildly popular" anymore).  I gave up any hope of expecting another installment in the HL series after two years had passed since the last add-on story.  I am surprised anyone has actually held out that there'd be more HL produced.  It was a nice game when it was in its hayday.  I don't find most of the games put out these days worth a darn in comparison.  The last game the sparked my interest was Titan Fall.
  • Why do people hang on for sequels? It was a good game, move on to something else. It probably didn't make that much money. Nobody bought Rise of the Tomb Raider, and it was an amazing sequel. A 10 out of 10.
  • hl2 made TONS  of money, the issue now is the amount of hype the game would have.
  • I used to play tfc with these cats many moons ago when there was like 200 servers worldwide,chatted many times with gabe about the future and  i got the impression HL had set such high standards within single and multiplayer genres the pressure to keep it up met with the then limited ability of the hardware/internet speeds left HL no place to go. The mother of all projects was TF2(eventually became Battlefield) which then was unacheivable. HL3 will come out but I guess that they are waiting for a similar leap in tech/engine that warrants the title HL3. I wish him a happy retirement hoping he has already wrote HL3 storyline...
  • I was a gamer before it all ended with half life 2 and other source games. After that i tried newer titles which everyone says are awesome, but sorry I cant play anything else after HL2 world... Nothing is interesting anymore... Why didn't they release at least Episode 3? Will we ever know the reason?
  • Half life 3 jokes on halt.
  • Very good, valve is a company of id$ots!
  • The good thing about Half Life 2 is that the game is fully playable on even low end Windows laptops and tablets. When the game was released, 1 GB RAM was high end in 2005.
  • 4 answers in 1 letter ... 4-1=3 ... HL3 is confirmed!