'Half-Life' writer Marc Laidlaw retires from Valve after 18 years

By Shawn Knight
Jan 8, 2016
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  1. It's likely to be a somber day for Half-Life 3 hopefuls as news circulates that Marc Laidlaw, the man responsible for writing Half-Life and Half-Life 2, has retired from Valve after 18 years on the job.

    News of his retirement first broke on Reddit when a user posted an e-mail exchange with Laidlaw. Naturally, there were plenty of skeptics but the news has since been confirmed by multiple publications.

    In the e-mail, Laidlaw said he was no longer a full or part time Valve employee and thus, no longer involved in day-to-day decisions or operations. It also means he is no longer a spokesperson for the company, no longer privy to confidential information and no longer working on Valve games in any capacity.

    As for how his departure impacts Half-Life, Laidlaw said he doesn't and can't entirely know. Since he no longer works for Valve, he said it would be inappropriate to answer questions or speculate openly on the fate of the franchise.

    Laidlaw said many reasons led to his retirement, most of which are personal. He did add that an outwardly obvious reason is his age. He earned the nickname "Old Man Laidlaw" when he joined Valve back in 1997.

    Looking ahead, Laidlaw said he will almost certainly get back to writing more stories of his own. It's a move that he admits could lead him back into games but that's not part of the plan.

    Armed with this revelation, the fate of Half-Life 3 is as cloudy as ever. Some are seeing his departure as evidence that a sequel is never going to happen while others are no doubt convincing themselves that Laidlaw may have already written the story for Half-Life 3 or that those duties will be passed down to someone else when (if) the time comes.

    Do you think Valve will ever get around to creating Half-Life 3?

    Lead photo via Develop

    Permalink to story.

  2. Sniped_Ash

    Sniped_Ash TS Maniac Posts: 247   +103

    Half-Life 3 is never coming out, give it up everyone. Valve is a digital hat company now.
    caboob likes this.
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,106   +1,376

    In the meantime, near Black Mesa...

    This still may happen ;)
  4. EClyde

    EClyde TS Maniac Posts: 616   +143

    If you are waiting for HL 3....Go check the mail instead
  5. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 1,800   +483

    I'm sure that HL3 has been ready for quite some time now, but Valve sent the source code using the regular mail, to avoid leaking it like HL2, and the package was lost forever. You just can't trust the national postal service.
    mosu likes this.
  6. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,494   +668

    Well, at least it's still good for a few great rumors!
  7. NeoFlux

    NeoFlux TS Booster Posts: 97   +10

    So.... Half-Life 3 uncomfirmed?
  8. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,335   +1,936

    Hey... Talk about a blast from the past. I remember Half Life & Half Life 2 and I can even vaguely remember playing them. I'd forgotten all about them, til now that is.
  9. noel24

    noel24 TS Maniac Posts: 299   +152

    Maybe He just finished his work and now few months of beta testing?
  10. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,157   +195

    Half-life 3
  11. Lurker101

    Lurker101 TS Evangelist Posts: 726   +224

    It's not a matter of will HL£ come out, it's <I>should</I> HL3 come out. After a decade of fan based hype and expectation, if it doesn't come out with a cure to at least 3 different types of cancer and a fleshlight, it will never live up to the hopes of the mindless massed, and as such, will be critically panned.
  12. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Maniac Posts: 794   +216

    Duke Nukem Effect?
  13. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Guru Posts: 643   +226

    I don't know much about this guy but if his involvement in the first 2 versions of Half-Life were nothing more than the story lines, I wouldn't even consider him a factor in the production or release of Half-Life 3. Valve can find someone else to write a back story for a game.

    Half-Life became historically popular for it's bleeding edge(at the time) game engine, not the story lines.

    If Valve does ever release Half-Life 3 then everyone will want Half-Life 4. It's a vicious trap.
  14. Lurker101

    Lurker101 TS Evangelist Posts: 726   +224

    Pretty much. On its own, DNF wasn't a terrible game. It wasn't a great game by an stretch of the imagination, but it wasn't terrible. However, because what it was wasn't what it was "supposed" to be, it was effectively a hideously botched game that should never have existed.
  15. amghwk

    amghwk TS Enthusiast Posts: 62   +23

    If Valve wants to milk money, it can and will produce another Half-Life for the hungry fan base.

    Metal Gear Solid : Phantom Pain was recently released without Hideo Kojima's involvement.

    If Duke Nukem Forever can finally appear, Half-Life too can.
  16. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,106   +1,376

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