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