It’s a rough time to be a Half-Life fan. The last game in the series was 2007’s Half-Life 2: Episode Two, which left players with a brutal cliffhanger ending. Fans expected Valve to quickly follow up with Episode Three, but instead we’ve been waiting for nearly a decade with barely a peep from the company. Many fans have decided, without any confirmation from Valve, that the company must actually be working on a full sequel, making Half-Life 3 one of the most hotly anticipated games of all-time even though there’s a good chance it doesn’t exist.
Well, the existence of Half-Life 3 just got even more unlikely. A poster on Reddit decided to contact Marc Laidlaw, the head writer of every Half-Life game to date, and he actually got a reply. Unfortunately, the response contained the news that Laidlaw recently left Valve after nearly two decades with the company. Laidlaw briefly explained his reason for leaving.
“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.”
Various outlets, including TechRadar and Kotaku, have since confirmed Laidlaw’s departure. But hey, now that he’s free, can Laidlaw say anything about the state of the Half-Life series or the existence of Half-Life 3? Sadly, things don’t sound promising…
“I don’t and can’t entirely know what’s happening. Where Valve may choose to take it in the future is not in my hands. it would be inappropriate for me to speculate openly on the fate of the franchise.”
At this point, it may be time to accept that Valve is content to rest on its laurels on the giant piles of cash it makes from Steam, and is more-or-less out of the game development business. Or maybe they’ll announce Half-Life 3 tomorrow. Trying to predict what Valve is going to do is a loser’s game.