Half-Life, Portal, Left 4 Dead Writer Leaves Valve

Erik Wolpaw is moving on.


Valve veteran Erik Wolpaw has left the company. Following initial reports, Gamasutra confirmed that Wolpaw, whose writing credits include Half-Life 2: Episode One and Episode Two, as well as Portal and the two Left 4 Dead games, has exited the developer.

Wolpaw had worked at Valve since 2004. News of his departure originated today from another former Valve employee, Mark Laidlaw, who left Valve last year.

We don't know what Wolpaw is doing next, though Kotaku reports that he is on the writing team for Double Fine's Psychonauts 2.

In other news about Valve, founder Gabe Newell recently spoke with Gamasutra about the company's unusual--and highly successful--business structure.

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Avatar image for deadpeasant

His talents arent needed at valve anymore since they're not a game developing company anymore. Maybe theres a chance of a spiritual succesor to half life being created now by a different company with this guy writing the script.

Avatar image for Xirtahm

WOLPAW: "Hey guys! I have an excellent draft of an idea for Half-Life 3, it would branch off of 2's Episode 3 by...."

VALVE: "Nope. We're not doing that right now."

WOLPAW: "Hoooo man, do I have a great idea for Portal 3! First, we have this...."

VALVE: "Not interested."

WOLPAW: "I have this BRILLIANT idea on how we can change up the zombie shooter genre. Left 4 Dead 3 could introduce this whole story arc where...."

VALVE: "Just... Can you just sit over there and shut up right now?"

WOLPAW: *extends middle finger*

Avatar image for jenovaschilld

Double Fine's Psychonauts 2. -- awesome!

Avatar image for legendaryh1tman

Microsoft hire this guy, and make him the story teller for HALO games also.

Avatar image for cheekybugger

CDPR hire him!

Avatar image for zura_janai

HL3 comfirmed.

Ughh.. I couldn't read this thread without thinking about this joke.

Avatar image for kanekan-slaugh

Well it's not like he was being used well.

Avatar image for darthrevenx

I hope he lands on his feet and that the road treats him well......his contributions to those games is commendable cus such good writing, also you missed Portal 2, he wrote for that one too.....

Avatar image for luert

not surprising, wish him well

Avatar image for Barighm

Shame. The dialogue in L4D and 2 was a key part of what made those games so great.

Avatar image for darthrevenx

@Barighm: pills here

wonderful writing indeed......

but I kid, he did great with the games he was involved with....Portal 2 was hilarious....several times i had to pause cus i was laughing so hard.....like Cave Johnson's lemons speech.....


truly inspiring.....now i feel the need to invent combustible lemons......

Avatar image for RELeon

Really not surprising. Valve doesn't seem to have much writing that needs to be done for years now. He was probably just bored stiff.

Avatar image for chiefwiggum16

Not sure wtf he was even doing there seeing as the don't make games anymore

Avatar image for uncle5555

He knew he'll never be able to make sequels to all of the games he's worked on since it's against Valve company policy to ship a game with the Number 3 in it.

Avatar image for girlusocrazy

Probably wants to work on games that actually ship

Avatar image for catsimboy

Gotta be boring when your only job is writing flavor text for stupid loot crate items.

Avatar image for The_Man_On_Fire

Steam is weak I warned you LOL

Avatar image for deactivated-5b19c359a3789

Valve has been letting him work on external projects, probably wanting to keep him around just in case they ever decided to do anything again... so this reads like them throwing in the towel in that regard.

Avatar image for indojimbo

Valve sucks as a developer these days, even Steam has gone downhill with all the crapware it pushes.

Avatar image for girlusocrazy

@indojimbo: Steam just sells what developers make

Avatar image for chiefwiggum16

@girlusocrazy: Yeah, Steaming piles of crap....heh

Avatar image for girlusocrazy

@chiefwiggum16: PC master raaaaace!

Avatar image for cheekybugger

@girlusocrazy: i bet its you in your avatar.

Avatar image for girlusocrazy

@sellingthings: ...or crazy! I'm definitely sane!

Avatar image for girlusocrazy

@cheekybugger: It's Rachel Dratch


Avatar image for gamingdevil800

Probably left cause hes got nothing to work on there.