Half-Life, Portal Writer Erik Wolpaw Still Working With Valve

Wolpaw is still writing for Valve.

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Now Playing: Behind the Games: Erik Wolpaw

Writer Erik Wolpaw, who worked on a number of popular Valve games like Half-Life 2: Episode One and Episode Two, as well as Portal and the two Left 4 Dead games, is back working with the studio again. He confirmed to Polygon that he's returned to Valve as a contractor, not full time. His name was spotted in the credits for Valve's new Dota card game, Artifact, and Gabe Newell himself reportedly confirmed Wolpaw had returned.

Wolpaw was at Valve since 2004 before initially leaving in 2017. After leaving Valve, Wolpaw worked with Double Fine on Psychonauts 2. He's now back working with Valve again, but it's not clear what he's contributing to besides Artifact.

He told Polygon that he never really left Valve, as he's maintained his contractor agreement with Valve since he left the company in 2017. He's helping out with other writers Jay Pinkerton, Steve Jaros, and Sean Vanaman.

"I've had a contractor agreement with Valve since the day I stormed out and then immediately timidly stormed back in to ask could I please have my old job back and they said no and I was like good because I'm too busy to work for you anyway and they said but you can be a contractor and I said oh thank god okay I'll do that," Wolpaw explained.

"I’ve been helping Pinkerton and Jaros and Vanaman whenever they need it. It's been busier on that front lately, but I'm not currently a full time employee. My main gig is still delivering juice for my niece Jodi's vegan juice shop plus an unpaid internship playing Slay the Spire three hours a day."

Artifact, which was released at the end of November 2018, was Valve's first new game in years. GameSpot's Artifact review scored the game an 8/10. It's exciting to see Valve releasing new games again, but fans are still probably very interested to hear about new Portal, Half-Life, and Left 4 Dead games.

Wolpaw wrote reviews for GameSpot earlier on in his professional writing career.

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Avatar image for pongman75

Cool! Maybe he can count to 3. Nobody else at Valve can.

Avatar image for wrestlingdude

At this point just stop putting “Half-Life” into valve news. It’s a LIE unless we get something of visual value or an official statement from valve. I’m at least at that point. Whatever.

Avatar image for Rotpar

But why?

Avatar image for lostn

What could he possibly be working on over there? Valve have more or less abandoned games that need a writer (i.e. single player games).

Avatar image for valtair

Time to get ready for half life 3 in about 15 years' time.

Avatar image for doublem-k

@valtair: Forget about it, Valve do not know the number 3.

Avatar image for lostn

@valtair: That's a bit optimisitc. They have to finish HL2 Episode 3 first. 45 years maybe.