Half-Life 2 And Portal Co-Writer Eric Wolpaw Has Returned To Valve
Erik Wolpaw, best known for his work on Portal and Half Life 2’s Episodes, has rejoined Valve after more than a year away. Wolpaw left Valve in February 2017 to work on Double Fine’s upcoming Psychonauts sequel. He co-wrote the original Psychonauts back in 2005 before his decade-long stint at Valve began.
This news spawned from an email – apparently sent to Valve’s co-founder, Gabe Newell. It asked: “Erik Wolpaw back at Valve?”
The man commonly called Gaben, being the cool, calm and collected soul he is, simply replied: “He’s back”. The sender’s address is blacked out, but Valve News Network, the Twitter account that posted it, claims the leaker has “specifics” to prove it’s legit.
The sender of the email confirming the return of Erik Wolpaw to Valve has given me the specfics to prove it's legitimacy. He is back, holy shit. @Wolpaw
— Tyler McVicker (@ValveNewsNetwor) January 4, 2019
Wolpaw looks like he’s following his colleague writer Jay Pinkerton who co-wrote Portal 2. After leaving the company in 2017, Pinkerton returned to Valve in July 2018.
Valve confirmed that they will make a bigger effort towards making games after years of investment in VR and Steam. They recently released a card game Artifact, although its mixed reviews on Steam clearly indicate we’re well below the company’s standards. What’s next for Valve studio remains to be seen, but the return of key staff members who worked on such classics can only suggest that something big could be in the making.
Before our readers start confirming Half-Life 3 or Left 4 Dead 3 or Portal 3, it is important to remember and note that Valve recently demonstrated the ability to count to three. It may take some time for the creative juices to start flowing at the company. Valve’s boss man Gabe Newell is on the record saying that “Artifact is the first of several games that are going to be coming from us. So that’s sort of good news. Hooray! Valve’s going to start shipping games again.” Wolpaw’s return along with the acquisiton of Firewatch developer Campo Santo definitely adds some credibility to Gabe’s claims.
It also makes sense that Valve Software is going to get back to making games as they face increasing competition in the PC digital software storefront landscape. Epic Games Store, Discord, and many other companies are coming for Steam, and Valve can help their own storefront out by creating some of the high quality game experiences that they are known for. We can only hope some of the other Hal-Life writers will consider rejoining the team, but there may be some bad blood out there. Marc Laidlaw shared a potential plot for Half-Life: Episode Three in 2017, and several other members of the team have gone onto other projects in the industry. Either way, Erik Wolpaw’s return to Valve Software is a good thing for fans of their games, and we look forward to hearing about what they have up their sleeves.
What do you think all of this means? Which series would you rather see return?