Half-Life and Portal Series Veteran Writer Says Farewell to Valve

After 13 years, writer Erik Wolpaw has officially left Valve. Joining the game developer company back in 2004, Wolpaw’s writing credits include Half-Life: Episode One and Two, the two Portal games, and Left 4 Dead.  He also co-wrote the Team Fortress comics.  The news came from Marc Laidlaw, who took to Twitter with the news.  Laidlaw also happens to be a former Valve writer, who left the company back in 2016.


Though we have not been given a reason for his sudden exit, one can only assume that Wolpaw made the unfortunate mistake of uttering the taboo number ‘3’ in Gabe Newell’s presence.  Kidding aside, Wolpaw confirmed his departure on Facebook via Valve News Network.


Tagging fellow writer Jay Pinkerton apparently caused a bit of a ruckus.  Shortly after the above image hit Facebook, Pinkerton began receiving emails asking whether or not he had also left Valve.  Thankfully, Wolpaw himself stepped in to clarify that Pinkerton had not, in fact, left.

“Pinkerton’s still at Valve!  Stop sending him concerned emails!”

Despite having left Valve, Erik Wolpaw certainly isn’t out of work.  Prior to joining Valve, Wolpaw worked at Double Fine, where he co-wrote the hit platforming/adventure game Psychonauts.  His story and dialogue contributions to Psychonauts earned him the Game Developers Choice Award for Best Writing back in 2006.  Wolpaw is currently involved in developing the sequel, Psychonauts 2, which was successfully crowdfunded on Fig back in 2016.

Though we currently don’t know the whole story around Wolpaw’s departure, we can only assume that he and Gabe Newell left on good terms.  Some of you may remember that, back in 2004, Wolpaw was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis.  Concerned that his condition would force him to leave the company, he spoke with Newell, who was Valve’s Managing Director at the time.  Newell offered him an extended leave with pay.

“Your job is to get better.  That is your job description at Valve.  So go home to your wife and come back when you are better.”

We here at Don’t Feed the Gamer wish Erik Wolpaw the best of luck with Psychonauts 2, and hope that his departure from Valve was an amicable one on both sides. To many more adventures to come!

So, what do you think of the news?  Are you concerned with the loss of another writer at Valve? Are you excited to play Psychonauts 2?  Did you help fund the campaign?  Let us know in the comments section below, or come discuss it with us on Disqus!  Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for live gaming and the latest gaming news 24/7!

Ryan "Cinna" Carrier3026 Posts

Ryan is the Lead Editor for Don't Feed the Gamers. When he isn't writing, Ryan is likely considering yet another playthrough of Final Fantasy IX. He's also the DFTG cinnamon bun.


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