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Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw leaves Valve after 18 years

Half-Life scribe Marc Laidlaw has confirmed to Gamasutra that he has left Valve Software.

Half-Life co-creator and writer Marc Laidlaw, who penned both Half-Life 1 and 2, has left Valve Software, Gamasutra can confirm.

Reports of his departure from Valve stemmed from an email posted on Reddit. Laidlaw verified his departure in an email to Gamasutra. "It is true. I left very recently," he replied when asked about the Reddit post.

Responding to the Reddit poster's inquiry, Laidlaw said he's in no position to confirm or deny anything about any potential new Half-Life game. 

"I am no longer a full or part time Valve employee, no longer involved in day to day decisions or operations, no longer a spokesman for the company, no longer privy to most types of confidential information, no longer working on Valve games in any capacity," Laidlaw said.

In the email Laidlaw goes on to explain that his departure was prompted by a number of personal reasons, the most "outwardly obvious" of which is his age. 

“My nickname when I first started at Valve in 1997 was 'old man Laidlaw.' The little baby level designer who gave me that that nickname is now older than I was then," said Laidlaw. 

"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."

Laidlaw also said that he's now in the same position as most fans, and has no idea where the future of Half-Life lies.

As for his own future, the writer hasn't completely ruled out a return to video games -- although it doesn't look like he'll be doing a u-turn anytime soon. 

"I will almost certainly get back to writing more stories of my own, that's simply my default setting. Working on games has been an amazing education, a vocation, an entire career I never expected to have," continued Laidlaw.

"I found a calling that didn't even exist when I was a sprout. But it feels like the time is right to return to my roots and see where that takes me. It might well take me back into games by other routes, but currently that's not part of the plan. I'll be exploring for a while."

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