First reported by a Reddit member, Marc Laidlaw, writer of Half-Life and Half-Life 2 and head writer of Half-Life 2: Episode One and Half-Life 2: Episode Two, has retired from Valve Software and will no longer be involved in the Half-Life series.
Personally, while I respect and am glad that Mr. Laidlaw has willingly opted to move on, a fairly large part of me can’t help but feel a little sad. If I still make comics based on the Half-Life 2 setting (and yes I do, shut up!), it’s not plainly because of my love for the games anymore, but because I find the story he came up with so fascinating, immersive and bristling with hidden detail that most people just take a cursory look at. Even more, while the rest of Valve has been in perpetual and frankly increasingly stern radio silence, Mr. Laidlaw, while not discussing the future of the series, has always been welcoming to fans and eager to reply to every e-mail, for which I am also personally grateful for.
While Mr. Laidlaw modestly points out in his e-mail reply that Half-Life existed before he entered Valve, I dare argue that the series wouldn’t be the same without him. For one of the very first first-person shooters trying to pull off a proper story, his contribution was invaluable, and while any writer could’ve taken the gig, no game is quite like the Half-Life series story-wise, and that’s his hand all over. Every memorable character in the post-Half-Life 2 saga, from Doctor Kleiner and Eli Vance to Hedy Lamarr and, of course, Alyx Vance, albeit each brought to life by a numerous amount of people within Valve, originate in the pages written by Marc Laidlaw. To me, it still is, and always be, his story.
I think I speak for all of us at Metrocop when I say: thank you, Mr. Laidlaw, for helping create this amazing series we have fallen in love with. We wish you all the best success in your future endeavors and hope you’ll still come around the HL community every now and then, if only to reminisce about it and see the fruits of your labour. Much like Valve’s, the fan community’s door will always be open to you.
Also, for those of you now panicking about Half-Life 3, let me say this: while it certainly doesn’t bode well with regards to how the next Half-Life has been developing (or not), if Valve ever does proceed with that, it’s in good hands. Not only did Mr. Laidlaw, as I previously mentioned, co-write the episodes, but Valve has a plethora of amazing writers who can take the reins of the series. The future of Half-Life, if it ever comes, is certainly still in good hands.