While prospects of Half-Life 3 ever releasing have more or less dissipated barring the odd rumour or two that ends up devolving into meme fodder, Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw has confirmed he has retired from Valve.
Laidlaw was the lone writer for both Half-Life 1 and 2. He was responsible for creating each game's lore. In addition to this, he was the lead writer for Half-Life 2 Episode 1 and 2.
"I am no longer a full or part time Valve employee, no longer involved in day-to-day decisions or operations, no longer a spokesperson for the company, no longer privy to most types of confidential information, no longer working on Valve games in any capacity," he said in an email to a fan.
"An outwardly obvious reason is that I'm old, or anyway oldish. 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.
"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."
As for what this means for the series, Laidlaw does not know.
"I don't and can't entirely know. Half-Life is fully owned by Valve. It came into existence before my arrival. Where Valve may choose to take it in the future is not in my hands," he said. "I have been a grateful co-creator but my time of working on the series is behind me. Since I no longer speak for Valve, it would be inappropriate for me to answer questions or speculate openly on the fate of the franchise."
With a slew of the original team behind Half-Life 2 either working on other projects at Valve, quit, or retired, Half-Life 3 remains a closely guarded secret at the company. Something we're probably not going to hear about any time soon.