Erik Wolpaw has left his job as a writer at Valve Corporation, according to a tip given to Gamasutra. "Last day at Valve!" Wolpaw wrote in a Facebook status update. "People marching their crap out of the office in a box is the central theme of 90% of what [Jay] Pinkerton and I write, and now I'm finally doing it for real."
Wolpaw's departure come one year and change after Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw moved on from Valve. "@Wolpaw left Valve so I can now insult him freely without damaging the company's reputation," Laidlaw joked in a tweet from earlier today. "He's a comic genius and a true original."
Wolpaw was instrumental in writing Valve's Portal and Portal 2 puzzlers. He joined the company in 2004 and helped shape several heavy hitters in Valve's catalog, including Half-Life 2: Episodes One and Two, as well as Left 4 Dead 1 and Left 4 Dead 2.
As for what he'll be up to next, Wolpaw is listed as a writer for Double Fine's upcoming Psychonauts 2, although his work could be nearly finished depending on how early he got involved on the project.
Although long-time fans of their work are no doubt disappointed to see Wolpaw go, his departure is more disappointing than surprising. Half-Life 3 may or may not be happening, depending on who you ask and the day of the week, and Valve seems focused on multiplayer-centric games, leaving little for on-staff writers to do other than write hat descriptions.
Writers' room at Valve.