Portal 2, Half-Life 2 writer Erik Wolpaw left Valve back in 2017, and just recently news broke that he has returned to the company after leaving his position with Double Fine. Since this is the second major Portal writer to make a grand return following Jay Pinkerton's re-entrance back in July of 2018, speculation immediately spiked about what this could mean - especially given Valve's renewed promise to get back into the game-making bizz.
According to Wolpaw, his return doesn't exactly mean what everyone thought it meant. In fact, he's rejoined the company in a contracting sense. In a statement made to Polygon, he mentioned "I've had a contractor agreement with Valve since the day I stormed out and then immediately timidly stormed back in to ask could I please have my old job back and they said no and I was like good because I'm too busy to work for you anyway and they said but you can be a contractor and I said oh thank god okay I'll do that."
Wolpaw added, "I've been helping Pinkerton and Jaros and Vanaman whenever they need it. It's been busier on that front lately, but I'm not currently a full time employee. My main gig is still delivering juice for my niece Jodi's vegan juice shop plus an unpaid internship playing Slay the Spire three hours a day."
Following their departure and that of Half-Life's Marc Laidlaw and Chet Faliszek, the future of narrative-driven games at Valve looked grim. With half of that group having returned, it looks like the future may be a little brighter than we thought. The downside? It's time to brace for those Portal and Half-Life 3 rumors, because they are about to kick up in full force once more.
What are your thoughts on Wolpaw's return? What do you think that means for the future of these beloved titles? Join in on the conversation in the comment section below, or hit me up on Twitter @DirtyEffinHippy for even more game-age!