The recent news of Half-Life series writer Marc Laidlaw retiring from Valve has sent shockwaves through the community.
Marc Laidlaw Leaves Valve – 5 Reasons Why We Shouldn’t Give Up on Half-LifeDiscussion & Analysis
Many took to sites like r/HalfLife and our own social media channels to express their sadness. At the time, many hardcore fans are left speechless and unsure of what this means for the future of the series.
Marc’s work helped form the foundation of the games we love so much for 18 years. His decision to depart from the Valve came unexpectedly, as his role in the development of the Half-Life games has been considered so essential.
This is certainly a reason to be sad if you are a Half-Life fan.
The mourning has sent many fans beyond the brink, and they’ve lost motivation for following the series. Many expressed the sentiment that all hope that Half-Life 3 will ever be released is dead, and consequently, that the series is finished as well. Or is it?
We wanted to touch on the brighter side of things and list some of the reasons why we feel this is not necessarily the case.
1. We are no better off than before
Marc’s departure is not any form of confirmation whether a Half-life sequel is or is not in development. We still have no official word from Valve on the status of the Half-Life series, just as before.
Just because Marc isn’t working for the company doesn’t mean there won’t ever be another Half-Life sequel. Valve have a lot of other talented people working for them. At the same time, it’s important to stay open to the possibility that there might never be one. And in truth, it’s not like no Half-Life 3 ever killed us.
The hard fact is we just don’t know.
2. Half-Life is already legendary
The Half-Life series is not a fad. It’s gaming touchstone, and collectively, a masterpiece of a series. It will remain an industry example for years to come. The critical acclaim proves it, with the games having won many prizes, including the ‘Game of the Decade‘ award earned by Half-Life 2. Nothing can take this away, whether that be the departure of a key employee or the possibility of Valve’s silence on a sequel becoming everlasting.
3. The community makes amazing things
The community has made extraordinary things from day one. Projects like Black Mesa, Operation Black Mesa, Guard Duty, Half-Life 2: Update and Sven Co-op, to name a few active ones, are testaments to the enthusiasm of the community. There are also a ton of new mods continuously being released, even for the GoldSrc engine. Just check out communities like RunThinkShootLive.com or Goldsrc Gold. There’s also amazing projects like Half-Life: A Place in the West and The Freeman Chronicles.
And let’s not forget the large lore archives maintained on Combine Overwiki and the Half-Life Wikia. These sites exists because of Marc’s amazing work on the series.
4. Marc had to leave someday
Even if Marc hadn’t retired right now, he would not of continued to work for Valve forever. Key players in organisations can unexpectedly leave or disappear. It doesn’t mean the company or its products will die or drop in quality. Valve have released many great games despite the departure of talented staff.
It’s safe to say it’ll be different without Marc at Valve, and maybe we need to prepare for a different style of writing or dialogue if a sequel gets released. However, it’s also good to keep in mind that other Half-Life writers, like Chet Faliszek and Erik Wolpaw, are still very much employed.
5. Valve haven’t totally forgotten Half-Life
It’s important to consider that Valve have never forgotten how good Half-Life is, and Marc’s departure isn’t a direct sign that they have shelved the series for good.
If you’ve ever seen images of their headquarters, you’ll know that it is decorated and filled with Half-Life merchandise. It was also the game that got their company off the ground, two times in a row. The infinite optimists in us like to think they’re aware of that.
They also aren’t oblivious and know many of us are clamoring for a sequel.
We hope this article has helped dust off the blues in those feeling down about Marc’s departure. His work turned Half-Life into what we know and love, and although he is no longer working for Valve, there is no doubt that he will always have a place for it in his heart.
We’d like to thank Marc for all of the incredible work he has done on the Half-Life series over the past 18 years. We also wish Marc all the best in his future endeavours and look forward to any new stories he may write.
Valve HQ magazine cover wall photo via imgur
really a life changing experience……. this experience changed me inside to a physics lover and now im a 3rd year physicist student in college
Same! Astrophysics 2nd year student. Whenever I’m walking around in the basement of the physics building and see a whole bunch of labs with “CAUTION: LASER” signs and big chemical warning symbols I like to play the HL1 soundtrack in the background, feels like you’re checking in to work at Black Mesa.
Many people left Valve since HL2 shipped. Still, they made big titles since then.
Don’t get too much hype. Let the game come to you and not the opposite.
Let’s just wait and see how things turn out.
I am hoping that he left because they are in the progress of developing the game, and maybe his suggestions and ideas were overruled, so he got mad af…