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Valve loses fourth writer in 18 months

Jay Pinkerton joined Valve ten years ago, follows Laidlaw, Wolpaw and Faliszek to the door

Jay Pinkerton has left Valve after nearly ten years at the company, making him the fourth member of Valve's writing team to depart in the last 18 months.

Pinkerton announced that he left his role at Valve through a post on his Facebook timeline earlier today. No further details were offered, but his departure fits with an ongoing trend of writing talent leaving Valve.

The first to go was Marc Laidlaw, who joined the company at its very beginning, and was the sole writer on Half-Life and Half-Life 2. Laidlaw left in January 2016, and he was followed a year later by Eric Wolpaw, who wrote on Portal, Left 4 Dead and Half-Life. The most recent departure was Chet Faliszek last month, who had moved on from writing on Valve's core franchises to become the figurehead for its VR activities.

Whether this string of high-profile departures signifies a firm change within Valve is a matter for debate. However, it's clear that the secretive company has moved away from the kind of products to which Laidlaw, Wolpaw, Faliszek and Pinkerton brought so much.

Indeed, it can be argued that Portal 2, back in 2011, was the last Valve game where writing was absolutely central to its quality and popularity. Since then, Valve was devoted its time to expanding Steam, pushing Steam VR, and working on eSports-friendly multiplayer titles like Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

However, while this will no doubt be taken as yet another nail in Half-Life 3's entirely nail-riddled coffin, there are some indications that Valve is still making new games. In addition to the VR minigame collection The Lab, Valve's Gabe Newell told the press in February that it's working on three VR games. "When I say we're building three games, we're building three full games, not experiments," he noted.

Last month brought confirmation that Valve had hired a large part of the team that created Kerbal Space Program, with the details of what they're working on to be announced soon.

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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.
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