Writer Erik Wolpaw, who worked on a number of popular Valve games like Half-Life 2: Episode One and Episode Two, as well as Portal and the two Left 4 Dead games, is back working with the studio again. He confirmed to Polygon that he’s returned to Valve as a contractor, not full time. His name was spotted in the credits for Valve’s new Dota card game, Artifact, and Gabe Newell himself reportedly confirmed Wolpaw had returned.
Wolpaw was at Valve since 2004 before initially leaving in 2017. After leaving Valve, Wolpaw worked with Double Fine on Psychonauts 2. He’s now back working with Valve again, but it’s not clear what he’s contributing to besides Artifact.
He told Polygon that he never really left Valve, as he’s maintained his contractor agreement with Valve since he left the company in 2017. He’s helping out with other writers Jay Pinkerton, Steve Jaros, and Sean Vanaman.
“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 explained.
“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.”
Artifact, which was released at the end of November 2018, was Valve’s first new game in years. GameSpot’s Artifact review scored the game an 8/10. It’s exciting to see Valve releasing new games again, but fans are still probably very interested to hear about new Portal, Half-Life, and Left 4 Dead games.