The guy who wrote Half-Life and Half-Life 2 is no longer working at Valve.

Marc Laidlaw publicly announced his retirement from the company during an email exchange with Half-Life fan and Redditor TeddyWolf, who was probing him about the existence or lack thereof of the now-mythical Half-Life 3.

"I am no longer a full or part time Valve employee," Laidlaw’s response reads, "no longer involved in day to day decisions or operations, no longer a spokesman for the company, no longer privy to most types of confidential information, no longer working on Valve games in any capacity."

It isn’t clear when Laidlaw left Valve, but his email implies it was recently: “Lately I have been feeling the need for a break from the collaborative chaos of game production,” he writes.

"[Half-Life] came into existence before my arrival [at Valve]. Where Valve may choose to take it in the future is not in my hands. I have been a grateful co-creator, but my time of working on the series is behind me.

“Since I no longer speak for Valve, it would be inappropriate for me to answer questions or speculate openly on the fate of the franchise."

The full email exchange can be viewed here, and has been confirmed as legitimate by Laidlaw himself (via PC Gamer).

Laidlaw joined Valve Software while it was developing Half-Life back in 1997.

In his capacity as Valve's in-house writer, he wrote the plots and all dialogue for both Half-Life and Half-Life 2, and collaborated with Chet Faliszek and Erik Wolpaw on Half-Life 2's two expansion episodes.

Despite Valve's lengthy silence, rumours persist that the company is working on both Half-Life 3 and Left 4 Dead 3.