This morning, we reported that Erik Wolpaw, known for his work on Valve’s most popular games (Half-Life and Portal), is back with the company. After departing in 2017, Wolpaw’s name flooded headlines when he was spotted in the credits for Artifact and Gabe Newell confirmed that he was back with the company. As it turns out, Wolpaw is working with Valve in a contractual capacity.
Wolpaw revealed his take on the situation in an email to Polygon.
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.
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.
Whether or not Wolpaw is involved in any major upcoming releases, we have no idea. The fact that he’s working as a kind of freelancer with Valve and his work on Artifact make it appear as though he’s providing supplemental work, like character, item, and ability descriptions. We hope that he’ll get to flex his storytelling muscles soon. Stay tuned.