Erik Wolpaw, one of Valve’s famous funnymen, has left the studio. The co-founder of cherished games site Old Man Murray is known at Valve for his writing on games like Portal, Left 4 Dead, and the Half-Lives, though Valve’s mysterious free-floating structure means he may well have also served coffee, written Gabe Newell’s e-mails, and bred a genetically-engineered pet fed with Steam microtransactions. We may never know. What’s next for Wolpaw? He says he’s going to work at his niece’s juice shop, and I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t take that at face value. Juice on, Erik!
Wolpaw’s last day was Friday, as brought to our attention by a screencapped Facebook post shared by the Valve News Network. It’s all over the place by now but feels a bit creepy to share a non-public post. Creepy me. His public profile does say his time at Valve is over and he’s commented on all this so, y’know, it is real, just feels a bit rude. Here’s me joining in the rudeness.
“I’m gonna move back to Cleveland and work at my niece’s juice shop,” Wolpaw told Polygon on Friday. Last we heard, Erik Wolpaw was working on Psychonauts 2 (he wrote for the first game) but clearly family and freshly-squeezed juice come first.
We’ve gabbed with Wolpaw a fair few times since 1873. We interviewed him with written words in 2007, chatted with voices in 2008 and 2009, he’s told us a tragic story about the handheld Mattel Football, then we talked game stories with him and Double Fine’s Anna Kipnis in two parts in 2012.