It looks like Valve has lost yet another writer as this week, Jay Pinkerton parted ways with the studio. Since the start of 2016, we have seen several writers leave Valve’s offices for various reasons, all of which previously worked on the Half-Life series. This time around, it is Pinkerton who has left, who worked on Portal 2 and some of the lore/stories behind Team Fortress 2.
Jay Pinkerton had worked at Valve since 2008 and was a big part of the ‘Meet The…’ series for Team Fortress 2, amongst other TF2-related stories. He worked closely with Erik Wolpaw, who left Valve earlier this year and was followed by Chet Faliszek last month. Pinkerton’s departure was confirmed on his Facebook page, which is public but I won’t link it here out of respect for his privacy.
This all caps off a string of departures, kicking off with Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw back in early 2016. Valve does get a lot of criticism for seemingly not making games anymore, so this ongoing trend of writers leaving is a tad worrying for the future of story-driven games at Valve. We do know that Valve is working on several new games at the moment but whether or not these will contain a focussed story remains to be seen.
While Valve’s esteemed writers all leaving seems like a bad sign, it doesn’t necessarily spell the end of story-driven games at Valve. There are other talented writers floating around and I am sure at least some of them would be interested in working at Valve. Not to mention, there could be new writers already working there, after all, we don’t exactly get announcements every time Valve hires a new employee.
KitGuru Says: Valve is keeping quiet in regards to all of these recent departures but hopefully we can move past that later this year. After all, a potential game reveal at Steam Dev Days 2017 was teased last year.