Portal Writer Wants Valve To Make Next Game Before He's 'Too Old To Work' On It

·2-min read
ATLAS and P-body from Portal 2.
ATLAS and P-body from Portal 2.

Erik Wolpaw, co-writer of the Portal series, would love to work on a third game. There are just a few problems: He’s one developer out of hundreds of staff and he’s not sure that Valve would go for another Portal game’s profit margins.

Even so, Wolpaw stated in an interview: “I am not getting any younger. We are reaching the point where it’s crazy to think [that the original development team is] literally going to be too old to work on Portal 3, so we should just do it.” Portal 2 was released in 2011, and there have been no follow-up games since.

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In his interview with Kiwi Talkz, Wolpaw said that he was still enthusiastic about the series, though the logistics are more complicated than they might appear from the player side:

I’d work on another Portal in a second. But I can’t do it unfortunately...I could advocate for it, but it’s not gonna help...the problem is with 300 employees...and I don’t know exactly the breakdown [between] the production side versus the Steam business side versus legal... There’s a lot of opportunity cost to taking 75 people and trying to get a game made. As much as it seems like Valve often is just a bunch of people sitting around sipping gin and tonic, everyone’s working.

Portal and Portal 2 are puzzle platformer games known for their darkly humorous dialogue. Wolpaw was a writer on both of these games while he worked at Valve. He also wrote for other games, including the Half-Life series, the Psychonauts games, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. He is currently a contractor who is unattached to any particular studio, though he briefly worked for Valve on Half-Life: Alyx.

CS:GO is particularly notable because it makes a lot of money, and Wolpaw used this as an example of a project that would make business sense for Valve, as opposed to Portal 3. He acknowledged that a sequel could be profitable, but it might not be worth Valve’s resources.

“[Is Portal 3] going to make Counter-Strike GO money? Probably not, but...maybe not every game needs to make Counter-Strike: GO money. Gabe [Newell], if you’re listening...”

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