Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve

Valve News Network Tweets that writers Erik Wolpaw and Jay Pinkerton have left their jobs at Valve. It turns out they are only half-right, as Pinkerton and Wolpaw both followed up with tweets saying Pinkerton is still at Valve. Noting Wolpaw's writing credits include Portal, Portal 2, both Half-Life 2 expansions, Left 4 Dead 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Psychonauts, Polygon reached him for comment, and he told them "I'm gonna move back to Cleveland and work at my niece's juice shop." He is also presumably still contributing to the upcoming Psychonauts 2. Wolpaw came to Valve's attention as a writer on Old Man Murray, a gaming site he cofounded along with Chet Faliszek, who remains as a writer at Valve.
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31.
 
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve
Feb 19, 2017, 09:50
31.
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve Feb 19, 2017, 09:50
Feb 19, 2017, 09:50
 
nin wrote on Feb 18, 2017, 20:54:
Hump wrote on Feb 18, 2017, 19:54:
Old Man Murray. Man those are great memories. Thats when gaming was truly exciting and every game announced was something to look forward to.
I still remember their review of Heavy Gear 2. The entire review was:
"An answer to a question no one asked."
Don't forget the whole "Crate Review System".

My favorite is still "Your Webmasters: Erik is the fat, girl-looking boy. Chet likes Ministry and not much else."
that just made my sunday. i was not fully human when omm was a thing so i missed out on it, but i'm much better now.

This comment was edited on Feb 19, 2017, 10:01.
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30.
 
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve
Feb 18, 2017, 20:54
nin
 
30.
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve Feb 18, 2017, 20:54
Feb 18, 2017, 20:54
 nin
 
Hump wrote on Feb 18, 2017, 19:54:
Old Man Murray. Man those are great memories. Thats when gaming was truly exciting and every game announced was something to look forward to.

I still remember their review of Heavy Gear 2. The entire review was:

"An answer to a question no one asked."



Don't forget the whole "Crate Review System".

My favorite is still "Your Webmasters: Erik is the fat, girl-looking boy. Chet likes Ministry and not much else."


29.
 
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve
Feb 18, 2017, 19:54
29.
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve Feb 18, 2017, 19:54
Feb 18, 2017, 19:54
 
Old Man Murray. Man those are great memories. Thats when gaming was truly exciting and every game announced was something to look forward to.

I still remember their review of Heavy Gear 2. The entire review was:

"An answer to a question no one asked."

----------------------------------------------------------------------
"Both the “left” and the “right” pretend they have the answer, but they are mere flippers on the same thalidomide baby, and the truth is that neither side has a clue."

- Jim Goad
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28.
 
Re: Starbreeze Publishing Psychonauts 2
Feb 18, 2017, 17:20
28.
Re: Starbreeze Publishing Psychonauts 2 Feb 18, 2017, 17:20
Feb 18, 2017, 17:20
 
nin wrote on Feb 18, 2017, 12:32:
The KillSmith wrote on Feb 18, 2017, 10:51:
ViRGE wrote on Feb 17, 2017, 20:11:
While I'm happy that Erik is (apparently) getting to do what he wants, it sounds like Valve has an employee retention problem. It's not a good sign when your employees are leaving to be baristas (or for that matter, that they can afford to do so).

Apparently you didn't catch Erik's sense of humor.

Kind of wondered that as well.


I can't remember where I read it but apparently a lot of employees have shares in the company. One of the reasons they aren't public is that they want to keep it employee owned as that method works with their flat "choose your own job/no hierarchy" structure.
Parallax Abstraction
Podcast | YouTube | Twitch
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27.
 
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve
Feb 18, 2017, 14:36
JTW
27.
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve Feb 18, 2017, 14:36
Feb 18, 2017, 14:36
JTW
 
It may just be burnout. They signed on to be game designers, but ended up in a company that hasn't really been designing games. They may just be taking a break before deciding what to do next.
26.
 
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve
Feb 18, 2017, 12:41
26.
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve Feb 18, 2017, 12:41
Feb 18, 2017, 12:41
 
Slashman wrote on Feb 18, 2017, 11:51:
Cutter wrote on Feb 18, 2017, 11:39:
ViRGE wrote on Feb 18, 2017, 03:07:
I'm saying make sure your best talent has a good reason to stay.

Yeah, it's called profit sharing. They obviously didn't want to be there to begin with. So they made enough to get out and do what they really want instead and what's wrong with that? Why should they have any loyalty to a corporate master who'd drop them like a hot potato the moment the stock takes a bit of a dip? They owe their employer nothing. Giving people a reason to stay is called ownership. Just look at employee owned companies like Winco. Turnover isn't a problem. You have a real slave mentality, you know that.


Is Valve a publicly shared company?
Being beholden to idiot shareholders would be the absolute worst thing for Valve and gamers in general. Luckily Valve is not a publicly traded company.
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25.
 
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve
Feb 18, 2017, 12:38
25.
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve Feb 18, 2017, 12:38
Feb 18, 2017, 12:38
 
Wesp5 wrote on Feb 18, 2017, 03:44:

Didn't Marc Laidlaw leave earlier already? Seems another hint that Valve doesn't care about serious game development anymore! Now it's all about trying to get a headstart in the VR business, payed by their Steam monopoly which gives them free money from the actual games others create anyway...
Yes, Marc Laidlaw retired.
Avatar 58135
24.
 
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve
Feb 18, 2017, 12:32
nin
 
24.
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve Feb 18, 2017, 12:32
Feb 18, 2017, 12:32
 nin
 
The KillSmith wrote on Feb 18, 2017, 10:51:
ViRGE wrote on Feb 17, 2017, 20:11:
While I'm happy that Erik is (apparently) getting to do what he wants, it sounds like Valve has an employee retention problem. It's not a good sign when your employees are leaving to be baristas (or for that matter, that they can afford to do so).

Apparently you didn't catch Erik's sense of humor.

Kind of wondered that as well.

23.
 
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve
Feb 18, 2017, 11:51
23.
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve Feb 18, 2017, 11:51
Feb 18, 2017, 11:51
 
Cutter wrote on Feb 18, 2017, 11:39:
ViRGE wrote on Feb 18, 2017, 03:07:
I'm saying make sure your best talent has a good reason to stay.

Yeah, it's called profit sharing. They obviously didn't want to be there to begin with. So they made enough to get out and do what they really want instead and what's wrong with that? Why should they have any loyalty to a corporate master who'd drop them like a hot potato the moment the stock takes a bit of a dip? They owe their employer nothing. Giving people a reason to stay is called ownership. Just look at employee owned companies like Winco. Turnover isn't a problem. You have a real slave mentality, you know that.


Is Valve a publicly shared company?
22.
 
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve
Feb 18, 2017, 11:39
22.
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve Feb 18, 2017, 11:39
Feb 18, 2017, 11:39
 
ViRGE wrote on Feb 18, 2017, 03:07:
I'm saying make sure your best talent has a good reason to stay.

Yeah, it's called profit sharing. They obviously didn't want to be there to begin with. So they made enough to get out and do what they really want instead and what's wrong with that? Why should they have any loyalty to a corporate master who'd drop them like a hot potato the moment the stock takes a bit of a dip? They owe their employer nothing. Giving people a reason to stay is called ownership. Just look at employee owned companies like Winco. Turnover isn't a problem. You have a real slave mentality, you know that.

"You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."
Avatar 25394
21.
 
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve
Feb 18, 2017, 10:51
21.
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve Feb 18, 2017, 10:51
Feb 18, 2017, 10:51
 
ViRGE wrote on Feb 17, 2017, 20:11:
While I'm happy that Erik is (apparently) getting to do what he wants, it sounds like Valve has an employee retention problem. It's not a good sign when your employees are leaving to be baristas (or for that matter, that they can afford to do so).

Apparently you didn't catch Erik's sense of humor.
20.
 
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve
Feb 18, 2017, 08:30
20.
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve Feb 18, 2017, 08:30
Feb 18, 2017, 08:30
 
Thanks to those clowns for Steam's awesome story!
19.
 
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve
Feb 18, 2017, 07:48
19.
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve Feb 18, 2017, 07:48
Feb 18, 2017, 07:48
 
VaranDragon wrote on Feb 18, 2017, 04:05:
NetHead wrote on Feb 17, 2017, 21:31:
ViRGE wrote on Feb 17, 2017, 20:11:
...It's not a good sign when your employees are leaving to be baristas (or for that matter, that they can afford to do so).

Yes it's far better for companies, especially insanely profitable corporations, to keep employees clinging on in a form of indentured servitude.

The sarcasm runs strong in this one. Very good sir. Top marks!

Yessssss, now where's my cookie


http://pre07.deviantart.net/c4d0/th/pre/f/2008/221/5/0/come_to_the_darkside_by_sali666.jpg
18.
 
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve
Feb 18, 2017, 06:09
El Pit
 
18.
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve Feb 18, 2017, 06:09
Feb 18, 2017, 06:09
 El Pit
 
ViRGE wrote on Feb 18, 2017, 05:44:
VaranDragon wrote on Feb 18, 2017, 04:07:
ViRGE wrote on Feb 18, 2017, 01:14:
NetHead wrote on Feb 17, 2017, 21:31:
ViRGE wrote on Feb 17, 2017, 20:11:
...It's not a good sign when your employees are leaving to be baristas (or for that matter, that they can afford to do so).

Yes it's far better for companies, especially insanely profitable corporations, to keep employees clinging on in a form of indentured servitude.
Obviously I don't mean indentured servitude. But there is a point where you can pay someone so much that they no longer need to work, at which point the run off to do whatever. Google just had this problem with their self-driving car team: most of the top talent left because of the large bonuses they received.

Dude just stop. You keep doubling down on that grave you're digging for yourself.
I'm not stopping until I find the grave where Gabe buried the corpse of Half Life 3!

Gabe: I could tell you but then I would have to shoot you. Your choice.
"There is no right life in the wrong one." (Theodor W. Adorno, philosopher)
"Only a Sith deals in absolutes." (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi)
17.
 
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve
Feb 18, 2017, 06:02
17.
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve Feb 18, 2017, 06:02
Feb 18, 2017, 06:02
 
ViRGE wrote on Feb 18, 2017, 05:44:
VaranDragon wrote on Feb 18, 2017, 04:07:
ViRGE wrote on Feb 18, 2017, 01:14:
NetHead wrote on Feb 17, 2017, 21:31:
ViRGE wrote on Feb 17, 2017, 20:11:
...It's not a good sign when your employees are leaving to be baristas (or for that matter, that they can afford to do so).

Yes it's far better for companies, especially insanely profitable corporations, to keep employees clinging on in a form of indentured servitude.
Obviously I don't mean indentured servitude. But there is a point where you can pay someone so much that they no longer need to work, at which point the run off to do whatever. Google just had this problem with their self-driving car team: most of the top talent left because of the large bonuses they received.

Dude just stop. You keep doubling down on that grave you're digging for yourself.
I'm not stopping until I find the grave where Gabe buried the corpse of Half Life 3!

Avatar 58327
16.
 
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve
Feb 18, 2017, 05:44
16.
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve Feb 18, 2017, 05:44
Feb 18, 2017, 05:44
 
VaranDragon wrote on Feb 18, 2017, 04:07:
ViRGE wrote on Feb 18, 2017, 01:14:
NetHead wrote on Feb 17, 2017, 21:31:
ViRGE wrote on Feb 17, 2017, 20:11:
...It's not a good sign when your employees are leaving to be baristas (or for that matter, that they can afford to do so).

Yes it's far better for companies, especially insanely profitable corporations, to keep employees clinging on in a form of indentured servitude.
Obviously I don't mean indentured servitude. But there is a point where you can pay someone so much that they no longer need to work, at which point the run off to do whatever. Google just had this problem with their self-driving car team: most of the top talent left because of the large bonuses they received.

Dude just stop. You keep doubling down on that grave you're digging for yourself.
I'm not stopping until I find the grave where Gabe buried the corpse of Half Life 3!
15.
 
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve
Feb 18, 2017, 04:07
15.
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve Feb 18, 2017, 04:07
Feb 18, 2017, 04:07
 
ViRGE wrote on Feb 18, 2017, 01:14:
NetHead wrote on Feb 17, 2017, 21:31:
ViRGE wrote on Feb 17, 2017, 20:11:
...It's not a good sign when your employees are leaving to be baristas (or for that matter, that they can afford to do so).

Yes it's far better for companies, especially insanely profitable corporations, to keep employees clinging on in a form of indentured servitude.
Obviously I don't mean indentured servitude. But there is a point where you can pay someone so much that they no longer need to work, at which point the run off to do whatever. Google just had this problem with their self-driving car team: most of the top talent left because of the large bonuses they received.

Dude just stop. You keep doubling down on that grave you're digging for yourself.
Avatar 58327
14.
 
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve
Feb 18, 2017, 04:05
14.
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve Feb 18, 2017, 04:05
Feb 18, 2017, 04:05
 
NetHead wrote on Feb 17, 2017, 21:31:
ViRGE wrote on Feb 17, 2017, 20:11:
...It's not a good sign when your employees are leaving to be baristas (or for that matter, that they can afford to do so).

Yes it's far better for companies, especially insanely profitable corporations, to keep employees clinging on in a form of indentured servitude.

The sarcasm runs strong in this one. Very good sir. Top marks!
Avatar 58327
13.
 
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve
Feb 18, 2017, 03:53
13.
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve Feb 18, 2017, 03:53
Feb 18, 2017, 03:53
 
ViRGE wrote on Feb 18, 2017, 03:07:
Agent-Zero wrote on Feb 18, 2017, 02:20:
ViRGE wrote on Feb 18, 2017, 01:14:
NetHead wrote on Feb 17, 2017, 21:31:
ViRGE wrote on Feb 17, 2017, 20:11:
...It's not a good sign when your employees are leaving to be baristas (or for that matter, that they can afford to do so).

Yes it's far better for companies, especially insanely profitable corporations, to keep employees clinging on in a form of indentured servitude.
Obviously I don't mean indentured servitude. But there is a point where you can pay someone so much that they no longer need to work, at which point the run off to do whatever. Google just had this problem with their self-driving car team: most of the top talent left because of the large bonuses they received.

so you are saying they shouldnt get totally fucked over ... just fucked over enough to keep em desperate?
I'm saying make sure your best talent has a good reason to stay.

that probably falls under the project management dept... as opposed to the budget dept

in other words, they should want to stay to pursue interesting work.. rather than feel the need to because they arent making enough money yet
12.
 
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve
Feb 18, 2017, 03:44
12.
Re: Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve Feb 18, 2017, 03:44
Feb 18, 2017, 03:44
 
Slick wrote on Feb 18, 2017, 01:29:
The writing in Portal 2 is quite possibly the best videogame writing in any game I've ever played. He will be missed.

Didn't Marc Laidlaw leave earlier already? Seems another hint that Valve doesn't care about serious game development anymore! Now it's all about trying to get a headstart in the VR business, payed by their Steam monopoly which gives them free money from the actual games others create anyway...
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