Why is this important: Three seems like an unlucky number for Valve. Everyone would love to see Half-Life 3 or at least Portal 3. We’ve heard few rumors about the former, but nothing concrete. As for the latter, one of its authors says that it will never come despite his desire to work there.
Erik Wolpaw was the co-writer of the Portal series and various other Valve games, including Half-Life, Psychonauts, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. In a recent interview with Kiwi Talkz, the now-independent entrepreneur said he’d love to work on Portal 3 before he gets too old, but notes that’s unlikely to happen (below).
“I’m not getting any younger,” the 55-year-old veteran of the game said. “We’re getting to the point where it’s crazy to think that we [the original developers] are literally going to be too old to work on Portal 3, so we should.”
The Portal franchise turns 15 on October 10, 2022. Other than a few spin-off games, we haven’t seen a new game since Portal 2 in 2011. While he’d love to write a new sequel, Wolpaw points out that there is a big difference between wanting to make another game and actually doing it. The main obstacle seems to be that Valve is too busy doing other things.
“Even though it seems like Valve is often just a bunch of people sitting around a gin and tonic, everyone is working,” the writer joked. “I’ll be working on another portal in a second…the problem is…there’s a lot of opportunity cost in taking 75 people and trying to make a game.”
Wolpaw estimates that Valve has around 300 employees working in various divisions and they all have something going on that isn’t Portal 3. Even though it was only released a year after Portal 2, CS:GO always makes money for Valve. The developers have also just completed work on the Portal-universe spin-off Aperture Desk job. Before that, they were hard at work creating Half-Life: Alyx, which Wolpaw helped write.
Despite his belief that Portal 3 will never get the green light, Wolpaw holds out a glimmer of hope.
“I could defend him, but that’s not going to help,” Wolpaw said before pleading, “[Is Portal 3] will make money with Counter-Strike GO? Probably not, but… maybe not all games need to make money with Counter-Strike: GO. Gabe, if you’re listening…”