Chet Faliszek, one of Valve's most public-facing personalities and a key writer behind some of the company's most well-remembered games, has left the company after a 12-year stint, according to GamesIndustry.biz.
Faliszek insisted to GamesIndustry that there is "nothing exciting or drama filled" behind his departure. "I worked there 12 years, shipped a bunch of great games and some amazing hardware and wanted to change things up. There's no news on what's next etc, I will let you know when that happens."
Long-time fans of snarky gaming commentary might remember Faliszek from Old Man Murray, an irreverent site he ran with Eric Wolpaw. Wolpaw and Faliszek would both be hired by Valve in 2005 and go on to help develop the unique voice behind two Half-Life 2 expansion episodes, bothPortal games, and the Left 4 Dead series, among other titles.
When controversy erupted over the early announcement of a Left 4 Dead sequel (rather than continued updates to the original), Faliszek was there to defend the decision to Ars. "It just became very clear that this was a cohesive, singular statement we wanted to make, not a more slow update thing... too much stuff was tied together with too many other things," he said at the time.
More recently, he acted as a developer liaison for Valve, often evangelizing for the HTC Vive and the power of virtual reality. Faliszek gleefully gave us a VR-filled tour of Valve's offices shortly before the Vive's release and was out front in creating best practices for developers to avoid motion sickness in the headset.
Faliszek's departure continues a slow erosion of the Valve "old guard" that was responsible for some of the company's most beloved games. Wolpaw left Valve just a few months ago, and fellow scribe Marc Laidlaw concluded an 18-year stay at the company last year, alongside Half-Lifeanimator Doug Wood.
Faliszek's stay at Valve also encompassed the entire 10+ years since Valve first announced Half-Life 2: Episode 3. We'd say his leaving makes that long-delayed release even less likely, but we're not sure that percentage chance can go much lower at this point.