Mr. Pinkerton reportedly updated his Facebook page to indicate that he was no longer working at the Washington-based company. He is the fourth major writer to leave in the last year: Portal writer Erik Wolpaw departed the company in February 2017 as did Chet Faliszek (who contributed to Half-Life 2 and Portal). Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw left in August of 2016 after nearly two decades at Valve.
Valve has not released any statements on the matter. Mr. Pinkerton, a former writer for Cracked and National Lampoon, has also not yet given a reason for his departure. He joined the Washingon-based games developer and digital distribution company in 2008.
At the moment, Valve runs some of the biggest games on Steam, the digital distribution platform created and maintained by the company. Dota 2, Team Fortress 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive are typically near the top of the charts for most popular games on the platform. The games themselves don’t have any particular narrative focus as the Portal and Half-Life games did, although Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2 have media projects such as comics and videos outside of the games themselves.
The loss of four experienced writers in under a year may put a damper on fans who are eagerly waiting for the next single-player game from Valve (be it a sequel to an existing franchise or a brand new IP). The most recent single-player, narrative-focused game released by the company was Portal 2 in April 2011.
What do you think of Jay Pinkerton leaving Valve? Do you think the loss of another writer who contributed to their games means that Valve is shifting even further away from producing new games and media for their existing IP? Where do you think Mr. Pinkerton will end up next? Let us know in the comments below!