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Update: In a statement given to Polygon, Wolpaw clarified that he's working with Valve on a contractual basis, where his duties involve assisting writers Jay Pinkerton, Steve Jaros, and Sean Vanaman with their respective projects.
“I’ve been helping Pinkerton and Jaros and Vanaman whenever they need it," Wolpaw said via email.
"It’s been busier on that front lately, but I’m not currently a full time employee. My main gig is still delivering juice for my niece Jodi’s vegan juice shop plus an unpaid internship playing Slay the Spire three hours a day."
Newsbrief: Half-Life 2 and Portal writer Erik Wolpaw has rejoined Valve nearly two years after leaving the studio.
Wolpaw departed the company in February 2017 after over a decade at the studio, during which time he worked on a menagerie of popular titles including Half-Life 2: Episode One, Episode Two, Portal, and both Left 4 Dead games.
His return was initially spotted by Reddit user Trenchman, who spied Wolpaw's name in the credits for Valve's latest release Artifact. Trenchman then reached out to Valve boss Gabe Newell, who replied to confirm the news (with Valve News Network confirming the legitimacy of the email).
It's unclear what convinced Wolpaw to return, although it probably has something to do with Half-Life 3.