It is always difficult to accept that one of the creators of a series can get away from it. Marc Laidlaw was fundamental in the development of the plots of the series of Half-Life. However, he left the company in 2016, leaving room for other writers. However, we shouldn't expect big changes from the past in terms of Half-Life: Alyx. According to Valve, in fact, Laidlaw would have been widely consulted for the drafting of the story of the new chapter of the saga.
Valve revealed the role of Marc Laidlaw in the project in a Q&A on Reddit January 22. When the writer left the company after an eighteen-year long collaboration, many thought that no good blood ran between the two. This hypothesis seemed confirmed when Laidlaw published an unofficial plot for Half-Life 2 episode 3. In these days, however, Valve has denied these theories, announcing the collaboration with the writer.
Although Laidlaw did not work directly on Half-Life Alyx, the team of writers consulted him throughout the game development process, finding an enthusiastic response from him.
“He was very generous with his time throughout the game development. Answering questions from Eric [Wolpaw], Jay [Pinkerton], and Sean [Vanaman] as they proceeded in writing the story, ”said Valve. "As always with Marc, you send him an email, he replies, and then sends another forty replies to his own email."
It therefore seems that the Half-Life: Alyx team has perfectly understood the role that Marc Laidlaw played in the creation of the series. Although Half-Life: Alyx is a new frontier for the saga, Laidlaw's influence will still be felt in the product's narrative.
Valve is confident of publishing Half-Life: Alyx in March 2020 on Steam and Windows, across all compatible VR platforms.