Erik Wolpaw, a co-writer on both Portal games, has said that he wants to start work on the third game in the series before he gets “too old.” His comments on Portal 3 were part of an interview on the Kiwi Talkz podcast. Wolpaw said at the end of the podcast “we’ve gotta start Portal 3.”
I am not getting any younger. We are reaching the point where it’s crazy to think [we’re] literally going to be too old to work on Portal 3, so we should just do it.Erik Wolpaw
Wolpaw also went into the difficulties of why getting Portal 3 made at Valve is so difficult.
I could advocate for it … it might help a little bit, but the problem is [there are] 300 employees and I don’t know exactly the breakdown – how many of them are on the production side versus Steam business side versus legal versus whatever. So there’s a lot of opportunity cost to taking 75 people and trying to get a game made.
… So everybody is accounted for, I guess is what I’m saying. People are all doing something.Erik Wolpaw
Another issue for Valve is what it prioritizes in terms of how much money a project makes. While Portal 3 would undoubtedly be a profitable project for Valve, Wolpaw pointed out that other projects will make more and therefore are prioritized. “The problem is, you would make money, but what kind of money will you make? Are you gonna make Counter-Strike: GO money? Probably not.”
Valve doesn’t always chase the most profitable project. It has big money games like Dota and Counter-Strike but the company is also known for making games with smaller financial impacts. Its biggest game in recent years is Half-Life: Alyx which is a VR exclusive and therefore severely limited in how much money it can make. Though that doesn’t mean the company is about to jump on Portal 3 anytime soon.