Portal co-writer and Valve alumnus Erik Wolpaw has expressed his interest in making a third Portal game. As reported by VGC, Wolpaw was interviewed on the Kiwi Talkz podcast, where he discussed his work on various Valve games including Portals 1 and 2. Wolpaw ended the show with a heartfelt petition, stating, “We gotta start Portal 3. That’s my message to… whoever.”
Wolpaw continued. “I am also 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.” He pointed to the recent Steam Deck launch game Aperture Desk Job as an example of people’s desire for a third Portal game. “Desk Job was fun. If you liked Desk Job, send mail to Gabe. Tell him you want some Portal 3.”
While Wolpaw’s enthusiasm for the series is clear, he’s also realistic about the hurdles he’d have to overcome for Valve to greenlight a third Portal game. Earlier in the chat, he says, “I’d work on another Portal in a second, but I can’t make it happen by myself.” He points out that Valve has around 300 employees, many of whom will be working on Steam or new hardware like the Steam Deck. “So, there’s a lot of opportunity cost to taking 75 people and trying to get a game made.”
Wolpaw also highlights that Portal 3 may simply not be a big enough earner to entice Valve in its modern form. “You would make money, but what kind of money will you make? Are you gonna make Counter-Strike: GO money? Probably not.”
Outside of Portal 3, Wolpaw also discusses his work on Half-Life: Alyx, including putting together the game’s monumental ending, and how significant getting the ending right was for the game. “This was literally the best pitch we had. We didn’t have a plan B.” he says. “If everybody had really hated it, it probably would have… maybe killed the project.”
It is possible that Valve is working on some type of Portal game. Last month, YouTube reporter Tyler McVicker found clues in Desk Job’s source code referring to various unannounced Valve projects, including a Half-Life: Alyx sequel and a Portal Paint Gun game. However, that doesn’t sound like a full sequel to Portal, and Wolpaw certainly isn’t involved with it.
Ultimately, whether or not we see Portal 3 is entirely down to the whims of Valve. In the meantime, however, I strongly encourage you to check out Portal Reloaded, a mod which makes a pretty good stab at being a Portal sequel, featuring some impressive new applications of the game’s central mechanics.