Wolpaw the co-writer, along with Marc Laidlaw and Chet Faliszek, of the Half-Life 2: Episode One, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, and Portal stories. For the latter, he received the 2007 "Innovation" and "Game of the Year" awards from the GDC Awards, along with Kim Swift. He also co-wrote Portal 2’s plot with Faliszek and Jay Pinkerton. Wolpaw is married and of Jewish background.
Outside of Valve, Wolpaw co-wrote the story for the video game Psychonauts, for which he received a GDC Award in 2006. He was, with Faliszek, the creator of the now defunct website Old Man Murray. He shares today an office at Valve with Faliszek and Laidlaw. The latter states about Wolpaw and Faliszek on his personal blog that "for years, Chet and Erik were legendary figures of mythic status to me. They still are, except now I can throw things over my shoulder and hit them." He attended Cleveland Heights High School.
Wolpaw left Valve in February 2017.
On Valve's official website, his function is described as follows: "Erik Wolpaw's father attended Yale, became a successful lawyer, got disbarred, lost everything, and went to jail for a while. Later, he and Erik lived in a horrible ghetto apartment where Erik used the Yale Alumni magazine to smash cockroaches. From this inauspicious start, Erik eventually went on to not graduate high school. Now he writes dialog for video games such as Psychonauts and Portal. Prior to that he was a freelance writer and before that he co-founded Old Man Murray. It's not like he's a surgeon or anything, but it's not too bad, considering."
- Old Man Murray
- Valve's Writers And The Creative Process - interview of Laidlaw and Wolpaw
- Writer's Block: Portal 2 Writers Roundtable on Game Informer