Layoffs at Valve Software

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  02 February 2013
Layoffs at Valve Software

Horrible news. It started with Jeri Ellsworth's (hardware, peripheral designer) departure via a tweet:
Originally Posted by Jeri Ellsworth: Yup. Got fired today. Time for new exciting projects.

https://twitter.com/jeriellsworth/s...521067816669184

Then word spread that around 25 employees were let go via Gamasutra:
Originally Posted by Gamasutra: We've been unable to determine an exact headcount, but phrases we've heard from affected employees describing the incident include "great cleansing" and "large decisions." We've seen the number "25" tossed around, but are unable to confirm this.
http://gamasutra.com/view/news/1865..._its_future.php

Finally, a poster on the Steam User forums compiled a partial list of possible names:
Quote: Jason Holtman - Director of Business Development
Moby Francke - character designer on Half Life 2 and the art lead on Team Fortress 2
Keith Huggins - film special effects
Tom Leonard - Valve since 2002, design and technology(programming)
Realm Lovejoy - Original Portal(Narbacular Drop), 3D Computer Animation
Marc Nagel - Tester, QA
Bay Raitt - 3D modeling and animation tools
Elan Ruskin - engine programmer, gameplay developer
Matthew Russell - 3D Computer Animation

http://forums.steampowered.com/foru...81&postcount=32

Best of luck to those hit by these cuts.
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  02 February 2013
Sad to hear, and condolences to those affected, but maybe they should try, I dunno, releasing more than one small game every 7 years.
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  02 February 2013
Wonder what this means for their game development, or for their standalone game console thats been floating around Maybe they are just moving in a different direction. Sometimes Layoffs are not motivated by finical.
 
  02 February 2013
Sad to hear. A few names on that list I've dealt with personally and they were all class acts.
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  02 February 2013
it seems this year is really starting off in a not so good way. i wish all those people who got let go the best.
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  02 February 2013
I don't think this is indicative of money problems at Valve; very recently, possibly in the video released just a couple weeks ago, Gabe Newell was saying that Valve's ratio of employees to profit is amongst the highest in the software industry. As such, I'd guess either it's a cancelled project or some sort of political clash within Valve.
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  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by Meloncov: I don't think this is indicative of money problems at Valve; very recently, possibly in the video released just a couple weeks ago, Gabe Newell was saying that Valve's ratio of employees to profit is amongst the highest in the software industry. As such, I'd guess either it's a cancelled project or some sort of political clash within Valve.


25 cuts now may save 50 in the future, and if no projects to justify the overhead, a trim had to be done. seniority probably plays a bit of a role too.

Its when the unemployed get into triple digits that its an alarming thing that happened. Double digits are to be expected with project cycles, which is a norm at least in features if not games.

Best of luck to everyone who got let go. Hopefully it'll just turn out to be extended vacations in a few weeks.
 
  02 February 2013
Considering all the bad stories going around, I really hope this is one of those things like when someone says, "The world is ending. Look at the increasing bad weather or increasing crime!" And then someone replies, "No. We simply have more news sources so naturally we hear about more bad weather and more crime."
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  02 February 2013
I'm guessing this has something to do with increased focus on Steam and that new Steambox thing.... Valve turning into a Marketplace rather than a game developer.
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  02 February 2013
"Valve turning into a Marketplace rather than a game developer."

Lame.
 
  02 February 2013
25 people with no upper management in sight is definitely not one of those cuts to prevent liquidity slipping and/or please investors.

Valve is definitely NOT in bad waters, they are doing well both financially and politically, with their top being very popular people in many regards.

Given some of the names involved, one has to wonder if it's a cancelled project that was diversifying, or a non-delivery, or something on those lines, rather than pure economical plays.

Also, Valve is still indipendent and still refuses to go public, right? Or did I miss something?
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  02 February 2013
Yea Valve is privately owned.
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by ThE_JacO: Given some of the names involved, one has to wonder if it's a cancelled project that was diversifying, or a non-delivery, or something on those lines, rather than pure economical plays.

Jeri Ellsworth was rumored to be working on a hardware peripheral. Perhaps Valve decided to cancel that project.

It's really disconcerting to see an artist of Bay Raitt's caliber loose his job. Consider his years of experience (Mirai, Weta, kitbashing like a boss) and high profile involvement with Valve's Source Filmmaker, you have to wonder what happened. It's possible that they are winding down the SFM dev team now that it has gone public.
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  02 February 2013
Wow! Sorry you guys lost your job. Is it that slow in the business?
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by badsearcher: "Valve turning into a Marketplace rather than a game developer."

Lame.


Do you mean Valve isn't making a smart decision? Because I can sympathize with that view.... In another thread we were just discussing how it would be wise to have "hedges" in a studio's portfolio.

If your comment is meant to be that Valve is making a mistake not making anymore games since it is so good at it... then yeah.. I could agree with that.

But it's not my decision to make what Valve does, and it does seem in recent weeks they have been more excited about Steam (they haven't really talked about a new game since Team Fortress 2 and that's been so long ago).
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