Valve Let Go Around 25 Staff, It Seems

News flitted about this morning that Valve had “fired” tech guru Jeri Ellsworth, after she tweeted “Yup. Got fired today. Time for new exciting projects.” But it seems that this wasn’t one individual getting the chop, but rather a whole bunch of them. Gamasutra are reporting that the figure might be around 25, but this isn’t confirmed. It seems that those now without work were working on hardware and Android projects.

With former Half-Life developers Valve getting tech companies to pitch to develop the Steam box, it seems a reasonable speculation that they’ve realised outside experts are better set up for hardware development than their own internal attempts to create such a team. The company was postulating a number of tech projects, but little has been seen. It would make sense if they had chosen to back away from that direction that a number of staff in that area might no longer be needed. But we’re obviously guessing at this point. We’ve asked Valve for a comment.

We wish the very best to those who find themselves moving on, and hope they pick up work very soon.

Of course, with Valve being a utopian perfection where all staff are equal, you have to assume they fired themselves. Or maybe the Employee’s Handbook isn’t entirely accurate.


  1. ResonanceCascade says:

    Why isn’t anyone tossing around the L-word? For any other company, wouldn’t we be saying “layoffs?” (this isn’t a criticism of RPS or anyone else, I just find it strange that the word hasn’t been used even once in the reports I’ve read).

    Anyway, it’s not surprising, though it is sad. Valve has been doing some goofy things lately that sounded like bad ideas, but were given a lot of leeway, since they’re Valve and we like them.

    • Mctittles says:

      I heard Gabe recently mention something like how they are making a lot of money so they need to start spending it on a bunch of other projects.
      What wrong with just like making a lot of money and not pushing yourself to the edge of comfort?

      • ResonanceCascade says:

        I get that they don’t want to risk becoming dinosaurs and find themselves in hot water someday because they were shortsighted about what they should do, but yes, sometimes the obvious path (in this case, making more good games more quickly) is actually the correct one.

        Though their recent talk about pushing for an open Steam and the hints and nudges that modders soon be able to sell their stuff in more games than just TF2 sounds pretty promising.

      • Jonesy says:

        Ask Blockbuster what is “What wrong with just like making a lot of money and not pushing yourself.” Oh wait, you can’t.

    • John Walker says:

      I think “the chop” is basically the same.

      • ResonanceCascade says:

        That’s fair.

      • Ninja Foodstuff says:

        Couldn’t you take a page out of the Daily Mail’s rag and go with “scything”?

        • sinister agent says:

          Valve obliterates 25 in shock spree. Speaking from his demon-throne, head fatcat Gabe guffawed around a mouthful of burned animal flesh as he spoke to intrepid reporters who’d braved the icily air conditioned fortress.

          • Bhazor says:

            The Daily Mail attacking a private company? God no. This is clearly the Government’s fault. If they weren’t wasting so much money on the NHS pensions then blah blah blah immigrants blah blah blah timebomb blah blah blah naked romp.

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            Benefit cheats stealing all our cures for cancer and selling them to sex predators

    • Hoaxfish says:


    • Joshua Northey says:

      Layoffs generally imply that you are letting people go due to cashflow reasons and that the employer would hire them back if your financial situation improved. As Valve is in a fine financial situation these are just firings. These people aren’t being “laid-off” with the hope that if some big new invoice comes in they will all be hired back. They are being let go.

      • Kadayi says:

        Firing makes it sound like they’d done something bad though, Vs being surplus to company requirements. Redundancy is a better term (though it still sucks regardless).

        • robjwells says:

          Yeah, redundancy looks like it’s the right word here. Valve has decided it wants to can these projects and got rid of the people working on them.

          Best wishes to the people who lost their jobs, I hope they can pick something up soon.

        • Richie Shoemaker says:

          Perhaps it’s a US thing. When my Yankee wife was made redundant a couple of years ago she always referred to it as being fired: as in, out of a cannon, rather than put in front of a firing squad – which is how my Redcoat mind euphemistically always thinks of it.

        • geerad says:

          In the US, we don’t use the term “redundant” for losing your job. We say you were “laid off” or “let go”.

      • ruaidhri.k says:

        redundant is a horrible term, when you have been on the end of it …. i know from experience

        No longer needed or useful; superfluous.
        (of words or data) Able to be omitted without loss of meaning or function.
        superfluous – unnecessary – needless – excessive – spare

        • Mrs Columbo says:

          Sacked: past participle, past tense of sack (Verb)
          Verb: Testicles placed upon one’s forehead

          Not better.

        • Kadayi says:

          I’m not saying it’s good. I’m just saying that ‘fired’ generally (at least this side of the Atlantic) kind of carries connotations of misconduct. Redundancy is more a cost cutting word.

        • Maniac says:

          But when you’re redundant, theres no need to sugarcoat it. Being redundant means you’re redundant. But ofcourse its understandable that it may seem like a harsh word, but when its the truth.. Well. Yeah.

        • guygodbois00 says:

          Somebody called me?

        • solidsquid says:

          While it isn’t a pleasant term, it is technically accurate. Companies can only make someone redundant (as opposed to firing) if they make cut backs to a department and the position that person was in no longer exists. So technically yes, they are now redundant because their job no longer exists. It’s an important term though (at least in the UK), because it comes with very strict stipulations and requirements to do it, and there’s a list of rights any employee made redundant gets (severance pay, for example, and early termination pay if they weren’t given sufficient notice)

    • norfolk says:

      Just want to highlight that it was only a few weeks ago that Gabe spoke on being “really agressive about firing people.” To be fair, it was in the context of new interns and hires, but it speaks to a bullish, swim or sink attitude toward employees.

      link to

      • Maniac says:

        He said they *needed* to be, not that they were, if I remember correctly.. But this is honestly a good thing since that the way that Valve is operated means people can easily just swim around without being actual assets, in which case it *is* best to be aggressive.

        • norfolk says:

          Yeah. And it’s one reason why we might see them “cleaning house” once in a while.

        • RobF says:


          The way you talk about human beings scares me, man.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            Oh, cry me a river. Valve is a company, not a charity organization. If they have no use for someone’s abilities what are they supposed to do, keep them on the payroll out of the goodness of their heart? It’ not good for the company and it sure as hell isn’t good for the employee, since he has basically no prospects of further developing his abilities. It makes no sense either way.

            I am not saying this was the case, mind you. We simply have absolutely no idea why this happened, we don’t even know for sure how many were laid off. What I do know is that with Valve in their resume (and several of them – also Weta and Digital Illusions) they won’t have much trouble finding work again. Here’s hoping.

          • Malibu Stacey says:

            Rob you have the luxury of working for yourself in your own studio doing exactly what you want.

            Try working in private industry for a few years. Especially the last 3-4 years. Some of my friends at global companies are facing the threat of 3rd or 4th rounds of redundancies in their departments in as many years.

            Suddenly people not pulling their weight doesn’t seem like something you can ignore.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Valve. Vulvae. Vulvae Larvae.

  2. Mctittles says:

    I was just thinking the “fired themselves” bit while reading this. Glad to see you pointed it out as well.

  3. SilentDawn says:

    It’s very comforting to hear that the company which holds 90% of my games is having financial difficulties :)

    • GetUpKidAK says:

      Come again?

    • crazydog says:

      Gabe has said that if Valve goes out of business, they would release a last Steam patch to remove their DRM from all your games.

      • woodsey says:

        That’s never actually been said, it’s just something that everyone says was said, so now everyone else says it was said.

        Even so, it doesn’t really matter. It’s not like there’s no way to uh… retrieve them, in the event that it did go down.

      • njursten says:

        I really, really doubt that the publishers selling their games on Steam would agree to those kind of terms.

        • Brun says:

          One would assume that by “their DRM” he means “Steam’s DRM” – i.e., DRM systems that cannot function without a Steam-facilitated backend. Third-party DRM would likely remain untouched in this hypothetical situation.

          • njursten says:

            Yes, I understood that it was only in regard to Steam’s DRM.

            Of course, if the alternative is that the game can’t be played at all, they might agree to it. But couldn’t you just let them patch the game, pointing any server based stuff to a new server owned by the game creator? Maybe give out the DRM server code for free.

      • jalf says:

        Dream on.

        I’d like you to

        1: show me when and where he said this, and
        2. show me how they’re planning to get permission for this from all the publishers whose games they’re selling, and
        3: show me a plan by which a bankrupt company will be able to patch a few thousand games.

        Yeah… no. I’m sorry, He said no such thing, and even if he did, it would never ever happen. I know it’s Valve and they can do no wrong and are practically gods, but… well, what you meant to say is that “I read on the internet that someone claimed that Gabe once said this”.

        • bigjig says:

          To be fair even Onlive found a way for users to have their games carry over when they went down the gurgler. If a company as badly run as that can do it I don’t think Steam users have too much to worry about.

          • BarneyL says:

            OnLive may have found a way but I lost half my games on Direct2Drive when they were sold on because the new owners didn’t have the rights to them.

        • BubuIIC says:

          Regarding point 3: They’d only have to patch the steam client and remove the authentication check. Takes probably like 10 minutes of programming effort if you know the source code.

        • Ruffian says:

          Regardless of whether he said it or not, I don’t see how it’s so crazy to infer that if they did go down the crapper that they would do something to enable people to play games they had purchased without connecting to steam. Especially considering that Valve doesn’t exclusively own most of the games on Steam.

        • Xardas Kane says:

          He did say it. I’ve seen the post AFAIK on the Steam forums. Yes, it was way off record, but I have absolutely no reason to distrust Gaben

          • Kaira- says:

            The post you are referring to is from time before 3rd party games in Steam and even that post wasn’t made by Gabe, but by a moderator on the forums.

    • skinlo says:

      I see no indication that they are having financial difficulties.

    • Rhuhuhuhu says:

      That’s your error. Ever considered that technology marches on, and that you might one day be shit out of luck?

      • monkeybars says:

        Ever consider that technology marches on, and one day all games could be distributed like they are on Steam, if not necessarily through Steam? Seems just as likely as Steam shutting down.

      • Mctittles says:

        I rarely see “technology” marching on. It’s usually just restructuring. Moving the position of things around.

      • Mrs Columbo says:

        The programming infrastructure that enables and serves Steam will be worth millions if not billions. Even if Valve went out of business it would be a major asset to any buyer or administrator.

        It wouldn’t be like HMV going out of business. For Steam to close down it would be more akin to the high street itself shutting down.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Layoffs don’t always mean financial problems. Businesses never employ more people than they need. Nobody keeps people on their payroll just for company.

      • HadToLogin says:

        Sometimes they do. For example, it would be stupid to throw your best writer out of company saying “we’ll hire you back when we’ll start working on new project” hoping he will starve himself to death in the meantime without looking for other job…
        Hell, even low-grade workers might not be lay off because their training costed money they should “pay back” and it would cost more to hire new ones.
        So, sometimes companies keep temporarily useless workers, because firing and getting them back could cost more then just keeping them around.

        • Banana_Republic says:

          I don’t think that’s the case this time though. However, I wouldn’t really be surprised if layoffs and resizing don’t lay in Steam’s future. Try as I might, I can’t make sense of the need for a Steambox. I just don’t see it competing with consoles for their audience and I don’t see PC users flocking to it — because we have PCs. Why the hell would we want an inferior platform for our games, and one that was disconnected from the rest of our PC-based apps and tools?

          I’m heavily invested in Steam so the whole Steambox thing makes me damned nervous. I wish they would just stick to their strengths by concentrating on remaining a top-notch PC gaming service.

        • Grygus says:

          That makes a lot of sense; you might be surprised how often companies behave in exactly the way you ridicule, however. I’ve been in a couple places where the very best people were let go (because they cost the most, you see) only to either have to bring them back as consultants (at an even higher rate) or to soldier on with considerably less success, because it turns out that your best people outperform their peers at a significant rate that’s out of proportion to their slightly higher salaries. In a vaguely related scenario, this kind of thing got me the best pay raise I’ve ever received. Funny thing is, I was already happy with my pay; if they’d just left it alone, they could have kept paying me at the lower rate, no problem. So their obsession to cut costs is, from my experience, nearly always poorly thought-out, and often counter-productive.

          I recognize that this is the result of poor management and not an inevitable result of trying to cut costs, but (again, in my experience) poor managers seem much more likely to fire people in order to bring costs under control.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      I think the coffers at Valve still look something like Scrooge McDuck’s money bin. For a company as large as Valve, ~25 employees salaries probably isn’t a big chunk of change.

    • Text_Fish says:

      You should be comforted by the fact that that same company isn’t throwing money at staff it doesn’t need, and is therefore probably -more- financially secure having issued some redundancies. No business can afford to employ more staff than it needs to so any company that does is unlikely to last very long.

    • Xardas Kane says:

      link to

      Oh, the poor devils.

      And no, this hasn’t changed since publication.

  4. flaillomanz says:

    Citation needed. Where did they get the number?Are they blowing this out of proportion or does it state somewhere that the number is correct?

    • Moni says:

      Everything about this is entirely speculation, since the employees have been asked to not say anything, and Valve haven’t made a statement.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      Isn’t the point about journalism that it gets to be the citation? Unlike Wikipedia, original research is permitted here. And for stuff like this, sources don’t like being named…

  5. Rhuhuhuhu says:

    Considering their attitude to European standards and law, I would not call them civilized, or at least not more then their big EA competitors. I hope that after the EU Supreme Court ruling, the European consumer rights organisations nail their asses! I consider Valve of making a lucky move in 2004 with Steam. For now, they are still benevolently good, although I would not trust them to stay so forever.

    Other then that, the best to those sacked.

    • Maniac says:

      Said european laws are bullshit though. And as a fellow european, I wish they’d fuck off with said rule. A huge powerhouse like the EU (just kidding, powerhouse my arse) to make a so-called-law that hurts an entire industry hugely? I call bullshit and titfuckery.

  6. Hug_dealer says:

    Perhaps Valve should make a few more games to support their employees.

    • Moraven says:

      They probably could support these employees. But their experience and expertise that they were hired for means Valve is stopping internal development on Hardware and Android development and focus on working with hardware partners to do that work.

      link to

      They have the money. Just a big business decision.

  7. Moni says:

    Hmm, do you get a good severance package if you fire yourself?

    • x1501 says:

      Not unless you’re a Fortune 500 CEO.

      • Drakale says:

        It would be funny if it wasn’t so true.

      • Joshua Northey says:

        Indeed, you even get a big severance package if you were actively malfeasant then. As long as you don’t rat out any of the other board members/executives.

  8. woodsey says:

    “Of course, with Valve being a utopian perfection where all staff are equal, you have to assume they fired themselves. Or maybe the Employee’s Handbook isn’t entirely accurate.”

    Or maybe they were let go after peer reviews, like the Employee Handbook does describe?

    • Phantoon says:

      Could have something to do with how we haven’t seen the things they were supposedly working on. The android stuff, I mean.

    • RaveTurned says:

      Exactly this. In the system described, the only thing that would beat one group’s desire to still be employed is a larger group’s opinion that they shouldn’t be, for whatever reason. I’d guess a sizeable chunk of the staff still at Valve would say whatever these guys skills were, they didn’t fit well with what they see as the goals of the company.

    • deadpan says:

      Yeah for all the edenic perfection of Valve’s work environment, they do seem to have a fairly aggressive peer review system, which bears more than a passing resemblance to the system used at Gabe’s alma mater, Microsoft. I think they’ve managed to avoid the sort of dysfunctional, middle-manager hell that reportedly goes on there, but it definitely is an environment where you are being constantly judged.

      • woodsey says:

        Unless they’re extraordinarily good at keeping this stuff quiet, or I’ve simply been oblivious, this is the first time I’ve ever heard of someone being laid off from Valve. That doesn’t exactly strike me as a particularly aggressive form of peer-reviewing, nor does it seem reminiscent of the kind you’d see in other, more traditionally-structured companies.

    • jorygriffis says:

      Yeah, there was just a story the other day about how part of what makes Valve’s management structure work is the looming reality of layoffs.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      For anyone wondering, the Valve Employee Handbook is publicly available here: link to

      No, the handbook doesn’t say anything like that. In fact the handbook does not say a word about firing policies or firing at all.

      The handbook does speak about peer review and maybe that’s what you mean to say. Yearly peer review reports may or may not affect the decision to fire someone. But that’s really no different from many modern corporations that employ employee evaluation methods.

      On the case of Valve though, I personally don’t like the fact they encourage anonymous peer review. It’s a dangerous road. I’ve been the victim of workplace bullying before (by a group of workmates and in the form of psychological abuse) and those were the worst months of my life. I ended quitting my job after a depression and nervous breakdown from 8 months of what was absolute hell. I left without any compensation and could never hope to bring the matter to court. Anonymous peer review reports encourage this practice to spill out to those reports and remain unchecked.

      Anyways, employees don’t fire other employees at Valve. Administrators do. Anyone in here who has worked at any corporation of a considerable size, knows that these booklets are meant to both teach the company philosophy and make new employees quickly feel at home with the assurance their new workplace is a great workplace to be. But the ship is still ran with an iron fist, like with any other company that makes (and wants to keep making) the amount of money Valve does.

      Gabe Newell: “you have to be aggressive about firing people”

  9. TsunamiWombat says:

    Well, even ‘benevolent’ companies are companies in the end. They have to make profits, trim the fat, etc. A sad but fundamental part of any industry is sometimes people will be fired.

  10. somnolentsurfer says:

    So when Gaben was talking about being ruthless in firing people the other week he wasn’t joking…

    Does this mean the Valve developed Steam Box is dead?

    • Alexander says:

      They fired these guys because they’re relying on outside experts. I really hope someone finds out how laying off works at Valve after giving so much hope with their little happy book.

  11. Jimbo says:

    Do they have a cute cartoon for that too?

  12. Crosmando says:

    I don’t understand why Valve are so interested in creating a new platform, they already have one – it’s called PC. Why don’t they uhhh… just make games?

    • Brun says:

      Because Windows 8 and the general direction in which Microsoft is driving the PC are risks to Steam’s business model. Making their own platform is a way to mitigate that risk, albeit an extreme one.

      • Crosmando says:

        But “Steambox” isn’t a personal computer, technically speaking, it’s a console, and it’s certainly going to be aimed at that market.

        If Valve was so afraid of Microsoft and what they may do with future Windows, why do they need to do anything but support Linux gaming?

        • Brun says:

          Most people lack the technical savvy to set up a Linux install. I’m sure the percentage of PC gamers that could do this is higher than in other segments of the market, but Valve would still be cutting off a large portion of their users and prospective developers by transitioning to Linux outright.

          The consolebox is much easier to approach. Plus, a lot of what Gabe has been saying about “targeting the living room” leads me to believe that the Steam Box is intended to be more of an entertainment hub that also happens to play games through Steam. Microsoft is already moving in this direction aggressively with the Xbox.

          • JP says:

            Ubuntu Linux is as easy to install as Windows these days.

          • Brun says:

            If it doesn’t come pre-installed on low- to mid-range consumer PCs it’s already out of reach of a huge number of people. The effort of seeking out Ubuntu and installing it is beyond what most people will be wiling to do – most users don’t even do that for Windows installs. Combine that with the fact that people are used to Windows and jumping into a new OS starts to look like quite a leap.

          • JP says:

            Yeah, that’s totally fair, most people do get their OS pre-installed when they get a new PC. And the Windows->Linux learning curve, while not huge, isn’t trivial.

            Things get interesting if MSFT continues to alienate OEMs who then respond by shipping Ubuntu pre-installed in greater numbers.

        • HadToLogin says:

          But they do support Linux gaming this way. If SteamBox takes 1/5 of current PS3/X360 market that will be clear sign for Activision that making Linux version of CoD is something that will bring money. And when that sells, everyone will start making Linux ports.

        • InternetBatman says:

          Technically speaking it is a computer Gabe said you could change the OS. That’s the closest definition I need.

      • soldant says:

        It isn’t a risk, they’re using that as a cover. Remember the last time Microsoft tried to take over Windows Gaming with Games for Windows Live? Remember how well that worked out? Exactly.

        The real reason is so they can capture the Linux market by default simply by being the biggest publisher on the platform for games. Gabe’s comments about Win8’s store are flimsy at best, scare-mongering at worst, and not impartial.

        That said, still love Valve, don’t want to lose Steam. Wish they’d fix their client though, web performance is abysmal.

        • Ruffian says:

          I’m not saying you’re wrong by any means, but it is kinda his job to worry and speculate about such things.

    • aliksy says:

      There’s also these people who prefer playing games on consoles for whatever unfathomable reasons come out of their mouths these days.

  13. WhatKateDoes says:

    INCONCEIVABLE! How could they fire Jeri “made a bass guitar out of a C64” Ellsworth!? :(

    • RaiderJoe says:

      That is a truly amazing woman. Wow.

    • BooleanBob says:

      If you make a bass guitar, it’s impossible to avoid giving an implicit endorsement to the idea of someone learning to play the bass guitar. This is tantamount to a moral, if not actual crime; same deal as for arms manufacturers.

      • LionsPhil says:

        (…must be a drummer.)

        Dear god, it’s also a keytar. This is beyond brilliance.

        • Llewyn says:

          To be fair, for anyone young enough that their only knowledge of Paul McCartney comes from the last fifteen years, that is a reasonable point of view.

      • Mrs Columbo says:

        If my crappy Talk Talk router crashes one more time I’m making a fucking drum kit out of it.

      • Arglebargle says:

        It could be worse: It could’ve been a trombone…..

  14. SuperNashwanPower says:

    Also, toast. I like toast.

    • cptgone says:

      the gabe is a lie!

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        If Gabe were here he would forgive you. By giving you toast.

        • Mrs Columbo says:

          There are, of course, differing interpretations of The Toast. Some see it as being merely metaphorical toast, whilst others see it as the literal Toast Of Gabe.

          People of the former opinion must be destroyed.

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            Gabe cannot forgive schisms. Heretics must be burned. And possibly made into toast.
            Butter must not be kept in the fridge.
            HARD BUTTER IS BLASPHEMY for when you spread it the toast doth tear and make lumpy bits in the literal toast of Gabe

          • Mrs Columbo says:


          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            Assorted bread products be with you

    • zeroskill says:

      Rock Paper Shotgun 2013. In all caps.

  15. cptgone says:

    how very wasteful.
    throwing away human resources, instead of sending them to Valve’s Aperture department…

    • Brun says:

      I hear applicants for new positions have to complete all of the test chambers as part of their interview process.

      • MacTheGeek says:

        ALL of the chambers? Every single one? Man, that’s so Chellefish.

      • Mrs Columbo says:

        Considering all the methods that a good human resources department have at their disposal, that would seem to be one of the worst ways to deal with staffing issues. Indeed, as tools go…

        …it’s a poor tool.

  16. Strutter says:

    This is like having the hottest girlfriend in the world and her dumping you on valentines day.

  17. Dangerdad says:

    Uh, I thought Valve people moved around to whatever project they wanted to work on. Is that a total lie then?

    • LionsPhil says:

      They wanted to work on jobhunting, clearly.

    • buzzmong says:

      I think it’d be very hard to move around to other projects within a video game company if you were hired for your skills as an electrical engineer for a couple of small experimental projects.

      Which honestly, is what it sounds like.

    • reggiep says:

      I’m sure that’s not actually the case. I bet it works out that people with seniority get to choose projects. Others get assigned. They might give those with less seniority a choice between a preselected set of projects.

  18. cptgone says:

    no, they play Who’ll Take the Chair every morning.

  19. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    Aw man, not Jeri Elsworth, I was looking forward to seeing what she was working on. A thoroughly inspiring human being.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      They removed Tom Leonard from their employee list as well, so I guess he’s gone. Which is kind of shocking.

  20. Engonge says:

    They just hired her because it would be cool to have her around.I am hardly suprised.

  21. psepho says:

    I find it slightly ominous that John Lewis announced job cuts on the same day. They are both businesses at the very democratised end of their respective sectors and I would have expected some reluctance to pull the trigger in both cases.

  22. mrmalodor says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, download your games and apply your cracks.

    • woodsey says:

      According to Gabe they earn more per-employee than Google or Apple. This is quite obviously not motivated by a dire financial situation.

  23. jellydonut says:

    Seems like they’ve given up on the whole hardware thing.

  24. Toupee says:

    If anyone watched Gabe’s lecture from the other week, I believe they’d see him say something about firing people – about that being necessary, sometimes. Sure.

    Frankly, the number of jobs I’ve worked as a part timer, wondering “Why the hell don’t they fire that full time fool?” – good on ’em, I say. Valve may be a very open, flat company, but if your colleagues think you suck then that’s a whole ‘nother thing. Especially if their current projects have dried up and they’re not willing to put 100% on another project.

    Still, I can’t imagine people are having a great time in the office today. My best wishes for those who will no longer be working there – go out and do something great!

    • zeroskill says:

      As it seems Valve has shut down it’s hardware department. Not that they fired random people they thought “suck”.

  25. mishala says:

    I’m pretty sure they can vote on firing people.

    Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner.

  26. Sinlessmoon says:

    I wish the best of luck to those laid off!

  27. Nate says:

    Valve is a software company. Its good they realized developing hardware and selling it was not for them.

  28. crinkles esq. says:

    I’ll make a provocative statement: Gabe fired them because Valve has decided to partner with the forthcoming Apple console/tv/thing, instead of making their own hardware. See his recent comments about the Apple console being the biggest threat to Steam Box.

  29. yazman says:

    “Of course, with Valve being a utopian perfection where all staff are equal, you have to assume they fired themselves. Or maybe the Employee’s Handbook isn’t entirely accurate.”

    This comment is really intellectually dishonest and at best, it’s misleading. Just because they have a different structure it doesn’t make it a “utopian perfection.” You make it seem like it’s impossible for a company to operate without dedicated management, even though Valve does this. A different structure doesn’t make it “utopian” or “perfect”.

    Having a non-hierarchical structure does have its own unique downsides and Valve even describes them in its Employee’s Handbook. It is intellectually dishonest to pretend that Valve has ever claimed its structure is perfect or flawless. They describe in detail the flaws of such a design. ANY design is going to have flaws and advantages. That you seem to want to portray Valve as liars of some sort is amazing to me.

    Besides, we already know they fire people. It isn’t Gabe Newell’s decision. It is a decision based on performance reviews, stacking, etc and it’s done collectively and on a rotating basis.

  30. reggiep says:

    It sucks to get fired. It sucks even more to get fired from Valve. Dream job… gone.

  31. Very Real Talker says:

    valve is too much focused on crap. Virtual hats, games for linux (seriously, who the hell cares?), and not realizing microsoft intends to take over the digital distribution market (so if I was gabe I would disinvest very heavily in steam and invest all my resources in making new games and a new half-life, instead of trying to compete with a super giant). Also microsoft could consider selling hardware too, and they would destroy valve obviously.

    So I started to grow some antipathy for valve, because as a company their decisions and strategies baffles me, are so idiotical, myopic and arrogant that I can’t help but feel a measure of hate for them. They need to realize that they milked steam and virtual hats enough and reinvent themselves before it’s too late.