The big boys at Valve have hired an unknown number of folks behind the space sim Kerbal Space Program [official site], RPS fanzine PC Gamer is reporting. A former Valve developer said as much in an interview on the podcast Game Dev Unchained and a current Valve spokesperson confirmed it to the mag, saying “We’ll be announcing more soon”. Good work, everyone, I’ve had to do absolutely no digging of my own.
“They [Valve] are still buying up mod teams,” said Roger Lundeen of Turtle Rock in the podcast (at the 20 minute mark). “The modders who made… is it Kerbal Space Station [sic]? … They just gave that entire team jobs, if they wanted it.”
We don’t know if that’s exactly what happened, nor do we know how many of the original team from Squad have been employed. It's also important to clarify that "the whole team" isn't strictly accurate, since the studio in charge of KSP is still working away. But the lead developer on KSP, Felipe Falanghe, did quit his old project in June last year saying: “I desperately need to have something new, to create more than one game in my life.”
It would certainly be interesting to see what that next game might be. In the mean time, Squad, the development studio in charge of the Kerbals, is still going about its business. "Regarding the developers joining Valve, it is important to note that we have had several people working on our team over the years," said a community manager on the forums, "and it is common among development studios for team members to come and go. If some of them joined Valve, it is on their own behalf and we wish them good luck and success in their current and future endeavors."
We thought Kerbal Space Program was rather splendid, and work on it continues, like Squad say. Just last week a mission editor was announced as part of the sim‘s first expansion, along with missions based on real-world space jaunts from history, while an earlier update has also added communications networks.