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Valve Layoffs: Several (25?) cut as Valve makes 'large decisions' about its future

Dmented

Banned
Mar 7, 2011
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Indeed, I am perplexed about that, as he talked about it less than a week ago.

I wonder if (t)he(y) decided it's best to approach the problem only from a software point of view (Steam for Linux, Big Picture Mode) as there are plenty of companies that are ready to ship HW solutions and perhaps its best to let them figure everything out.

But isn't that what they were doing? I mean, they said they would sell hardware if they HAD to, but it's not their main focus. What they're more focused on making themselves it seems is input devices.
 

DocSeuss

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Mar 26, 2012
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I don't think the Steambox is what is affected here. Especially with cuts from the Android team as well. These are probably people who insisted on pursuing projects that Valve doesn't know what to do with, or doesn't see as a pet project that is worth protecting like all the wearable computing stuff.



As if high profile friction between Valve and Turtle Rock, Kim Swift, Viktor Antonov, and Minh Lee were not all discussed widely here.

I've noticed that the people Valve seems to have the most problem with are leader-type people. It seems like a great company if you don't want to be a follower, but it also seems like a great company if you don't want to be a leader. That's why cohesive vision seems to be such a challenge for them.
 
May 22, 2011
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Something is up. Everyone knows it's true since Half-Life is seriously drifting into Duke Nukem Forever territory in terms of vaporware.

Uh, no. Last time I checked 3DRealms' last game was in 1997, until they almost closed down in 2009. It's not DNF that was problematic, it was the whole company.

For Valve to reach this level of incompetence they need to not ship a single game until 2024.
 

lord pie

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Jun 10, 2007
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Alf is back, in life form.



:-D
 

kswiston

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Mar 25, 2005
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Uh, no. Last time I checked 3DRealms' last game was in 1997, until they almost closed down in 2009. It's not DNF that was problematic, it was the whole company.

For Valve to reach this level of incompetence they need to not ship a single game until 2024.

It's more like Blizzard and Starcraft 2 or Diablo 3.
 

grimshawish

Banned
Dec 30, 2011
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that batshit crazy company culture is gonna bite them in the ass one day
it works with a couple of dozen employees but once you reach hundreds or in the future maybe thousands its gonna become a clusterfuck

They need to identify:
- Software Development - Valve Games - (Open Culture)
- Steam (Bureaucratic consumer face of Valve, work with Development sources and run the Store, Community and Customer Service).

These are two distinct groups at Valve and until both are cut off from one another; neither will function to the best of their ability.
Both Valve and the consumer lose out. Their not gods, they have as many constraints as any human being.
 
Aug 29, 2009
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Not GAF, lol
Valve without their culture won't be Valve. We'll be able to notice the difference.

They need to identify:
- Software Development - Valve Games - (Open Culture)
- Steam (Bureaucratic consumer face of Valve, work with Development sources and run the Store, Community and Customer Service).

These are two distinct groups at Valve and until both are cut off from one another; neither will function to the best of their ability.
Both Valve and the consumer lose out. Their not gods, they have as many constraints as any human being.

There's a developer that works on Steam as his full time position, but moonlights as a TF2 dev (and was actually hired as one). You can't cut them off, they fundamentally work together at all times
 

conman

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Aug 12, 2007
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Doesn't mean Valve is having financial issues. Just that they've shifted focus away from internal hardware and Android development. No reason to keep those projects running if they no longer make sense.

Also, could be a sign that they secured some sort of partnership with a hardware company. Perhaps Sony? Or *gasp* Apple?
 

Polari

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Jan 20, 2005
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Perhaps this means the response at CES from OEMs towards the Steambox was really positive, so they don't need to release their own and are going to let others do the heavy lifting.

Alternatively, the response was terrible and the whole project is canned.

Otherwise the people shown the door weren't delivering the expected results and they decided to clear them all out at once.

Not sure which of these is most likely.

Long shot: could be that Valve is partnering up with an established hardware company looking to get into the gaming space (Samsung!)
 

Haunted

Member
Nov 16, 2006
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huh.

Disbanding/downsizing the hardware and Android departments (didn't even know they had the latter)... sometimes the obvious one is the right conclusion.

waaaaaaaaaa I thought valve was ROLLING in it
Valve is rolling in it, make no mistake. They are not in any sort of financial trouble.
 

StalkerUKCG

Banned
Jun 4, 2011
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815
25 cuts across two departments in a 300+ employee company? Nothing to worry about.

Its likely that a few of the more specifically educated employees from the hardware department got cut because Steambox is moving in a different direction and their skills are not utilized enough to warrant their wage.

Android cuts are likely down to that division being considerably scaled back now that a Valve have a problem free android app in the Play store and only a skeleton crew is needed to maintain and update it.

Its around 8% of the staff far from anything worth worrying about.

Can you imagine Gabe being angry? I can't. I'd be scared.

I hate when daddy shouts.
 

HoosTrax

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Nov 15, 2011
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I guess this means I'm never going to get Steamplay for my Android games. (Things like HIB-Android stuff where there's a corresponding PC version with achievements).

I hope no one working on virtual reality stuff like Mike Abrash were among those cut.
 

WalkMan

Banned
Apr 23, 2006
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People are no saying the PS4 is steambox? Why because it'll likely run Linux with OpenGL backend?
 

Mrbob

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Jun 7, 2004
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People are no saying the PS4 is steambox? Why because it'll likely run Linux with OpenGL backend?

I've always thought PS4 doubling as a Steambox of sorts is a perfect fit. Both Sony and Valve are pursuing Linux based development. A money split may prevent it from happening though. I'm not sure how Valve is wooing 3rd parties to manufacture low cost, low profit hardware without getting a back end deal on the software.
 

grimshawish

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Dec 30, 2011
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There's a developer that works on Steam as his full time position, but moonlights as a TF2 dev (and was actually hired as one). You can't cut them off, they fundamentally work together at all times

They should certainly work together but they shouldn't have people running two projects at once.
He should be told to put great emphasis on Steam's broader community or join the TF2 development team.

People should be allowed to move between both ofc; but not in a day to day way. A project by project basis.
Steam needs more thought, care and effort put behind it.
 

Reallink

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Jan 7, 2008
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Indeed, I am perplexed about that, as he talked about it less than a week ago.

I wonder if (t)he(y) decided it's best to approach the problem only from a software point of view (Steam for Linux, Big Picture Mode) as there are plenty of companies that are ready to ship HW solutions and perhaps its best to let them figure everything out.

Another possible explanation is that while at DICE, he got wind of some other mega corp that was going forward with something incredibly similar to, or disruptive to, the Steambox et al. See: Google, Samsung, Intel(TV), Apple, or maybe even MS with a literal Win 8 box.
 
Aug 29, 2009
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Not GAF, lol
They should certainly work together but they shouldn't have people running two projects at once.
He should be told to put great emphasis on Steam's broader community or join the TF2 development team.

People should be allowed to move between both ofc; but not in a day to day way. A project by project basis.
Steam needs more thought, care and effort put behind it.

You'd fundamentally destroy the company culture that made Valve so successful?
 

Foorbits

Member
Nov 14, 2008
21,624
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They should certainly work together but they shouldn't have people running two projects at once.
He should be told to put great emphasis on Steam's broader community or join the TF2 development team.

People should be allowed to move between both ofc; but not in a day to day way. A project by project basis.
Steam needs more thought, care and effort put behind it.

You don't think Steam has more thought, care and effort put into it than pretty much any other digital download service out there? What more do you want them to do? Their company culture is what put them on the map and made them the #1 destination for gaming PCs and billions in the bank. And now you want them to throw that away? lol
 

Momentary

Banned
Jan 22, 2011
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Makes me wonder if Microsoft and Valve started talking with one another about some business ideas for future projects. Especially that Microsoft seems to be ditching GFWL and releasing XBL games on Steam. Especially since they have a job position opened up to look into a venture with them...

If Microsoft's next OS has become viable again for Valve, maybe they just said screw the Steambox.
 

AkuMifune

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Dec 23, 2007
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Either they've given up on the steambox as it was envisioned, or they found their answer elsewhere with some other configuration.

I'm betting the latter.
 

Azih

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May 31, 2004
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You'd fundamentally destroy the company culture that made Valve so successful?

There's merit to the idea that a digital storefront requires a different management approach as compared to a game developer (especially with Steam aspiring to sell all kinds of applications other than games).

And the Steam desktop needs an overhaul badly (Big screen mode is up to date and spiffy but standard mode is daaaated).
 
Mar 9, 2006
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I don't think the Steambox is what is affected here. Especially with cuts from the Android team as well. These are probably people who insisted on pursuing projects that Valve doesn't know what to do with, or doesn't see as a pet project that is worth protecting like all the wearable computing stuff.



As if high profile friction between Valve and Turtle Rock, Kim Swift, Viktor Antonov, and Minh Lee were not all discussed widely here.

Wait.


What happened with Turtle Rock? I thought the biggest issue was some people didn't take relocating as well as they thought, stayed behind, and now have the Turtle Rock name again.
 

Mrbob

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Jun 7, 2004
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I would be surprised if any of these layoffs had much to do with the Steambox.

Valve has been tinkering with a bunch of different types of hardware. Could be something as simple as streamlining the hardware focus and not using company resources for crazy personal R & D projects.
 

Can Crusher

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Dec 10, 2012
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Valve partnering up with MS or Sony makes about as much sense as them partnering with Nintendo. With that I mean, it makes as much sense as a horse riding a poney.
 

grimshawish

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Dec 30, 2011
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You'd fundamentally destroy the company culture that made Valve so successful?

You don't think Steam has more thought, care and effort put into it than pretty much any other digital download service out there? What more do you want them to do? Their company culture is what put them on the map and made them the #1 destination for gaming PCs and billions in the bank. And now you want them to throw that away? lol

The company culture benefits game development. It does not benefit the store or the community on there.
I don't believe they have billions in the bank but thats just me - hundreds of millions? Possibly. But this is a side point.

I want Valve to identify where the culture works best and where it does not.
If the culture were working on the Steam side, Community would be good; Greenlight would never have existed and Valve employees would be identifying the games they personally want on Steam and ensuring they get on there.

This is not how it works. Why? Cause one person can't do everything. Development needs creativity but the store side needs to be built around the customer; not around employees. The culture is not helping the store or adding anything; the store needs a team to focus on making it better, on improving product pages, on improving the overall Steam experience and the games available.
 

tfur

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Oct 21, 2007
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They just fired Jeri Ellsworth. It doesn't seem like we are just drawing stupid conclusions.

So, I guess Gabe just gave all these recent/repeated talks about Steambox because he just did not feel like canceling the presentations? Was this a head fake or something? Or, maybe he does not really have any say at the company, and he was not told about the Steambox cancellation until this week?

Maybe a merger/acquisition on the way?

Maybe the people were just not needed? Or there are better people in place, or about to be in place?
 

Foorbits

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Nov 14, 2008
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The company culture benefits game development. It does not benefit the store or the community on there.

Steam has a gigantic community of happy gamers and is the top digital download store on PC. I would say Valve's culture made Steam what it is today.
 

Azih

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May 31, 2004
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Maybe approaching a store front from a game design perspective is what makes Steam so awesome?
I don't see much of a game design perspective in the store front (Edit: I see a lot of gamer sentiment and understanding in how the game sales are carried out though).

Dealing with game publishes, and indies, and running servers is a pretty different business from creating a game. And in any case splitting the two shouldn't mean that what makes Steam so compelling would need to be lost. Gabe could remain in charge of both while defining a better split between them.
 

Can Crusher

Banned
Dec 10, 2012
11,377
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So, I guess Gabe just gave all these recent/repeated talks about Steambox because he just did not feel like canceling the presentations? Was this a head fake or something? Or, maybe he does not really have any say at the company, and he was not told about the Steambox cancellation until this week?

Maybe a merger/acquisition on the way?

Maybe the people were just not needed? Or there are better people in place, or about to be in place?


I don't know, it's all speculation. I would say that Valve is investing less on hardware by them, and have decided that what matters for Valve is the creation of the content delivery platform and the content creation itself.

Let others do the hardware, that's what I think is happening.