• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

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

FordGTGuy

Banned
Oct 1, 2012
7,004
0
0
33
Portsmouth, VA
www.xboxuncut.com
Does Valve really need to create their own Steambox?

I could see Valve letting 3rd parties build their own Linux Steambox's while they supply the software.

I thought it was clear that any computer running Big Picture Mode is technically a Steambox?
 

Dmented

Banned
Mar 7, 2011
2,245
0
0
USA
Does Valve really need to create their own Steambox?

I could see Valve letting 3rd parties build their own Linux Steambox's while they supply the software.

I thought it was clear that any computer running Big Picture Mode is technically a Steambox?

Yes, and that's exactly what they're doing. They've only said they would sell hardware if they HAD to.
 

Maztorre

Member
Feb 12, 2006
1,547
0
0
36
www.selectbutton.net
I started reading more about those rumors, so I assume that might be the case. Didn't Gabe also mention(in an interview) new hires being fired all the time?

It isn't that they are fired all the time, it's that they need to be aggressive when firing for two reasons:

-Some people come into the company from other industries and simply cannot adjust to the business structure (Gabe has said that almost everyone coming into the company from the animation and film industries has had difficulty initially because of the strict hierarchies within those industries). It seems likely that some people are simply better motivated within existing hierarchies in other businesses, especially when Valve is heavily staffed by people who are extremely self-motivated and don't need a real work "structure" to operate in(modders).

-Being a "flat" organisation where employees assign themselves to projects means that masses of employees may decide to spend time on projects that don't provide significant value to customers (how best to "provide value to our customers" is a mantra said over and over again by Gabe when talking about how employees use their time). Maybe Valve looked at the staff numbers and time investment into the hardware labs and decided it was starting to get too big, especially since their involvement in hardware initially was purely in controller development. I think it's possible they have finalised a roadmap of hardware releases with vendors who are going to manufacture both the steambox and the controller, which has meant gutting their hardware staff since it's unlikely they'll have much work over the coming years.

grimshawish said:
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.

Valve are moving away from curating Steam; they will just bloat the company with people whose entire days are spent negotiating getting content into the platform. Once they start hiring dedicated curation staff they can never stop as long as Steam keeps growing and content submissions keep increasing. Steam's future is as an API where storefronts are built and curated by communities of users who are much more capable of managing the huge influx of titles on the service than Valve could ever be (e.g. the RockPaperShotgun store, the IGN store, the TotalBiscuit store, the Ubisoft store etc). This will become massive when they start giving users a cut of sales generated through user-created stores.
 

EGM1966

Member
Aug 5, 2011
10,351
0
0
UK
Steambox is dead. Long live Steambox.

(That or it's completed and sitting in Gaben's lap, and he doesn't need the hardware team anymore as no further change would be required).

Sheesh that make's him sound like a Bond villain stroking his cat... actually that would be a great gif...

As for the layoffs interested to see what emerges, not going to jump to conclusions and sticking to the usual "sucks for those folks" response.
 

Azih

Member
May 31, 2004
19,276
3
0
40
Canada
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?
Or maybe he just changed his mind? Being able to change course is a sign of good leadership.
 

Harlock

Member
Jul 6, 2011
5,836
1,322
1,035
Maybe Microsoft is buying Valve. Make a lot of sense for MS. And you get all that Halo on the Steam rumours.
 

grimshawish

Banned
Dec 30, 2011
9,162
0
0
Valve are moving away from curating Steam; they will just bloat the company with people whose entire days are spent negotiating getting content into the platform. Once they start hiring dedicated curation staff they can never stop as long as Steam keeps growing and content submissions keep increasing. Steam's future is as an API where storefronts are built and curated by communities of users who are much more capable of managing the huge influx of titles on the service than Valve could ever be (e.g. the RockPaperShotgun store, the IGN store, the TotalBiscuit store, the Ubisoft store etc). This will become massive when they start giving users a cut of sales generated through user-created stores.

By the community I assume we mean different companies setting up their stores (will they pay Valve to run the servers?); but the problem is implementing this and who does what.

Its not a terrible idea; I've often wondered why there is no 'Mall' where I can buy from different stores.

Disagree Steam will not stop growing in your version though. Its frankly a ridiculous claim. They need a small dedicated team. Thats it.

Maybe Microsoft is buying Valve. Make a lot of sense for MS. And you get all that Halo on the Steam rumours.

Why buy them? MS has most of what Steam has.
- Fast Servers
- A store
- A large userbase
- Developers

They'd maybe work together but there is not benefit in buying them whatsoever.
 

Haunted

Member
Nov 16, 2006
78,221
18
965
When they say "Half-Life maker Valve" they mean that in the past tense right?
 

rezuth

Member
Sep 21, 2006
13,298
0
0
Sweden
deletionquality.net
Wow at the speculation, to be honest I'm just gonna guess that its people that didn't work out at the company, they didn't fit in just right. If they had problem with the freedom given or with working together, no idea. They most likely just decided that these people had hung around long enough and it was time to cut them down. Even if they shut down a project they would just let people do something else.
 
Sep 25, 2012
847
0
0
Far away
www.primumsoft.com
Wow at the speculation, to be honest I'm just gonna guess that its people that didn't work out at the company, they didn't fit in just right. If they had problem with the freedom given or with working together, no idea. They most likely just decided that these people had hung around long enough and it was time to cut them down. Even if they shut down a project they would just let people do something else.

http://neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?p=47676235

It seems to be more than just that.
 

Maztorre

Member
Feb 12, 2006
1,547
0
0
36
www.selectbutton.net
By the community I assume we mean different companies setting up their stores (will they pay Valve to run the servers?); but the problem is implementing this and who does what.

Its not a terrible idea; I've often wondered why there is no 'Mall' where I can buy from different stores.

By community stores I mean this:

Anyone can create a storefront that sells games that have passed Valve's submission process (e.g. malware/virus testing etc) and added to the overall Steam catalog. When a game is sold on that user's storefront, the sale is split between 3 parties (all percentages are hypothetical and based on existing revenue splits, I have no idea what will happen with user stores since it's a new business model for digital):

The store owner (probably a small percentage, would imagine 1-5%?)
The developer/publisher (majority percentage, 70%)
Valve (25%-29%, similar to their existing cut but with the store owner's cut taken out)

I would imagine that pricing is still set by the creator of the goods (although it's possible that they could set a "minimum price" during a sale for example, and users can choose how much they bring it down in line with the minimum), so stores aren't competing on price but rather on the store experience. Someone may use TotalBiscuit's store because they simply want to support him, or use another store because the web interface they have created is impressive or interactive in some way, or another store because they have curated the store heavily so it only sells games they have written extensive reviews for (fans of that users style of writing or people of similar taste would then be literally financially rewarding that person for their work on the writing and management of the store).

Disagree Steam will not stop growing in your version though. Its frankly a ridiculous claim. They need a small dedicated team. Thats it.

I'll agree to disagree, I don't think it's possible to keep up with the amount of indie content coming onto PC, and missing out on the next hit because they have 4,000 other pieces of content to push through Steam first makes users, developers and Valve more and more frustrated. You can already see this on Greenlight, they can't get content out there fast enough and when they do a portion of the userbase is just saddened that a game they want didn't get cleared for another month.
 
Oct 26, 2009
3,647
37
810
Steam is merging with Origin. Greenlight becomes main entry system for all games. It will be automated using a digital copy of GabeN's brain. Valve is outsourcing Half-Life 3 development and it will be using Unity instead of the much delayed Source 2 engine. After Half Life 3 release, valve will stop making games and just create hats for TF2.
just kidding
 

MormaPope

Banned
Mar 31, 2012
13,827
1
0
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.

Microsoft and Valve teaming up?


I would love to see that happen, for the meltdowns and for the awesome potential.

Hell, all the Halo's are still rumored to be coming to Steam, wouldn't be surprised if the Durango was always online if it had Steam on it.
 

EMT0

Banned
Dec 7, 2012
5,009
0
0
Microsoft and Valve teaming up?



I would love to see that happen, for the meltdowns and for the awesome potential.

Hell, all the Halo's are still rumored to be coming to Steam, wouldn't be surprised if the Durango was online only if it had Steam on it.

But.....dat trashtalk! All of our cawing and oohing would have been for naught!
 

lefantome

Member
Mar 8, 2007
3,322
0
0
this was unexpected, I'm really interested in steambox I hope they are cutting expenses in other departments.

If they are shutting down the steambox department I'd like to know why they invested even a dollar in the piston company.
 

gdt

Member
Oct 20, 2007
40,440
2
0
31
Pennsylvania
"I wouldn't be surprised if [insert ludicrous comment]."



I wouldn't be surprised in Valve is building a studio on the moon. Steambox powered by the Protheans confirmed.
 

grimshawish

Banned
Dec 30, 2011
9,162
0
0
I'll agree to disagree, I don't think it's possible to keep up with the amount of indie content coming onto PC, and missing out on the next hit because they have 4,000 other pieces of content to push through Steam first makes users, developers and Valve more and more frustrated. You can already see this on Greenlight, they can't get content out there fast enough and when they do a portion of the userbase is just saddened that a game they want didn't get cleared for another month.

I like the store idea. Some kind of browser-esque interface would be good; local game companies could run their own as well (e.g. gamespot.store or hmv.store).

I understand your point and its probably fair. However I don't think its impossible for a Steam team to chose more games than are currently getting through. Especially when their successful on other platforms.

I also feel the 'Steam Mall' would benefit from a Steam Team just as much as the Steam Store; it just needs a group focused 100% on providing the service to really drive it.
 

MormaPope

Banned
Mar 31, 2012
13,827
1
0
"I wouldn't be surprised if [insert ludicrous comment]."



I wouldn't be surprised in Valve is building a studio on the moon. Steambox powered by the Protheans confirmed.

More surprising things have happened, next gen is going to be bonkers for the next few years.
 

DeBurgo

Member
Jun 26, 2005
1,112
0
0
They probably realized what a huge capital investment creating a conventional console is, even one based on PC hardware standards, and are looking into other solutions. I doubt they're abandoning the idea of a dedicated steam platform, though.

It sucks that people had to get fired over that, but my guess is that the people who were fired were not at all on board with a less-conventional approach, and were probably unwilling or unable to change in the direction that most other valve employees were more interested in going.

Also, Valve wouldn't move to get acquired, that would be dumb. A lot of the people work at Valve because they like working at Valve, and an acquisition would inevitably mean a change in the corporate culture.
 

Neo C.

Member
Mar 2, 2007
7,877
0
0
My take: The suits are there. Those McKinsey guys who don't understand a single thing about [insert product] but are going to present fancy pp presentation nonetheless.

I have the feeling that the culture has changed in Valve.
 

nbthedude

Banned
Dec 30, 2011
4,606
0
0
Only if Gabe agreed to that, which would instantly make him the Judas Iscariot of this industry for all time.

Indeed. It's never a good thing when people are fired or decide there is a philosophical split and they no longer fit a company's vision, but the unsubstantiated crazy talk about Valve going bankrupt or being acquired is absurd. It has zero evidence to back it up at this point. I can't believe people are taking it seriously.
 

kirblar

Member
Oct 9, 2010
63,315
1
660
They probably realized what a huge capital investment creating a conventional console is, even one based on PC hardware standards, and are looking into other solutions. I doubt they're abandoning the idea of a dedicated steam platform, though.

It sucks that people had to get fired over that, but my guess is that the people who were fired were not at all on board with a less-conventional approach, and were probably unwilling or unable to change in the direction that most other valve employees were more interested in going.

Also, Valve wouldn't move to get acquired, that would be dumb. A lot of the people work at Valve because they like working at Valve, and an acquisition would inevitably mean a change in the corporate culture.
There is no way Valve gets sold- it would wreck the culture, and Valve's culture IS what makes Valve what it is.

Agreeance that this sounds like them abandoning the hardware market plans they had and moving in a different direction.
 

QaaQer

Member
Jun 13, 2012
11,333
0
0
Didn't they find that there were no meaningful advances to be made as far as peripherals go? Or am I imagining things? It would be in line with what's happening.


While that is a nice aphorism I cringe every time he's quoted or invoked like some wise sage.

In the consumer electronics space, guy was a wise sage.
 

TrutaS

Member
Mar 3, 2009
1,637
1
0
I hate that so many people lost their jobs, but on the bright side, having worked in Valve makes a pretty good resumé, so they will have no problem landing on a next project.

The thing is I have been feeling that Valve is becoming too large for its own philosophy so I'm hoping that these "big decisions" were made towards making great games, other than expanding Steam more than it needs to.
 

Sky Chief

Member
May 7, 2011
5,461
0
0
In Gabe's recent speech didn't he say that Valve is the most profitable company per employee in the world? Yeah, I really don't see them having gone bankrupt and the cost of buying them would be pretty astronomical and I doubt that Gabe and the others would really entertain that idea.
 

Ferrio

Banned
Jun 7, 2004
56,391
1
0
In Gabe's recent speech didn't he say that Valve is the most profitable company per employee in the world? Yeah, I really don't see them having gone bankrupt and the cost of buying them would be pretty astronomical and I doubt that Gabe and the others would really entertain that idea.

He just wanted to increase that number.
 

Chittagong

Gold Member
Jun 8, 2004
19,296
5,085
2,110
All the merger options would make sweet megatons

Sony - finally good online store, community features, even more first party. No monies realistically though.
Microsoft - Steam finally on Windows 8 with live tiles and Metro UI full screen, also Windows Phone
EA - finally all my PC games are ithe same app again and I never need to see Origin again. Unlikely because other 3rd parties would boycott EA Steam.
Nintendo - (laughs)
 

Sky Chief

Member
May 7, 2011
5,461
0
0
All the merger options would make sweet megatons

Sony - finally good online store, community features, even more first party. No monies realistically though.
Microsoft - Steam finally on Windows 8 with live tiles and Metro UI full screen, also Windows Phone
EA - finally all my PC games are ithe same app again and I never need to see Origin again. Unlikely because other 3rd parties would boycott EA Steam.
Nintendo - (laughs)

What about Apple?
 
Jun 13, 2005
8,299
2
1,185
51
Everyone is probably over thinking it. Valve does whatever Valve does. Gabe could have woke up today and decided all the hardware development no longer interested him.
 
Aug 19, 2006
25,598
1
0
Would be surprised if it was Sony but it was interesting that Valve were into the same things Sony was applying for parents, bio sensors, gaze tracking, touch pad.
 

chiablo

Member
Feb 2, 2012
1,604
0
570
Utah
I think it's hilarious when someone brings up the topic of buyouts and mergers. Why would a company that is completely stable and financially doing very well willingly get bought out by a mega corporation, knowing that it will result in their eventual demise?