While we don’t quite know the extent of the layoffs just yet, it’s being suggested by a few sources that as many as 25 of Valve’s staff may have been let go as part of “group layoffs,” from all over the company – business networking, hardware development and more.
We learned yesterday of inventor and Steam hardware developer (and pinball machine fixer) Jeri Ellsworth had been let go, after she tweeted about being fired. However we now know that Jason Holtman, the man behind Steam’s business network head who negotiated with publishers and developers for additions to the platform, has also been laid off.
Other confirmed firings include:
- Moby Francke
- Jason Holtman
- Keith Huggins
- Tom Leonard
- Realm Lovejoy
- Marc Nagel
- Bay Raitt
- Elan Ruskin
- Matthew Russell
These people all have different skill sets and could be pigeon holed (despite Valve’s open structure) into programming, art and a variety of other areas.
Gabe Newell has released a short statement addressing the speculation (via Engadget):
“We don’t usually talk about personnel matters for a number of reasons. There seems to be an unusual amount of speculation about some recent changes here, so I thought I’d take the unusual step of addressing them. No, we aren’t cancelling any projects. No, we aren’t changing any priorities or projects we’ve been discussing. No, this isn’t about Steam or Linux or hardware or [insert game name here]. We’re not going to discuss why anyone in particular is or isn’t working here.”
KitGuru Says: Considering in the past we’ve heard much of Valve’s laid back, no bosses style of management, it’s surprising that such a cull has taken place. That said, with a push to remove Valve as the gatekeeper of Steam, a move into hardware and the inclusion of software and other products on Steam, Valve could be moving in an entirely new direction. What do you guys think is going on?