Gabe Newell’s unusual response to Valve layoffs

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Valve

Valve has always been very private about personnel matters; I don’t think I’ve ever seen the words “Valve” and “layoffs” in the same article before. But the impossible has happened and the news-hungry press hounds have gotten wind of the very recent layoffs.

Yesterday’s word of hardware hacker Jeri Ellsworth’s departure from the company was anything but an isolated event. According to an update on PC Gamer there were nine employees let go, most notably people who worked on Team fortress 2, Half-Life 2 and Left 4 Dead. Full list below:

  • Moby Francke, Half-Life 2 character designer and Team Fortress 2 art lead
  • Jason Holtman, director of business development for Steam and Steamworks
  • Keith Huggins, character animator and animator for Team Fortress 2 “Meet the” video series
  • Tom Leonard, software engineer for Half-Life 2 and Left 4 Dead
  • Realm Lovejoy, artist for Half-Life 2, Portal, and Left 4 Dead. She was also part of the original DigiPen-turned-Valve team that created Narbacular Drop, the inspiration for Portal
  • Marc Nagel, test lead for Half-Life, Counter-Strike, and patch updates
  • Bay Raitt, animator for Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2, and Portal
  • Elan Ruskin, engine programmer for Left 4 Dead, Portal 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • Matthew Russell, animator for Team Fortress 2 “Meet the” video series

This however does not mean that any projects are being cancelled at Valve or that the company is in trouble. Valve boss man Gabe Newell decided to do the “unusual” thing and address the rumours floating around, here’s what the Master Race Overlord had to say:

“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 canceling 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.” 

Thanks for the…uh…clarification, Gabe.

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