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#1 Posted by c0l0nelp0c0rn1 (1803 posts) -

Joystiq reported that people at Valve got fired. Normally this does not qualify as "on fire" for any other company, but according to Valve's handbook for new employees "Nobody has ever been fired at Valve for making a mistake." Apparently, the affected staff were part of the Android department and the hardware department. Also, the director of business development has left according to the article. Do you suppose that this will affect the SteamBox? Do you think that Valve realized that the SteamBox was a bad idea? With a price tag on the XI3 Piston upwards of $1,000 it seems logical that Valve would realize that making PCs is not lucrative. Hopefully, they'll put some more resources into making an Apple-esque Linux distro, and then court OEMs to put it on new PCs.

WHAT DOST THOU THINK GIANT BOMB?!!?!?

#2 Edited by OfficeGamer (1087 posts) -

First time Valve has had bad news since.... World War 2. This sucks!

What is a Valve Android department anyway?

#3 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (4164 posts) -

Valve can do no wrong. ~ It was always meant to be.

#4 Edited by SirPsychoSexy (1328 posts) -

Really shocking hearing something like this from Valve, maybe Half Life 3 for android was a mistake.

Edit: Saw on a gaf thread that apparently their TF2 Art lead and their Steam Director of Business are also gone, that seems like kind of a big deal.

#5 Posted by DaMisterChief (628 posts) -

Valve, va, third, twenty thirteen, HALF LIFE 3 CONFIRMED

#7 Posted by believer258 (11681 posts) -

I think...

...that I have no clue why those people were fired.

All right, let's be honest here: Valve is a business. Yes, they are a developer, but they are also an international business that deals with multiple countries all the time. I don't think they could have gone much longer without making some unlikeable decisions. Hell, they've probably been making unlikeable decisions that no one knows about since Steam launched and even before. Doesn't mean that they're a bad business or that they're less about customer service; rather, I just think it means they realized that they were doing something with their company that was in a direction they didn't want to go, and they got rid of it.

#8 Posted by CollegeGuyMike (388 posts) -

It doesn't really sound like the android department was fired for making mistakes, per se, but more along the lines that valve realized having an Android/Hardware Development Department was a mistake?

#9 Edited by Nephrahim (1119 posts) -

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

http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showpost.php?p=33992281&postcount=32

Just pulled this from a forum, but it seems legit.Uh...Seems like a lot of people to Axe, especially for a company that I think everyone thinks is making money hand over fist...

#10 Posted by BisonHero (6235 posts) -

I think you're overreacting.

Most of the ~25 people that were fired seemed to be working in hardware and/or Android-related departments. This isn't comparable to other companies where layoffs are more like "OH GOD OUR LAST GAME SOLD TERRIBLY, LAY OFF HALF THE STAFF". It's more likely that Valve is just downsizing or just eliminating their internal hardware department (they are a software company, after all), and is instead looking into outsourcing that stuff to companies that better specialize in hardware and Android development. Granted, my assessment is just as speculative as yours, but c'mon, they are not "on fire". I don't think these firings have anything to do with project mismanagement or cashflow problems or anything, which is how I would define a developer that is "on fire".

I'm echoing a lot of the opinions given in this Rock, Paper, Shotgun article:

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/02/13/valve-let-go-around-25-staff-it-seems/

#11 Posted by c0l0nelp0c0rn1 (1803 posts) -

@hanskisaragi: I just hate Microsoft.

Besides, I think Steam as a platform could grow if it got out from under the windows requirement.

#12 Posted by Pr1mus (3824 posts) -

A company firing 25 employees, most of which working in a department most people didn't even know existed does not equate a company that is on fire.

Online
#13 Posted by OfficeGamer (1087 posts) -

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

http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showpost.php?p=33992281&postcount=32

Just pulled this from a forum, but it seems legit.Uh...Seems like a lot of people to Axe, especially for a company that I think everyone thinks is making money hand over fist...

If this is true then the repetition of the title "half life" in that list is very worrying.

#14 Posted by ExplodeMode (852 posts) -

Do you think that Valve realized that the SteamBox was a bad idea?

Yes.

#15 Posted by djou (860 posts) -

I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that a Steambox is not forthcoming.I imagine they are letting go of the old hardware group to bring insome fresh eyes. The design, launch, and large scale manufacturing of anew console can't be easy and you would want experienced folks that havebeen there before working on it. Maybe new hires are on the way, orthey decide to collaborate with a third party, making these older rolesredundant.

Its unfortunate that thesefolks lost their jobs, but if they worked at Valve to begin with theyare probably pretty talented and will land on their feet with someseverance.

Valve seems to be moving into anew phase in their business, DOTA/TF2 as a free to play is doing well,they are talking movies, next gen consoles are around the corner andthey may be developing games, so a changing of the guard is probably agood thing. Frankly I'm surprised you don't hear greater internaldissension. Clint Hocking has been at Valve since last year and he's tweeting more about movies than any games he's working.

#16 Posted by Animasta (14650 posts) -

@hanskisaragi: I just hate Microsoft.

Besides, I think Steam as a platform could grow if it got out from under the windows requirement.

oh you mean like how there's steam for MAC and steam for linux (either out soon or out now)?

#17 Posted by BisonHero (6235 posts) -

@samdrugbringer: That list seems super useless unless it lists what their current project at Valve was.

For example, "Moby Francke, Half-Life 2 character designer and Team Fortress 2 art lead" isn't a particularly useful bit of information: Half-Life 2 shipped years ago, and there's no way his full-time job was still handling TF2 art, when a bunch of the new items in the store are coming from the community at this point. Sure, maybe he had a hand in designing the robots in the Mann vs. Machine update or something, but surely he must've been working on a totally different project as of late.

#18 Edited by seamus85 (116 posts) -

I love how people are overreacting. valve is cutting the fat and it needs to be done. new talent will rise

#19 Posted by TooWalrus (13139 posts) -

I'm sure Gabe'll find a way to blame Windows 8 or something...

#20 Posted by King9999 (610 posts) -

Letting 25 people go out of 400+ employees is not a red flag.

#21 Edited by TruthTellah (8572 posts) -

Woah, woah, slow down there. I'm not sure how you got from "Valve is a business firing some people" to "Valve will never ever get into PC hardware, and they're on fire, and oh gawd love itself is dead!"

This sounds like Valve decided to make cuts in an area they felt wasn't needed anymore. I don't know the circumstances of it, but I think it's ridiculous to really extrapolate off such limited information. While Valve has said they won't ever fire individuals for taking risks and failing, they have never said they wouldn't lay off people for other reasons, such as budget or actual need. They're a business, and sometimes, people will get fired.

#22 Posted by SirPsychoSexy (1328 posts) -
@seamus85 said:

I love how people are overreacting. valve is cutting the fat and it needs to be done. new talent will rise

They are a private company rolling in dough, not to mention they have a track record of rarely firing anyone or having anyone quit. This is not the same as any other corporate layoff.

#23 Posted by Pr1mus (3824 posts) -

There's also the possibility that after years of R&D and prototyping of hardware they now have a clear idea of what said hardware will be. If this stuff is getting close to final design and spec maybe they just don't need these people anymore. They were obviously never going to mass produce whatever that steambox may be in house.

Online
#24 Posted by c0l0nelp0c0rn1 (1803 posts) -
@animasta said:

@c0l0nelp0c0rn1

said:

@hanskisaragi: I just hate Microsoft.

Besides, I think Steam as a platform could grow if it got out from under the windows requirement.

oh you mean like how there's steam for MAC and steam for linux (either out soon or out now)?

No, I just want a steam OS and a Linux distro seems like the next best thing. Long live Valve, I guess?

#26 Posted by BisonHero (6235 posts) -
@king9999 said:

Letting 25 people go out of 400+ employees is not a red flag.

Well, at a 400-person company, 25 people is enough people to constitute like an entire department (potentially), but yes, it's only 6% of their entire workforce, and they may just be downsizing one division because they're planning on hiring more people in some other division. Who knows.

It's not as if this is the first time Valve has ever fired/downsized people in the past 15 years. People are way overreacting to this.

#27 Posted by c0l0nelp0c0rn1 (1803 posts) -

@c0l0nelp0c0rn1

said:

@hanskisaragi: I just hate Microsoft.

Besides, I think Steam as a platform could grow if it got out from under the windows requirement.

Linux and Mac gaming will never prosper until OpenGL gets better then DirectX and more developers use it.

Steam Client for Mac and Linux is a start but you cant turn stone into gold.

But wouldn't it be baller if instead of paying $100 per PC for the basic Windows 7, you could get a Steam linux distro for free? Don't you want Microsoft to finally give up on all their useless licensing measures? Am I the only one who believes in the abolition of Windows users?

I really thought that people were ready for a more free OS. I get that it's not going to happen anytime soon, but that doesn't mean I don't want it to. Maybe Valve can give OpenGL a shot in the arm.

#28 Posted by Forcen (1806 posts) -
#29 Edited by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

No, this does not equate being on fire. Freaking relax, people.

#30 Posted by Nictel (2385 posts) -

So no more Steambox? Seems all that this is. Too bad for those 25 people of course.

#31 Posted by ajamafalous (11868 posts) -

I went to a talk Gabe gave at my university two weeks ago; he mentioned the Steambox by name, told us what the company's plans for it are, and how it fits into their overall plan for their business over the next few years.

Those of you that are ready to shit on the Steambox and ready to jump on the "LOL I TOLD YOU SO" bandwagon should just get over it now.

#32 Posted by ajamafalous (11868 posts) -

@hanskisaragi

said:

@c0l0nelp0c0rn1

said:

@hanskisaragi: I just hate Microsoft.

Besides, I think Steam as a platform could grow if it got out from under the windows requirement.

Linux and Mac gaming will never prosper until OpenGL gets better then DirectX and more developers use it.

Steam Client for Mac and Linux is a start but you cant turn stone into gold.

But wouldn't it be baller if instead of paying $100 per PC for the basic Windows 7, you could get a Steam linux distro for free? Don't you want Microsoft to finally give up on all their useless licensing measures? Am I the only one who believes in the abolition of Windows users?

I really thought that people were ready for a more free OS. I get that it's not going to happen anytime soon, but that doesn't mean I don't want it to. Maybe Valve can give OpenGL a shot in the arm.

During the Q&A at the talk I went to, someone asked about a Steam Linux distro, and Gabe said it's something he's definitely interested in. No concrete plans, but it's definitely on the radar.

#33 Edited by iam3green (14390 posts) -

sounds like a small thing. something they didnt' need the people there anymore.

#34 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3758 posts) -

Probably not a big thing. I also hardly give a fuck about Valve as a game developer at this point so I don't care.

#35 Edited by bvilleneuve (265 posts) -

I think people are just so used to hearing nothing but good news from Valve that they forgot that it's still a business.

I'm not even trying to subtly talk shit about Valve. They're an amazing business. They're one of my favorite businesses. But they're still a business, and not a charity. You can't always make decisions that everybody loves.

#36 Posted by bvilleneuve (265 posts) -

I think people are just so used to hearing nothing but good news from Valve that they forgot that it's still a business.

I'm not even trying to subtly talk shit about Valve. They're an amazing business. They're one of my favorite businesses. But they're still a business, and not a charity. You can't always make decisions that everybody loves.

#37 Edited by Laiv162560asse (487 posts) -

According to Gabe's talks at the LBJ School, University of Texas, Valve actually have an aggressive firing policy. This is, apparently, necessitated by their flat management structure which places a lot of individual responsibility on employees to be productive and act with initiative. That's not to suggest that these people were unproductive or lacking in initiative - simply that these kind of small scale layoffs probably aren't uncharacteristic of the way Valve does business, given Gabe's methodology. "Nobody has ever been fired at Valve for making a mistake" still leaves a lot of other reasons for people to be fired, many unrelated to the wider fortunes of the company.

EDIT: here's one talk -

25:56 - "You have to be really aggressive about firing people."

#38 Posted by Demoskinos (14583 posts) -

Well, first time for everything and all of that.

#39 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19308 posts) -
#40 Edited by WasabiCurry (422 posts) -
#41 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

I'm not convinced this isn't an ARG for the HL3 launch.

#42 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

#43 Posted by JasonR86 (9611 posts) -

Sometimes people get fired. I don't think there's a ton to read into it.

#44 Posted by DillonWerner (1526 posts) -

For sure this is sad to hear, especially since the economy in the US isn't fantastic right now.

I hope Valve has everything under control, but more importantly, I hope those families will be alright

#45 Edited by TyCobb (1945 posts) -

I'd like to point out that firings and layoffs are completely different. These people were laid off, not fired. People like to use the terms interchangeably, but they are completely different and one will screw you over. Can you guess which one?

It sounds like they just got rid of a department that was no longer needed. Companies do this all the time. Granted most will try to shift people over to another department, but if it the department is big enough then there's nothing that can really be done. Just because it is Valve, it doesn't mean they don't need to kill some of the payroll now and then.

#46 Edited by rflx (573 posts) -

Valve has an Android department?

#48 Edited by Chaoskiller2000 (306 posts) -

Maybe they should actually make a game?

#49 Edited by Miketakon (513 posts) -

I think Valve is going through a transition and these people didn't fit in with that.

#50 Posted by turbomonkey138 (4950 posts) -

Man they should probably release a new game sometime