Valve co-founder Gabe Newell publically addresses layoffs

By on February 14, 2013, 8:30 AM

Yesterday brought rumors that Valve may be preparing extensive staff cuts after the company fired Jeri Ellsworth the day before. One site said they confirmed that several employees had been let go – as many as 25 – in what was described as a “great cleansing” as the company dealt with “large decisions.”

In an uncharacteristic move, Valve co-founder Gabe Newell addressed the issue via statement to Engadget later in the day. He said there seems to be an unusual amount of speculation about some recent changes so he thought he would take a minute to address them.

Newell said Valve isn’t canceling any projects and they aren’t changing any priorities or projects they have been discussing. Furthermore, he said this isn’t about Steam or Linux or hardware or any particular game. He concluded by saying he wouldn’t discuss why anyone was or was not working at Valve.

Early on, Gamasutra believed Valve might be laying people off in the Android and hardware development departments. After all, Ellsworth was working on prototype game controllers for the Steam Box when she was let go. But given Newell’s comments, that doesn’t really sound likely and considering the fact that Valve is a private company with a ton of cash, it’s anyone’s guess as to why pink slips were handed out.

The Verge noted that several game artists as well as the company’s director of business development Jason Holtman are no longer listed on Valve’s staff page.




User Comments: 14

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ghasmanjr ghasmanjr said:

It's never a bad thing to lay people off and get fresh talent in the company. It increases innovation. I just wish other companies did this... *coughEAcough*.

If the reason wasn't publicly released, something really bad must have happened such as the group was caught collecting screenshots for Half Life 3 (which will never be released)

Guest said:

^^ if want fresh talent by laying off current workforce then gabe need to fire himself first.

1 person liked this | Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

^^ if want fresh talent by laying off current workforce then gabe need to fire himself first.

I like the way these gaming big knob's pander to the gaming public by always saying "gamers come first". Yeah, right... Money comes first, the rest is just lip service.

spencer spencer said:

If It was gamers first then the pc would have exceptional ports and support linux and utilize computers to their full extent

Buster Keaton Buster Keaton said:

^^ if want fresh talent by laying off current workforce then gabe need to fire himself first.

I like the way these gaming big knob's pander to the gaming public by always saying "gamers come first". Yeah, right... Money comes first, the rest is just lip service.

You have it backwards. When a company takes good care of it's customers, they don't have to worry about money. It will come.

howzz1854 said:

Sounds like politics related. usually when you see this kind of so called "great cleansing" is either because a group of employees broke company policy, or regime change. since the regime hasn't changed, it only leaves one guess, that those guys collaboratively broke the company policy. but by doing what is anyone's guess.

I work in the HR.

texrat texrat said:

^^ if want fresh talent by laying off current workforce then gabe need to fire himself first.

I like the way these gaming big knob's pander to the gaming public by always saying "gamers come first". Yeah, right... Money comes first, the rest is just lip service.

You have it backwards. When a company takes good care of it's customers, they don't have to worry about money. It will come.

You're missing the obvious sarcasm in his post.

texrat texrat said:

It's never a bad thing to lay people off and get fresh talent in the company. It increases innovation. I just wish other companies did this... *coughEAcough*.

If the reason wasn't publicly released, something really bad must have happened such as the group was caught collecting screenshots for Half Life 3 (which will never be released)

On a serious note, the roles of released people LOOKS like the traditional exodus of staffers wanting to start a competing business. Of course Valve says differently, but it does make me wonder...

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

You're missing the obvious sarcasm in his post.

Sarcasm notwithstanding I really have no gripes with Steam probably because I've had very little dealing with them. I've only registered my Steam games & downloaded patches.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

^^ if want fresh talent by laying off current workforce then gabe need to fire himself first.

I like the way these gaming big knob's pander to the gaming public by always saying "gamers come first". Yeah, right... Money comes first, the rest is just lip service.

Sorry but having a job at a company isn't a right. Stop treating it like it is.

ikesmasher said:

Im trying to figure out how gabe newell has hindered the PC gaming industry in any way as the above people have implied.

Lurker101 said:

Or, Valve could stop pissing away money on a guaranteed to be horrendous, straight to DVD, straight to bargain bin movie and use the staff they're planning to get rid of to make a new Half Life or Portal game which will soak up money like a sponge.

Emexrulsier said:

It was probably a bunch of devs etc who were working together to steal and sell insider knowledge?

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I doubt whether it's quite so clandestine. The reasons are only known to themselves and they're not talking at the moment.

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