Valve has quietly hired the team behind Kerbal Space Program

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

News that Chet Faliszek, the last remaining Half-Life writer still at Valve, had departed the company earlier this month left some questioning the firm’s commitment to traditional video game development. But it seems the studio could have an unknown project in the pipeline.

Speaking on the Game Dev Unchained podcast (via PCGamesN) former Valve environmental designer Roger Lundeen revealed that the company behind Half-Life 2 and Portal had hired the team at Squad, creators of the excellent Kerbal Space Program.

The acquisition of the team came five to six months ago, Lundeen noted. “[Valve] are still buying up mod teams,” he said. “There’s the group that made Kerbal Space [...] They gave that entire team jobs. Those guys were out of Mexico, I believe.”

While Lundeen does refer to Kerbal as a mod and not a game, he’s since clarified that he did mean the game itself. “Fortunately a listener posted a clarification that KSP is a stand-alone game built in Unity, not a mod,” Lundeen told PCGamesN writer Kirk McKeand. “I guess some members of that team are now at Valve, how many I don't know. I imagine KSP remains the IP and property of Squad, in Mexico City. So the devs, not a mod-team.”

The company has since confirmed the move to Eurogamer "I can confirm that they joined Valve a while back. More details soon," said a Valve spokesperson.

Exactly what Valve has the team working on is a mystery. There’s a good chance it could be a traditional game, but the acquisition might be related to the development of a VR title.

While the news may be good for Valve, it leaves the future of Kerbal Space Program, and any other games Squad was working on, in doubt.

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It would be really nice to see someone power-fun Kerbal Space Program 2.0 with some real devs, maybe on Unreal instead of Unity. The game has a lot going for it, nearly-accurate orbital dynamics (though they screwed up Pi and elliptical orbits in general) and pretty good aerodynamics (though they still don't accurately model lift on a wing). But once you get to the other planets and moons, there's not really much to do. "Science" points are cool but it would be great to have somewhere to go, something to do when you get there. Maybe like PlanetBase, but inside Kerbal?

Still, what an amazing game. Hoping to see something even better in the near future!