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Valve lays off 13 employees, including several who were working on VR hardware

By midian182 · 7 replies
Mar 8, 2019
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  1. UploadVR found a page on Valve’s website that listed current employees was missing nine workers who were present at the end of January. Several of these individuals have used social media to reveal they no longer work for the company.

    Nat Brown, who had been instrumental in Steam supporting external GPUs, said he stopped working at Valve on February 7. Another ex-worker, Rob Rydberg, who worked on virtual reality, used LinkedIn to reveal he’d also left in February. At least four of the employees who were let go came from Valve's hardware engineering team, working on products such as Valve’s own VR headset and the Steam Controller.

    While there have been job losses at other companies that specialize in VR, Valve says the layoffs do not mean it is cutting back on its virtual reality projects.

    "Last month, 13 full time employees were let go and a portion of our contractor agreements were terminated," a spokesperson said. "It's an unfortunate part of business, but does not represent any major changes at the company. We thank those affected for their contribution and wish them well in future endeavors."

    In February, Activision said it was laying off 775 people, or about 8 percent of its workforce, while EA revealed it is letting go of staff at its FireMonkeys studio in Australia. Ironically, both firms’ bosses appeared on the recent top 100 most overpaid CEOs list.

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  2. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,234   +894

    Virtual Reality gear is dead.

    The cost to buy, the space required, the fact that a 50" TV can be purchased cheaper...

    All these things add up to show why VR - once again - isn't going anywhere fast.
     
  3. gamerdood

    gamerdood TS Member Posts: 16   +15

    Everyone saw GOG's layoff of 12 people as the end of GOG... is this the end of Steam? ;)
     
  4. fps4ever

    fps4ever TS Evangelist Posts: 304   +295

    Just give us HL3.
     
    Dimitrios likes this.
  5. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,377   +3,772

    I don't think it's dead, it was just marketed to the wrong crowd. It's got lots of great uses but for games, not so much. Looks like they were just looking for a quick killing to make up their O&M costs as well as turn a tidy profit. Time to go back to the old thinking caps!
     
  6. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,991   +3,476

    "It's an unfortunate part of business, but does not represent any major changes at the company. We thank those affected for their contribution and wish them well in future endeavors."

    Sounds to me like this was intended for the start.

    People have been predicting the fall of the PC for over a decade now and it's doing better then ever. Jumping the gun with statements like this put you in the same camp as those people.
     
    m4a4 likes this.
  7. IAMTHESTIG

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,717   +804

    I'm assuming you've not had much experience with VR gaming. The immersion level is way higher gaming in VR than it is even with a big monitor. The main thing that isn't helping it is the cost, combine that with very limited decent VR games. If a VR headset was less than $100 and the big FPS games like Call of Duty had proper support for it VR would have taken off.

    VR really is that much better for gaming, even FPS gaming. It is even better for seated gaming such as racing and flying simulators as it doesn't require extra space. A lot of racing and flight games for PC already support VR. But considering FPS games far outweigh racing and flying games in popularity, there hasn't been much help for VR.

    I too fear VR is dying, but there are plenty of games in development and people are still buying them so it might keep going for some time. I think if manufacturers can get the costs down considerably of their headsets that will be a big deal.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
  8. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,457   +1,033

    Eh, VR for gaming has mainly been it's best when it comes to arcade style games (not games that rely on a lot of movement). Something to play for a few hours here and there for fun.
    Pretty much everyone that I've demoed VR to has loved it, and would like to play more of it. But as someone who has the system, the space requirements and the bulky hardware is sometimes more work than spinning up a normal video game (or other media).

    Basically, it's something I'd recommend everyone try for a few hours (at a VR arcade), but not really something I'd encourage people to buy (...yet).

    Right now, the only system I'd even recommend buying (if you're so inclined) is the HTC Vive, but that's well over $1000 to get that hardware and a rig to run it. And mobile VR (VR lite) isn't really worth the investment comparatively.
     

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