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.