Valve has confirmed that 13 full time employees were laid off at Valve last month, and a number of contractors were let go at the same time. The exact nature of those layoffs are undisclosed, but many of those affected seem to be from the company’s VR and hardware division. Valve was working on new VR hardware as recently as last year, though much of that work wasn’t presented to the public.
“Last month,” Valve says in a statement to UploadVR, “13 full time employees were let go and a portion of our contractor agreements were terminated. 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.”
Nat Brown recently tweeted that he was no longer on Valve’s VR project, as of February 7. Other Valve employees have been removed from the company’s personnel page over the past month, as UploadVR notes, and those include people working on projects ranging from VR to the Steam Controller.
As a private company, Valve isn’t subject to the same sort of investor scrutiny as many of the industry’s biggest publishers, so we’re not privy to the types of press releases that accompany news like the recent Activision layoffs.
There were relatively recent rumours about a Half-Life prequel coming alongside a Valve-branded VR headset, though we never got any substantial idea of what that project might look like.
If Valve is moving away from VR, that might fit with its recently-stated focus on “making games again,” though it’s not as if Artifact player counts are setting the world ablaze. Whatever these layoffs represent for the company, we wish the best for all the employees affected.