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Swift Leaves Valve, Joins Airtight Games

Airtight Games announces that Kim Swift has departed Valve Corporation and joined the Dark Void developer as a project lead, saying "She will build and lead a team in the development of games aimed at a more diverse audience." At Valve Swift was team lead on Portal and also contributed to both Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2. "I've learned so much and had some amazing experiences at Valve," she says. "But when I heard I had the opportunity to work on innovative titles with my friends over at Airtight, I couldn't pass it up."

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18. Re: Swift Leaves Valve, Joins Airtight Games Dec 7, 2009, 22:41 Surf
 
We are all still ignoring the timing of this folks. I mean, Valve is able to weather the economic storm while so many other game companies are going under.

So her move seems odd to me. I bet she did do something or was told to look elsewhere or that she would be let go. Sometimes it just doesn't work out.

Anyways, my money is that she was nudged out for whatever reason. Seen it before many a time.
 
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17. Re: Swift Leaves Valve, Joins Airtight G Dec 7, 2009, 22:08 theyarecomingforyou
 
She isn't going there to work on Dark Void. Says she is getting to build and lead her own team and if I understand what they are saying, she also gets to create something new. Being a team lead to create a new IP is something that would be a hard offer for anyone to pass up on that opportunity.
I understood that, as Dark Void is only a month away from release. It's just that game is all the company has to show for itself, which isn't exactly a firm footing.
 
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16. Re: Swift Leaves Valve, Joins Airtight Games Dec 7, 2009, 21:34 Ruffiana
 
You know, not having actually worked at Valve, I have no idea whether or not it's a good place to work. Yes, they make good games, and at least some of the people there undoubtedly make quite a bit of coin. But I don't know who, how much, how many hours a week they end up working, how much creative freedom they have...especially the people who aren't senior level people with many years of veteran status.

For all we know, it's a sweatshop where they churn through college interns every 3 months. And everyone else is primarily paid with the privelage of being able to say they worked for Valve.

It wouldn't be the first big name developer to treat it's more junior employees like dirt.
 
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15. Re: Swift Leaves Valve, Joins Airtight Games Dec 7, 2009, 21:21 Riker
 
It's surprising anyone would leave Valve, especially after being given such a huge opportunity. On the other hand, working on a couple of Left 4 Dead games would turn me off pretty quick. I can see a bit of the appeal from multiplayer, but they're nowhere near as fun and innovative as Valve's previous titles... L4D2 in particular seems like an obvious cash-in on Valve's part. Good luck to her.  
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14. Re: Swift Leaves Valve, Joins Airtight Games Dec 7, 2009, 20:39 Ruffiana
 
Interestingly, I hung out and chatted with a fellow who was a personal fried of a co-worker at GDC a couple of years back who worked on Portal. He had nothing but bad things to say about Swift...namely that she was basking in the glory of other people's hard work without doing any herself.  
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13. Re: Swift Leaves Valve, Joins Airtight G Dec 7, 2009, 20:31 HoSpanky
 
Yeah, I just couldn't avoid the chance to say she liked the new studio name better.

http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1924385

ten seconds in and it'll all make sense.
 
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12. Re: Swift Leaves Valve, Joins Airtight G Dec 7, 2009, 19:49 Krovven
 
Dark Void looks crap, so I don't really understanding the thinking behind the move.

She isn't going there to work on Dark Void. Says she is getting to build and lead her own team and if I understand what they are saying, she also gets to create something new. Being a team lead to create a new IP is something that would be a hard offer for anyone to pass up on that opportunity.

 
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11. Re: Swift Leaves Valve, Joins Airtight G Dec 7, 2009, 18:55 Beamer
 
Gooseman is another notable name to leave Valve.

She says she left for a more diverse audience. Makes some sense. Valve has a pretty defined audience. Kim didn't come from a shooter background, maybe it's safe to say it's just not her passion.
 
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10. Re: Swift Leaves Valve, Joins Airtight G Dec 7, 2009, 18:27 theyarecomingforyou
 
Dark Void looks crap, so I don't really understanding the thinking behind the move.

That said, is Valve even developing games anymore? We've had The Orange Box, Left 4 Dead (which they bought into) and it's sequel (which was originally just DLC). And The Orange Box consisted of Ep2, Portal (which they bought out) and TF2 (which was in development for 9 years). We haven't even had an announcement about Episode 3, so we're looking at mid-to-late 2010 - three years after the previous episode. I think the only reason they haven't scrapped their game development studio(s) is because they want them to prop up Steam, which is already a hugely success entity in its own right.
 
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9. Re: Swift Leaves Valve, Joins Airtight Games Dec 7, 2009, 18:16 CJ_Parker
 
Who gives a fuck? All I care about is: Is she cute and does she have phat b00bs?!?

Come on, guys. You need to focus on what's important in life. Seriously.

 
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8. Re: Swift Leaves Valve, Joins Airtight Games Dec 7, 2009, 18:16 CJ_Parker
 
oopsie 2x post cuz of ubah LAAAAAGGG

This comment was edited on Dec 7, 2009, 18:18.
 
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7. Re: Swift Leaves Valve, Joins Airtight Games Dec 7, 2009, 17:54 wtf_man
 
Valve has made a ton of money the past few years. With no news of an expansion in their studio department, one has to wonder what the hell is going on.

Do you have any idea of what it costs to feed Gabe?

Sorry... couldn't resist that. Since I'm not much of a fan of their games other than the first Half-Life, I don't feel too guilty about poking some fun in their direction.
 
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6. Re: Swift Leaves Valve, Joins Airtight Games Dec 7, 2009, 17:52 Wallshadows
 
Daikantana 2.  
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It says on your chart that you're fucked up. Ah, you talk like a fag, and your shit's all retarded.
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5. Re: Swift Leaves Valve, Joins Airtight Games Dec 7, 2009, 17:47 The Raven
 
I do not recall anyone else ever leaving Valve. I suspect that Kim either has a philisophical disagreement with the company, or more likely, a personal problem. Say, a work relationship that went sour, or a need to move to a new town for other reasons.

Or, it could be that she's simply young, and does not realize how awesome Valve is compared to other companies. If she was one of the original college students who created the prototype for Portal, then Valve was her first workplace. She may not realize how rarely lightning strikes.

Regardless, I'm hopeful that she finds success at her new job.
 
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4. Re: Swift Leaves Valve, Joins Airtight Games Dec 7, 2009, 17:19 Jedi Master
 
After this long delay I'm beginning to wonder if Ep 3 will instead turn into HL3...  
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3. Re: Swift Leaves Valve, Joins Airtight Games Dec 7, 2009, 17:15 FLY
 
Ehh who knows? People come and go in the gaming business. They're contractors for the most part. Or MAYBE it has something to do with profit sharing. Valve has made a ton of money the past few years. With no news of an expansion in their studio department, one has to wonder what the hell is going on.

Valve's gotta get going on the new games or i sense the high road for others as well. This 1-2 games a year biz has gotta change. Where's Half Life: Episode 3? Where's Portal 2? Where's the fix for the servers? How about a new revamped HL2DM game which combines L4D and HL2? We've been patient Valve common. Speaking of Episode 3, i hope it has 4 player coop.

This comment was edited on Dec 7, 2009, 17:20.
 
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2. Re: Swift Leaves Valve, Joins Airtight Games Dec 7, 2009, 17:00 Surf
 
Ya, that is insane in this day and age. Must stick with stable companies with great track records rather than fly by nights, especially in the gaming sector.

Shock indeed.
 
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1. Re: Swift Leaves Valve, Joins Airtight Games Dec 7, 2009, 16:55 nin
 
Left Valve???

Wow...

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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