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Valve Engineer Fired

Valve has fired Jeri Ellsworth, an engineer working on their hardware ambitions, reports Ellsworth, tweeting: "Yup. Got fired today. Time for new exciting projects." In September she told Engadget her team was working on Steam's assault on the living room, and spoke of their hopes of getting prototype Steam hardware into gamer's hands this year. This seems noteworthy as we don't recall hearing of any previous firings at Valve, where the management structure is famously unstructured. Thanks GamesIndustry International.

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27. Re: Valve Engineer Fired Feb 14, 2013, 09:20 eRe4s3r
 
It would explain why Valve gets nothing ever done in a timely manner, I mean we have the mocking of "valve time" for a reason and this type of corporate culture most definitely is not conductive to "getting shit done" someone has to take responsibility for the direction a company takes. If nobody does that.. well it explains why Steam is evolving to damned slowly....  
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26. Re: Valve Engineer Fired Feb 13, 2013, 20:59 Sepharo
 
xXBatmanXx wrote on Feb 13, 2013, 20:27:
Dev wrote on Feb 13, 2013, 18:04:
Beelzebud wrote on Feb 13, 2013, 17:54:
Yeah imagine that. They want people to work with others. So communistic!

It's amazing how people are. Valve releases L4D2 and people flip out accusing them of pushing titles out. They hold back on continuing HL until they have something great, and people whine because they don't release enough.

Meanwhile in past decade they've revolutionized how we buy games, have released around 10 games, and back-ported everything they've made to Mac and Linux.

Get some perspective FFS.
There's a difference between releasing a game once every 7+ years, and releasing a sequel in ONE YEAR. And not only did they push it out, but they broke numerous promises to L4D1 buyers about additional content and support.

You forgot to mention revitalizing the indie industry.

One can acknowledge valve's contributions to PC gaming, and enjoy playing games on steam, but have some valid criticisms at the same time. Imagine that.

Other than the frequent annual sales, prices have remained at 60.00 per new game....retail OR direct - which is a scam.

I'd say they've made deep and frequent discounts more popular than they were but they haven't affected MSRP, I don't think they're really capable of that.
 
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25. Re: Valve Engineer Fired Feb 13, 2013, 20:27 xXBatmanXx
 
Dev wrote on Feb 13, 2013, 18:04:
Beelzebud wrote on Feb 13, 2013, 17:54:
Yeah imagine that. They want people to work with others. So communistic!

It's amazing how people are. Valve releases L4D2 and people flip out accusing them of pushing titles out. They hold back on continuing HL until they have something great, and people whine because they don't release enough.

Meanwhile in past decade they've revolutionized how we buy games, have released around 10 games, and back-ported everything they've made to Mac and Linux.

Get some perspective FFS.
There's a difference between releasing a game once every 7+ years, and releasing a sequel in ONE YEAR. And not only did they push it out, but they broke numerous promises to L4D1 buyers about additional content and support.

You forgot to mention revitalizing the indie industry.

One can acknowledge valve's contributions to PC gaming, and enjoy playing games on steam, but have some valid criticisms at the same time. Imagine that.

Other than the frequent annual sales, prices have remained at 60.00 per new game....retail OR direct - which is a scam.
 
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In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. / Few men have virtue enough to withstand the highest bidder.
Playing: New dad
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24. Re: Valve Engineer Fired Feb 13, 2013, 18:04 Dev
 
Beelzebud wrote on Feb 13, 2013, 17:54:
Yeah imagine that. They want people to work with others. So communistic!

It's amazing how people are. Valve releases L4D2 and people flip out accusing them of pushing titles out. They hold back on continuing HL until they have something great, and people whine because they don't release enough.

Meanwhile in past decade they've revolutionized how we buy games, have released around 10 games, and back-ported everything they've made to Mac and Linux.

Get some perspective FFS.
There's a difference between releasing a game once every 7+ years, and releasing a sequel in ONE YEAR. And not only did they push it out, but they broke numerous promises to L4D1 buyers about additional content and support.

You forgot to mention revitalizing the indie industry.

One can acknowledge valve's contributions to PC gaming, and enjoy playing games on steam, but have some valid criticisms at the same time. Imagine that.
 
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23. Re: Valve Engineer Fired Feb 13, 2013, 17:59 Dev
 
What with Gabe's "obsession" over employee health (mental as well as physical), I'm surprised they've fired anyone at all, let alone that big of a chunk (up to 25 ppl? thats close to 10% of the company).

It does sound like its related to hardware.

I think its best that they don't get into doing a "console" of their own (costs so much money to even enter the market. MS lost $3-$4 billion on xbox 1, and thats including all games and licensing).
But, selling a standard specced PC with steam pre-installed might be a good move. Not sure if it should contain linux or not... if it does it would be cheaper, but not nearly as many games. Another much cheaper (for valve) idea is to pick a minimum gaming spec and and put out a "Valve/Steam Certified" label that other companies could put on it. That way you know you get a computer that would be good for gaming. I doubt the big companies would go for it, but smaller ones that do gaming computers might.

This comment was edited on Feb 13, 2013, 18:06.
 
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22. Re: Valve Engineer Fired Feb 13, 2013, 17:54 Beelzebud
 
Yeah imagine that. They want people to work with others. So communistic!

It's amazing how people are. Valve releases L4D2 and people flip out accusing them of pushing titles out. They hold back on continuing HL until they have something great, and people whine because they don't release enough.

Meanwhile in past decade they've revolutionized how we buy games, have released around 10 games, and back-ported everything they've made to Mac and Linux.

Get some perspective FFS.
 
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21. Re: Valve Engineer Fired Feb 13, 2013, 17:37 RollinThundr
 
So basically Valve has no desire for driven individuals who don't go for the "hive mind pseudo commune" culture they seem to have. No wonder nothing over there ever gets done.  
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20. Re: Valve Engineer Fired Feb 13, 2013, 17:17 NewMaxx
 
Beamer wrote on Feb 13, 2013, 14:16:
Also, which of you is this:
Rob Bergstrom

13 Feb 2013 at 10:43 am PST
profile image
But, wait, it's a utopia where everyone works on what they want and is self-motivated and there aren't titles and hierarchies and blah, blah, blah, fired.

Watch the 92-minute recent interview and take a drink every time Gabe says productivity or similar. I guarantee anybody will black out before the halfway mark!

Also, check out his "bible," Peopleware. Don't get me wrong, it's not bad for a management book, but...it's a new age management book...reminds me of a Microsoft-Google baby.
 
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19. Re: Valve Engineer Fired Feb 13, 2013, 16:59 Cutter
 
Tom46 wrote on Feb 13, 2013, 14:04:
"Yea sounds very communistic"

My God! I can just see J. Edgar Hoover spinning in his grave!

Remember the employee handbook that was leaked awhile back? When I looked through that, for some reason, Jonestown and "Drinking the Koolaid" came to mind.

That could be it too. I've worked for one or two companies down through the years like that. I did not last long, nor did I want to anyway. The only thing creepier than companies like that are the people that actually enjoy working for them. *shudder*

Lol best quote from Gamasutra comments....


From the handbook: Gabe Newell is not your boss. No one is your boss. But of all the people who are not your boss Gabe is the most not your boss.

If this strikes you Orwellian, I doubt you are the only one.



 
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"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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18. Re: Valve Engineer Fired Feb 13, 2013, 16:23 Beamer
 
Jason Holtman is gone, too.

Surprising. I tried like mad to get time with him at GDC last year, and drew some interest from the guy acting as a gateway, but it was lukewarm and I just couldn't talk my way to 5 minutes with him.

It's what I gunned for hardest out there.
 
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17. Re: Valve Engineer Fired Feb 13, 2013, 14:57 mag
 
jdreyer wrote on Feb 13, 2013, 14:04:
Seems like as many as 25 people may have been let go from Valve this week.

"So how's the Steambox coming?"
"It's coming along great! We'll have to charge about $800/ea to break even..."
"Get out."
 
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16. Re: Valve Engineer Fired Feb 13, 2013, 14:21 NKD
 
Makes sense if they are rethinking their hardware approach. Valve can let software guys do whatever they want and shuffle them around, but without other hardware projects in the works, there's really nowhere for these employees to go internally, which leaves them in the bread line.  
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If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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15. Re: Valve Engineer Fired Feb 13, 2013, 14:16 Beamer
 
Also, which of you is this:
Rob Bergstrom

13 Feb 2013 at 10:43 am PST
profile image
But, wait, it's a utopia where everyone works on what they want and is self-motivated and there aren't titles and hierarchies and blah, blah, blah, fired.
 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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14. Re: Valve Engineer Fired Feb 13, 2013, 14:15 Beamer
 
jdreyer wrote on Feb 13, 2013, 14:04:
Seems like as many as 25 people may have been let go from Valve this week.

Well, clearly hardware got hit, and possible Android.


Given all the speculation and buzz from CES about a Valvebox, it seems unlikely that project was cut. My guess: they had been exploring several options, including Android and their own hardware, negotiations/discussions at CES gave them more clarity, and they made a decision that leads to no dedicated Valve hardware (which was basically already knew) including no dedicated controller, and not using Android as part of it. Prior to that they may have been investigating something more Ouya-ish.

Just a guess based upon the tiny shred of info we have.
 
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Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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13. Re: Valve Engineer Fired Feb 13, 2013, 14:04 jdreyer
 
Seems like as many as 25 people may have been let go from Valve this week.  
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12. Re: Valve Engineer Fired Feb 13, 2013, 14:04 Tom46
 
"Yea sounds very communistic"

My God! I can just see J. Edgar Hoover spinning in his grave!

Remember the employee handbook that was leaked awhile back? When I looked through that, for some reason, Jonestown and "Drinking the Koolaid" came to mind.
 
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11. Re: Valve Engineer Fired Feb 13, 2013, 13:18 Cutter
 
I'd lurve to know the nitty gritty here. I want to know the specifics because otherwise everyone is talking out their ass.
 
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"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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10. Re: Valve Engineer Fired Feb 13, 2013, 11:28 Orphic Resonance
 
STOP THE PRESSES!  
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9. Re: Valve Engineer Fired Feb 13, 2013, 11:05 Verno
 
She got fired so there is definitely some oversight and structure  
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Watching: Midsomer Murders, Dominion, The Knick
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8. Re: Valve Engineer Fired Feb 13, 2013, 11:01 Parallax Abstraction
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Feb 13, 2013, 10:26:
Parallax Abstraction wrote on Feb 13, 2013, 10:03:
I could see Ellsworth not meshing well with their culture either. I followed her off and on for quite a while before she joined Valve. She's immensely talented and a brilliant woman but she's very independent and most of her best projects are things she did by herself. I wonder if the type of collaborative culture Valve is built around just didn't suit the way she works.
I thought Valve was a "do want you want, we have no managers" environment. That's how/why we got Portal 2, right? Am I mistaken? Seems like the woman you are describing would thrive in that environment.

They do have that environment but everything is very team driven and from what I've read, lone wolves don't tend to do very well there. You can do whatever you want but it has to be a team effort.
 
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