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More Valve Layoffs

Gamasutra expands upon the story of Valve's firing of engineer Jeri Ellsworth with the report that as many as 25 staff were fired by the developer yesterday. Details are scarce, though after contact with some of those involved, they say: "the impression we get is that these cuts were driven more by company challenges than by individual performance issues." They also have a speculative list of those who may have been let go by comparing the company's employee directory to a cached version from last month. Following up, Engadget has a statement about this from Valve Managing Director Gabe Newell:

"We don't usually talk about personnel matters for a number of reasons. There seems to be an unusual amount of speculation about some recent changes here, so I thought I'd take the unusual step of addressing them. No, we aren't canceling any projects. No, we aren't changing any priorities or projects we've been discussing. No, this isn't about Steam or Linux or hardware or [insert game name here]. We're not going to discuss why anyone in particular is or isn't working here."

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53 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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53. Re: More Valve Layoffs Feb 19, 2013, 07:28 Beamer
 
Loose Cannon wrote on Feb 15, 2013, 12:51:
I realize that no one will probably read this, but I wrote a program to use the Way Back Machine (archive.org) to look at the employee directory. According to it:

Total Hires: 143
Total Fires: 35
Hires By Date:
04/14/2010 - 102
06/21/2010 - 1
07/22/2010 - 2
08/08/2010 - 1
08/11/2010 - 1
03/24/2011 - 1
05/13/2011 - 3
09/02/2011 - 1
09/05/2011 - 5
09/25/2011 - 12
10/07/2011 - 1
10/12/2011 - 2
10/24/2011 - 1
03/29/2012 - 1
06/25/2012 - 1
07/28/2012 - 1
09/19/2012 - 4
01/13/2013 - 2
02/15/2013 - 1
Fires By Date:
06/21/2010 - 3
09/04/2010 - 2
03/24/2011 - 1
06/15/2011 - 2
09/02/2011 - 1
09/25/2011 - 1
03/17/2012 - 4
06/25/2012 - 5
09/19/2012 - 4
01/13/2013 - 3
02/15/2013 - 9

These figures point to the layoffs not being that substantial (of course that assumes that the employee directory is accurate, which it probably isn't). If anyone is interested, I have a list of the 143 people that have been in the employee directory at some point and their hire/fire dates (Way Back Machine started crawling the site 4/14/2010, when the page had 102 people on it).

Valve had 400 employees. I don't know how they determine who goes on their People page, but it isn't even half their employees. Hell, they said 25 or 26 were laid off, but only what, 12 of them were on that page?

They announced in September they were around the 400 mark, give or take.
 
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52. Re: More Valve Layoffs Feb 19, 2013, 03:15 Dev
 
Loose Cannon wrote on Feb 15, 2013, 12:51:
I realize that no one will probably read this, but I wrote a program to use the Way Back Machine (archive.org) to look at the employee directory. According to it:

Total Hires: 143
Total Fires: 35
[...]

These figures point to the layoffs not being that substantial (of course that assumes that the employee directory is accurate, which it probably isn't). If anyone is interested, I have a list of the 143 people that have been in the employee directory at some point and their hire/fire dates (Way Back Machine started crawling the site 4/14/2010, when the page had 102 people on it).
No one at all read it sorry.

Actually, I'm interested in the proportion of the recent firings to the total firings. Its definitely not accurate since valve has had at least 200 employees at one point. Also, you list any absences as firings when there's like to be just as many (or more) people voluntarily taking a different job. But it will at least give a feel for how significant this is. From your list, the figure of 9 confirmed firings out of 35 total confirmed (well departures at any rate). So that's pretty significant, its also the biggest single loss since the archive started tracking it.
 
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51. Re: More Valve Layoffs Feb 15, 2013, 12:51 Loose Cannon
 
I realize that no one will probably read this, but I wrote a program to use the Way Back Machine (archive.org) to look at the employee directory. According to it:

Total Hires: 143
Total Fires: 35
Hires By Date:
04/14/2010 - 102
06/21/2010 - 1
07/22/2010 - 2
08/08/2010 - 1
08/11/2010 - 1
03/24/2011 - 1
05/13/2011 - 3
09/02/2011 - 1
09/05/2011 - 5
09/25/2011 - 12
10/07/2011 - 1
10/12/2011 - 2
10/24/2011 - 1
03/29/2012 - 1
06/25/2012 - 1
07/28/2012 - 1
09/19/2012 - 4
01/13/2013 - 2
02/15/2013 - 1
Fires By Date:
06/21/2010 - 3
09/04/2010 - 2
03/24/2011 - 1
06/15/2011 - 2
09/02/2011 - 1
09/25/2011 - 1
03/17/2012 - 4
06/25/2012 - 5
09/19/2012 - 4
01/13/2013 - 3
02/15/2013 - 9

These figures point to the layoffs not being that substantial (of course that assumes that the employee directory is accurate, which it probably isn't). If anyone is interested, I have a list of the 143 people that have been in the employee directory at some point and their hire/fire dates (Way Back Machine started crawling the site 4/14/2010, when the page had 102 people on it).
 
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50. Re: More Valve Layoffs Feb 15, 2013, 12:19 ASeven
 
Verno wrote on Feb 15, 2013, 09:17:
Just put each other on ignore already, sheesh. I realized nothing productive would ever come out of discussions with Beamer so I put him on ignore a year ago and life is probably much happier for both of us and the rest of the forum. At this point it's more personal than topical so it's just pointless noise.

I personally never put anyone on the killfile because I believe in hearing every opinion, no matter how idiotic it might be. Then again, it's a personal thing I do and the advantages of using killfiles are becoming more and more attracting to me.
 
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49. Re: More Valve Layoffs Feb 15, 2013, 09:17 Verno
 
Just put each other on ignore already, sheesh. I realized nothing productive would ever come out of discussions with Beamer so I put him on ignore a year ago and life is probably much happier for both of us and the rest of the forum. At this point it's more personal than topical so it's just pointless noise.  
Avatar 51617
 
Playing: Gauntlet, Dark Souls 2, Wasteland 2
Watching: Intruders, 24 Live Another Day, The Signal
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48. Re: More Valve Layoffs Feb 15, 2013, 08:25 ASeven
 
Beamer wrote on Feb 15, 2013, 07:39:
You're as dumb as RollinThundr.

You: They're crashing
Me: They're not crashing
You: Oh yeah, it's the golden years!
Me: I never said they're the golden years.


There is middle ground between "crashing" and "golden years." You realize that, right?

Also, you ass, I'm pretty sure that no matter what people here think of me, they'd admit I tend to be pretty good with business management abd basic finances. You, on the other hand, have never once proven this. You've never joined in with the basic economics when we discuss a business plan here. You never join into any true business speculation. All you ever do is say "OMG, they're going to go out of business."

You've claimed to be an analyst, but there's zero chance that's true. Zero. Again, you don't join into any of the business plan discussion.

Lastly, Josh? You mean... Jason? And again, YOU CAN'T JUST TRANSFER PEOPLE TO DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS! Some people are hardware people. Some people are Android people. When you cease doing hardware or Android work, typically they don't want to switch. Fuck, men, just fuck. You're like RollinThundr. Especially because switching them means taking them to an area they do not have as much ability to contribute, but paying them as if they did.

This is the real world. You can't just take someone expensive and move them to an area that they can't carry their weight. And, typically, when someone is at the top of their area, as people need to be to get into Valve, they aren't happy moving somewhere else and being at the bottom.

These people have Valve on their resume. They will be able to find excellent jobs quickly.

Man, it's crazy that you tell me I have no business sense. That's like Tara Reid telling me I have no sense of modesty.

For someone who chastised me in the last reply about "Go back to school and understand being made fun of" you sure went full mental with me making fun and being cynical about a golden age. Then you keep on blabbering about me being an analyst or not, which whether you like it or not I am, and go on being mental about you having business sense.

Ah well, what can I say? The above is enough to show that not only you really have no idea about what you talk about most of the time, I truly enjoy how you go all foaming in the mouth to desperately try and make me something I am not.

And if you actually knew what you were talking about you would know that most people working on Valve have a lot of skills and talents and are able to be transfered to other departments far more easily within Valve than in other companies. You only have to check a few resumes about them to see that what I say is true. They have the ability to work on other departments, if they weren't moved then that's a case of a management decision.

Ah well. BTW I'm a damn fine Financial Analyst who called THQ going down 3 years ago while you were foaming in the mouth about publishers and if you don't like it, well,

http://i.imgur.com/VDHCvq0.gif
 
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47. Re: More Valve Layoffs Feb 15, 2013, 07:39 Beamer
 
ASeven wrote on Feb 14, 2013, 17:21:
Beamer wrote on Feb 14, 2013, 14:41:
Yes, I'm mocking you. You've been trumpeting the industry collapse for like 3 years.
So I'm mocking "very wrong." It's very early to say this is a sign of things being "very wrong." We know Valve is valued at over a billion dollars. If they actually accepted a buyout, especially at less than that, things would be "very wrong."

Go back to school and understand being made fun of. Well, my guess is that happened to you plenty at school, so you probably do understand.

But my point was that it's so ridiculously premature to sit here and say "clearly something is very wrong." It isn't clear at all. In fact, there's plenty of discussion in this very thread about how it may not imply things being even kind of wrong, let alone very wrong.


Tell me, though, what the hell am I apologizing for that you call me an apologist? Especially weird that you call me a corporate apologist and backing you is RollinThundr, who calls me a bleeding heart liberal. Those two are diametrically opposite, so you two should get some kind of conference and decide which I am.

Because you are a god damn publisher apologist. That you aren't aware of that is either sad or laughable, likely both.

As for the crash, I mean, sales have been rising for the past 3 years and no publishers have closed or their stocks crashed, am I right?!

Christ, you're as dumb as you're an apologist if you still can say that there won't be a crash, especially now. Just a few days ago Codemasters effectively ceased to exist as a publisher, becoming a dev house only. Nintendo, MS and Sony are in dire financial straits with MS losing money like hell due to their console department. Nintendo expects lower than expected WiiU sales as the demand for it is sinking fast. Demand for the next-gen consoles isn't as high as people expected it would be.

Yeah, this industry is headed for a golden age, for sure.

And as others pointed out, since you have no grasp of business management or basic finances, with the sort of workforce Valve employs being talented in multiple areas that they could be easily transfered to other departments and with Josh being fired, the same guy that also made Big Picture, Steam Mobile, came up with Daily Sales and a lot of promotions that brought Valve a lot of money, yeah, something is not quite right at Valve, a blind man can see it, but then again, you go beyond blind and become dumb of mind on purpose sometimes.

Get some common sense and some intelligence and then you'll probably be taken a bit more serious around here.

You're as dumb as RollinThundr.

You: They're crashing
Me: They're not crashing
You: Oh yeah, it's the golden years!
Me: I never said they're the golden years.


There is middle ground between "crashing" and "golden years." You realize that, right?

Also, you ass, I'm pretty sure that no matter what people here think of me, they'd admit I tend to be pretty good with business management abd basic finances. You, on the other hand, have never once proven this. You've never joined in with the basic economics when we discuss a business plan here. You never join into any true business speculation. All you ever do is say "OMG, they're going to go out of business."

You've claimed to be an analyst, but there's zero chance that's true. Zero. Again, you don't join into any of the business plan discussion.

Lastly, Josh? You mean... Jason? And again, YOU CAN'T JUST TRANSFER PEOPLE TO DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS! Some people are hardware people. Some people are Android people. When you cease doing hardware or Android work, typically they don't want to switch. Fuck, men, just fuck. You're like RollinThundr. Especially because switching them means taking them to an area they do not have as much ability to contribute, but paying them as if they did.

This is the real world. You can't just take someone expensive and move them to an area that they can't carry their weight. And, typically, when someone is at the top of their area, as people need to be to get into Valve, they aren't happy moving somewhere else and being at the bottom.

These people have Valve on their resume. They will be able to find excellent jobs quickly.

Man, it's crazy that you tell me I have no business sense. That's like Tara Reid telling me I have no sense of modesty.
 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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46. Re: More Valve Layoffs Feb 15, 2013, 02:30 .Drifter
 
I find it semi amusing that these layoffs are being put in terms of why a normal company would lay this many people off at once, when valve is run like no normal company I know or have worked for.  
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45. Re: More Valve Layoffs Feb 14, 2013, 20:52 Sepharo
 
I think it just means that Gabe decided to dad-up and finally get rid of some folks who were hanging around not contributing much. My guess is that with their management structure it makes it awkward to get rid of people so that list was just filling up.

Steam sales -> we have greenlight and want a self-publishing API
Hardware -> we picked up too many of you guys and it turns out we're probably not going to be making hardware
Everyone else -> culture clashes / not contributing

And like I said earlier I doubt these people were let go without some significant help. I'd bet they even knew ahead of time.
 
Avatar 17249
 
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44. Re: More Valve Layoffs Feb 14, 2013, 20:01 Kosumo
 
ASeven wrote on Feb 14, 2013, 17:21:
Get some common sense and some intelligence and then you'll probably be taken a bit more serious around here.

I'm all for less take people seriously around here! Totally, it's true, I'm serious!
 
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43. Re: More Valve Layoffs Feb 14, 2013, 17:21 ASeven
 
Beamer wrote on Feb 14, 2013, 14:41:
Yes, I'm mocking you. You've been trumpeting the industry collapse for like 3 years.
So I'm mocking "very wrong." It's very early to say this is a sign of things being "very wrong." We know Valve is valued at over a billion dollars. If they actually accepted a buyout, especially at less than that, things would be "very wrong."

Go back to school and understand being made fun of. Well, my guess is that happened to you plenty at school, so you probably do understand.

But my point was that it's so ridiculously premature to sit here and say "clearly something is very wrong." It isn't clear at all. In fact, there's plenty of discussion in this very thread about how it may not imply things being even kind of wrong, let alone very wrong.


Tell me, though, what the hell am I apologizing for that you call me an apologist? Especially weird that you call me a corporate apologist and backing you is RollinThundr, who calls me a bleeding heart liberal. Those two are diametrically opposite, so you two should get some kind of conference and decide which I am.

Because you are a god damn publisher apologist. That you aren't aware of that is either sad or laughable, likely both.

As for the crash, I mean, sales have been rising for the past 3 years and no publishers have closed or their stocks crashed, am I right?!

Christ, you're as dumb as you're an apologist if you still can say that there won't be a crash, especially now. Just a few days ago Codemasters effectively ceased to exist as a publisher, becoming a dev house only. Nintendo, MS and Sony are in dire financial straits with MS losing money like hell due to their console department. Nintendo expects lower than expected WiiU sales as the demand for it is sinking fast. Demand for the next-gen consoles isn't as high as people expected it would be.

Yeah, this industry is headed for a golden age, for sure.

And as others pointed out, since you have no grasp of business management or basic finances, with the sort of workforce Valve employs being talented in multiple areas that they could be easily transfered to other departments and with Josh being fired, the same guy that also made Big Picture, Steam Mobile, came up with Daily Sales and a lot of promotions that brought Valve a lot of money, yeah, something is not quite right at Valve, a blind man can see it, but then again, you go beyond blind and become dumb of mind on purpose sometimes.

Get some common sense and some intelligence and then you'll probably be taken a bit more serious around here.
 
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42. Re: More Valve Layoffs Feb 14, 2013, 17:11 Beamer
 
RollinThundr wrote on Feb 14, 2013, 16:30:
Beamer wrote on Feb 14, 2013, 14:41:
ASeven wrote on Feb 14, 2013, 09:48:
Beamer wrote on Feb 14, 2013, 09:17:
Captain negative. Companies never let people go unless something is wrong!

For one, Jason wasn't the head of steam, he was the head of business development. Yes, this put Steam deals on his plate. It also put engine licensing on his plate.
If you're looking for an issue, Steam isn't signing companies up very quickly these days. They're somewhat saturated, and larger companies are trending towards leaving and opening their own store.
Then there was the WarZ failure.
And how successful has engine licensing been?

There are reasons you can find other than "OMG VALVE IS FALLING APART!"

Captain apologist. Go back to basic school and learn how to read!

I said something is very wrong, I didn't say Valve is falling apart. Go back to basic school and learn to read a message before you reply to it.

And yes, there's a lot of reasons for Jason to be fired, still news of firing at Valve are relatively unheard of. There may be something wrong at Valve, there may be not, however Valve is far from falling apart.

Yes, I'm mocking you. You've been trumpeting the industry collapse for like 3 years.
So I'm mocking "very wrong." It's very early to say this is a sign of things being "very wrong." We know Valve is valued at over a billion dollars. If they actually accepted a buyout, especially at less than that, things would be "very wrong."

Go back to school and understand being made fun of. Well, my guess is that happened to you plenty at school, so you probably do understand.

But my point was that it's so ridiculously premature to sit here and say "clearly something is very wrong." It isn't clear at all. In fact, there's plenty of discussion in this very thread about how it may not imply things being even kind of wrong, let alone very wrong.


Tell me, though, what the hell am I apologizing for that you call me an apologist? Especially weird that you call me a corporate apologist and backing you is RollinThundr, who calls me a bleeding heart liberal. Those two are diametrically opposite, so you two should get some kind of conference and decide which I am.

You're a game publisher apologist, doesn't mean you still can't be a bleeding heart lib.

I'm a realist. Realistically, people saying you need to sue a company for videos that are 16 months old doesn't work. Especially when they didn't buy the game. Especially when, even if they had, they saw all the videos between that one and this one that showed it looked nothing like the original demonstration.
 
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Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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41. Re: More Valve Layoffs Feb 14, 2013, 16:51 Redmask
 
No one cares what his or your politics are.  
Avatar 57682
 
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40. Re: More Valve Layoffs Feb 14, 2013, 16:30 RollinThundr
 
Beamer wrote on Feb 14, 2013, 14:41:
ASeven wrote on Feb 14, 2013, 09:48:
Beamer wrote on Feb 14, 2013, 09:17:
Captain negative. Companies never let people go unless something is wrong!

For one, Jason wasn't the head of steam, he was the head of business development. Yes, this put Steam deals on his plate. It also put engine licensing on his plate.
If you're looking for an issue, Steam isn't signing companies up very quickly these days. They're somewhat saturated, and larger companies are trending towards leaving and opening their own store.
Then there was the WarZ failure.
And how successful has engine licensing been?

There are reasons you can find other than "OMG VALVE IS FALLING APART!"

Captain apologist. Go back to basic school and learn how to read!

I said something is very wrong, I didn't say Valve is falling apart. Go back to basic school and learn to read a message before you reply to it.

And yes, there's a lot of reasons for Jason to be fired, still news of firing at Valve are relatively unheard of. There may be something wrong at Valve, there may be not, however Valve is far from falling apart.

Yes, I'm mocking you. You've been trumpeting the industry collapse for like 3 years.
So I'm mocking "very wrong." It's very early to say this is a sign of things being "very wrong." We know Valve is valued at over a billion dollars. If they actually accepted a buyout, especially at less than that, things would be "very wrong."

Go back to school and understand being made fun of. Well, my guess is that happened to you plenty at school, so you probably do understand.

But my point was that it's so ridiculously premature to sit here and say "clearly something is very wrong." It isn't clear at all. In fact, there's plenty of discussion in this very thread about how it may not imply things being even kind of wrong, let alone very wrong.


Tell me, though, what the hell am I apologizing for that you call me an apologist? Especially weird that you call me a corporate apologist and backing you is RollinThundr, who calls me a bleeding heart liberal. Those two are diametrically opposite, so you two should get some kind of conference and decide which I am.

You're a game publisher apologist, doesn't mean you still can't be a bleeding heart lib.
 
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39. Re: More Valve Layoffs Feb 14, 2013, 15:03 Beamer
 
D_K_night wrote on Feb 14, 2013, 14:52:
avianflu wrote on Feb 14, 2013, 13:06:
Multiple firings like that dont happen unless there was some area of notable and chronic dysfunction.

We'll never know the whole story.

And plus Valve ain't exactly some company with many thousands of staff.

Didn't they say they were small, and intended to always remain small?

25 people out of a few hundred is not some trivial number.

It's in the ballpark of 6%. Valve is somewhere around 400 employees.
 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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38. Re: More Valve Layoffs Feb 14, 2013, 14:53 jdreyer
 
Kastagir wrote on Feb 14, 2013, 01:45:
shul wrote on Feb 14, 2013, 00:58:
I hope Gabe knows how to

Gabe doesn't know how to do anything. That's why there's no HL episode 3. That's why Valve has such a chaotic (i.e. nonexistant) management model. Steam is at a point now where it would be successful with or without Gabe Newell. What else is Valve good for these days?

Yeah, it must be a terrible place to work. That's why they are by far rated the best software developer to work for in the industry.
 
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"It's just a bunch of mystic bovine scatology to me." - 1badmf
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37. No subject Feb 14, 2013, 14:52 D_K_night
 
avianflu wrote on Feb 14, 2013, 13:06:
Multiple firings like that dont happen unless there was some area of notable and chronic dysfunction.

We'll never know the whole story.

And plus Valve ain't exactly some company with many thousands of staff.

Didn't they say they were small, and intended to always remain small?

25 people out of a few hundred is not some trivial number.
 
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36. Re: More Valve Layoffs Feb 14, 2013, 14:41 Beamer
 
ASeven wrote on Feb 14, 2013, 09:48:
Beamer wrote on Feb 14, 2013, 09:17:
Captain negative. Companies never let people go unless something is wrong!

For one, Jason wasn't the head of steam, he was the head of business development. Yes, this put Steam deals on his plate. It also put engine licensing on his plate.
If you're looking for an issue, Steam isn't signing companies up very quickly these days. They're somewhat saturated, and larger companies are trending towards leaving and opening their own store.
Then there was the WarZ failure.
And how successful has engine licensing been?

There are reasons you can find other than "OMG VALVE IS FALLING APART!"

Captain apologist. Go back to basic school and learn how to read!

I said something is very wrong, I didn't say Valve is falling apart. Go back to basic school and learn to read a message before you reply to it.

And yes, there's a lot of reasons for Jason to be fired, still news of firing at Valve are relatively unheard of. There may be something wrong at Valve, there may be not, however Valve is far from falling apart.

Yes, I'm mocking you. You've been trumpeting the industry collapse for like 3 years.
So I'm mocking "very wrong." It's very early to say this is a sign of things being "very wrong." We know Valve is valued at over a billion dollars. If they actually accepted a buyout, especially at less than that, things would be "very wrong."

Go back to school and understand being made fun of. Well, my guess is that happened to you plenty at school, so you probably do understand.

But my point was that it's so ridiculously premature to sit here and say "clearly something is very wrong." It isn't clear at all. In fact, there's plenty of discussion in this very thread about how it may not imply things being even kind of wrong, let alone very wrong.


Tell me, though, what the hell am I apologizing for that you call me an apologist? Especially weird that you call me a corporate apologist and backing you is RollinThundr, who calls me a bleeding heart liberal. Those two are diametrically opposite, so you two should get some kind of conference and decide which I am.
 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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35. Re: More Valve Layoffs Feb 14, 2013, 14:11 RollinThundr
 
ASeven wrote on Feb 14, 2013, 09:48:
Beamer wrote on Feb 14, 2013, 09:17:
Captain negative. Companies never let people go unless something is wrong!

For one, Jason wasn't the head of steam, he was the head of business development. Yes, this put Steam deals on his plate. It also put engine licensing on his plate.
If you're looking for an issue, Steam isn't signing companies up very quickly these days. They're somewhat saturated, and larger companies are trending towards leaving and opening their own store.
Then there was the WarZ failure.
And how successful has engine licensing been?

There are reasons you can find other than "OMG VALVE IS FALLING APART!"

Captain apologist. Go back to basic school and learn how to read!

I said something is very wrong, I didn't say Valve is falling apart. Go back to basic school and learn to read a message before you reply to it.

And yes, there's a lot of reasons for Jason to be fired, still news of firing at Valve are relatively unheard of. There may be something wrong at Valve, there may be not, however Valve is far from falling apart.

What? Beamer taking a post out of context and rewording it to try and fail at taking someone to task? THAT NEVER HAPPENS! doncha know he knows everything about everything? Dizzy
 
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34. Re: More Valve Layoffs Feb 14, 2013, 13:06 avianflu
 

Multiple firings like that dont happen unless there was some area of notable and chronic dysfunction.

We'll never know the whole story.
 
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