(Updated with a statement from Gabe Newell)
Following a tweet Tuesday confirming the firing of human interface engineer Jeri Ellsworth, Valve
is apparently in the midst of larger staff cuts. Valve has indirectly confirmed reports of the departures, with the purge of eight staffers from the staff list website that were present as recently as a week ago. The firings include Valve's director of business Jason Holtman, and a handful of development personnel and engineers.
The company has little structure. In an interview with PC Gamer
, Product Designer Greg Coomer said that "if it turns out that we made a bad hiring decision, or that somebody is just not working out, there's a method we use to get the people who are involved in the same room and to walk through the decision about what should really happen as a result of this person not functioning very well."
Rumors point to up to 25 out of 300 employees having been cut, but with no official word from Valve about the departures, the exact number may not be known for some time. Valve employees claim the company is dealing with "large decisions" about the future of the business.
Losses include art team lead Moby Francke, Director of Business Development Jason Holtman, animator Keith Huggins, technology designer Tom Leonard, illustrator Realm Lovejoy, designer Marc Nagel, 3D modeler Bay Raitt, programmer Elan Ruskin, and animator Matthew Russell.
spoke with a Valve employee who confirmed the layoffs, but didn't know the exact number, saying "there's a lot more empty workspace to sprawl in now." We were told that this may only be the first round of layoffs, with the possibility of two more of the same volume over the next year.
Valve founder Gabe Newell, apparently displeased with the press coverage of the layoffs said in a statement to Engadget
that "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."