IN A NUTSHELL:
- Valve laid off 13 workers and terminated contracts with an unknown number of contractors;
- some people were engaged in virtual reality technology;
- the company's official statement suggests that nothing worrying is happening.
UploadVR reports that last month Valve fired 13 full-time employees, as well as an unknown number of contracted developers. Some of these people most likely worked on virtual reality (more specifically, company's own VR Goggles and tracking technology, which the company has been creating for some time). According to the company's official position, the situation is not unusual and should not arouse any concern.
Last month, 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," reads the statement sent to the UploadVR editorial team.
Regardless of the content of the message, it's no secret that Valve has been going through a fairly difficult period recently. The company's main source of revenue is the Steam digital distribution platform, which is currently facing fierce competition from the Epic Games Store. Fortnite developers are acquiring new titles - including high-profile ones such as Metro Exodus or The Division 2 (also available on Uplay) - gradually pushing the older store into the role of a indie platform. The company does not record any successes as a developer. Published in November last year Artifact card initially attracted the attention of more than a million players, but was not able to keep them for too long and in the following months its user base was shrinking rapidly.
It is worth noting that Valve is not a giant like Activision (also recently struggling with controversial restructuring). Gabe Newell has only a few hundred employees on a daily basis, which means that the thirteen people who have been laid off are not a small number at all - although not large enough to really give rise to serious concerns. It should also be noted that Valve is still looking for new people to work on its VR.
- Valve - official website