Valve layoffs hint at downsized VR projects

Adam Westlake - Mar 9, 2019, 5:41 am CDT
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Valve layoffs hint at downsized VR projects

February saw just over a dozen employees laid off from Valve, possibly the result of shifting plans for the game company’s virtual reality division. Among the 13 people let go, a number are confirmed to have been working on VR-related projects, including the SteamVR platform, along with some that are believed to have been involved in new hardware development.

While the layoffs took place last month, it was first reported earlier this week. Valve quickly confirmed the news, adding that the changes don’t have an impact on any upcoming plans or projects. “Last month, 13 full time employees were let go and a portion of our contractor agreements were terminated,” a company spokesperson stated. “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.”

Among those confirmed to no longer be with Valve are VR engineer Nat Brown, while others are said to have worked on the Steam Controller.

Along with developing the SteamVR platform to work with various virtual reality devices, Valve also co-developed HTC’s Vive headset. Last fall, rumors began that the company was working on its own VR headset with a new Half-Life VR title as its showpiece. This was never officially announced, however, so it’s unclear if that project is still moving forward or how much progress has been made.


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