Yesterday, we reported that hardware hacker Jeri Ellsworth, who joined Valve in 2012, had been fired. She made the announcement via Twitter, but didn’t provide any details about what had caused such an action. Now reports are rolling in that more than two dozen other Valve employees have been laid off, with nothing more than speculation about what is happening.
Reports Forbes, between 25 and 30 Valve employees have been laid off in addition to Ellsworth, who kicked the round off. One of the employees given the boot is Jason Holtman, the company’s Director of Business Development. Holtman is responsible for working with Steamworks, the Steam store, and Source engine licensing.
Although it is possible that Valve is experiencing some financial problems, speculation has it that the company is undergoing some restructuring, with it possibly focusing on its hardware and Android teams. Whether this is because the company is changing its focus, or because it is bringing in fresh blood to revamp its projects – or whether it is either of these things – is unknown.
Valve has not said anything about the lay offs. It has been long expected that the company will be releasing a Steam Box in the near future, and so this dumping of employees could be a move related to the device. Regardless, it has no doubt been a sad day for many Valve employees who have now found themselves without jobs, and we wish them luck in finding a permanent roost elsewhere.
Update: The folks over at Engadget have received a statement from Valve regarding the layoffs: “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.”