Valve Lays Off 13 Staff Together with Engineers Working In VR

Valve layoffs hint at downsized VR projects

Valve layoffs hint at downsized VR projects

In a statement given to The Verge, Valve said that while they had to lay off 13 full-time employees and end some contractor agreements, there won't be massive or major changes to the company. 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 endeavours".

Valve announced that it has fired 13 full-time employees and contractors, who were believed to be part of the company's VR hardware division.

While Valve did not say whether the fired workers were from its virtual reality team, VR developer Nat Brown confirmed via tweet that he is no longer part of the company. It seems as though the majority of affected employees stem from the company's hardware division, although Valve was quick to dismiss whispers suggesting that company was moving on from virtual reality. Based on their research, they found individuals working on projects related to VR and the Steam Controller claiming that their employment at Valve ended in 2019.

Although Valve laid off some of the people working on their VR initiatives, they clarified that they aren't in any way quitting on VR, Variety reported. If these cuts reflect trimming to Valve's VR hardware plans, they may not matter much.

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It's worth noting that Valve's job openings page still lists several positions in hardware, engineering, and more specifically VR.

The company also developed the tracking hardware used by HTC's Vive VR headset. Valve was working on new VR hardware as recently as a year ago, though much of that work wasn't presented to the public.

Valve has taken an active role in developing VR technologies for gaming. While it was originally supposed to partner with other manufacturers on SteamVR products, an LG-made headset never materialized. It's not surprising to see the company potentially refocusing its efforts, but it'd be nice to know it wasn't planning to treat VR the way it treats virtually everything else: namely, as an interesting diversion for several years before mostly walking away from the idea. Image Source: Valve Software. So if Valve is still working on VR hardware, we might also hear about it this year.

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