Sure there are some industries doing OK like new auto sales and the aircraft industry where large commercial/military planes need to be ordered 5+ years in advance. The PC industry is a perfect example of a very bad economic situation world wide and there aren't any real signs of economic growth on the horizon, which is troubling.
Valve Software this week reduced its headcount by approximately 25 developers of software and hardware for unknown reasons. The laid off hardware and software developers were working on different products and the reasons why the seemingly successful company decided to cut its workforce in general and specific developers in particular are unclear. The firm claims it has not cancelled any projects.
“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,” said Gabe Newell, the chief exec of Valve, reports Engadget web-site.
Among other people that were let go was Jeri Ellsworth, who was working on controller prototypes to address mouse/keyboard use from the couch. Other people who were laid off are renowned game developers of different kind, who were involved into creation of various video games, including Half-Life, Portal, Left 4 Dead and other.
Affected employees were asked not to speak about specifics, but the impression we get is that these cuts were driven more by company challenges than by individual performance issues, reports Gamasutra web-site. Considering the fact that Valve is a relatively small company, it is alarming to see at least 25 people leaving.
Being a small private company that makes money by selling its own and distributing video games designed by others, Valve has a luxury of not discussing any ongoing developments. However, since the company is known for its legendary Half-Life and Counter Strike series, the gamers from all over the world are watching the company pretty closely. Moreover, the firm in the recent years disclosed ambitions to create console-like PCs for the living rooms to further expand the market addressed by Steam distribution system. But how can Valve develop new games and release its own hardware by reducing the headcount?