The Rat, the Laser, and the Holy Gib.
Digital game distribution giant Valve has purchased Firewatch developer Campo Santo. The 12 person team will join Valve and continue development of In The Valley Of Gods, as well as continue support for Firewatch. Campo Santo confirmed acquisition in a post on their blog.
While it’s not uncommon for larger developers to acquire studios, other massive companies like EA or Microsoft have been quick to disseminate studios and move people to different projects. Valve historically has left studios they acquired to their own projects to both positive and negative ramifications.
Take Valve’s acquisition of Turtle Rock Studios, for example. Turtle Rock and Valve enjoyed a good six year working relationship with each other developing Left 4 Dead. However, according to Turtle Rock founder Phil Robb, when Valve finally purchased the studio, the pressures of working together on Left 4 Dead with 800 miles between Seattle and Orange County were too much for both studios to handle. Turtle Rock left Valve amicably, but Robb believed that the “culture changed a lot when we became Valve, and not all of it was what we felt was the right way to go, and it wasn’t the way that we wanted to work.”
Valve seems to have taken these past mistakes into consideration, and the San Francisco team of Campo Santo will be relocating to Seattle. From their blog post, Campo Santo believes the acquisition was the right call.
“In Valve we found a group of folks who, to their core, feel the same way about the work that they do (this, you may be surprised to learn, doesn’t happen every day). In us, they found a group with unique experience and valuable, diverse perspectives. It quickly became an obvious match.”
In The Valley Of Gods is still scheduled for 2019, and no new future projects from Campo Santo have been announced as of yet.