Valve’s tiny San Francisco team goes indie: “There weren’t many benefits for either side in that arrangement”


As studio shutdowns go, this is the kind you want. The two-man indie outfit acquired late last year by inscrutable videogames corporation Valve has been relinquished; left to go it alone. Again.

The studio began as Star Filled Studios – founded and staffed by Tod Semple and Jeff Gates, whose combined CVs join the dots between Blizzard, Maxis, PopCap and LucasArts.

“Jeff and I are working on indie games again,” Semple told IGN. “We were working for Valve in a remote office in San Mateo. It turned out that there weren’t many benefits for either side in that arrangement.”

“We were big fans of their prior work,” said Valve. “We worked with them during their startup phase, but they’re independent now and still working on their game. We wish them the best of luck.”

Semple and Gates have renamed their joint venture Temple Gate Games, and even as I write that it dawns on me why they might do that. Puns! Ish.

“Valve was super cool about it and is letting us continue to work on our game,” added Semple, “and is also giving us the office.”

That is cool. A bit too cool, actually – like the bit where the movie villain appears to let the peon off for his incompetence and gives him a cigarette and even lights it for him and OH GOD NOW HIS FACE IS INSIDE OUT. But Valve aren’t villains, are they?

Thanks, VG247.