Valve purchase Firewatch creators Campo Santo

in the valley of the gods

Campo Santo, the independent studio responsible for 2016’s acclaimed adventure Firewatch, has agreed to become part of Valve.

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In a blog post published Saturday, Campo Santo said Valve share their passion for “surprising, delighting, and entertaining the customers who have shared in our success.”

From the post:

[W]e had a series of long conversations with the people at Valve and everyone shared the satisfaction we take in working with people whose talents dwarf our own to make things we never thought possible. Both sides spoke about our values and how, when you get right down to it, we, as human beings, are hard-limited by the time we have left when it comes to making the things we care about and believe in. They asked us if we’d all be interested in coming up to Bellevue and doing that there and we said yes.

Campo Santo’s next game, In The Valley of the Gods, is set for release next year, but it’ll be published as a Valve game.

There’s some positive precedent for this move. In 2008, Valve acquired Turtle Rock Studios, who at the time were working on Left 4 Dead. Turtle Rock had also made two Counter-Strike games by that time. In 2009, Valve hired IceFrog, the modder who had created Defense of the Ancients, to build Dota 2.

Over the last several years, Valve have stepped back from developing new games and focused more on developing tech and their service platform. But last month, Valve president Gabe Newell said at a reveal event for the company’s upcoming collectible card game Artifact that Valve was getting back into the business of shipping games. Acquiring Campo Santo seems like a big step in that direction.

Founded in 2013, Campo Santo has 12 employees. They’ll relocate from the San Francisco Bay area to work at Valve’s headquarters in Bellvue, Washington, near Seattle.