Gabe Newell wants to talk to New Zealand Prime Minister about developers relocating there - Developers like Valve, perhaps?

SSF2T Old User

Freaky Friday 2: Electric Boogaloo
kiwifarms.net
Article: https://www.pcgamer.com/gabe-newell...e-minister-about-developers-relocating-there/
Archive: https://archive.md/JPK19

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gabe Newell has been hanging out in New Zealand since March, shielding himself from the pandemic by staying in a country that's handled it remarkably well. Life is comparatively normal there—though the 3-week streak of no cases was recently broken—and apparently the Valve co-founder wants to help studios relocate to the country, at least temporarily.

Newell was Geoff Keighley's special guest in a Game Awards Zoom meeting on Sunday, where he discussed New Zealand, the pandemic, Valve and VR. Most of the chat is under NDA, but some snippets have been shared.

Valve News Network reports that Newell is planning a meeting with the New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, to possibly discuss moving Valve and other developers into the country, escaping the trials and tribulations of designing games while working from home. The actual paraphrased quote that VNN's Tyler McVicker shared is vague and doesn't actually mention Valve, but it's hard to imagine he wouldn't be interested, given that he's spearheading this initiative.

"Because I've been going on a pro-New Zealand campaign lately, I'm probably going to be meeting with the Prime Minister," Newell said, "and one of the positions I'm going to be arguing for is that, given there is something super valuable that has been created here in New Zealand due to the hard work of the population of New Zealand, there is likely a large want to temporarily relocate production teams into the country."

Newell also suggested that the coronavirus has knocked productivity at Valve down by 50-75 percent, and that it hadn't really come up with a solution to the big changes that working from home forces upon developers. Another reason he might want it to relocate to New Zealand.

While Newell has been in New Zealand for most of the year, most of Valve is stuck at home in the US. So who would be relocated? Everyone? Just development teams? Nobody has any idea when things will go back to normal globally, which also makes it hard to settle on some dates for when this temporary stay would end. I suspect a lot of staff would balk at the thought of being separated from their family during this tumultuous time, too. Organising something like this just seems like a nightmare.

Will New Zealand become the temporary heart of the videogame industry? I think it's safe to say that it won't. Still, it's nice to see Newell keeping busy while he's on his extended stay in the country. He's also been raising money for charity, and he's helping to host a—currently postponed—free concert.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

Tanner Glass

kiwifarms.net
While I can see Gabe's sentiments of wanting to keep work productivity up... New Zealand...? Really?


VNN might as well just be a Valve theorist channel. He does more speculation than he does actual reporting.

NZ is where he currently is and Valve has been known to be a visionary company in terms of making changes way ahead of the curve.

It may be a chance to get his employees out of Riots, hyper-activism, and COVID-19 restrictions that are currently rampant in the USA, in particular in areas that Valve has set up shop in. He may have run the numbers and sees a potential large productivity boost by side-stepping many of those restrictions - much like the NBA bubble or UFC's "fight island", even after the costs of moving shop and employees.

With Valve's money - he could probably have a "valvetown" built there with little effort.
 

ZMOT

wat
kiwifarms.net
NZ is where he currently is and Valve has been known to be a visionary company in terms of making changes way ahead of the curve.

It may be a chance to get his employees out of Riots, hyper-activism, and COVID-19 restrictions that are currently rampant in the USA, in particular in areas that Valve has set up shop in. He may have run the numbers and sees a potential large productivity boost by side-stepping many of those restrictions - much like the NBA bubble or UFC's "fight island", even after the costs of moving shop and employees.

With Valve's money - he could probably have a "valvetown" built there with little effort.

seattle's new retarded tax to make up for people leaving that shithole probably increased his motivation quite a bit. why not just relocate in the US I have no idea tho.
 

Aaa0aaa0

internet sticker enthusiast
kiwifarms.net
seattle's new retarded tax to make up for people leaving that shithole probably increased his motivation quite a bit. why not just relocate in the US I have no idea tho.
If he's talking to their PM, he might get some good benefits out of it, maybe better than the USA.
 

The Fool

True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Moving a company that makes intellectual property, like a game development company, to a country infamous for censorship and oppressing it's citizens. May as well just remove all the skeletons from Half Life and go to China.

By the way, it's been bothering me since I posted this, but I just realized, I have no idea if I'm confusing New Zealand with Austria when I was referencing the shootings that took place in one of those countries, which sent KF a DMCA ordering Null to remove all footage of the shooting, which I recalled taking place in some church.
I'm admitting this now, unprompted, because I am very drunk.
 

HeyYou

YOU BETTER RUN!
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Maybe New Zealand could give them some decent kickbacks, but moving American citizens to another country would be a logistical nightmare and you'd achieve the same result by moving out of Washington/Bellevue and to a state that's friendlier to corporations, has better COVID numbers, and has opened up as a result. That's how how you know Tyler is peddling bullshit again.

By the way, it's been bothering me since I posted this, but I just realized, I have no idea if I'm confusing New Zealand with Austria when I was referencing the shootings that took place in one of those countries, which sent KF a DMCA ordering Null to remove all footage of the shooting, which I recalled taking place in some church.
I'm admitting this now, unprompted, because I am very drunk.
No, you got it right.
 

Notaspider

kiwifarms.net
With the Hobbit laws in New Zealand it's probably attractive for big companies to move there, the government has proven it will rewrite laws and screw over their own citizens for money.
Moving a company that makes intellectual property, like a game development company, to a country infamous for censorship and oppressing it's citizens. May as well just remove all the skeletons from Half Life and go to China.
Meh, NZ would likely compromise on a lot of things, the most I can see is Valve retroactively banning old Counter Strike school shooter maps and the creators.
 

Rich Evans Apologist

And thanks for all the braps
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Was it Musk or Thiel who had a dual US-NZ citizenship? NZ is mildly well known for being a de facto tax haven, in that it cuts some real, real sweet deals.

It would be easy enough to keep a US branch or shell in the event that NZ tried to censor the company over a game on its platform or something. Earn in NZ, publish in the US. (Or, you know, do what they already fucking do and censor certain games in certain countries, made pointless by a VPN.)

There's a good chance he's reading headwinds. Relocate in the US - where? Any city he goes to that he could retain the talent will attempt to tax the company to hell and back (to speak nothing of the feds), and if he tried to go to low-tax bumfuck nowhere, you might realize why that isn't common for companies to do as most of the employees refuse to follow the company.

Another idea is that with the expansion of working from home, shifting a tax domicile is more attractive than ever.
 

Tanner Glass

kiwifarms.net
seattle's new retarded tax to make up for people leaving that shithole probably increased his motivation quite a bit. why not just relocate in the US I have no idea tho.

Well, because Game Development (and developers) typically take place in the dumber parts of the country (Seattle, California, Portland, New York, etc) - places that have had some form of government sanctioned riots (during a pandemic) for 120+ days, which is expected to hit a fever pitch this week and has a very likely chance or not stopping, to a degree, for the next 4+ years. On top of that - the US has an increasingly hostile relationship with tech/tech media/video games - video games primarily because of business practices (lootboxes, dev crunch, unpaid bonuses, etc). He may also see some form of writing on the wall.

He (and his team, by extension) probably have to jump though all kinds of hoops to even collaborate in an office - which is a big deal to him as Valve has most recently been a VR game company and it's not like a lot of Dev's have a full-fledged fucking VR room they can test or work in.

Valve isn't some "fly by night" company, they've got some of the premier talent in videogames - it's not like he could just fire his Seattle crew and hire people just like them in Texas/Florida/whatever, he wants his existing people more productive - the money it costs him is immaterial.
 

ZMOT

wat
kiwifarms.net
Well, because Game Development (and developers) typically take place in the dumber parts of the country (Seattle, California, Portland, New York, etc) - places that have had some form of government sanctioned riots (during a pandemic) for 120+ days, which is expected to hit a fever pitch this week and has a very likely chance or not stopping, to a degree, for the next 4+ years. On top of that - the US has an increasingly hostile relationship with tech/tech media/video games - video games primarily because of business practices (lootboxes, dev crunch, unpaid bonuses, etc). He may also see some form of writing on the wall.

He (and his team, by extension) probably have to jump though all kinds of hoops to even collaborate in an office - which is a big deal to him as Valve has most recently been a VR game company and it's not like a lot of Dev's have a full-fledged fucking VR room they can test or work in.

Valve isn't some "fly by night" company, they've got some of the premier talent in videogames - it's not like he could just fire his Seattle crew and hire people just like them in Texas/Florida/whatever, he wants his existing people more productive - the money it costs him is immaterial.

the US is a big country, and valve a big enough name they could just relocate 2 hours east of the re-enactment of a shadowrun novel, especially since all the chimpouts are pretty much contained to certain parts of it as you said. moving to NZ, what talent he's gonna think to attract when they apparently can't even move 2 hours out?

the other thing is while NZ might provide more freedom now, it can also change much faster. not much room for being productive when the countries leadership goes of the rails, and that's probably happening in NZ faster (and harder) than some parts of the US.

my assumption is like any business man he starts at the extreme end to meet somewhere in the middle. news of talks moving out of seattle is a signal mostly aimed at seattle's politicians.
 

Tanner Glass

kiwifarms.net
the US is a big country, and valve a big enough name they could just relocate 2 hours east of the re-enactment of a shadowrun novel, especially since all the chimpouts are pretty much contained to certain parts of it as you said. moving to NZ, what talent he's gonna think to attract when they apparently can't even move 2 hours out?

the other thing is while NZ might provide more freedom now, it can also change much faster. not much room for being productive when the countries leadership goes of the rails, and that's probably happening in NZ faster (and harder) than some parts of the US.

my assumption is like any business man he starts at the extreme end to meet somewhere in the middle. news of talks moving out of seattle is a signal mostly aimed at seattle's politicians.

Because (I'm assuming) the US as whole is having issues with large tech companies who are very eager to shoot themselves in the foot - on top of all the COVID and domestic issues. There's been a ton of scrutiny put on Apple and Epic Games Store (which they put on themselves) about how much digital stores (like Steam) make per transaction - which is Valve's entire bread and butter. Facebook and Twitter keep sticking their dick into the 2020 Election, but any harsh lawsuits they find themselves embroiled in will also likely affect Steam (who also collects, compiles, and sells data). If Fortnite/Overwatch are branded as "predatory gambling aimed at children" that's also going to affect Steam's bottom line (as DOTA/CSGO/TF2 all have lootboxes). There's also the threat of absurd lawsuits over Copyright (example - Blizzard/Activison vs Valve over DOTA2) which they settled, but if they lost it could have been very damaging - and no one knows what the settlement was for.

Valve doesn't want to attract talent (more than they already do) - they have it. Gabe stated that all of the shenanigans have brought his team's productivity to 25% of what it was - he just wants his existing guys to operate at 100% (or more) capacity. I'd strongly suggest (again) that considering Valve's forays into VR/AR/experimental tech - they need a large lab space to collaborate in as a team and most developers can't nearly as much "from home" as a regular developer.

I'm sure there's other places than NZ that could accomplish all of that, but he might just genuinely like it there and is taking cues from other developers like CDPROJECTRED (Poland) or Warhorse Studios (Prague) in terms of how to setup a team outside of the USA.
 
Top