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

Tanner Glass
I'm just annoyed that people still see Valve as a game "developer", have they made any recent games barring their Hearthstone knock-off?

They've made a few VR games (Half-Life Alyx being, essentially "the absolute best VR game ever made") as well as being the main platform for all VR development - in terms of tools, resources, SDKs, and so on.


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.

operating outside the US doesn't mean they can ignore US law. if lootboxes will get sanctioned, it doesn't really matter where they are if they still want to sell lootboxes in the us. data security (or at least what the hbbub is about right now) is mostly what happens with your data - unless it comes out valve did sell data, the worst it can lead to that they have to be open what actually happens with it, similar to EU law. all in all that's not a problem I think valve will have. worse, being not based in the US anymore can bring more issues if it really comes to that.

as for talent and operating at 100%: you always want new talent, because people will inevitable leave. valve might be a highly prestigious company, but even they lost people that needed to be replaced and need new people new projects. talent acquisition is always an issue, it's one of the reasons company are located in shitholes like seattle and SF, and not bumfuck wisconsin (where rent is much cheaper on top, if not for tax reasons alone).
said talent can also only work 100% till someone gets the coof - or lives in the same city as someone who did, and from what I heard NZ has been far more draconian in that regard than the US. which also has implication long term, with all the issues the USA might have, I'd still assume it's much more stable in the long run than NZ. not to mention that poland and the czech republic have quite a different culture than NZ, let alone the type of government that runs the country, so if that's what gaben is looking for he's looking in the wrong direction.