Valve CEO says that because of remote work, the company’s productivity is only 50-75% of what it could have been.


Gabe Newell, CEO of Valve Corporation. Image credit: 1 NEWS

Last Sunday, game journalist Geoff Keighley hosted the Game Awards Zoom, an online meeting with select fans. Among the guests of the event was the Valve CEO Gabe Newell. Most of the conversation is subject to nondisclosure restrictions, but some information was made available through other people’s reports. In particular, the Valve News Network channel shared Newell’s words about the depressed productivity that Valve is experiencing due to the ongoing pandemic.

According to the video report, Newell is even thinking about relocating Vavle to New Zealand, where he himself has been living for over six months. New Zealand is famously considered one of the safest countries where the chances of contracting COVID-19 are close to zero.

However, as Newell told to NEWS 1 today, he is not planning to move devs to New Zealand. Nor is he going to meet with the country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to discuss the opportunity.

Valve does not currently have plans to open an office in New Zealand, which isn’t to say that it would be a bad idea. It’s just not something we are working on.

Gabe Newell

As for Newell himself, he is applying for New Zealand residency.

Elsewhere in the interview, Newell did indicate that Half-Life: Alyx had revived the company’s interest in the franchise, but he specifically refused to say whether Valve is working on HL3. Newell said that he would not want to get fans’ hopes up as the company needs freedom to cancel projects deemed unviable without frustrating everybody.