It’s being reported that Valve has laid off “several” employees from their operations, mostly from the hardware and Android departments of the company. Gamasutra is claiming to have spoken with a few of the affected former staff, who are said to have used phrases like “great cleansing” in relation to the move.

An unconfirmed number, 25, is being tossed around.

One employee known to have been let go is Jeri Ellsworth, who worked on “hardware R&D for next generation devices” at the company.

Affected employees have been requested not to speak about specifics, and Valve is notoriously poor at providing clarification on these matters (and, as a private rather than public company, has no impetus to do so); so unless former staff members are forthcoming with further details we may not learn much more.

Update: Gabe Newell has issued a rather no-comment type statement to Engadget, which reads:

“We don’t usually talk about personnel matters for a number of reasons. There seems to be an unusual amount of speculation about some recent changes here, so I thought I’d take the unusual step of addressing them. No, we aren’t canceling any projects. No, we aren’t changing any priorities or projects we’ve been discussing. No, this isn’t about Steam or Linux or hardware or [insert game name here]. We’re not going to discuss why anyone in particular is or isn’t working here.”

Peter Parrish

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