A Third of Valve Is Working on VR/AR Right Now, Dev Says
"Short of human space flight or life sciences I can't imagine working on something of more significance right now."
About one third of all Valve employees are now working on VR/AR projects, according to Valve's Alan Yates. He shared the estimation in a Reddit thread about VR recently, saying Valve's VR/AR team has grown substantially in size in recent years.
"It was a much smaller team [years ago] than it is now," Yates said. "It has since grown to encompass about a third of the company, but the key individuals that solved most of the really hard technological problems and facilitated this generation of consumer headsets are still here working on the next generation."
Yates said he joined Valve around the time that Michael Abrash started the company's VR/AR team. A specific timeline is not clear, however. Whatever the case, Abrash, along with two other VR veterans, left Valve in 2014 to join Oculus VR.
According to Kotaku, Valve might have around 300-350 employees, which would mean 100 or more people are now working on VR/AR.
Also in his post, Yates said he's incredibly enthusiastic about what he's working on.
"Digitally mediated reality is one of those incredibly impactful technologies," he said. "Short of human space flight or life sciences I can't imagine working on something of more significance right now."
Valve's current VR efforts include games and hardware. The company worked with HTC for the HTC Vive headset, which launched in April and sells for $800. As for software, Valve made a free game called The Lab--this includes a number of minigames including those involving archery and robot repair.
In other news about Valve and VR, Gabe Newell recently said he believes VR exclusives are bad for gamers and developers alike.