So, Apparently Valve Actually Does Have Managers... Kinda

When the Valve employee handbook leaked, and everyone was busy admiring the fact that Valve didn't have a traditional management structure, myself and Kotaku designer Ben White were wondering how the hell anything ever got done over there. Then we remembered Half Life 3. But now ex-Valve employee Kim Swift has revealed a terrible, terrible secret. Valve does have a structure — even if it's a loose one.

"I guess for me, Valve as a company definitely has a lot more freedom for developers working there than a lot of other companies," said Swift, talking to Eurogamer.

"But I disagree with the suggestion that they have no structure there. They do actually. They have management, there's the board of directors of the company, there's Gabe Newell. Those guys at the top of the company definitely have opinions on how things should be run.

"You can choose the project you want to work on but there are definitely people behind the scenes making decisions for the company. To me, that's normal. If it was a company where there was no structure at all I think things would run completely amok."

Well, I agree with that. I like the idea of a free form company filled with talented people who are simply trusted to work on the correct thing at the correct time, but I guess there has to be some direction from on top. Otherwise how would anything get finished?

[Awaits obvious Half Life 3 joke]


    'Mistress Weatherwax is the head witch, then, is she?'
    'Oh no!' said Miss Level, looking shocked. 'Witches are all equal. We don't have head witches. That's quite against the spirit of witchcraft.'
    'Oh, I see,' said Tiffany.
    'Besides,' Miss Level added, 'Mistress Weatherwax would never allow that sort of thing.'

    Not quite the quote I was looking for but I don't think I have time to read Wee Free Men, Wintersmith, Hat Full of Sky and I Shall Wear Midnight to find the exact one.

      Is that from one of the spin off series? Never read any of them, just the mains. They're worthwhile, I take it?

        I don't know exactly what you mean. The only spin-offs of the Discworld novels are the Science of Discworld books. The four books I mentioned are the Tiffany Aching books, which are aimed at a younger audience (although I Shall Wear Midnight is one of the darkest Discworld novels) but follow on from the Witches storyline.

        The Tiffany books (only way I can group them) are not really spin offs, more books written more young girls than hardcore discworld fans to read to get them interested in the discworld. Did wonders for a friend of mine's daughter, she refused to read any of them until we gave her the Tiffany books.

        They're referred to as Discworld for Younger Readers which is really the best description. They're Discworld, for younger readers.

        Absolutely. Wintersmith is a bit crap but the other 3 are amazing, and he ended it nicely.

      Never mind, you automatically win by quoting Pratchett.

      i was thinking of the exact same thing when i read this lol.

      there is also the wizzard. Archchancellor is the "first amongst equals" and so on.

        Everyone is equal, except some are more equal then others. Gabe is the most equal.

          to be fair he pulls the most weight around the office

    I suppose it's a lot easier to run a company when you don't actually need to provide a product.
    STEAM consistently brings in cash stream to Valve... if they relied upon game development for their revenue then we'd see a much more Activision, EA, Rockstar style of management.

      We here in the Kotaku message board don't have a management structure, we're freeform as to keep the flow of idea's open and unending.

      Of course, if you keep making such sense, Mac, we'll have to put in a word to management about renewing your contract.

    "myself and Kotaku designer Ben White were wondering how the hell anything ever got done over there. Then we remembered Half Life 3"

    Low blow, kotaku... low blow.

      Low, but well earned.

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