Valve has purchased Campo Santo, the acclaimed developer of Firewatch. In a blog post on the studio’s website, Campo Santo said it will continue production on its current project, In the Valley of Gods, but with the benefit of having the likeminded people at Valve working alongside them.
“In Valve we found a group of folks who, to their core, feel the same way about the work that they do (this, you may be surprised to learn, doesn’t happen every day). In us, they found a group with unique experience and valuable, diverse perspectives. It quickly became an obvious match,” it explained.
“We had a series of long conversations with the people at Valve and everyone shared the satisfaction we take in working with people whose talents dwarf our own to make things we never thought possible. Both sides spoke about our values and how, when you get right down to it, we, as human beings, are hard-limited by the time we have left when it comes to making the things we care about and believe in. They asked us if we’d all be interested in coming up to Bellevue and doing that there and we said yes.”
The move is interesting as Valve has had somewhat of a reduced presence in game development and publishing, focusing instead on the business of operating Steam as a digital delivery platform, alongside maintaining titles such as DoTA 2. However, more recently the company has made clear its intentions to return to development and publishing, with Gabe Newell saying Valve is “going to start shipping games again.” The first of these new titles is Artifact, a Dota 2-themed card game. However, Newell said the studio has additional games in development.
In GameSpot’s Firewatch review, critic Scott Butterworth said its “world is captivating, its design is clever, and its characters are among the most well-written in gaming.”
He continued: “Though it might sound counterintuitive, the plot is in many ways secondary to the relationship you build between Henry and Delilah, and that portion of the game is truly inspired. I’ve already returned to Firewatch for a calming walk in the woods; I imagine I’ll go back again soon to visit with Henry and Delilah.”
Campo Santo’s next game, In The Valley of Gods, was announced during The Game Awards in December 2017. It is still a long time off being completed and is not scheduled to come out until 2019. You can watch the trailer for In The Valley of Gods here. Firewatch, meanwhile, is set for release on the Nintendo Switch in 2018.