We wrote yesterday that Valve had hired on an undisclosed number of developers from the Kerbal Space Program team, a noteworthy occurrence because when Valve hires indie dev teams, games like Counter-Strike and Portal are sometimes the result. Valve confirmed the hire but revealed nothing about the details, saying only that a proper announcement would be coming soon.
In a statement issued shortly after the hiring came to light, however, Kerbal studio Squad clarified that these were employees that had left Squad, then later joined Valve. This isn't a Portal-like situation, in other words, where Valve has absorbed up a full, existing dev team. Further eliminating any confusion, Squad added that it's still operating, and maintaining KSP, as an independent outfit.
"There was news today that former KSP developers have joined Valve. We want to clarify that Squad is not joining Valve, and we continue to be an independent studio with the core KSP team remaining at Squad, hard at work on the improved KSP for consoles port, Update 1.3 and the Making History Expansion. The KSP community shouldn't be concerned about this news having any impact on the game," the studio said.
"Regarding the developers joining Valve, it is important to note that we have had several people working on our team over the years, and it is common among development studios for team members to come and go. If some of them joined Valve, it is on their own behalf and we wish them good luck and success in their current and future endeavors. So do not worry, everything continues normally with KSP."
In an email, Squad clarified that no current KSP developers had left the studio to move to Valve. "These people departed Squad prior to joining Valve," a rep said. "We do not know who they are exactly or how many there are, either."
Valve's pickup of former KSP developers remains interesting because whatever they're working on is apparently big enough to warrant its own announcement, and any new Valve project (if that's what it turns out to be) is worth keeping an eye on. But I'm actually glad to hear that Squad is remaining independent, too. Kerbal Space Program, in design and execution, is about as indie as it gets, and you can call me sentimental if you like but it's nice to know it's going to stay that way.