Well, that didn't last long. PC Gamer reported back in December 2012 that Valve had taken on a couple of San Francisco-based employees, formerly of Star Filled Studios. According to Valve-eyeballing fan site ValveTime , though, that small team has now departed after less than a year with the venerable developer/publisher, going their own way with a new studio called Temple Gates Games.
Unlike the rest of the gaming world, Valve are generally too cool for the usual game dev hotspot of San Francisco, instead choosing to base their HQ in Washington. The small San Francisco team consisted of Tod Semple and Jeff Gates, who had both worked previously with Blizzard and PopCap, as well as Steve Desilets, who had previously worked with Valve in 2005 on Half-Life 2 's Episodes.
Semple has now confirmed with IGN that he and Gates have left. "Jeff and I are working on indie games again," he said. "We were working for Valve in a remote office in San Mateo. It turned out that there weren't many benefits for either side in that arrangement."
Under the new name Temple Gates Games, the pair will be working in the same office (gifted to them upon their departure by Valve), and will also continue to work on their game, which remains unspecified but "probably will make millions," according to Desilets' blog . Desilets, sadly, won't be joining them; he was "offered a seat back in WA," presumably again with Valve, but he's opting to stay in the Bay Area to try his luck with F2P and casual games.
Despite the apparent tension in the long-distance agreement, Valve had only praise for its former San Francisco employees. "We were big fans of their prior work," they said in a statement to IGN. "We worked with them during their startup phase, but they're independent now and still working on their game. We wish them the best of luck."