The status of In the Valley of Gods has finally been divulged and it doesn’t seem too promising knowing the history of Valve.
For weeks now, many have been speculating about the status of In the Valley of Gods, the forthcoming project from Firewatch developer Campo Santo. After Campo Santo was acquired by Valve last year though, updates regarding In the Valley of Gods have been quiet. Now, we seem to know why.
In a message given to Polygon, Campo Santo co-founder Jake Rodkin said that In the Valley of Gods has now been put “on hold.” Rodkin explained that as the team at Campo Santo joined Valve, many of them naturally started working on other projects at the company. Some of these included Dota Underlords, the upcoming VR game Half-Life: Alyx, and even others who opted to work on Steam.
Here’s the full statement from Rodkin regarding the status of In the Valley of Gods:
To fans looking forward to In the Valley of Gods, it’s probably clear that the optimistic “2019” at the end of the announcement trailer isn’t going to be accurate. In the end, Valve Time makes fools of us all. But yes, developers from the former Campo Santo team have joined other projects at Valve, including Half-Life: Alyx. As you can imagine, our experience in the first-person adventure genre is pretty relevant. You hear a lot about how at Valve you can work on what you want. It turns out that’s true, and there’s a lot of work available. As we integrated ourselves into Valve it became clear there was a lot of valuable work to be done on Half-Life: Alyx. Some of us starting lending a hand, and have since become full-time on the project as it approaches launch. Similarly, some ex-Campos are working on Dota Underlords, some are on Steam, and so on. So to answer your question as of today, In the Valley of Gods development is on hold—but it certainly feels like a project people can and may return to. And when that happens, we’ll find an exciting way to let fans know.
As Rodkin points out at the end of this message, In the Valley of Gods isn’t necessarily dead, but it just sounds as though no one is working on the project at all right now. While he does say that many people on the team could return to work on the game down the road, there’s no specific plan for such right now.
Valve has a notorious history of almost abandoning projects in this manner and moving onto others over time. The studio works in such a way that it lets its developers freely transition from project to project at their own leisure, based on what those who have worked at the company in the past have said. While this leads to developers getting burned out less and allows them to work solely on projects they’re passionate about, it also can lead to many games in-development getting abandoned because of team members moving onto other things. This seems to be what happened with In the Valley of Gods, too.
In the Valley of Gods was originally unveiled back in 2017 and was set to release on PC in 2019. Obviously, that will no longer be happening, but let’s just hope that it one day does see the light of day.