Valve Software, the Bellevue-based mega-developer behind the Steam online storefront, as well as Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, and Defense of the Ancients 2 (aka DotA 2), has quietly acquired Campo Santo, the San Francisco-based indie developer known for the award-winning first-person adventure game Firewatch.
“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),” the post reads. “In us, they found a group with unique experience and valuable, diverse perspectives. It quickly became an obvious match.”
Campo Santo was founded in 2013 by Sean Vanaman, lead writer and co-project lead on the first season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead, and Jake Rodkin, another former Telltale employee and co-host of the “Idle Thumbs” podcast. Other Campo Santo employees include Jane Ng and Chris Remo, both late of Tim Schaefer’s Double Fine Productions; Mark of the Ninja developer Nels Anderson; and film poster artist Olly Moss.
The studio released Firewatch, its debut title, in September of 2016. It’s a thoughtful first-person adventure game, placing the player in the role of a forest ranger in the Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming in 1989 who’s called upon to investigate a mystery. Firewatch sold well over a million copies and has been optioned for film.
Campo Santo’s current project is an adventure game, set in 1920s Egypt, called In the Valley of Gods. Their acquisition by Valve will not affect development on In the Valley of Gods, according to Campo Santo, although the studio is being moved to Valve headquarters in Bellevue.