In 2017, Firewatch developer Campo Santo unveiled In the Valley of Gods, a promising ego adventure in Egypt. The following year, Valve, the maker of Counter-Strike, Steam and Dota 2, snatched up Campo Santo. Some Firewatch fans feared that Campo Santo had been swallowed by a company that was notorious for not sending games.
Just over the past month, Firewatch’s fans have been a bit crazier when several Campo Santo developers who joined Valve have removed all mentions of In the Valley of Gods from their Twitter bios. It was a worrying sign.
But then Valve Half-Life announced: Alyx, a pure VR prequel from Half-Life 2. It was confirmed that several Campo Santo developers are working on the project. Nevertheless, the fate of The Valley of the Gods was uncertain.
But not anymore. Jake Rodkin, co-founder of Campo Santo, confirms that “the development in the Valley of the Gods is on ice”, but not immediately canceled. In a statement to Polygon, Rodkin says former Campo Santo developers are not only working on Half-Life: Alyx, but also on Dota Underlords, Steam, and other Valve projects. Here is his full statement:
For fans looking forward to In the Valley of Gods, it’s probably clear that the optimistic “2019” at the end of the announcement trailer will not apply. In the end, Valve Time makes a fool of us all. But yes, developers of the former Campo Santo team have joined other projects at Valve, including Half-Life: Alyx. As you can imagine, our experience in the I-Adventure genre is pretty relevant. You hear a lot about how you can work at Valve on what you want. It turns out that this is true and that a lot of work is available. When we joined Valve, it became clear that Half-Life has a lot of valuable work to do: Alyx. Some of us have started to lend a hand and have since been working full-time on the project as it nears the start. Likewise, some ex-campos work on Dota Underlords, others on Steam and so on. To answer your question today: The development of In the Valley of Gods is interrupted – but it certainly feels like a project that people can and should return to. And when that happens, we will find an exciting way to inform the fans.
Half-Life: Alyx is expected to be released on Steam in March 2020. In the Valley of Gods, Steam’s release date is now listed as “TBD”.