Valve Revealed As Most Desirable Workplace For Game Developers

The results of a survey conducted by the International Game Developer Association revealed Valve Corporation as the most desirable company for developers, according to Eurogamer.

Valve is known for developing successful games such as "Half-Life," "Counter Strike," "Team Fortress" and "Left 4 Dead."

Based on the study, Valve's management system is so attractive that developers would rather work for the company than start their own studio. In fact, the category "My own company" came in second in the survey after Valve.

The other companies that filled the third to tenth spots of the survey are Activision Blizzard, BioWare, Ubisoft, Current Employer, Nintendo, Naughty Dog, Double Fine and Bethesda Game Studios.

As to how Valve became the number one company for developers, it probably has something to do with its non-traditional operational structure. According to its employee manual leaked by IGN in 2012, the company does not follow a rigid corporate hierarchy.

This means Valve employees do not have immediate supervisors. Instead, in-office developers are given the creative freedom to work on whatever games or projects they choose.

This not only promotes a pressure-free work environment but also allows the employees' creative and innovative abilities to flourish.

Gabe Newell, the co-founder and managing director of Valve, explained that he conceptualized the company's structure after learning from his previous work experience, Business Week reported.

"I was at Microsoft for 13 years and one of the things I did was go out and talk to customers," he recalled. "I ended up being exposed to a bunch of different organizations that had very different process models."

"As a result, I ended up thinking about organizational choices more than I probably would otherwise," he added. "It became pretty obvious that different types of organizations were good at different kinds of things."

Newell noted that he has nothing against following a strict managerial hierarchy. However, for him, this kind of system is only effective for certain operations. In creative environments, however, a different managing approach should be taken.

"Managers are good at institutionalizing procedures, but in our line of work that's not always good," he said. "Sometimes the skills in one generation of product are irrelevant to the skills in another generation."

"Our industry is in such technological, design and artistic flux that we need somebody who can recognize that," he continued. "It's pretty rare for someone to be in a lead role on two consecutive projects." 

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