In 2017, Firewatch developer Campo Santo unveiled In the Valley of Gods, a promising-looking first-person adventure set in Egypt. The following year, Valve, the maker of Counter-Strike, Steam, and Dota 2, snapped up Campo Santo. Some Firewatch fans worried that Campo Santo had been swallowed by a company notorious for not shipping games.
Just last month, Firewatch fans freaked out a little bit more when multiple Campo Santo developers who had joined Valve removed any and all mention of In the Valley of Gods from their Twitter bios. It was a worrying sign.
But then Valve announced Half-Life: Alyx, a VR-only prequel to Half-Life 2. Several Campo Santo developers were confirmed to be working on the project. Still, the fate of In the Valley of Gods was uncertain.
But no longer. Campo Santo co-founder Jake Rodkin confirms that “In the Valley of Gods development is on hold,” but not outright canceled. In a statement to Polygon, Rodkin says that former Campo Santo developers are busy working on not just Half-Life: Alyx, but Dota Underlords, Steam, and other Valve projects as well. Here’s his full statement:
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.
Half-Life: Alyx is scheduled to be released on Steam in March 2020. In the Valley of Gods’ release date on Steam is now listed as “TBD.”