In early 2018, Valve bought indie studio Campo Santo -- a small and spry team that made a splash with its debut hit Firewatch. It came with the usual assurances that these things always come with: Valve doesn't want to change Campo Santo, it believes in this talented group and wants to support them.
My, how things change. Fast forward a year-and-a-half, and it seems as though Campo Santo has been consumed by the Valve machine. Campo Santo co-founder Jake Rodkin confirms that the team is no longer working on its second game, In the Valley of Gods, but rather is being put to work on Valve's other projects.
In a statement to Polygon, Rodkin says: "...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."
Rodkin continues by explaining how the former Campo Santos team is split up: "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."
That is to say, no one's working on In the Valley of Gods right now. Rodkin admits that it's "on hold." Valve has other priorities that come first. Will Campo Santo's second game ever come to fruition? Rodkin is hopeful. "It certainly feels like a project people can and may return to," he says.
Valve recently confirmed that members of the Campo Santo team are supporting Half-Life: Alyx. The subtext there seemed like they'd go back to In the Valley of Gods when Half-Life is finished. Judging by Rodkin's read on the situation, that assumption now looks optimistic. It's anyone's guess as to when -- or even if -- Campo Santo will be able to go back to creating the kind of games that made Valve buy the studio in the first place.