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Valve Snatching Talent from Naughty Dog? Not so much

by William Schwartz

NaughtyDog

The recent story that hit the internet about Valve poaching talent from Naughty Dog, has drawn some questions from the gaming community.  Mostly attributable to the fact that Naughty Dog, the developer for the critically acclaimed Uncharted series on the Playstation 3, lost talent to Valve, a developer exclusive to the Xbox 360 and PC.  It turns out this news isn’t so new after all.  The developers in question: Vitaliy Genkin, Elan Ruskin, and Alex Vlachos have been with Valve for years.

Naughty Dog supposedly “lost”  this talent almost 4 years ago before Uncharted 2 was even released.  While true that these developers worked on the Uncharted Series (the original Uncharted Drake’s Fortune), we thought we should set the record straight.

Elan Ruskin – Has been working at Valve for 3 years and 8 months.  His credits include:

Left 4 Dead 2 (2009), Valve Corporation
Left 4 Dead (2008), Valve Corporation
Half-Life 2: Episode Two (2007), Buka Entertainment
The Orange Box (2007), Valve Corporation
Portal (2007), Buka Entertainment
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (2007), Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc.

Jak X: Combat Racing (2005), SCEA
Jak 3 (2004), Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc.
Thief: Deadly Shadows (2004), Eidos, Inc.
Deus Ex: Invisible War (2003), Eidos, Inc.
The Sims: Online (2002), Electronic Arts, Inc.

Alex Vlachos –  Has also been with Valve since 2007

Left 4 Dead 2 (2009), Valve Corporation
Left 4 Dead (2008), Valve Corporation
Half-Life 2: Episode Two (2007), Buka Entertainment
The Orange Box (2007), Valve Corporation
Portal (2007), Buka Entertainment
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (2007), Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc.

Jak X: Combat Racing (2005), SCEA

Vitaly Genkin – Again, been with Valve since 2007

Left 4 Dead 2 (2009), Valve Corporation
Left 4 Dead (2008), Valve Corporation
Half-Life 2: Episode Two (2007), Buka Entertainment
The Orange Box (2007), Valve Corporation
Portal (2007), Buka Entertainment
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (2007), Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc.

Jak X: Combat Racing (2005), SCEA

These profiles were gathered from Linkedin with help from members at Gaf.  Let’s just call the whole “Valve snatching up Naughty Dog Employees” debunked for now. Though it does open up some new questions. Like why hasn’t Valve done anything with these talented individuals that obviously know how to work with the PS3? Yet four years with PS3 vets bear no PS3 fruit. With Chet Falisek being recently quoted as saying “We need to be able to support it in the right way(PS3 Development)”. You would think that three developers with experience working with the PS3 and with involvement in multiple Valve titles would be enough to get the ball rolling, heck I would settle for Portal 2 on the PS3, as a port even. C’mon now!

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