Gabe Newell confirms Valve opening San Francisco office with Plants Vs Zombies devs


Valve has acquired Star Filled Studios, the San Francisco-based startup founded by two former PopCap employees who worked on Plants Vs Zombies.

Between them, Jeff Gates and Tod Semple’s CVs also include stints at Maxis. Blizzard and LucasArts, and following this acquisition, the company is now planning to open a new San Francisco office to act as a Valve subsidiary.

“I’ve worked on Diablo 3, Star Wars Force Unleashed, and was the programmer that made Plants vs. Zombies,” reads Tod Semple’s LinkedIn summary – though you’ll have to be signed in to see the latest update. “My recent startup was acquired by Valve and we are opening a new office on the San Francisco peninsula.”

The pair were made redundant when EA closed PopCap’s San Carlos office in August, and subsequently went on to form SFS as a result.

Valve co-founder and managing director Gabe Newell confirmed the acquisition, telling us: “The guys who did PvZ, down in the Bay Area, we’re helping them set up a Valve subsidiary there.”

Star Filled Studios represents Valve’s second acquisition, after it acquired Turtle Rock Studios, the developer behind Left 4 Dead, in 2008. Valve subsequently closed Turtle Rock later that year, but it was reopened as an independent studio in 2009.

No details have been released as to what SFS will work on, how many devs it will employ or whether it will retain its name.