In 2018, Campo Santo was acquired by Valve, and this raised eyebrows with regard to the development of the (recently revealed) In the Valley of Gods. Back then, we didn’t know Valve had Half-Life: Alyx waiting in the wings, and the company hadn’t released an entirely new game since Alien Swarm in 2010. Yet, Campo Santo co-founder Sean Vanaman quelled concerns.
“It's all [still] in Unity, and we use all the same tools, and we do everything the same,” he said, expressing that the acquisition was like a “mindshare” rather than a hierarchical shift. “The thing that was going to kill our game wasn't an overlord. It's never going to be that. That's just not what exists here,” explained Vanaman.
In 2019, references to In the Valley of Gods were removed from numerous Campo Santo developers’ biographies on Twitter. The raised eyebrows were nearly stratospheric now. It was announced that Campo Santo’s team had moved voluntarily to working on Half-Life: Alyx, Dota Underlords, Steam, and various other titles and projects, and In the Valley of Gods is on ice while these are underway.
Half-Life: Alyx released for all PC VR platforms on March 23, and it was thought that attention might circle around to In the Valley of Gods once again. Sadly, that doesn’t seem to be the case. “We were working on it when those of us from Campo Santo came up to Valve, and something we found over time was, in contrast to working on that game, Valve was a place with a lot of teams, a lot of projects, a lot going on,” began composer and designer Chris Remo.
“There wasn’t really ever like a particular moment or decision or anything, but people have been working on other things here at the company,” he iterated. “I worked on Underlords for a bit. I’ve been working on Half-Life: Alyx now for a while. We just eventually came to a conclusion as a team like, ‘Oh, it looks like we’re all kind of working on other stuff right now. Let’s put this thing on hold for a bit and figure out over time what that means.’ Really, that was about it.”
When news of the game’s status first broke, it was expressed that “it certainly feels like a project people can and may return to.” In the Valley of Gods’ launch for PC is “TBD”.