Valve seems like a dream place to work at, and that’s why people hardly ever leave – but Viktor Antonov, the designer of the iconic City 17 from Half-Life 2 and the now-visual-design-director for Dishonored says that he left after Valve stopped making “epic, triple-As”. “It’s all episodes now,” he says, reminiscing about Half-Life 2.
“Valve has grown into a much bigger company, and what I really enjoy about the philosophy of Arkane is that it’s a small, core team that does risky creative projects,” said Antonov. “And when I went to Valve, they were a small company. They’ve grown now, they’re much bigger, and I’m interested in a certain level of creative risk taking and a certain energy that can be compared to jazz, jamming or rock n’ roll, where it’s small, it’s intense and it’s about making revolutions in the media.” It’s not many who would say Valve are averse to creative risk, but there you go.