Little Kitty, Big City made a sizable splash when it was revealed for Switch, because of course it did. With an absolutely adorable cat in the lead roll and a ton of silly hats to wear, it was hard to not be drawn in by the unbelievably cute presentation.

Those interested in the game might be surprised to learn that it’s building crafted by Matt Wood, a former Valve developer. Wood had his hands in pretty much every big property Valve had, including Left 4 Dead, Left 4 Dead 2, Portal 2, CS:GO and both episodes of Half-Life 2. That’s quite a lineage of titles to work on, and Little Kitty, Big City is clearly very different from Wood’s past work.

In an interview with Engadget, Wood opened up about why he left the hallowed halls of Valve to craft his cat adventure.

“Valve talks a lot about, like, you can do anything you want. And it’s like, well — that’s never true. You know, Valve has a direction and they have a trajectory. And so, for me, it was realizing that the direction that Valve was going in was not a place that I wanted to be long-term. Because I’d been there for a long time and they were sitting on their laurels a little bit, and it’s like they weren’t really challenging themselves, taking risks or doing anything. Steam’s making a lot of money so they don’t really have to, but I was not OK with that. And after many years of trying to figure out how to manage that, I decided, you know, it’s important for me to go and make my own decisions for a while.”

[Matt Wood]

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10M ago

It's sad what has become of Valve. They used to be such an accomplished and celebrated studio. Maybe someday things will change and they'll start making games again.