Valve thinks as little as 10,000 people in the whole world have what it takes to work for them

Half-Life: Alyx
(Image credit: Valve)

Valve reportedly believes only 10,000 people around the world are capable of working for the company.

Earlier this week, People Make Games published a documentary putting Valve under the microscope. The full video below delves into Valve's culture, interviewing both current and former employees about the company's culture and policies.

Around seven and a half minutes into the investigation, host Chris Bratt reveals he spoke to one former Valve employee who claims the company doesn't think just anyone can work at it, and only seeks out people who could fit in with its culture and mentality. Valve apparently thinks, according to this employee, that as few as 10,000 people around the world have what it takes to work for Valve.

The employee says that their calculations could be off by two or four factors, meaning the figure could actually end up being closer to 20,000 or even 40,000, but was confident that the total number of potential Valve employees is certainly in the five figures. Bratt thinks the fact that Valve employs this mentality for new workers - which you might be expecting to hear at a Silicon Valley company, or even the United States Navy Seals - says a lot about Valve, and it's hard to disagree.

If you're at all interested about the inner workings and the corporate structure of one of the more influential video game companies of all time, I'd recommend watching the whole documentary. It's just the latest in a very long line of thought-provoking documentaries from People Make Games, who've tackled topics like Roblox, gambling, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and much more.

You can head over to our full Steam Deck review to see what we made of Valve's latest foray into the hardware space. 

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.