Update #2: Valve's illustrious leader Gabe Newell has responded to the lay-offs and reassured fans that, "No, we aren't cancelling any projects."
In a statement sent to Engadget, Newell wrote:
"We don't usually talk about personnel matters for a number of reasons. There seems to be an unusual amount of speculation about some recent changes here, so I thought I'd take the unusual step of addressing them.
No, we aren't canceling any projects. No, we aren't changing any priorities or projects we've been discussing. No, this isn't about Steam or Linux or hardware or [insert game name here]. We're not going to discuss why anyone in particular is or isn't working here."
Update #1: It seems like Jeri Ellsworth wasn't alone as reports have come in that somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 Valve staff have been made redundant.
According to Gamasutra, former employees spoke of a "great cleansing" and "large decisions" happening at Valve and some estimated 25 employees had been laid off - though this number has yet to be confirmed.
The report noted that the hardware and Android departments were hit the hardest, suggesting this had to do with a shift in the company's focus rather than any individual performance issues.
Employees have been asked not to talk about the specifics of their termination, but we'll continue to investigate and update as we hear more.
Original story: Jeri Ellsworth, an integral and notable member of Valve's exciting hardware R&D team, has been "fired".
"Yup. Got fired today. Time for new exciting projects," she tweeted several hours ago.
But that's as gory as it got, sigh.
Ellsworth was working on next-gen gaming hardware for Valve. She was tinkering with controller ideas for Steam-on-the-sofa, which weaves into the whole Steam Box and Steam Big Picture masterplan. She may also have been toying with biometric sensors for the controller.
Why she's been given the boot isn't clear.
Valve's famed Handbook for New Employees - "A fearless adventure in knowing what to do when no one's there telling you what to do" - doesn't specifically reference firing, but does talk about staff undergoing regular peer performance reviews.
Ellsworth made her name as a very brainy inventor and hacker. Her YouTube channel is littered with videos and concepts and circuit boards.