Doug Lombardi of Valve has confirmed with ShackNews that the company has hired former PopCap Games developers Jeff Gates and Tod Semple. Both worked on many excellent franchises - most notably the ultra popular Plants vs. Zombies. Earlier reports indicated that Valve had opened a San Francisco office, but Lombardi said that that wasn't exactly what Valve was doing in this case:
"This is probably better categorized as Valve hiring two new employees instead of an acquisition of a company or opening of a Valve SF office."
Of course, it probably didn't help earlier today when Valve co-founder Gabe Newell told Edge:
"The guys who did PvZ, down in the Bay Area, we're helping them set up a Valve subsidiary there."