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Gabe Newell

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Gabe Newell
Gabe Newell GDC 2010.jpg
Born Gabe Logan Newell
(1962-11-03) November 3, 1962 (age 53)
Seattle, Washington, United States
Other names Gaben
Alma mater Harvard University (dropped out)
Occupation Managing director of Valve Corporation
Years active 1983-present
Known for Being co-founder and managing director of Valve Corporation
Net worth US$2.2 billion (January 2016)[1]
Spouse(s) Lisa Newell
Children 2
Awards BAFTA Fellowship (2013)

Gabe Logan Newell[2] (/ˈnjuːəl/; born November 3, 1962) is the co-founder and managing director of video game development and online distribution company Valve Corporation.


After having dropped out of Harvard University[3] Newell spent thirteen years working for Microsoft Corporation, ultimately becoming a "Microsoft Millionaire". Newell has described himself as "producer on the first three releases of Windows".[4] Inspired by Michael Abrash, who left Microsoft to work on the computer game Quake at id Software, Newell and another Microsoft employee, Mike Harrington, left Microsoft to found Valve in 1996.[4] He and Harrington used their money to fund Valve through the development of Half-Life.

During production on Half-Life 2, he spent several months focusing on the Steam project.[5]

In 2007, Newell openly expressed his displeasure over developing his software for gaming consoles, particularly the PlayStation 3. In regard to the system, Newell was once quoted as claiming that developing processes for the console in general was "a waste of everybody's time"[6] and "a disaster on many levels ... I'd say, even at this late date, they should just cancel it and do a do over. Just say, 'This was a horrible disaster and we're sorry and we're going to stop selling this and stop trying to convince people to develop for it'."[7] Nevertheless, at E3 in 2010, Newell appeared on stage at Sony's keynote; while acknowledging his past outspoken comments on console development, he discussed the open nature of Sony's PlayStation 3 platform, and announced Portal 2 for the console, remarking that with Steamworks support it would be the best version for any console.[8] Newell has also criticized the Xbox Live service, referring to it as "a train wreck".[9] He was also intensely critical of Microsoft's operating system Windows 8, calling it a "catastrophe" and a threat to the usually open nature of PC gaming.[10]

In December 2010, Forbes named Newell as "A Name You Should Know" mainly for his work on Steam having partnerships with multiple major developers.[11] In March 2012, Forbes estimated the net worth of Newell as $1.5 billion, ranking 854th out of 1,226 global billionaires.[12]

In March 2013 Newell received[13] the BAFTA Fellowship Award for his outstanding and exceptional creative contribution to the video games industry.[14]

Personal life

Gabe Newell at his office

Gabe is married to Lisa Mennet[15] and has two sons.[16] He suffered from Fuchs' dystrophy, a congenital disease which affects the cornea, but was cured by two cornea transplants in 2006 and 2007.[17] He is a financial supporter of the Democratic Party.[18]

His favorite games are Super Mario 64, Doom, and Star Trek played on a Burroughs mainframe computer. Doom convinced him that video games were the future of entertainment, and Super Mario 64 convinced him that video games were art.[19] He is a fan of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.[20]

Newell has said that he has tried to grow into his public image: "They hug me when they run into me. I'm not a hugging person, but that's what they want. I was with my kids the first time that happened in public, and my kids were pretty cool with it. But I wasn't. 'Dad, roll with it.' Even now, I'm learning from our customers."[21] Within the gaming community, he is nicknamed Gaben, after his work email address.[22]


  1. ^ "Forbes: The World's Billionaires - Gabe Newell". January 3, 2016. 
  2. ^ Robert Purchese (15 November 2012). "Gabe Newell Named as Next AIAS Hall of Famer". Eurogamer. Retrieved 12 June 2015. 
  3. ^ Barret, Victoria Murphy (December 12, 2005). "It's A Mod, Mod Underworld". 
  4. ^ a b CVG Staff (2007-09-28). "Creative Minds: Gabe Newell". Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  5. ^ Keighley, Geoff. "The Final Hours of Half-Life 2". GameSpot UK. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  6. ^ Androvich, Mark. "PS3 a "waste of time" says Valve's Newell". Retrieved 2008-02-22. 
  7. ^ Bishop, Stuart. "Valve: PS3 a "total disaster on so many levels"". Retrieved 2007-01-15. 
  8. ^ "Portal 2 coming to PlayStation 3". 
  9. ^ Fahey, Mike. "Valve Figured Microsoft Would Fix The Xbox Live Train Wreck". Kotaku. Retrieved 2010-09-11. 
  10. ^ "Valve boss Gabe Newell calls Windows 8 a 'catastrophe'". BBC News. BBC. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  11. ^ Chiang, Oliver (13 November 2010). "Names You Need to Know in 2011: Gabe Newell". Forbes. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  12. ^ Ewalt, David M. (2012-03-07). "Valve's Gabe Newell Is The Newest Video Game Billionaire". Forbes. Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  13. ^ "Gabe Newell: Academy Fellowship in 2013". BAFTA. 2013-02-27. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  14. ^ "Valve’s Gabe Newell to be Honoured with BAFTA Fellowship". BAFTA. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  15. ^ "Valve wins round one in Half-Life distribution debacle". November 30, 2004. 
  16. ^ Macdonald, Sally. "TUNED TO THE DUNES". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  17. ^ Chiang, Oliver (2011-02-09). "The Master of Online Mayhem". Forbes. Retrieved 2011-02-13. The founder of videogame seller Valve suffers from Fuchs Dystrophy, a congenital disease that slowly destroys the cornea. "I have dead-people eyes", he said at the time. Double cornea transplants in 2006 and 2007 cured him and changed him utterly. 
  18. ^ "Campaign Finance - Money, Political Finance, Campaign Contributions". Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  19. ^ "Gabe Newell: My 3 favourite games". Computer and Video Games. 2011-04-04. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  20. ^ Fahey, Mike (2012-04-12). "Gabe Newell Just Made My Little Pony Fans Extremely Happy". Kotaku. Retrieved 2012-05-30. 
  21. ^ Peterson, Andrea. "The Switch: Gabe Newell on Valve’s intimate relationship with its customers". Washington Post. Jeff Bezos. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  22. ^ Tom Goldman (4 March 2011). "Gabe Newell Gives Away [His] Personal Steam Password". Escapist Magazine. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 

External links