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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 54)
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Nationality American
Other names Gaben
Alma mater Harvard University (drop out)
Years active 1983–present
Known for Co-founding Valve Corporation
Net worth US$4.1 billion (January 2017)[1]
Title President of Valve Corporation
Spouse(s) Lisa Mennet Newell (m. 1996)
Children 2[1]
Awards BAFTA Fellowship (2013)
AIAS Hall of Fame Award (2013)[2]

Gabe Logan Newell (/ˈnjuːəl/; born (1962-11-03)November 3, 1962), often nicknamed Gaben, is an American computer programmer and businessman who is best known as the co-founder and president of the video game development and digital distribution company, Valve Corporation. Born in Seattle, Newell attended Harvard University in the early 1980s, but dropped out to work for the American technology company Microsoft, where he spent the next decade working as a producer for some of their early Windows operating systems.

During his time at the company, Newell, along with co-worker Mike Harrington, were impressed by computer games that were being released in the mid 1990s, such as id Software's Doom and Quake. Fully convinced that games were the future of entertainment, and intrigued by the prospect of having his own development studio, Newell, along with Harrington, left Microsoft to co-found Valve in 1996, where he remains its president.

Career

Newell attended Harvard University from 1980 until 1983, where he dropped out to work for the American technology company Microsoft.[3][4] Newell then spent the next thirteen years working at the company, serving as a "producer" of the Windows 1.01, 1.02, and 1.03 operating systems.[5] Newell later stated that he learned more during his first three months at Microsoft than he ever did at Harvard, explaining one of the reasons why he dropped out.[6] 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 L.L.C. in 1996.[5] Newell and Harrington used their money to fund Valve L.L.C. through the development of Half-Life and the GoldSrc game engine.

During production on Half-Life 2, he spent several months focusing on the Steam project.[7]

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"[8] 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'."[9] Nevertheless, at Electronic Entertainment Expo 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.[10] Newell has also criticized the Xbox Live service, referring to it as "a train wreck".[11] He was also critical of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system, calling it a "catastrophe" and "a threat" to the open nature of PC gaming.[12]

In December 2010, Forbes named Newell as "A Name You Should Know", primarily for his work on Steam having partnerships with multiple major developers.[13] In March 2013, Newell received the BAFTA Fellowship award for his contributions to the video game industry.[14] In January 2017, Forbes estimated the net worth of Newell to be $4.1 billion, ranking him 134th among all global billionaires.[15]

Personal life

Newell was born on November 3, 1962, in Seattle, Washington.[16] He attended Harvard University from 1980 to 1983, eventually dropping out. He married Lisa Mennet Newell in 1996.[17][18]

Newell stated that some of his favorite games were Super Mario 64, Doom, and a Burroughs mainframe version of Star Trek.[19] Doom convinced him that games were the future of entertainment, and Super Mario 64 convinced him that games were a form of art. Newell is also a fan of the American animated series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.[20]

Newell formerly suffered from Fuchs' dystrophy, a congenital disease which affects the cornea, but was cured by two cornea transplants in 2006 and 2007.[21]

Within the gaming community, he is jokingly known as "Gaben", which derives from his work email address.[22] Newell stated 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."[23]

References

  1. ^ a b "Gabe Newell". Forbes. Retrieved January 18, 2017. 
  2. ^ "D.I.C.E Special Awards". Retrieved 22 January 2017. 
  3. ^ Barret, Victoria (December 12, 2005). "It's A Mod, Mod Underworld". Forbes. Retrieved February 2, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Gabe Newell". LinkedIn. Retrieved December 22, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b CVG Staff (September 28, 2007). "Creative Minds: Gabe Newell". Computer and Video Games. Future plc. Archived from the original on December 11, 2014. Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  6. ^ Tosie, Anthony. "Gabe Newell: I learned more in three months at Microsoft than entire time at Harvard". neowin.net. Retrieved January 5, 2017. 
  7. ^ Keighley, Geoff (November 12, 2004). "The Final Hours of Half-Life 2". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. 
  8. ^ Androvich, Mark (October 11, 2007). "PS3 a "waste of time," says Valve's Newell". GamesIndustry.biz. Gamer Network. Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  9. ^ Bishop, Stuart (January 15, 2007). "Gabe Newell: PS3 "a waste of everybody's time"". Computer and Video Games. Future plc. Archived from the original on December 23, 2014. Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  10. ^ Bramwell, Tom (June 15, 2010). "Portal 2 coming to PlayStation 3". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  11. ^ Fahey, Mike (September 9, 2010). "Valve Figured Microsoft Would Fix The Xbox Live "Train Wreck"". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Valve boss Gabe Newell calls Windows 8 a 'catastrophe'". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  13. ^ Chiang, Oliver (November 13, 2010). "Names You Need to Know in 2011: Gabe Newell". Forbes. Retrieved February 2, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Valve's Gabe Newell to be Honoured with BAFTA Fellowship". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. February 25, 2013. Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  15. ^ Schreier, Jason (January 17, 2017). "Gabe Newell Is Worth More Than Donald Trump--Sad!". Kotaku. Retrieved January 18, 2017. 
  16. ^ Purchese, Robert (November 15, 2012). "Gabe Newell named as next AIAS Hall of Famer". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  17. ^ Staff (November 30, 2004). "Valve wins round one in Half-Life distribution debacle". SPOnG. Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Valve Handbook for New Employees" (PDF). Valve Corporation. p. 19. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  19. ^ Ingham, Tim (April 4, 2011). "Gabe Newell: My 3 favourite games". Computer and Video Games. Future plc. Archived from the original on February 11, 2015. Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  20. ^ Fahey, Mike (April 12, 2012). "Gabe Newell Just Made My Little Pony Fans Extremely Happy". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  21. ^ Chiang, Oliver (February 9, 2011). "The Master of Online Mayhem". Forbes. Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  22. ^ Goldman, Tom (March 5, 2011). "Gabe Newell Gives Away Personal Steam Password". The Escapist. Defy Media. Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  23. ^ Peterson, Andrea (January 6, 2014). "Gabe Newell on Valve's intimate relationship with its customers". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 9, 2016. 

Further reading

External links