Gabe Newell
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Gabe Newell

Gabe Newell
Gabe Newell GDC 2010.jpg
Born
Gabe Logan Newell

(1962-11-03) November 3, 1962 (age 57)
Colorado, U.S.
ResidenceSeattle, Washington[1]
Other namesGaben
Alma materHarvard University (dropped out)
Known forCo-founding Valve Corporation
Net worthUS$3.5 billion (November 2019)[1]
TitlePresident of Valve Corporation
Lisa Mennet Newell (m. 1996)
Children2
Awards

Gabe Logan Newell (born (1962-11-03)November 3, 1962), commonly known by his nickname Gaben , is an American computer programmer and businessman best known as the co-founder of the video game development and digital distribution company Valve Corporation. Born in Colorado, he attended Harvard University in the early 1980s, but dropped out and worked for Microsoft, where he worked as a producer for some of the early Windows operating systems.

While working at Microsoft, Newell and his 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 video games were the future of entertainment, and intrigued by the prospect of having their own game development studio, Newell and Harrington left Microsoft in 1996 to found Valve, where Newell remains president.

Career

Newell was born in Colorado on November 3, 1962, later attending Davis Senior High School in Davis, California.[3][unreliable source?] Following that, he attended Harvard University from 1980 until 1983, but dropped out before graduating to work for the American technology company Microsoft.[4][5] 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.[6] 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 had dropped out.[7] 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.[6] Newell and Harrington used their money to fund Valve 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.[8]

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"[9] 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'."[10] 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.[11] Newell has also criticized the Xbox Live service, referring to it as "a train wreck".[12] 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.[13]

In December 2010, Forbes named Newell as "A Name You Should Know", primarily for his work on Steam having partnerships with multiple major developers.[14] In March 2013, Newell received the BAFTA Fellowship award for his contributions to the video game industry.[15] In October 2017, Forbes listed him among the 100 richest people in the United States, with an estimated net worth of US$5.5 billion.[16][17]

Personal life

Newell formerly suffered from Fuchs' dystrophy, a congenital disease which affects the cornea, but was cured by two cornea transplants in 2006 and 2007.[18] He married Lisa Mennet (now Lisa Mennet Newell) on the same day he founded Valve with Harrington.[19][20][21] The couple has two sons, including Gray.[22][23] The birth of Gray in the late 1990s served as inspiration for the final boss of Half-Life, as the couple considered childbirth to be the most frightening thing they could think of at the time.[24]

In 2011, Newell stated that some of his favorite video games were Super Mario 64, Doom, and a Burroughs mainframe version of Star Trek.[25]Doom convinced him that games were the future of entertainment, and Super Mario 64 convinced him that games are a form of art.[25] Newell is also a fan of the animated series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.[26] In 2013, Newell was added to the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame.[27] Newell also recorded a voice pack for Dota 2, a Valve-developed game, which referenced many previous statements and phrases from himself in a humorous manner.[28]

Within the gaming community, he is jokingly known as "Gaben", which is derived from his work email address.[29] 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."[30]

References

  1. ^ a b "Gabe Newell". Forbes. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ "D.I.C.E Special Awards". Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ Hunt, Jared. "ALUMNI: Gabe Newell". BlueDevilHUB.com. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ Barret, Victoria (December 12, 2005). "It's A Mod, Mod Underworld". Forbes. Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ "Gabe Newell". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2016.
  6. ^ 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 2016.
  7. ^ Tosie, Anthony. "Gabe Newell: I learned more in three months at Microsoft than entire time at Harvard". neowin.net. Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ Keighley, Geoff (November 12, 2004). "The Final Hours of Half-Life 2". GameSpot. CBS Interactive.
  9. ^ Androvich, Mark (October 11, 2007). "PS3 a "waste of time," says Valve's Newell". GamesIndustry.biz. Gamer Network. Retrieved 2016.
  10. ^ 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 2016.
  11. ^ Bramwell, Tom (June 15, 2010). "Portal 2 coming to PlayStation 3". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 2016.
  12. ^ Fahey, Mike (September 9, 2010). "Valve Figured Microsoft Would Fix The Xbox Live "Train Wreck"". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved 2016.
  13. ^ "Valve boss Gabe Newell calls Windows 8 a 'catastrophe'". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 2016.
  14. ^ Chiang, Oliver (November 13, 2010). "Names You Need to Know in 2011: Gabe Newell". Forbes. Retrieved 2016.
  15. ^ "Valve's Gabe Newell to be Honoured with BAFTA Fellowship". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. February 25, 2013. Retrieved 2016.
  16. ^ Chalk, Andy (October 19, 2017). "Gabe Newell is worth $5.5 billion, according to Forbes". PC Gamer. Retrieved 2017.
  17. ^ "Forbes Lists - Gabe Newell". Forbes. Retrieved 2017.
  18. ^ Chiang, Oliver (February 9, 2011). "The Master of Online Mayhem". Forbes. Retrieved 2016.
  19. ^ G4tv (November 16, 2004). Icons: Half-Life. Event occurs at 2:20.
  20. ^ Staff (November 30, 2004). "Valve wins round one in Half-Life distribution debacle". SPOnG. Retrieved 2016.
  21. ^ "Valve Handbook for New Employees" (PDF). Valve Corporation. p. 19. Retrieved 2013.
  22. ^ "TUNED TO THE DUNES". The Seattle Times. 2003.
  23. ^ "Gabe Newell". Forbes. Retrieved 2017.
  24. ^ Walker, Alex. "Half-Life's Final Boss Was Based On Gabe Newell's Son (Being Born)". Kotaku. Retrieved 2018.
  25. ^ a b 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 2016.
  26. ^ Fahey, Mike (April 12, 2012). "Gabe Newell Just Made My Little Pony Fans Extremely Happy". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved 2016.
  27. ^ Purchese, Robert (November 15, 2012). "Gabe Newell named as next AIAS Hall of Famer". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 2016.
  28. ^ Horti, Samuel. "Gabe Newell comes to Dota 2 in wonderfully deadpan voice pack". PC Gamer. Retrieved 2018.
  29. ^ Goldman, Tom (March 5, 2011). "Gabe Newell Gives Away Personal Steam Password". The Escapist. Defy Media. Retrieved 2016.
  30. ^ Peterson, Andrea (January 6, 2014). "Gabe Newell on Valve's intimate relationship with its customers". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2016.

Further reading

External links


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