Gabe Newell

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Gabe Newell 2010

Gabe Logan Newell (born November 3, 1962 ), often also called GabeN , is an American entrepreneur and game developer .


From 1980 Newell attended Harvard University and after dropping out of his studies in 1983 he worked at Microsoft until he co-founded the games company Valve Corporation in 1996, which he now serves as its President and CEO . Newell's best-known work is the computer game Half-Life .

Newell held a variety of positions in the systems, applications, and advanced technology departments while at Microsoft. He was responsible for the program management for the first two versions ( 1.0 and 2.x ) of the Windows operating system , the founding of Microsoft's multimedia department and the efforts to lead the company towards the information highway - PC . The discount campaigns that take place regularly and several times a year on the widespread distribution platform Steam developed by Valve, where current titles from larger publishers are also heavily discounted, earned him the nickname “Lord Gaben”. The popular campaign weeks before the holidays changed the purchasing behavior of the players permanently.

With an estimated net worth of $ 4.1 billion, he ranks 810 on Forbes magazine's 2016 list . The magazine also ranks Newell among the Names You Need to Know in 2010 .


For the organization of his company Valve, Newell implemented his views on collaboration between employees - the company's hierarchy is "radically flat"; H. apart from Gabe Newell, who acts as CEO, there are no executives and all decisions are made by consensus by teams.

Until mid-2010, Newell regularly railed against the PlayStation 3 (ports of Valve games for the console come from Electronic Arts and not from Valve). Valve only develops for PC (Windows, Mac and Linux) and in the past partly for the Xbox 360 . He accused Sony of having completely lost sight of the interests of computer gamers and developers. Among other things, he recommended pulping and completely redesigning the console. At the computer entertainment fair E3 in 2010, however, he took the stage at the Sony press conference and apologized for his earlier remarks. In addition, he praised the open architecture of the PlayStation Network because this, in contrast to the closed and sealed off Xbox Live , enables the integration of Steam. At the same time he announced the puzzle game Portal 2 for the PlayStation 3 - with the hint that this would (through the Steam integration) be the best console version of this game.

He is very critical of Windows 8 , not least because of the Windows Store integrated by Microsoft , which is why he announced that he would focus more on Linux. He sees the Wii very positively and likes “ Nintendo's approach in general ”.

Newell is critical of Digital Rights Management (DRM). A manufacturer should offer added value in terms of service and not more restrictions. On the other hand, his company Valve released Steam, the first internet-based DRM system for games, which already brought some restrictions with it (e.g. that buyers cannot resell pure Steam games if they have already been registered on Steam).


Gabe Newell's public image as a Good Guy Valve has been criticized for being a PR creation that purposely covers up the problematic business practices of his Valve company. Tim Colwill wrote on the Polygon website, “So this is Good Guy Valve - a company that uses precision-engineered psychological tools to trick people into giving their money in exchange for goods that they legally do not own and may never use while the company benefits from a bunch of unpaid labor and work without defined employment relationships ... but is not 'evil'. "( This, then, is Good Guy Valve - a corporation which employs precision-engineered psychological tools to trick people into giving them money in exchange for goods they don't legally own and may never actually use while profiting from a whole lot of unpaid labor and speculative work ... but isn't "evil." )

Web links

Commons : Gabe Newell  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Gabe Newell on LinkedIn
  2. Tobias Ritter: Gabe Newell - Valve boss regrets working on Half-Life , GameStar , January 19, 2017
  3. ^ Valve - Our people: Gabe Newell
  4. Suzie Kim: Praise Lord Gaben - How the Steam Sale Changes Our Game Industry , July 5, 2015
  5. The World's Billionaires: # 810 Gabe Newell. In: . As of August 23, 2016.
  6. Oliver Chiang: Names You Need to Know in 2011: Gabe Newell. In:, November 13, 2010.
  7. BBC: Valve: How going boss-free empowered the games-maker , September 23, 2013, accessed on April 24, 2019.
  8. a b Gabe Newell: Wii hui, PS3 ugh! In: , January 15, 2007, accessed on January 4, 2008
  9. Portal 2 E3 2010 Gabe Newell Announcement. In:
  10. Gabe Newell criticizes Windows 8. In: , January 26, 2012, accessed on July 26, 2012
  11. Gabe Newell criticizes DRM. In: , December 3, 2008, accessed December 4, 2008
  12. ^ Valve is not your friend, and Steam is not healthy for gaming. In: , May 16, 2017, accessed May 17, 2017