Golden Recursion Inc. logoGolden Recursion Inc. logo
Advanced Search
Gabe Newell

Gabe Newell

Gabe Newell is the co-founder and president of Valve Corporation, an American video game developer.

Gabe Newell is the co-founder and president of the American video game developer Valve Corporation. He previously worked at Microsoft and helped develop the first few Windows operating systems.

Education and career at Microsoft

Newell attended Harvard University from 1980 to 1983. In 1983, he dropped out of Harvard to work at Microsoft. Newell had been visiting his brother at work, who also worked at Microsoft, when Steve Ballmer (now the president of the company) told him to "do something useful" since he was spending so much time there. Newell began learning software development from early Microsoft employees like Neil Konzen. After realizing he had learned more useful computer skills in just a few months at Microsoft than he had after a few years at Harvard, he dropped out of school to join Microsoft. During his time at Microsoft, Newell helped to create the first few Windows operating systems, versions 1.01, 1.02, and 1.03. In 1996, Newell and his coworker Mike Harrington left Microsoft with plans to establish Valve Corporation.

Valve Corporation

Valve Corporation is a video game developer and distribution company, headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. Newell and Harrington founded Valve together in 1996. Valve has developed thirty-two games as of December 2021. It has also cancelled several games in development. Valve's most popular games include Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Portal, and Dota 2. Valve is well-known for its gaming platform Steam, one of the biggest PC gaming platforms today. Steam was created in 2003 and has over 120 million active users as of January 2021. Valve receives 30% of each game sale on Steam until the game's total sales surpass $10 million, at which point it lowers to 25% until it reaches $50 million, when it lowers again to 20%.

Criticisms of gaming industry

Newell has been vocal about his views and criticisms of modern gaming platforms. In 2007, he called the Playstation 3 a "waste of time." In 2010, Newell described Xbox Live's restrictive downloadable content rules as a "trainwreck." In 2012, Newell stated, "Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space," in regards to it being a closed-source software. Newell is especially critical of closed-source or otherwise restricted platforms. In 2017, Newell said he originally thought the Nintendo DS was "stupid" and that Sony's handheld gaming devices would perform better in the market.

Personal life

Newell is a multibillionaire, with a net worth of approximately $4.1 billion. He is ranked #705 on Forbes' 2021 list of richest people in the world. Newell previously suffered from Fuchs' dystrophy but was fully cured with two successful cornea transplants, one in 2006 and one in 2007. Newell was awarded with a BAFTA Fellowship in 2013 for his contributions to the gaming development field. In November 2012, Newell was the 17th inductee into the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences' Hall of Fame.


February 25, 2013
Newell is awarded a BAFTA Fellowship.
November 2012
Newell becomes the new inductee to the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences.
Newell and his coworker Mike Harrington leave Microsoft to found Valve Corporation.
Newell drops out of Harvard to work at Microsoft.
Newell attends Harvard.
November 3, 1962
Gabe Newell was born in Seattle.


Further Resources



Matthew Gault
February 15, 2021
Tech oligarchs are encouraging the creation of virtual worlds as a cheap way to avoid problems in the real one.
Shawn Knight
January 25, 2021
In a recent interview with New Zealand's 1 News, Newell delves deep into the topic of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). Bypassing physical body parts like eyes that limit...
Jon Porter
January 25, 2021
The Verge
Valve's Gabe Newell has talked about the company's work on using brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) in gaming. He says developers would be making a "silly mistake" if they ignore the area.
Jon Porter
January 22, 2021
The Verge
In a new interview, Valve co-founder and president Gabe Newell talked about his love of New Zealand and confirmed that Valve does indeed have new games in development, though he declined to offer more details.
Rob Thubron
January 21, 2021
Newell, who's been in New Zealand since the start of the pandemic, was speaking to 1 News. We definitely have games in development that we're going to...


Golden logo
By using this site, you agree to our Terms & Conditions.