Gabe Newell Wiki: 32 Most Interesting Facts About Him!

Gabe Newell, Father of Valve

1. Gabe Logan Newell was born on November 3, 1962 in Seattle Washington.

2. Newell studied computer science at Harvard University from 1980 to 1983, one year shy of completing his undergraduate degree.

3. Newell learned about software development by visiting his brother Dan, who worked at Microsoft.

4. After dropping out of college, Newell began work at Microsoft, alongside his brother Dan and Mike Harrington. He was a producer on the first three Windows releases. 

5. Newell made over $1 million during his time at Microsoft, making him one of the “Microsoft Millionaires.”

6. At Microsoft, Newell and his colleague Mike Harrington experienced a renewed interest in video games. They believed that this medium would be the future of entertainment.

7. Newell’s all-time favorite games are Super Mario 64, Doom, and Trek. He credits Super Mario 64 as the game that taught him video games could be a form of art.

8. In 1996, Newell married Lisa Mennet. The couple has two sons.

9. In August of 1996, both Newell and Mike Harrington left Microsoft to found their own development studio, Valve Corporation in Washington. Newell was partly inspired when a former co-worker, Michael Abrash, left to work on id Software’s Quake.

10. Newell has a collection of 600 knives.

11. At Valve, Harrington and Newell developed Half-Life in order to fund their company. They started out with only twenty-eight people.

12. Half-Life is a first-person shooter video game in which players become Dr. Gordon Freeman and have to fight their way out of a top-secret research facility. The immersive nature of Half-Life is an echo back to what Newell loved about his experience playing Doom.

13. Doom, Ultima Underworld, Resident Evil 2, and Mario 64 were all influences on Half-Life, as Mike Harrington and Newell played them a lot when designing the game.

14. “C’mon, people, you can’t show the player a really big bomb and not let them blow it up.” Newell, on Half-Life.

15. He likes his steaks cooked medium rare.

16. After the success of Half-Life, Valve started to produce Half-Life 2, and Newell began to develop Steam, a digital distribution platform.

17. Newell’s last name is on the Sector D sign in Half-Life.

18. Other games Newell created and Valve produced include Counter-Strike, Portal, and Dota, Team Fortress 2. All were well-received and financial successes.

19. Newell’s meme-able appearance includes his large stature, a wild beard, and Ralph Lauren polo shirts.

20. Newell has been outspoken about the future of gaming and software, having voice unpopular opinions about the Playstation 3 Console and Windows 8.

21. Newell is nicknamed Gaben by the video gaming community. The nickname comes from an incident when Newell read his email ([email protected]) as “Gaben” on a commentary node in Team Fortress 2. (For those who want to hear it for themselves, it happens in the Gravel Pit)

22. Despite his success, Newell retains a strong sense of loyalty to his home state of Washington; Valve’s headquarters remain in Bellevue.

23. Newell, a long-time sufferer of the corneal disease Fuchs’ dystrophy, received his first cornea transplant in 2006. He was cured after a second transplant in 2007.  

24. Newell’s idols in the gaming industry include Warren Spector (Deus Ex), John Carmack, Shigeru Miyamoto, and Sid Meier.

25. Newell owns a level 9001 “Mallet of Banishment,” the Ban Hammer, from Team Fortress 2.

26. Newell’s net worth is $3.9 billion.

27. Newell watches “My Little Pony” and is a self-declared “brony,” or a fan of the show.

28. Newell considers himself a risk taker, and believes that investing in experimenting is what leads to breakthroughs.

29. He doesn’t necessarily believe virtual reality is the future – in an interview with Jonathan Leack, he said that there’s a chance VR will fail in the long run, but that doesn’t mean developers shouldn’t keep experimenting.

30. Currently, Newell’s Valve is partnering with HTC Vive VR system to design some groundbreaking games.

31. While Half-Life may be Newell’s claim to fame in the gaming world, it isn’t necessarily his favorite creation. For Newell, Half-Life is a reminder of tough choices he had to make in designing the game – everything that’s there reminds him of what he chose to leave out.

32. He’s been to Amsterdam and thinks it’s nice.

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A forest nymph from the mystical land of Oregon, Victoria has traveled many lands and garnered knowledge of games, movies, books, all to share with those she comes across.
Gamer Since: 2012
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Guild Wars 2
Top 3 Favorite Games:Guild Wars 2, Transistor, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn
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