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Gabe Newell

Gabe Newell is the co-founder and owner of video game and online distribution company Valve Corporation. He dropped out of Harvard University to work at Microsoft Corp. for 13 years, becoming a millionaire. Newell has said that he worked on the first three versions of Windows himself. Inspired by Michael Abrash, who had left Microsoft earlier on to work on Quake at id Software, Newell and Mike Harrington left the company and created Valve.

Using the money they made from working at Microsoft, they were able to fund their first game, the infamous Half-Life. After this he proceeded to develop Half-Life 2 and during the development cycle began work on the Steam client. In February 2015, Steam had over 4500 games and 125 million active users. In 2013, about 75% of all digital PC games were downloaded through Steam.

In 2007, Newell began his open criticism of the gaming consoles, particularly the PlayStation 3, claiming the development to be a waste of time. However, at E3 in 2010, Newell took his statements back and appeared on Sony’s presentation announcing Portal 2 for the PlayStation 3 and his belief in it being the best version of any console due to the support for Steamworks. He has indicated displeasure with the approaches that both Microsoft and Apple are taking with their respective operating systems, limiting what applications could be run, and upon the release of Windows 8 in 2012, Newell called it "a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space", and discussed the possibility of promoting the open-source operating system Linux that would maintain "the openness of the platform".

Gabe Newell at D.I.C.E 2013