Such is his influence on the world of videogames and computing that it's a wonder Gabe Newell hasn't been inducted into the prestigious Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame already. This coming February at the 2013 D.I.C.E. summit will be his moment.
17 people came before him. In reverse order these were Epic's Tim Sweeney (2012), BioWare's retired doctors Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka (2011), Marble Madness' Mark Cerny (2010), Ensemble's Bruce Shelley (2009) and Blizzard's Mike Morhaime (2008). Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto was the first inductee (1998), followed by Civilization's Sid Meier (1999), Final Fantasy's Hironobu Sakaguchi (2000), id Software's John Carmack (2001) and SimCity/The Sims' Will Wright (2002).
Gabe Newell may be the most important person in video games today. Valve's well regarded Steam distribution service revolutionised and now controls the PC market, and has expanded onto Mac and soon Linux. Valve's games are considered some of the finest around, particularly the seminal Half-Life series. Valve's Total Football-style company culture is revered and envied. And Valve's experimental visions of the future are exciting and noteworthy.
Gabe Newell built that, he's a luminary; when he speaks, everyone listens.
Epic Games' Mike Capps, who serves on the AIAS board of directors and awards committee, had this to say about Newelll: "Gabe is a living legend of the video games industry, and his relentless focus on customer experience has made our whole industry a better place. Valve's unconventional success is an inspiration for us all, and I couldn't be more pleased to present Gabe's Hall of Fame award."
Before Valve was formed in 1996, Newell worked at Microsoft for 13 years (the company who's Windows 8 operating system he famously called "a catastrophe").
Gabe Newell is 50 years old; if he lives to be 100 you could say he's now at his half-life. Oh gosh sorry.
Gabe Newell's middle name is Logan so he's effectively also Wolverine.
Gabe Newell's estimated to be worth $1.5 billion. He's even apparently had two cornea transplants, but I'm not sure why you'd want to know that. Sounds grisly.
Gabe Newell has also accomplished a beard, like Brian Blessed.