The economist who worked at Valve is now the new finance minister of Greece.

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Yanis Varoufakis.

Yanis Varoufakis, an economics professor based in Athens, joined Valve in March 2012 as a consultant after Gabe Newell emailed to describe the problems his company ran into as the virtual economies around games such as Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2 saw explosive growth.

"When I read the opening line of the email in question, my finger almost pushed the delete button," Varoufakis said at the time.

"Here at my company we were discussing an issue of linking economies in two virtual environments (creating a shared currency), and wrestling with some of the thornier problems of balance of payments, when it occurred to me 'this is Germany and Greece', a thought that wouldn't have occurred to me without having followed your blog," Newell wrote.

"Rather than continuing to run an emulator of you in my head, I thought I'd check to see if we couldn't get the real you interested in what we are doing."

After meeting with Valve in Seattle, Varoufakis became the company's economist-in-residence.

Now, three years later, Varoufakis has swapped the study of the sale of virtual hats for the arguably easier to understand sale of real life goods, GDP and Government debt in Greece.

Varoufakis has quite the job on: Greece is enveloped in an economic and political crisis that has resulted in bankruptcy, high unemployment and an election. Greece's new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has promised to end "the humiliation and pain" of the last five years - and he's won a mandate for ending austerity and renegotiating the terms of the bail out.

Greece will run out of money next month. Perhaps the Government should try selling TF2 hats on Steam.

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Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

Deputy Editor

Wesley is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.

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