Great tech innovators: Gabe Newell

Valve supremo has revolutionised PC gaming

  • Age: 52
  • Company: Valve
  • Best known for: PC gaming, Half Life, Steam, Steam Machine
  • Quote: "I'm not sure we're all going to put down our game controllers and pick up touch screens - which is a reasonable view, I'm just not sure I buy into it."

In terms of gaming on the PC, Gabe Newell can lay claim to being one of the most influential figures of the 21st century, but his influence in tech is creeping beyond the traditional Windows platforms into consoles and other hardware.

A 52-year-old former Microsoft man, newell made his first fortune in Redmond, but made himself a billionaire by taking the risk of leaving the software giant to set up Valve with Mike Harrington and work on Half-Life, one of the greatest games of all time.

Newell and Valve's ambition extended beyond just making great games however, and the launch of Half Life 2 on the company's proprietary Source engine, allowed Valve to push through a PC game digital distribution and delivery system called Steam, which quickly became ubiquitous and then a store front for the PC as Microsoft turned their attention to Xbox.

Now, Valve is using Steam at the heart of its plan for the next era of gaming with Steam Machines and, yet, it is Newell's first party games that will perhaps define success or failure of that platform and also others (like VR).

And yes - we are talking about Half Life 3.

  • In partnership with Microsoft, powered by the HP Spectre x360


Global Editor-in-Chief

Patrick (Twitter) is Global Editor-in-Chief for techradar, and has been with the site since its launch in 2008. He is a longstanding judge of the T3 Awards, been quoted or seen on everything from the The Sun to Sky News and is on the #CoolBrands Council. He started his career in football, making him one of approximately one journalists to have covered both a World Cup final and an iPhone launch.