Gabe Newell: The Next Videogame Billionaire?

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Gabe Newell: The Next Videogame Billionaire?

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Forbes Magazine calls Gabe Newell of Valve the next "billionaire of videogames."

Billionaires made by videogames are rare. They're even rarer when not working for a company like Nintendo or Blizzard. According to a Forbes article, Gabe Newell is closing in on these executives thanks to his futuristic vision as the co-founder of Valve.

However, Newell's literal vision was almost completely lost years ago. The article talks about a situation in 2006 and 2007 where Newell was forced to undergo double cornea transplants to fix a congenital disease called Fuchs Dystrophy. Newell once said he had "dead-people eyes," but after the operations could "see better than [he] ever had before."

And now, Forbes puts Newell on the track to becoming a seriously rich man. It estimates that Steam, the digital distribution platform with over 30 million users, owns 50-70% of the $4 billion download market, which exceeded physical PC unit sales in 2010 for the first time. Newell says Valve is "tremendously profitable," with analysts estimating the company earned revenue in the "high hundreds of millions of dollars" in 2010 due to reported year over year growth of 200%.

It's no wonder that Newell has no interest in selling Valve. He believes that the company brings in more money per employee than Google or Apple. Total value of Valve is estimated at $2 to $4 billion, for whatever those unconfirmed estimates are worth.

The success of Steam apparently helps out the entire industry, too. Forbes writes that publishers earn a profit margin of 70% on Steam, while at retail that'd be more than cut in half at 30%.

So while Newell is probably earning a mint for his time, it's a mint that goes back into gaming as a whole. I hear he's also really hot.

Source: Forbes

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And around half of it is from people buying TF2 keys.

hazabaza1:
And around half of it is from people buying TF2 keys.

What works works. It's not horse armour.

I wish he would funnel that money into actually making Episode 3 =/

But good for him, Valve is awesome and so is Steam.

hazabaza1:
And around half of it is from people buying TF2 keys.

...And entire games to get promotioal items. And hats of course.

Tom Goldman:

So while Newell is probably earning a mint for his time, it's a mint that goes back into gaming as a whole. I hear he's also really hot.

This is why I can never quite hate 4chan.

No wonder they're in no hurry to finish Ep. 3, they can just ride the Steam train. See what I did there?

the escapist giving you stock advice :P seriously buy shares in valve people its only going up!

Good for Gabe, out of all the Developing companies Valve has got to be the best of them all.

70% protif margin on steam? With a profit margin like that, why wouldn't someone use steam to sell their game?

Good for him! Though I am one of those that helped him get that billions...

Damn Steam taking all my money...

Hahaha. The Gabe Newell submission is priceless.

As easy as it would be to post a fat joke, I respect the guy. Valve is overrated, but Newell is a genius.

And on top of all of that Valve doesn't bitch or whinge about piracy. They even make good games...when they get around to releasing one, anyways...

You also have to ask yourself, who in their right minds could hate Him or Steam with all it's tempting deals? Seriously.

I am glad Steam is doing alot more for the gaming industry as a whole than retailers do.

In before "now release HL2Ep3, Gabe!"

Think of all the more food he could buy if/when he becomes a billionaire

L34dP1LL:
No wonder they're in no hurry to finish Ep. 3, they can just ride the Steam train. See what I did there?

i c wut u did thar!

OT: Good for him! I do like Valve, they've got to be the best company. In the world.
Ever.
In History.
Of the Earth.
Of forever.

I remember Gabe getting 2nd place in that Victoria's Secret contest. That was an amazing day!

Good on Gabe too. Honestly, Steam has its issues, but Gabe's vision is a good one. And I can respect Valve for the quality games they've made thus far.

hazabaza1:
And around half of it is from people buying TF2 keys.

Actually, I'd argue that even if they dropped all third party games tomorrow, they'll survive on Counter Strike sales alone.

Everything that comes out of Gabe is gold.

Good for him! As long as Valve continues to churn out the free updates for their games then he deserves his money. Steam was such a genius concept.

Awesome. We need more people like him. Not like him, but with such a mind. You know what i meant....

Dammit.

Good for him. Steam is easily the best gaming platform I've ever used, and Valve is quite an awesome company with all the great games they've released so far.

Newell should be given 20 virgins of his choosing for his efforts.. :)

hazabaza1:
And around half of it is from people buying TF2 keys.

Spoilerd for size.

As someone who dosent use steam I dont care, I find valve overrated. But am glad steam gives devs 70%, but I dont like how stema cold easily do what the fck it wanted becuase it controls so much of the digital market. Well atleast its gabe not kotick.

Think of how much chicken wings he can buy for this money!

Hey, despite my mixed opinions on Steam and not being a big FPS player all I can say is congrats. Good to hear he's doing that well.

I wonder if there will be an official annoucement when he hits the mark....

Ya that's all nice, now go put some of that money into Episode 3!!!1!

It is probably because valve are the coolest developers around my case and point:

They are masters at keeping loyal customers and not being dicks.

Gabe Newell is ingenious. I really look up to that person.

This is a sad day for gaming.
*Cries a single, manly Native American tear*

I think this demonstrates it well.

Well I just preordered Portal 2, so I just made him a bit richer.

WaaghPowa:
Good for Gabe, out of all the Developing companies Valve has got to be the best of them all.

70% protif margin on steam? With a profit margin like that, why wouldn't someone use steam to sell their game?

Because sometimes you don't want someone else's DRM restricting your game. But other than that, aye, Steam rocks :)

Souplex:
This is a sad day for gaming.
*Cries a single, manly Native American tear*

Why ? :/

Is it bad that he succeds at promoting PC (and Mac) gaming without selling the company or going public (which would block its relative independance) ?

I mean sure, some may dislike Steam for various valid reasons, but overall, it had imho a beneficial effect: some may worry that they are so large that they shadow other similar digital distribution companies, but imho they increased the market visibility a lot, and the other companies also beneficed from that effect (even if I'm sure that now, they'd like to grab some bigger parts of the market), but that's fine, at least it's driving innovation further.

Personally, the only part I regret is that Valve still doesn't have more leverage to force the few remaining (largest) publishers to remove their additional redondant and frankly useless DRMs. They seem able to do in most cases, but large companies like Ubisoft seem still too powerful to be influenced.

(or maybe I'm just a crazy cynical idealist)(yes it's a strange combination :-)

I think he deserves success, who would you rather give your money Gabe or Steve Jobs?

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