After leaving Microsoft in the mid-1990s, Gabe Newell went on to co-found video game developer and distributing company Valve Corporation. That decision would end up being extremely profitable for Newell, to say the least.
Gabe Newell has a net worth of approximately $5.5 billion, according to Forbes. With his incredible amount of wealth, Newell ranks within the top 400 wealthiest people in the world and sits ahead of the likes of Star Wars creator George Lucas and restaurant mogul and recent esports investor Tilman Fertitta.
Newell attended Harvard University from 1980 to 1983 before dropping out to take a job at Microsoft. Despite going to one of the most prestigious universities in the world for several years, Newell described his first three months working at Microsoft as the “most intense and valuable educational experience” he’d ever had in a 2013 interview.
In the 13 years he worked at Microsoft, Newell was a producer on the first three Windows releases and a massive proponent of porting DOOM to Windows. After Newell pushed for the port for his game, id Software co-founder and DOOM lead programmer John Carmack suggested to Newell and another Microsoft employee, Mike Harrington, that they should leave their jobs and start a games company. To help the Microsoft pair, Carmack even gave them the source code for Quake to kick-start their first project.
Valve Corporation’s first project was Half-Life, a game that would end up being one of Valve’s most popular games ever. Despite Harrington leaving the company in 2000, Newell and Valve continued to thrive. Half-Life 2 was released in 2004 and popular games Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Dota 2 would follow within the decade to further cement Valve’s legacy in the gaming industry.
Valve is developing Artifact, a much-anticipated collectible card game. The success Hearthstone has seen, it may not be too early to say that Gabe Newell will be making a lot more money when Artifact is released. In addition to the game, Valve has put substantial resources into developing virtual reality. Its VR headset, the HTC Vive, was released in 2016.