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Gabe Newell, often nicknamed Gaben, is the co-founder and managing director of video game developer Valve Corporation. As a prominent figure in the video gaming industry, Newell has developed a sizable reputation on the Internet for his controversial views on console gaming, his large physique, and relation to Valve series such as Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Portal and Team Fortress. Due to the constant delay of Half-Life 2: Episode Three and some of the features on Team Fortress 2, he has also gained a reputation as a troll.
Gabe Logan Newell was born on November 3, 1962. He briefly attended Harvard University before dropping out to work for Microsoft. After a 13-year stint at Microsoft, Newell and fellow employee Mike Harrington left the company and used their profits to found a video-game studio, Valve Software. After a meeting with John Carmack, co-founder of id Software, they decided to license the Quake engine to create their first video game, Half-Life. Valve later acquired TF Software PTY Ltd, the makers of the Team Fortress mod for Quake, in May 1998 with the intent to create a standalone Team Fortress game.
Since the success of Half-Life, Newell and the Valve team have worked on numerous other video game series, such as Counter-Strike, Left 4 Dead and Portal. Valve games are built on its Source engine, which owes much of its success to mods and sequels. Gabe Newell is currently married to Lisa Newell, and has two sons. Forbes reports that he has an estimated net worth of 1.1 billion dollars.
Gabe Newell has developed a sizable Internet reputation for a number of topics related to his work with Valve and position in the video game industry. He has been known for his controversial opinions on console gaming, calling the PlayStation 3 a “total disaster” and Xbox Live a “trainwreck”.
Gaben is a nickname given to Gabe Newell derived from a comment made by him in the Team Fortress 2 developers’ commentary node, in which he reads out his E-mail address: “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Song remixes and mash-ups featuring audio from the commentary are widespread on YouTube, with one of the earliest examples being “Stop a Gaben” (below, left), a remix of Fatboy Slim’s “Fucking in Heaven”.
The constant delay of Half-Life 2: Episode Three, along with the minimal amount of information about the future of the Half-Life series itself, has led a number of humorous images and videos regarding Gabe Newell and the number three. This is coupled with the fact that a third installment of any Valve game series has yet to be released.
Due to the delays, Gabe Newell has gained an Internet reputation as a troll. Urban Dictionary lists “Gabing” as a “slang term for a game being late or delayed.” A running joke states that whenever somebody calls Gabe Newell fat, he delays Episode Three even more. In August 2011, a group of Half-Life players from Vancouver held a “protest” outside Valve Headquarters, demanding the release of Episode Three. Gabe Newell himself met the protesters personally and while he did not diverge any details about the game, he invited them to beta-test DOTA 2 and sent them some sodas and pizza for their trouble.
Worth the Weight
“Worth the Weight” is a phrase derived from another Gabe Newell comment from the Team Fortress 2 commentary node. The original line, however, did not use the word “weight”, but rather “wait”: “After 9 years in development, hopefully it would have been worth the wait.” It is often used to mock Gabe’s weight and large physique.
Other popular sayings by Gabe Newell that have been frequently quoted throughout the Internet and used in YouTube video parodies include:
These things, they take time.
– From the Kickstarter video for CLANG
Ah, nope, it’s just me, Gabe Newell!
– Both from the Mega 64 Beatles Rock Band video
This isn’t working.
– From his speech at GDC 2010