Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#310 Gabe Newell $5.41B

Random fact: Greek economist Yanis Varoufakis worked at Valve in 2012.


Newell is the co-founder of Valve, a closely held video game developer that's created titles such as Half Life, Portal 2, Left 4 Dead and Counter-Strike. It also operates Steam, an entertainment platform that enables about 14 million gamers to play online concurrently and had about $3.5 billion in revenue for 2016.

As of July 22, 2017:
Last change +$4.65M (+0.1%)
YTD change +$902M (+20.0%)
Industry Technology
Biggest asset Valve
Citizenship United States
Age 54
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Gabe Newell's net worth of $5.41B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

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Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

Newell co-founded Valve, the closely held video game developer that operates gaming platform Steam and game Counter-Strike. Steam distributes more than 15,000 games and can support about 14 million gamers playing concurrently, according to its website.

Valve was worth at least $9 billion at the end of 2016, based on discussions with Michael Pachter, a Los Angeles-based analyst at Wedbush Securities and Palo Alto, California-based Steve Wade of investment bank Woodside Capital Partners. This $9 billion value has been adjusted for the performance of the Bloomberg Intelligence Global Video Games Valuation Peers index since Jan. 3, 2017. Newell's ownership stake isn't disclosed. He's credited with 50.1 percent of Valve to reflect his control of the company and status as co-founder.

No response was received to e-mail and telephone queries to Valve requesting comment.


Birthdate: 11/3/1962
Family: Unmarried, No children

Gabe Newell was born Nov. 3, 1962. He began working at working at Microsoft in 1983 after dropping out of Harvard University, according to a February 2013 press release by the British Academy Games Awards. At Microsoft he worked on early versions of Windows before leaving in 1996 to found gamemaker Valve with fellow Microsoft coder Mike Harrington.

The studio's debut title, Half-Life, was released in 1998 and won more than 50 game-of-the-year awards. More hits, including Portal and Left 4 Dead followed. The company also developed online gaming platform Steam, which has 35 million active users, according to Valve's website.

Newell, known as Gaben to his fans, lives in Bellevue, Washington.

  • 1962 Gabe Newell is born.
  • 1983 Drops out of Harvard to work at Microsoft.
  • 1996 Leaves Microsoft to found Valve with Mike Harrington.
  • 1998 PC game Half-Life is released.
  • 2003 Online gaming platform Steam is released.
  • 2004 Half-Life 2 is released.
  • 2007 Calls video games console Playstation 3 a waste of time.
  • 2013 Gives two lectures at the University of Texas.