Posted on March 8, 2012, Ross Lincoln Gabe Newell Is A Billionaire
This won’t come as a shock to the millions of people forking over cash every day to download games on Steam, but for the rest of you, hold on to your hats; Forbes is reporting that Valve co-founder Gabe Newell is officially a billionaire. The newly minted member of the own-your-own-fleet-of-jets set is now worth an estimated 1.5 billion, debuting at 854 on the Forbes’ list of the richest people on earth. Newell achieved entry into the ranks of royalty, Saudi oil barons and people who wrote the Harry Potter series after an extremely successful 2011, during which Steam doubled sales for the 7th year in a row, and a little game called Portal 2 sold millions of copies.
However, before we start hitting him up for money, it’s worth noting that this is merely an estimate. Valve is not a public company, so they don’t have to disclose the full extent of their finances, and Newell has not disclosed his personal wealth. Forbes reached their conclusions by talking to “video game industry insiders, equity analysts, investment bankers, and technology analysts to figure out what the company is worth.” The consensus seems to be around 3 billion, and since Newell owns half the company, Forbes places his personal wealth at 1.5 Billion.
Even if their estimate is off, there is no doubt that Newell is fabulously rich. Steam, with 40 million users, is by far the most important digital outlet for PC games in the world. It’s no wonder then that Gabe can be so chill about piracy. If things get too bad, he can simply hire his own army to go after them. Assuming, that is, that he hasn’t already blown his money on a 24 carat diamond grill for every day of the week. I know I would.