Since its launch in 2003, Steam has become the go-to platform for PC gamers looking to expand their collection. As a result, Valve CEO has become a very wealthy man, as it’s being reported that his net worth now exceeds $5.5 billion.
Newell owns half of Valve, the developer behind titles like the Half-Life franchise, Counter-Strike, and Dota 2. As of the 2017 edition of Forbes’ ranking of the wealthiest people in America, he comes in at joint-97th — beating out the likes of Star Wars creator George Lucas and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
It’s worth noting that Newell’s estimated net worth has grown significantly in recent months. Forbes stated that he had a personal fortune of around $4.1 billion as recently as January 2017.
The continued success of Valve’s Steam platform has no doubt had a hugely positive effect of Newell’s personal finances, but he was a very wealthy individual even before the studio made its name with the original Half-Life.
Newell spent thirteen years working for Microsoft during the 1980s and 1990s, and served as a producer on several versions of the Windows operating system.
He followed the lead of his colleague Michael Abrash – who left the company to work on Quake at id Software – and put his money to use co-founding Steam with fellow Microsoft staffer Mike Harrington. The rest, as they say, is history.
Of course, it’s Steam that’s made Newell a bona fide billionaire. It’s the digital download platform of choice for scores of PC gamers, and Valve takes a cut from every sale – although since the company is publicly owned, there are no figures on just how much it’s worth. Given its co-founder’s net worth, we can assume that it’s a pretty penny.
By all accounts, Newell is one of the richest men in the video game industry, and he’s only set to get richer thanks to three Steam sales that are reportedly set to take place before the end of 2017.