If you don’t know who Gabe Newell is, you can’t call yourself a gamer. As anyone and everyone knows, he is the main man behind the astronomically acclaimed Half-Life series and head honcho at Valve.
“It is an honour for myself and everyone at Valve to be presented such an award by one of the world’s most respected and recognised organisations. Valve owes a tremendous thanks to many in the UK – to those who have played our games, to the great support of the UK press, and to UK-based creative contributors such as Garry Newman. I look forward to accepting this prestigious honor on behalf of everyone in our community.”
Harvey Elliott, Chair of BAFTA’s Games Committee, added:
“Gabe’s contribution to the industry is unique, and he is very different to many others that BAFTA could recognise. As well as enjoying great critical and commercial success with phenomenally popular franchises such as Portal and Half-Life, his work in giving back to the games industry through developing and showcasing other games makers has been outstanding. He is an inspirational developer and truly deserving of our Fellow recognition.”
Following the development and release of the hugely popular Half-Life and Counter-Strike games, in 2004 Newell led Valve’s introduction of a new digital platform for PC games, Steam. Today, the service offers gamers access to over 2,000 games from over 200 independent and commercial studios, enabling greater reward for creativity among those making and publishing their own titles, and has over 50m active accounts on PCs, Macs and Linux computers around the world.
People make fun of him, some even go as far as to hate him, but there’s no denying his contribution to the video gaming industry, which is why he will be presented with the auspicious Academy Fellowship at this year’s British Academy Games Awards.
The British Academy Games Awards will take place on Tuesday 5 March at the London Hilton, Park Lane, and will be hosted for the fifth consecutive year by comedian and gamer, Dara O Briain. The ceremony will be streamed live on Twitch, supported by Alienware(www.twitch.tv/bafta), and an Awards highlight’s show will be televised on Challenge (Sky: Ch 125, Freeview: Ch 46, Virgin: Ch 139) on Monday 11 March at 10pm.