In a recent interview with PC Gamer UK, Gabe Newell reminisces about the Half-Life 3 protesters who occupied the front lawn of Valve headquarters last month. Between the generous approbation he heaps upon them and the fun anecdote he shares, no one could look at this CEO and say, “This man is anything but awesome for video gaming today.”
In recounting his opinion of the protest to PC Gamer UK, Newell declared, “We thought it was awesome. We wanted them to stay.” He explained that he and a few valve employees, “took them pizza – they’d only brought two sodas and they were planning on being out there for two days. They were very nice and very passionate about our games.”
In the interview Newell goes on to describe an incident that occurred when one of Valve’s neighbors called the cops on the protesters:
At one point, somebody else in our building called the police and we were worried, but it turned out the police officer was a huge Team Fortress fan. He’s like: ‘Oh yeah, I totally understand, let me go get my sign!’
It’s a scene reminiscent of “Fight Club”, where even the cops are in on this grassroots movement to bring Half Life 3 into full production.
Newell could not be more pleased with this kind of passionate dedication to his games. When asked how many protesters it would take to get some Half Life 3 news rolling, the Valve CEO blatantly invites a larger movement, declaring, “I don’t know, but if they’d like to come out, we could find out.”
To temper an overly biased account of this event – since Newell is a business man, and these protesters represent fantastic free marketing for Valve and the Half-Life brand – it can be argued that he is just acting in the best interest of his company when he supports these actions. This explanation lies well within the realm of possibility. However, it is still far more than Bobby Kotick would ever do.