Gabe Newell: "Single-player games are like a feature film where your lead actor is retarded and autistic"

The co-founder of Valve gives a talk at the University of Texas, and has plenty of interesting things to say.


  1. Valve co-founder Gabe Newell gave a lecture on January 30 regarding various topics, ranging from Valve's future to the state of the video game industry. One of his more controversial comments was "Single-player games are like a feature film where your lead actor is retarded and autistic, but you can think of it like a feature film." Reactions to this quote in particular were varied across the internet. Many took took it out of context, some understood it, while others understood it and were still offended.
  2. Perhaps what Newell actually was referring to was that single player games try to be like films, however since the player is in control of the main character, they can do whatever they want. It would be like Luke Skywalker banging his head on the wall while Darth Vader is talking to him.

    Newell goes on to speak about how much different multiplayer games are from single player games.
  3. "You start to think, after a while, that multiplayer games are all about externalities. They kind of look more like operating systems, or a sport. In terms of how they behave, they behave a lot more, and value is created a lot more like a spectator sport than a feature film."
  4. Valve has only created multiplayer games, as well as content for already existing games for the last few years. Players are able to create content for Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2 and make money off of it. Newell talks about how when the system launched in Team Fortress 2, it broke PayPal.

    Many more topics were brought up at the lecture, as well as questions from the audience. Check the full video below.
  5. Gabe Newell: Reflections of a Video Game Maker