This comes at a time when Steam is literally steamrolling opposition in the digital distribution market, accounting for around 70% of downloads in the marketplace, according to industry estimates.
This accolade emphasises the growth of Steam and how it has emerged as an all-in-one solution for gamers, predominantly on the PC, providing the best way to get your hands on titles developed by Valve, such as the Half-Life series and the extremely popular puzzle-platformer Portal, as well as games from the majority of major publishers including Rockstar Games and Activision.
While Steam’s success may be ideal for gamers, who enjoy not having to leave the confines of their own homes to get their hands on the biggest new releases, it seems retailers are suffering as a direct result - with the digital marketplace overtaking physical sales in the first part of 2010, and Steam accounting for a huge slice of the digital download pie.
Here's what Forbes had to say in their article about Newell, who with his company, is largely responsible for downloads overtaking retail sales.
"If the writing’s on the wall for the dominance of the digital distribution of PC games, then Gabe Newell is the one holding the pen."
Steam also became available on the Mac earlier this year, further expanding the customer base, inevitably leading to even more sales for the platform. Newell himself announced at E3 2010 that Portal 2 will be released on the PS3 and will utilise Steamworks, allowing for automatic updates, amongst other features.
It’s easy to see why Forbes would highlight Gabe Newell. Along with his colleagues, Newell has changed the face of the digital distribution market, with over 30 million active users on Steam and in excess of 1,200 titles for PC and Mac available for purchase. It’s easy to forget that many thought the PC gaming market was dying out, due to the success of consoles, but Newell and his company now offer an industry leading service, selling thousands upon thousands of games - operating a service envied by many of their rivals.
PC gaming is here to stay, and that can be due in no small part to Steam, which makes it so easy to purchase, play and update your games, and Gabe Newell can take great credit for the resurgence of PC gaming over the last few years.
I think Newell is definitely one to watch in the coming year, not only for the growth of Steam as a digital distribution service, but also Steamworks on the PS3 and how that will work out for both companies involved -and what other titles could be included. I also personally think that next year, we will see more big titles coming from Valve, possibly even an announcement of Half —life 3, the game many fans and critics are crying out for.
Do you think Gabe Newell deserves to be included in the Forbes list? What do you think we will see next year from Valve? Is Steam your preferred platform to buy your favourite games? Tell us in the comments below.