All too often, we see prominent figures in the video game industry sully their reputation in full view of the fans. Whether it's the ballad of Phil Fish, or one of the many other instances that we've seen a developer lose face in the very public setting of the internet, it's always disappointing. However, that just makes seeing a video game personality go above and beyond for their fans an even more pleasant surprise.
The talismanic Gabe Newell, co-founder of Valve and one of the minds behind Steam, has long been a fan favorite across gaming circles. The man has a backstory that would pique the interest of just about anyone; a Harvard dropout that made enough money working at Microsoft during their boom period to forge his own video game studio. Today, he's a billionaire — but that doesn't mean he's lost his sight of the bigger picture.
The latest evidence of the man they call 'GabeN' being a great guy came last week, when a Steam user called upon him to help rectify an accounts issue. For all the benefits that Steam has given to the PC gaming scene, it's support system remains infamously bad; this particular user found themselves locked out of their account, and had been waiting a week since they filed their issue with the service.
Desperate, the user decided to take a chance and send an email directly to Newell. Much to his surprise, just a few hours later he received a reply. Newell quipped that 'everyone here at Valve is in support', a statement that will likely reverberate around the internet as confirmation of Valve's customer-centric outlook.
Within two hours, the problem had been fixed, and the user once again had access to their account. It's perhaps unsurprising that Newell would is so hands-on with Steam given recent events, but it has to be said that it's a pretty cool move for the co-founder of Valve to take such an approach with a problem like this.
However, you can't help but feel like the user missed out on a grand opportunity. This was his moment to have one wish granted by GabeN; and he chose to get his account back rather than get the scoop on Half-Life 3. Admittedly, the latter would be something of a long shot — but so was getting a response from Newell in the first place.