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Gabe Newell’s Favourite Game is still Dota 2

Vignesh Raghuram
19/Mar/2020 09:22 am

Valve’s Co-founder Gabe Newell recently did an interview with IGN to promote the upcoming Half-Life: Alyx, the company’s latest game.

In it he talked about how and why he left Microsoft and co-founded Valve, various other Valve games like the Half-Life series and Portal 2, why we are closer to ‘the Matrix’ (the movie) than we realise, as well as a couple anecdotes about Dota 2.



On Dota 2


He confirms that Icefrog is still working in the company and is in charge of Dota 2 development. 

When asked about what his favourite game of 2019 was, GabeN just laughed. Robin Walker, Programmer and designer of Half-Life: Alyx offered to step in and answer this question for him. He said:

“His answer is: I don’t understand why I would play any game other than Dota 2 at this point. I am just going to continue playing Dota 2.”


On Artifact


Gaben also talked about Artifact, often touted as Valve’s biggest failure. He stated:

“We're always concerned about what we need to do next, and how we're evolving, and what are the new challenges. We do postmortems and analysis, but it's always perspective. Like, 'OK, so how does that change stuff?' I'll spend time thinking about Artifact, and why Artifact ended up being a disappointment, and that's actually way more useful than thinking about the impact we had on the industry. One is likely to help us make better decisions in the future, and the other is less useful.

“We can be right and we can be wrong - we make mistakes. We did Steam Machines, Artifact was a giant disappointment, we screwed things up.”




It’s great to see GabeN and Valve acknowledging that Artifact was a misstep. Half Life: Alyx looks amazing and seems like it’ll be a real game-changer that puts Valve back in the spotlight.


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Vignesh is one of AFK Gaming’s most experienced writers, having written over 1000 articles for the website over the last 3 years. Although his primary focus has always been Dota 2, his experience in esports also includes expertise in CS:GO and mobile esports titles.