Games Guru Gabe Newell to Get BAFTA Fellowship

BAFTA Logo - P 2012

BAFTA Logo - P 2012

The Valve CEO, whose résumé boasts "Half-Life" and "Counter-Strike," will be given the accolade at this year's British Academy Games Awards.

LONDON -- Valve CEO Gabe Newell is to be presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) with the Academy fellowship during this year's British Academy Games Awards.

Awarded annually by BAFTA, the fellowship is the highest accolade given to an individual in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to the industry.  

With a career spanning three decades, beginning with Microsoft in 1983 and then as head of Valve from the company's birth in 1996, Newell follows in the footsteps of other games fellows, including Peter Molyneux, Shigeru Miyamoto and Will Wright.

Following the development and release of games Half-Life and Counter-Strike, in 2004 Newell led Valve's introduction of a fresh digital platform for PC games, Steam.

Now the service offers gamers access to more than 2,000 games from 200-plus independent and commercial studios, enabling greater reward for creativity among those making and publishing their own titles. It has more than 50 million active accounts on PCs, Macs and Linux computers across the globe.

Newell's Valve has won BAFTAs for Left 4 Dead in 2009 and Left 4 Dead 2 in 2010 in the best multiplayer category, while Portal 2 in 2012 won the best game, story and design nods.

BAFTA Games committee chair Harvey Elliot described Newell's contribution to the industry as unique, noting he "is very different to many others that BAFTA could recognize."

Elliot said, "As well as enjoying great critical and commercial success with phenomenally popular franchises such as Portal and Half-Life, his work in giving back to the games industry through developing and showcasing other games makers has been outstanding."

The British Academy Games Awards will take place  March 5 in central London hosted for the fifth consecutive year by Irish comedian and gamer Dara O Briain.

The ceremony will be streamed live on Twitch with a highlights show scheduled to air March 11 on digital TV channel Challeng.