Valve CEO and general PC gaming messiah Gabe Newell is to be awarded a BAFTA Fellowship, the academy's highest and most prestigious honour for lifetime achievement in the arts. He joins Fellows from games, television and film including Peter Molyneux, Shigeru Miyamoto, Will Wright, Alfred Hitchcock and Rolf Harris, which you'll agree is perhaps the greatest Fellowship since the one that trotted off to Mordor.
Gabe's understandably thrilled by the news, saying, "it is an honor for myself and everyone at Valve to be presented such an award by one of the world’s most respected and recognised organisations."
The developer goes on to thank Garry's Mod creator Garry Newman alongside all those in the UK who have contributed to Valve's success. "Valve owes a tremendous thanks to many in the UK – to those who have played our games, to the great support of the UK press, and to UK-based creative contributors such as Garry Newman. I look forward to accepting this prestigious honor on behalf of everyone in our community."
The BAFTA Fellowship is to be awarded to Gabe Newell on March 5. As a studio Valve have already scooped a host of BAFTAs, with Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 winning awards in the Best Multiplayer category, and Portal 2 soaking up awards in the Best Game, Story and Design categories.
Harvey Elliott of the BAFTA Games Committee outlined the decision to recognise Gabe's contributions to entertainment. "Gabe's contribution to the industry is unique," wrote Elliott, "and he is very different to many others that BAFTA could recognise. 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. He is an inspirational developer and truly deserving of our Fellow recognition."
The British Academy Games Awards take place on March 5, and will be streamed live on Twitch.