Gabe Newell is now the 854th richest person on the planet, reports business website Forbes today. This is Forbes' 25th annual list of the world's richest billionaires—a list which cumulates to a record $4.6 trillion amongst its members.
Newell's $1.5 billion net worth places him amongst the 1,225 other billionaires. He joins 128 new list members, who range from gambling stars to fashion icons to those who've simply inherited their billions.
Valve sales in 2011—both from the release of immensely successful Portal 2 and the digital distribution service, Steam—contributed to the company's $3 billion enterprise value, according to Forbes:
Privately-held Valve Corporation is tight-lipped about revenues, and Newell doesn't comment on his personal finances. So in order to estimate his net worth, Forbes consulted with video game industry insiders, equity analysts, investment bankers, and technology analysts to figure out what the company is worth. Even the most conservative estimates put Valve's enterprise value at more than $3 billion, and since Newell owns more than 50% of the company, that means he's worth at least $1.5 billion.
Forbes compared the success of Valve's Steam platform to EA's digital distribution venture, Origin. But Steam's 40 million users far trumps Origin's 9.3 million, effectively rendering Valve's service a dominating powerhouse.