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Gabe Newell discusses Valve's history, gaming economics, and hats

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Gabe Newell FLICKR
Gabe Newell FLICKR

In a talk earlier this week at the University of Texas, Valve founder Gabe Newell explained that many of the economic, content distribution, and piracy issues being encountered in the video game realm today will probably apply to "a much wider range of industries" in the near future. Newell also discussed Valve's history, its unique lack of organizational structure, and the company's underlying values in the wide-ranging talk, Polygon reports.

Valve wasn't always the gaming powerhouse it is today — in fact, when Newell and co-founder Mike Harrington were first hiring, many developers turned the pair down. Newell said, "We were like 'Let's go, let's storm the castle!' And then it was like, 'Where'd everybody go?'" Through a combination of sheer developer talent and Team Fortress 2 hats, the Steam economy has since grown to about five times the size of Greece, Newell joked. If The Verge's exclusive interview with Newell is any indication, Valve has only begun tackling the many challenges facing the gaming industry.