Nobody is safe from the clutches of the critically-acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy 14 (opens in new tab), not even Gabe Newell himself. He's been playing a ton of it on his Steam Deck (opens in new tab) because one of his sons wanted a "minion" healer.
In a video interview with IGN (opens in new tab), Newell said he's spent "quite a bit" of time with the upcoming handheld, with the majority of his time being spent with Square Enix's fantastic MMO. Turns out he's one of the many WoW refugees who found their way over to the game last year, skyrocketing it to its highest-ever concurrent player count. (opens in new tab) "Right now I'm playing Final Fantasy," he said. "One of my sons has gotten into Final Fantasy. I sort of got burned out on World of Warcraft—I got to the point where they'd introduce a new level cap and I'd be like 'ah!' and then I'd start playing for about 10 minutes and my brain would melt down. So I've been playing an MMO for a while."
Turns out his son is a tank main and wanted to rope Newell into healing him during raids. "One of my sons was into Final Fantasy and he was mad at the people he'd go raiding with. So he was like 'okay, I need a minion. Dad, come be my minion. Be my healer who doesn't let me die when I'm tanking.' So I started playing with him and then I've been playing a ton of it on the Deck."
Gabe Newell, billionaire founder and owner of Valve and Steam (and the Steam Deck), says he's playing alot of #FFXIV on the Deck because his son, a Tank, wants a healing "minion" to raid with. 😭@IGN video source: https://t.co/rJAhdd2GTV pic.twitter.com/723Rg79I5oFebruary 26, 2022
I'm absolutely desperate to know more—which healer class is he maining? What does his character look like? Is he a filthy cutscene skipper or has he savoured the story? I can imagine Newell being a Scholar main, though if he was DPS he'd definitely be Ninja if his impressive knife collection (opens in new tab) is anything to go by. I also refuse to believe that man is running around as anything other than a goofy catgirl. Maybe he's a female au'ra, but I couldn't imagine Newell going for a basic male hyur or dinky lalafell.
Another plus to this whole thing is knowing that Final Fantasy 14 can run on the Steam Deck, and I assume it runs relatively well. It has a pretty big advantage in that it's an MMO already built for consoles—the cross hotbar is legitimately a fantastic innovation and means the whole thing can work really well in a portable format. I've been debating whether to hold on to my Steam Deck preorder, but being able to carry Final Fantasy 14 around with me may very well be the reason I end up making the purchase.