Gabe Newell's son thinks Valve needs to try something new

If you've ever wondered what the inspiration for Half-Life 1's ludicrously creepy baby boss fight was, then wonder no more: it was Gabe Newell's son. Gray Newell (who in case it isn't obvious, is Gabe Newell's son) talked about his quasi-cameo during a new interview with Valve News Network, in which he also spoke a bit about his own game project, Fury, and Valve itself.

"The final boss of Half-Life 1, the giant evil baby monster is supposed to be me," he told the channel. "When my mother was in child birth they were thinking, what's something really scary? And at the time, having a child seemed really scary for everyone."

Gray, who loves drum 'n bass and doesn't really play many Valve games, spoke with the channel about his own development studio, Naetyr, as well as the ambitious project they're working on, dubbed Fury. According to Gray's description, it's an FPS MMO with user-created elements, "similar to Gary's Mod, Spore, and in the same vein as Star Citizen." But even those broad labels and references seem limiting for what Gray speaks about, at length, during the video.

He's been told by folk at Valve that he and the studio are "the good kind of crazy", in reference to the ambition of the project. Interestingly, he also says that "no crazy beneficiary is going to keep us afloat with billions and billions of dollars," which suggests the project isn't being money-hatted by either Valve or his old man.

The interview, which is embedded below, is worth watching if you're interested in Gray's studio and want some insight into, um, what Gabe Newell's son is like. He speaks a little about his father's insanely lucrative company too, with the below quote being especially of interest.

"If it's one thing I'd like to see Valve do, it's push it with more their ideas," he said. "The people there are the smartest I've ever met, the hardest working, the most inspiring. The culture at Valve is a very good one but they've kind of found this point where they're a working machine. And that's good, but I think they should reach out and do something scary. Do something that they don't know what the outcome is going to be. 

"They make incredibly smart decisions, but sometimes you have to do something stupid. Sometimes you have to have a stupid crazy idea and say 'fuck it', go with it. Valve has a mindbogglingly enormous amount of resources at their back, and I hope they find the courage to throw it at something new. I want to see them push the envelope again."

At this point, making Half-Life 3 is a pretty crazy idea, right? Confirmed. Check out the full interview below:

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.