After shipping Half-Life: Alyx, Gabe Newell set off for a 10-day vacation in New Zealand with friends – and has been stuck there since the country locked down in March. Thankfully, he seems to have enjoyed himself.
Speaking on TVNZ1’s Breakfast show, the Valve co-founder explained that he’s been working remotely ever since lockdown. New Zealand has dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic notably well, with Newell saying, “The hardest part by far,” he explained, “is being worried about friends and family who aren’t in New Zealand.”
To thank the country for its hospitality, Newell and two friends, Spanish race car driver Alex Riberas and Riberas’ partner Teagan Klein, have announced ‘We Love Aotearoa’ a free concert and event taking place in Auckland on August 15.
Aside from the music, the event will lean into its founders’ professional interests, with games and virtual reality experiences, as well a line-up of racing and drift cars.
Speaking about why he wanted to give back to the country he’s been staying in, Newell said: “For me, it’s very much about the community spirit, this sense that everybody can come together and solve this super-challenging problem, and then be welcoming to us, essentially, as COVID refugees. There’s the natural beauty, there’s all the fun stuff you can do, but it’s the people that have really made our lives different.”
In terms of his work, the legendary developer said that there was no difference between working from Seattle or New Zealand – which hopefully means he’s been able to make some headway on his work with Matrix-like brain-computer interface technology.
Joe Skrebels is IGN’s Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: IGN Video Games All