james woolwine


Grade(s): College


It all started when I was born. After having dropped out of Harvard University[2] I spent thirteen years working for Microsoft Corporation, ultimately becoming a "Microsoft Millionaire". I has described himself as "producer on the first three releases of Windows".[3] Inspired by Michael Abrash, who left Microsoft to work on the computer game Quake at id Software, I and another Microsoft employee, Mike Harrington, left Microsoft to found Valve in 1996.[3] He and Harrington used their money to fund Valve through the development of Half-Life.

During production on Half-Life 2, he spent several months focusing on the Steam project.[4]

In 2007, I openly expressed his displeasure over developing his software for gaming consoles, particularly the PlayStation 3. In regard to the system, I was once quoted as claiming that developing processes for the console in general was "a waste of everybody's time"[5] and "a disaster on many levels ... I'd say, even at this late date, they should just cancel it and do a do over. Just say, 'This was a horrible disaster and we're sorry and we're going to stop selling this and stop trying to convince people to develop for it'."[6] Nevertheless, at E3 in 2010, I appeared on stage at Sony's keynote; while acknowledging his past outspoken comments on console development, he discussed the open nature of Sony's PlayStation 3 platform, and announced Portal 2 for the console, remarking that with Steamworks support it would be the best version for any console.[7] I has also criticized the Xbox Live service, referring to it as "a train wreck".[8] He was also intensely critical of Microsoft's latest operating system Windows 8, calling it a "catastrophe" and a threat to the usually open nature of PC gaming.[9]

In December 2010, Forbes named I as "A Name You Should Know" mainly for his work on Steam having partnerships with multiple major developers.[10] In March 2012, Forbes estimated the net worth of I as $1.5 billion, ranking 854th out of 1,226 global billionaires.[11]

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