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Gabe Newell during the Valve's Half Life anniversary documentary.
Image via Valve

Court orders Gabe Newell to appear in person for Steam anti-trust lawsuit 

Newell has previously asked for a remote deposition.

Gabe Newell has been ordered to appear in person for a deposition for Steam’s anti-trust lawsuit filed by Overgrowth developer Wolfire Games. Newell has previously asked for a remote deposition due to his claim of serious risk of COVID-19 exposure.

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The lawsuit, originally filed in 2021 according to PC Gamer, alleges Steam “leverages its market power to charge supra-competitive fees,” and therefore negatively impacts both the consumers and developers. It was originally dismissed without prejudice with Wolfire Games granted the ability to amend their claim. In 2022, the lawsuit was renewed and has been ongoing since, with Gabe Newell asking for a remote deposition.

Wolfire’s lawyers insisted on having Valve’s president appear in person because they would be “unduly prejudiced by a remote deposition given Mr. Newell’s unique knowledge as to Defendant’s business strategies,” according to the Nov. 16 court order and reported by

Wolfire also stated that Newell is “uniquely positioned to testify on all aspects of Defendant’s business strategy, and that “only an in-person deposition would allow them to adequately assess [his] credibility.” The court has motioned in their favor for these exact reasons, ordering Newell to appear in person despite his fears of attracting COVID-19.

Newell’s request for a remote deposition was denied because the court believed he hadn’t provided sufficient evidence that he was more at risk of COVID-19 than the general public. It added that Newell’s measures to reduce his exposure to the virus also do not hinder his appearance in court. Nonetheless, the court respects his approach and will order all attendants to wear N95 or similar masks during the deposition, but Newell will have to remove his when answering questions.

The Valve president is known for taking extreme caution when it comes to COVID-19, with him taking a prolonged vacation in New Zealand during the COVID crisis. He even wanted to transfer the entirety of Valve to the island nation according to a 2020 report by Game Rant, which may indicate the severity of his fears. Still, he will appear, and his deposition will likely lead to more interesting information about the inner workings of the ever-mysterious Valve.

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Image of Andrej Barovic
Andrej Barovic
Strategic Content Writer, English Major. Been in writing for 3 years. Focused mostly on the world of gaming as a whole, with particular interest in RPGs, MOBAs, FPS, and Grand Strategies. Favorite titles include Counter-Strike, The Witcher 3, Bloodborne, Sekrio, and Kenshi. Cormac McCarthy apologetic.