Fly Gabe Newell Campaign Exceeds Targets

Not for much longer, it seems.

A quick update on the Fly Gabe Newell story, where amateur L4D campaign maker Joe W-A is trying to raise the money to fly Gabe Newell and Erik Johnson to Brisbane, Australia, so they will call off their boycott of his mod. (Read the original story to make sense of this.) He needed to make roughly $2400 to achieve this. Rather incredibly he’s just broken the $3000 barrier. Gabe, you’re going to Oz.

Joystiq spoke to someone at Valve who suggests that Gabe will honour his agreement.

However, it seems that’s no reason to stop giving money to Joe’s cause. Joe has committed that all excess money (so long as the donator agrees to it) will go to Penny Arcade’s Child’s Play charity. Child’s Play raises money for providing toys and games for kids in hospitals around the world. It’s a good place for your money to end up. Of course, if you’re concerned about the ambiguity of giving the money this way, you could always just give some money to Child’s Play directly.

If we were a multi-million dollar company who could afford a billion plane flights, we’d certainly make sure most of the money raised went in that direction and still go on the trip.


  1. Jonny says:

    God, I love the internet.

  2. Metal_Circus says:

    This sotry just gets even nicer. Bravo valve!!

  3. Metal_Circus says:

    I clearly meant story. Sotry just sounds depressing doesn’t it?

  4. Naurgul says:

    Yes, it’s probably because it bears a resemblance to “sour”. ANYWAY, yay for awesome improbable internet initiatives!

  5. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    And he will have enough money to buy the camcorder! Splendid!

  6. Sweedums says:

    i really hope they honour the agreement, i can just imagine them turning up at this guy’s door and just being like “we are here to play-test your campaign, may we come in?”

    i guess its more a case of whether they have the time and/or can be arsed flying all the way to Australia for this lol

  7. Kadayi says:

    The power of the internets is a wonderful thing with this and Tim Langell being taken to task. Here is hoping that not only do Gabe and Erik honour the promise, but they also do so in a timely fashion (though I imagine the jet lag will be killer) so the story stays fresh .

  8. cowthief skank says:

    This really is great. I hope they go. I guess if they fail to honour the agreement they will get so much shit for it…

  9. Greg Wild says:

    Excellent. Good to see my WHOLE DOLLAR has gone to a good cause.

  10. Xercies says:

    This sounds increadbly stupid, its bot a heart felt story its a story about gabe making a joke and people spending there hard earned money on that joke.

  11. Lack_26 says:


    yeah, but it’s still a nice story, besides since when is money going to charity a bad thing? (Unless it was a charity that gave leprosy to penguins).

  12. TotalBiscuit says:

    @Xercies I suppose it would sound incredibly stupid if you hadn’t bothered to read the story. Either 1) Gabe actually flies over or 2) Childs Play gets a ton of money. It’s a win/win, your cynicism is not shared.

  13. Jambe says:

    I’m inclined to agree with Xercies — this is pretty moronic. At least the excess monies will be going to a nice charity! I’d rather the whole lot go to a nice charity, but only because I don’t give two shits about what Gabe and Erik do regards this Aussie modder’s joke-taken-much-too-seriously endeavor.

  14. Stijn says:

    Oh come on people, lighten up.

  15. Lilliput King says:

    What’d be really sweet would be if Gabe and Eric now went, but Valve paid for the flight, so all the money raised went to charity.

    Can you imagine the positive publicity omigosh.

  16. lePooch says:

    Yay Internet Philanthropy! Now I am just waiting till the other foot drops and Gabe realizes that he was not serious about wasting a week going to Oz, followed by a retraction and some concession such as adding Joe’s campaign as part of the next L4D patch.

    Then what happens to the money? Here’s hoping that Joe keeps it himself, and then proceeds to post a photo op of him fake-mailing a fake check to Childs Play to avoid Angry Internet Backlash.

    At least, that is what I would do. As heartwarming as it is to send $3000-odd dollars to Child’s Play, I would much rather have my heart warmed by the lifetime supply of games/munchies/peripherals/noodle soup said $3000 would get me.

    So, uhm, moral of the story: Do NOT send me money.

  17. bill says:

    It’s a cool story… but they really should put the money all to charity or something useful…. he could always send them a copy of the campaign on this thing called the internet…

  18. Metal_Circus says:

    Wow, some of you guys are pretty heartless and cynical. I don’t see any of you guys giving to charity? And a modder that loves Valves games enough to make extra bits and pieces for them gets to meet a few guys from the company it self – it’s a good thing, no?

  19. Simon says:

    Ah lePooch, lets hope he isn’t like you then! :)

  20. Lukasz says:

    Child’s play may confirm whether he send them 3k.
    if he does not i can always call a chargeback on my credit card and get my money back.

    quite easy thing to do.

  21. Lobotomist says:

    Valve managed to make piss out of boycott. Turn it into a joke. And even managed to make it into a good publicity.

    Valve marketing department just thought concerned gamers a lesson : Politics 101.

    Some friggin suit from management in Valve getting a fat bonus check this christmas…disgusting

    I guess they got the last laugh

  22. Dave Gates says:

    All the naysayers really need to stop complaining. Be gratefull you play on a format that not only seems to be populated by very generous people willing to share money with each other, that the world can occasionaly throw us a nice curve ball and raise a smile and that one of the most talented and powerful developers out there is willing to give fans like us the time of day. Bravo to Joe and I hope Gabe likes his work.

  23. Dave Gates says:

    Incidentaly has anyone seen any of his campaign or previous work? This has pricked my interest.

  24. Pie21 says:

    Worst case scenario, Gabe makes up some humorous reason for being unable to go and matches the donation in lieu of a visit.

    Best case: all of Valve flies down and loves Australia so much that they set up a Melbourne office and knock on my door and hire me.


  25. Chaos says:

    Wait, what#s all this about sending all the money to charity? That would be fraud – he raised the money for one purpose, and doing anything else with it would simply be stealing that money.

    The excess going to charity is good; if Valve pays for the flight, then all the money is excess. But people who wanted their money to go to charity, rather than pay for this flight, could have given the money to charity directly instead!

    Oh, and as for it being a waste of money – one could argue that every dollar spent on computer games is wasted, and could go to charity instead. Let people spend money on what they enjoy, rather than what you think they ought to enjoy.

  26. TotalBiscuit says:



  27. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    RTFA, that’s all I say. Only the money of those who opted in for it (or sent them after the goal was reached) will be given to the charity in the case of Gabe and Eric not flying…

  28. DMJ says:

    Yeah, I’d definitely fly to Australia to spend a week with someone who has vowed to fight me every step of the way over everything I open my mouth to say.

    I would really want to be trapped in a room with a random Internet mouth-breather who can just about hammer “lol aVlve suxz” on his keyboard who acts like I shot his puppy.

    I would so want to show yet another person some proprietary and very valuable code simply because he is an Angry Internet Man.

    Doesn’t it sound like such a good idea to give special previews to the Angry Internet Men who make the biggest monkey-howls of outraged territorial angst? Doesn’t that guarantee that next time there is an announcement nobody will whine over nothing hoping they’ll get free stuff?

  29. Lukasz says:

    i doubt your whining about whining being rewarded will get you rewarded with trip to RPS HQ.

  30. Chaos says:

    Yeah, Frankie, I was referring to the comments urging him to give all the money to Child’s Play. What he’s doing is entirely correct, but bill (for example) seemed to want him to steal the money from the donors and give it away.

  31. LewieP says:

    Me prediction: If they are impressed by his mod, he will get offered a job at Valve.

  32. Xercies says:

    If I wanted to give money to charity I would give money to charity, and probably the others feelthe same. So I feel sorry for the people who spent money on this joke even though it might go to a good cause. Actyually I don’t feel sorry because there quite stupid really.

  33. James G says:


    Where did you get the impression that they were AIM’s? It seems quite clear to me that even the initial E-mail was tounge in cheek, the remainder obviously so. I certainly didn’t see any reason to think the mod developers were of the “Valve sux” mindset.

  34. Post Maker says:

    Hey DMJ, great job missing the point of this article! But then, I guess when a person has something that important to say, they just say it regardless regardless of context (or correctness), right?

  35. Post Maker says:

    God damn you James.

  36. Jayt says:

    DMJ your post confuses and bores me

  37. Christian says:

    Hey…for Valve it’s a win-win-situation. They get some extra publicity at no cost and can even make this bigger by doubling the amount of money raised and donating all of it, as someone earlier suggested. And pay for the flights themselves.

    That would be an awesome publicity stunt (and a inexpensive one), stating: “Not only do we care about our fans, we also care about charity”.

    So clever job, Valve, that’s quite some marketing. (and I’m not trying to state that this is just a publicity-stunt by Valve or even that giving money to charity is in any way a bad thing, I hope all of the money goes to charity).

    But giving this guy money is a bit silly…seeing that you could really do something useful with it instead of giving it to someone who wants to buy flights for the founder of a multi-million-dollar company.

    But hey, it’s your money ;)

  38. Rinox says:

    I, for one, am happy to have been a part of all this and hope something even more awesome follows out of it! :-)

    To all the people who referred to anyone who donated as ‘stupid’…thank you. For deciding what anyone can and can’t do with their lousy 10 €/15 bucks. Thank god none of you ever spent 15 bucks on anything useless, you extraordinary people you. :-)

    Man. All this weird anger almost makes me feel bad about it, but not really.

  39. Tom says:

    I’m no nay-sayer, but you got to admit this is a genius piece of marketing

  40. Dominic White says:

    Oh, undeniably good PR for sure. It’s a happy accident though, rather than a thought-out and planned maneuver, and that’s what makes it so good.

    One of the earliest donators was Valves own Robin Walker, throwing a hefty $100 into the pot. Clearly he plans to get Gabe and Erik out long enough to take control of the company. Again.

  41. frymaster says:

    This is both the source of Valve’s genius and their Achilles heel. They don’t act like a big publisher – they continue to act like independant developers (which they kinda are) only with more money. Hence things like this, like flying the boycotters in, like hiring various modders and the l4d/portal groups. Hence also whatever communications trainwreck resulted in almost no publishers updating their euro prices when they changed to regional pricing.

  42. John Walker says:

    Just to clarify some of the wanton missing of the point here:

    Joe has said, in the event that Gabe and Erik do not fly to Oz, that all the money will be returned unless the donator specifically says he can give it to charity.

    Joe isn’t a L4D2 boycotter, as a cursory glance of anything to do with this story would reveal. He’s a big Valve fan who sent a jokey email to Newell.

    This simply cannot be a Valve marketing stunt. Before Joe started raising money for this endeavour Gabe Newell had written a total of eight words in two joking emails. It’s entirely the creation of a 19 year old in Australia. Certainly Valve can now take advantage of this situation to create positive publicity, but those attempting to denounce it all as cynical marketing by Valve are utterly delusional.

    In all my visits to Valve I’ve never seen anyone wearing a suit.

    Oh, and to those who say it’s a waste of money/there’s better things to do with my money, etc. Thanks, but I’ll choose how I spend it without your financial consultation. I think giving a tiny amount of money to something this fun brightens my day, and hopefully will eventually brighten Joe’s. It’s none of your miserable damned business. Thanks!

  43. Jeremy says:

    Point in favor they’ll be going to Australia…by the time they go, it’ll be summer.

  44. The_B says:

    Man. All this weird anger almost makes me feel bad about it, but not really.

    I know what you mean, the whole think before you speak thing never seems to apply to some parts of the net, despite the extra length of time it takes someone to type their response.

    But stories like this (and just the stories ¬_¬) make me feel warm and fuzzy about the sensible majority of the internet. YAY PEOPLE!

  45. Funky Badger says:

    +1 for the Rat Ogre.

  46. Gorgeras says:

    Er John, the only people that have suggested even remotely that this was a Valve marketing stunt are those being 100% positive about Valve, think the Boycott are idiots and Valve can do no wrong.

    Yet again before a Boycotter even posted here, we had posts being snide about the Boycott, but still it’s the Boycotters being characterised as AIMs.

  47. Dreamhacker says:

    Heh. Good thing the boycotters havent thought about kidnapping the 2 lead guys and demanding an end to all L4D2 development as ransom.

    Jokes aside, this does raise the question of how far is too far in game fandom…

  48. Lobotomist says:

    @John Walker “In all my visits to Valve I’ve never seen anyone wearing a suit.”

    Wearing suit is not required for being greedy corporate creep.

    Company that I work in was almost dissembled and sold by a rich guy wearing dirty t-shirt and flip flops. Because we make lot of money , but he feels we could be making more if we add more banners and adware.

    As for Valve. Dont tell me they do not have marketing department. And no business management.

    Chance is they have best people their money can buy.

    But boycott is now dead. Valve showed great public relation cunning. But they certainly lost their innocence.

    And whatever people say about them now- they will never again have a clean rep.

    As for me. I will never again buy another game by Valve

  49. Dominic White says:

    Lobotomist.. do you ever stop being angry and bitter? How old are you? Because if you’re under 60, then you’re a premature grumpy old man.

    And ‘Lost their innocence’? How? By showing two people determined to not buy L4D2 the game, and changing their minds in the process? Isn’t that the singlehandedly most innocent way of changing someones mind?