Valve’s Gabe Newell, left, and game industry veteran Ed Fries

The Hall of Fame. Whether it’s baseball, cars or rock-n-roll, the Hall is synonymous as a place for the people who have excelled in their respective field.

While many already tout Valve founder and co-president Gabe Newell as a video game legend, now it’s official. Newell will become just the 17th member of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) Hall of Fame as the 2013 inductee. He’ll be honored next February at the 16th D.I.C.E Awards in Las Vegas.

“Gabe is one of the most cherished and respected figures in the industry not only for his technological innovations in advancing many of today’s highly successful video games, but also for his unique stance towards leadership and management,” Martin Rae, president, Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, said in a statement. “Gabe’s vision for the interactive industry has created lasting effects that have completely reshaped this generation’s digital distribution model, paving the way for independent developers and creating an invaluable service for consumers. It is a great honor to have Gabe inducted into the Academy’s Hall of Fame.”

The AIAS Hall of Fame honor is given to game creators who have been “instrumental in the development of highly influential games and moving a particular genre forward.” Some big-time video game kings and queens make up the 17-person roster, including Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyatomo and co-founder of Epic Games Tim Sweeney, who was last year’s honoree.

Newell, a former 13-year Microsoft vet, is best known for his leadership with award-winning franchises like Half-Life, Counter Strike, Left 4 Dead, Portal and Team Fortress. Past just gaming, Newell and Valve are trying to push the boundaries of its business and the industry. Some examples of that are its augmented-reality gaming prototypes and the move into the living room.

One of Newell’s most illuminating talks came last year during a spontaneous, 8-minute dissertation on the modern economics of video games at a conference in Seattle — explaining, in detail, how the company conducts behind-the-scenes pricing experiments to try to understand why we buy games when we do.

We last wrote about Newell a few days ago when some 4chan members wished him happy birthday at Valve’s Bellevue offices and then listened to Newell discuss some inside information.

Previously on GeekWire: Valve’s Gabe Newell: Three beta controllers, new game engine in the works 

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