Valve Corporation CEO Gabe Newell has confirmed to 1 NEWS that he is applying for New Zealand residency - but says reports of him moving developers for his video game company to New Zealand are unfounded.
Various gaming media outlets reported yesterday that Newell had indicated he was looking to move developers to New Zealand as the gaming company faced the challenge of Covid-19.
According to the reports, he was arranging a meeting with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to discuss the prospect of bringing developers to New Zealand.
However, he told 1 NEWS that those reports were inaccurate.
"I do not have a meeting lined up with the PM," he said.
"Valve does not currently have plans to open an office in New Zealand, which isn't to say that it would be a bad idea. It's just not something we are working on."
Newell has been visiting New Zealand since before the Covid-19 pandemic took hold, and decided to stick it out and shelter in place along with a group of friends.
Speaking to 1 NEWS today, he didn't specify which visa he was applying for.
If he becomes a resident, he will be among New Zealand's wealthiest, with a net worth according to Forbes of about NZ$6 billion.
Newell is also in the process of re-organising a concert event to say thank you to New Zealand for having him during the Covid-19 period, after the last event had to be postponed due to the second resurgence in the community.
1 NEWS understands the We Love Aotearoa concert could take place before the end of the year, but the date has not been confirmed.
He has also enlisted a Kiwi drift champion to race in endurance motorsport here in New Zealand as part of his Heart of Racing team, which raises money for children's hospitals including Starship.
Newell co-founded Valve Corporation in 1996, and the company's online game distribution service Steam has an estimated 90 million active users - Steam's annual revenue is estimated to be in the billions.
Valve has made immensely-popular games including Counter-Strike, Half-Life, DOTA 2 and Portal.