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Mike Harrington

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Mike Harrington
Mike Harrington 25th.jpg
Biographical information


  • Founder
  • Director of Development
Time period

August 1996 - January 15, 2000[2]



Mike Harrington was the co-founder of Valve Corporation, where he served as a director of development.[3]


Mike's development career began as a programmer at Dynamix in 1986, where he worked on a variety of sports titles.[4] He spent nine years at Microsoft in various positions.[3] Mike wanted to make games, but he didn't want to start a company on his own. He talked to lots of Microsoft employees about working together in the games market, but most were more interested in doing research than shipping products.[2] Mike's long time friend and co-worker Gabe Newell had the same thoughts, so they both left Microsoft, and founded Valve in August 1996. They self-funded the costs of developments.

He has worked on schedules, code, design, and hired most of the programmers, found, rented and managed the built-out of the office space, installed the company's first network.[4][5] As plans for Half-Life 2 began, Mike decided not to devote at least another three years to a new game. On January 15, 2000, he checked in his last piece of code and then dissolved his partnership with Gabe. He wanted to build a boat and sail around the world.[2] Mike's wife, Monica, also served as director of marketing at Valve.


Mike played a lead role in building the technical team that created the company's debut game, Half-Life. He was responsible for much of the programming on the game.[2] After Ben Morris' departure, a team of people, including Mike, took over the development of WorldCraft 1.6, and finished the upgrade.[6]


His surname was to appear in Half-Life as an Easter egg on a Sector D sign.

Selected gameography[edit]

Company biographies[edit]

Mike Harrington - Founder/Director of Development
Mike's development career began at Dynamix, where he worked on a variety of sports titles for GameStar/Activision. He spent the last nine years at Microsoft working as a developer or lead developer on OS/2, Windows NT and Microsoft Bob v1 and as a development manager on Microsoft Bob v2 and Microsoft News Viewer. Mike was pleased to learn that resistance is not, in fact, futile.


  1. Story-Telling Computer Game Becomes a Big Hit for Valve The Wall Street Journal
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 The Final Hours of Half-Life on GameSpot (November 12, 2004)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Biography on Valve's official website (January 11, 1998) (archived)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Interview with Mike Harrington on Pa-Hom (archived)
  5. Interview with Mike Harrington on Contaminated (May 21, 1998) (archived)
  6. The Forge on PlanetQuake (March 6, 1998) (archived)