Dev Defends Valve From Conflict-of-Interest Criticism

Ostensibly the kind of small games studio that Valve exploits, according to the Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford's controversial remarks last week, Tripwire Interactive told Gamasutra that it wouldn't exist without Valve's muscular presence in the PC sector.

Unlike "terrible" proposals that the Tripwire president John Gibson received in shopping Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 to publishers, Valve's offer was so straightforward it surprised even Tripwire's lawyer. "Valve's contract was the first one we had seen that didn't have any land mines in it," Gibson said, referring to fine print that can come back to bite an unsuspecting studio later.

Gibson offered his defence of Valve following comments by Pitchford that Valve's interest in both developing video games and distributing them via Steam constituted a conflict of interest. While Gibson acknowledges such appearances, he described Valve's position as more that "Our game is good, and so is yours, so let's both make some money together.

"I can say with certainty that if it weren't for Steam, there would be no Tripwire Interactive right now," Gibson said. "Ask the Tripwire Interactive employees if they feel exploited, as they move into their new offices paid for by the money the company has made on Steam. Or me, as I drive away from the company that was built from the royalties we made on Steam, in my sports car paid for by the royalties we make on Steam, to the home that I pay for with the royalties we make on Steam."

Opinion: Tripwire, Steam, And How We're Not Getting Exploited [Gamasutra via Game Politics]


    Fortunately everyone else turned their nose up at it while Valve was shopping the idea. Imagine what it would be like if Microsoft had picked it up when offered? I bet MS is kicking themselves now.

    You know, one could argue that the reason Steam/Valve is so dominant in the PC arena is that almoist every other other big name developer and publisher ditched the PC as a major development platform...

    Sure games still come out but 90% of the time theyre just ports of their console counterparts.

    The guys making the big bucks on the PC these days are the ones that stuck with it all along (Blizzard, Valve... THQ to some extent on the RTS side of things).

    Gearbox's CEO acknowledged that Steam will help smaller developers into the lime light. But when he mentioned the conflict of interest, he meant that Valve is ultimately in control of the market, and would like to see a more independant approach to the system.

    I think everyone should be glad that it's controlled by Valve, and not by another company like M$. M4 have introduced online-downloading on XBL and are already charging high prices on games that you could buy much cheaper somewhere else(like Mass Effect).

    Valve are awesome and steam is the best thing to ever happen to the pc platform, Randy's a cool guy but his opinion seems a little i dunno paranoid or misguided at best.

    I can see where hes coming from but come on this is Valve, one of the most customer friendly, industry supporting, trustworthy companies in existence.

    I think Valve are doing great things with Steam. A lot of Indie Developers are getting their games out there and are making more money off them, then they ever could without Steam.

    Even though Valve does control it all, they seem to be very flexible with allowing many great games big and small to be available to everyone on Steam.

    Everyone here loves Steam, I think, based on the above comments. I do too! It's fantastic...

    But Randy's comments are still worth examining properly. If and when Valve have a 90% majority in the PC market, are they going to be as charitable? I hope so, but it's impossible to say... The one ultimate saving grace of Valve is that they're totally privately owned, so there're no shareholders to demand more profits, which means they don't have to start screwing people or see their investors bail on them.

    I hope Valve continues their good work.

    And I hope the old adage turns out to be false. You know, the one about power corrupting...

    Surprise surprise more BS coming from Randy's mouth...someone needs to muzzle him. Releases a game and its gone to his head big time...

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