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]