A couple of weeks ago we posted up some quotes from Gearbox Software head man Randy Pitchford from a recent Maximum PC interview where he was critical of the fact that Valve, a game developer, was in charge of the ultra-popular PC game download service Steam. Pitchford felt Valve should spin off Steam into its own company. He also felt that Valve was "exploiting a lot of small guys."
While Valve has yet to comment on Pitchford's statements, Gamasutra has posted up an opinion piece by Tripwire Interactive president John Gibson. The developer has used Valve to distribute its game including the hit shooter Killing Floor. Gibson says that Valve and their use of Steam hasn't exploited small developers. In fact, Gibson says, "I can say with certainty that if it weren't for Steam, there would be no Tripwire Interactive right now."
While other publishers offered deals that Tripwire felt were unresonable, Gibson said Valve's deal for Steam distribution was "great", adding, "We were able to recoup our development costs for our first game within the first week of sales, and sales were straight profit from that point on." And what about Valve, a game developer, running a service that has lots of other competing games and developers? Gibson says every publisher has that conflict of interest when publishing third party games. He states, "What really matters is how they have handled this conflict of interest. In our experience Valve has handled it very well; other companies, not so well."