Valve "absolutely not" exploiting indies with Steam

In an interview with Gamasutra, John Gibson, President and Co-founder of Tripwire Interactive said that Valve is "absolutely not" exploiting independent developers, countering comments made by Gearbox's Randy Pitchford last week.

"Is Valve exploiting independent developers? In short: absolutely not."

"Without pulling any punches, I can say with certainty that if it weren't for Steam, there would be no Tripwire Interactive right now."

Gibson explained that Steam gave Tripwire a route to market their games when disc-based publishers were offering unworkable deals.

"In the early days, when we were shopping our first game Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 around to traditional brick-and-mortar publishers, we were shocked at how terrible their proposals were," he said.

"We were getting pitched offers like, 'We'll give you a 15 percent royalty rate, take the IP rights to your game, and slap a $1.5 million administrative fee on top of your recoupment costs.' And deals like this were being offered for a game we funded ourselves!

"With deals like those, we were wondering how any third-party developer could be successful in the game industry. Under the terms of that deal, we would have needed to sell hundreds of thousands of units before we would have seen one cent of royalties. Enter Steam."

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Steam is ****. The offline mode almost never works. Most of the time you click "offline mode" it gives an error like "Sorry STEAM cannot go to Offline Mode". Then you have to go "online mode" and let STEAM update itself. Then the "offline mode' will work. it does this after you've been offline for a few days. it somehow has to have the latest version or it won't even start in offline. But FFS I just wanted to play my game's single player mode. If it weren't for CS and CSS, i'd have never installed this piece of crap on my computer.

Im a fan of steam except for the one game they sold me that didn't work. Space siege. F THAT GAME IN THE A!

The issue I have with the interface isn't the skin but how it orders it, I want better sorting options. It may not seem like an issue to most but my list is now over 230 titles, browsing around for a particular type of game is hard when I can't just easily find all of my RPGs or FPSs

Although I really do like Steam (I've got quite a lot of games in my list) I do think it has a couple of flaws:

1. their policy with respect to closing accounts. Maybe it almost never happens, but if you've got 50+ games in your list and your account gets closed because some hacker (or your little brother or a "friend" ) get their hands on it and decided to do something Valve didn't like, you're basically ****ed.

2. the fact that you can't play several games at once using the same account. Why can't I play Counter Strike while my little sister plays World of Goo? Yes of course I could have made a different account for her, but let's say it's a visiting friend instead of my little sister. The only thing you can do (I think) is make a different account for each game you buy...

But I do admit it's a great service and it has made me buy games that I might have pirated otherwise only because it's so easy and so quick to buy them. And I especially love the Indie games. I really don't mind paying €5 for a small game that is a lot of fun.

3. There are many cases when price of game on Steam is much higher than real thing (DVD+Box+Manuals). Resident Evil 5 on Amazon: £17.95, same game on Steam: 29.99. I've also burned my money with "Overlord" because "Overlord: Raising Hell" DLC refused to install on Steam's version so I had to buy real thing from Amazon.

But I admit that their service works great. Also they need to improve voice chat because TeamSpeak is so much better with all its advanced options (same goes for MS Live).

Love steams concept, just wish they let me activate more of my cd keys from games i've physically bought before they were released on steam.

same, that would be great. But nothing is perfect.
Without steam I would never have bothered with a lot of games, same with impulse... it just makes things so much easier.

The problem with that is if you resell your games, it doesn't acknowledge them on Steam. I've one game on Steam which I activated via serial number but sold the boxed game on a few weeks later but it's still available for me on Steam.

Roadrunna said,
The problem with that is if you resell your games, it doesn't acknowledge them on Steam. I've one game on Steam which I activated via serial number but sold the boxed game on a few weeks later but it's still available for me on Steam.


...until the person you sold it to tries to activate it. If there's a dispute, Valve sides with the person that can produce the original media or proof of the physical CD key.

With deals like those, we were wondering how any third-party developer could be successful in the game industry.

That's why there practically are no third party developers left!

Do you people understand yet what is so evil about EA and the rest of the big-name publishers? It's not just about their console ports and rehashes, it's what they do to the whole industry. Game developers are treated only slightly better than pre-Unionized meatpackers of the last century. It's no surprise there's nothing creative going on in gaming anymore. The whole industry is run like a slave labor camp that sells crack to little kids.

I remember people moaning and complaining when Steam first came out (you HAD to sign-in online to play your games like Half-Life, Half-Life 2, etc). Now, it's like one of the best things in the world.

I disliked it when it first came out and definitely like it a lot more now. I think the turning point for me was when I couldn't find my Half-Life 2 discs after some years. Downloaded and installed Steam...it downloads and installed Half-Life 2 (along with all the other games I got at the same time) and all the updates. Sure it took awhile because my crappy 1.5mbps connection, but was definitely worth it to me.