Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford recently got attention with his comments on Valve’s PC-bound digital distribution platform Steam, and Tripwire Interactive President John Gibson responded to his comments in a message sent to Gamasutra. For the quotes regarding the Valve debate, follow the jump.
“So, is Valve exploiting independent developers? In short: absolutely not,” said Gibson. “Without pulling any punches, I can say with certainty that if it weren’t for Steam, there would be no Tripwire Interactive right now.”
“Randy also pointed out the conflict of interest present in Valve being both a game developer and a game distributor,” continued Gibson. “I agree — there could be a potential conflict of interest here. But the reality of dealing with Valve just doesn’t bear it out to be a problem. Tripwire Interactive’s two titles on Steam, Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 and Killing Floor, are both direct competitors to Valve’s own games Day of Defeat: Source and Left 4 Dead, yet all of these titles have been very successful on Steam. Valve has a very unique take on this matter, and one that I think is smart business. Rather than say, ‘I don’t want to sell your game, because it’s a competitor to our game,’ Valve says, ‘Our game is good, and so is yours, so let’s both make some money together.’ The attitude is if the game is good, they’ll sell it.”
“Three years and two games later, we’ve built our company in large part on top of selling our games on Steam. We started out with just a couple of people making games in a small room. Now we’ve built our company up to fifteen people, recently nearly doubling our staff and office space, largely thanks to the success our game Killing Floor has had on Steam. I guess all this ‘exploitation’ has been hard on Tripwire Interactive,” he added.