Pitchford: “It would be much better if Steam was its own business”

Wednesday, 7th October 2009 21:18 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


Gearbox’s Randy Pitchford has told Maximum PC that he thinks Steam and Valve should be seperate entites, as it is nothing more than a “money grab”.

“I’ll tell you what. Steam helps. As a guy in this industry though, I don’t trust Valve,” he said. “I, personally, trust Valve. But I’m just saying, honestly, I think a lot of the industry doesn’t.

“It would be much better if Steam was its own business. There’s so much conflict of interest there that it’s horrid. It’s actually really, really dangerous for the rest of the industry to allow Valve to win.

“I love Valve games, and I do business with the company. But, I’m just saying, Steam isn’t the answer. Steam helps us as customers, but it’s also a money grab, and Valve is exploiting a lot of people in a way that’s not totally fair.

“Valve is taking a larger share than it should for the service its providing. It’s exploiting a lot of small guys. For us big guys, we’re going to sell the units and it will be fine.”

Holy shit.



  1. Patrick Garratt

    That really is serious business.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. DarkElfa

    I’m split between my Valve fandom and the honest truth he spoke in that blurb.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. freedoms_stain

    Is it really a Valve thing? D2D are pretty much on par with Steam when it comes to pricing any time I’ve cared to look.

    #3 5 years ago
  4. lk

    uh oh

    #4 5 years ago
  5. DarkElfa

    Oh, I also want to fix part of your report real quick.

    “I love Valve games, and I DID business with the company.”

    There ya go…

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Leathersoup

    So how much is Valve taking? This guy talks about how large of a share Valve is taking but he’s not saying how much of it they’re taking.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. lk

    NDA, maybe.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. No_PUDding

    I’d expect Steam and Valve are far more seperate than we know. We onyl meet the creative heads, but I doubt they run them too closely.

    #8 5 years ago
  9. endgame

    ok, so, what’s the news!? ’cause what he’s saying it’s common sense. ofc valve rips many ppl off. it’s obvious as daylight.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. Leathersoup

    The thing is, if Valve was ripping everyone off as badly as this guy is making you think, then someone would have stepped up and made their own “online sales service”.

    Steam provides DRM which can really help independent developers. It provides a network to distribute patches and updates. They even distribute demos and videos for games.

    I’m not sure what the cost for all of this is but I’m pretty sure that if Valve and Steam were such a horrible team and if Valve was ripping people off left right and center, another company would have stepped up to take it’s place and succeeded.

    #10 5 years ago
  11. freedoms_stain

    Steam definitely isn’t being fair all round.

    There are substantial price differences between regions, and they aren’t particularly competitive with e-tailers.

    And there are other online sales services Leathersoup.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. endgame

    @Leathersoup dude someone DID step up and MADE their own sales service. stardock did. that’s 1. 2, if you’d know what prices steam asks for some of their products then u would stfu. obviously you’re out of the loop.

    #12 5 years ago
  13. No_PUDding

    LeatherSoup, thats not really accurate.

    It’s called have a stranglehold on a market, and certainly for PC digital distribution… Steam is king. GFW and Stardock are two others. EA tried EA Link… That didn’t work.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. Yoshi

    Wow endgame, calm down lol.
    The main problem with Steam is exactly what freedoms said the regions difference, thats 1 of the worst problems i think. With the pricing compared to retail, well lets just think about this alot of digital games now you can only download so many times, on steam it is set to your account forever and you can download + install it as many times as u like. The way Steam competes with retailers is that they have the weekend deals, which can sometimes be very good. Compared to all the other digital distribution companys Steam is the best overall.

    #14 5 years ago
  15. Morrius

    Steam is pretty awesome. Valve or otherwise. I find it funny that it was designed by Gabe while he worked at Microsoft, who said they didn’t think it was a viable business platform. Lol.

    #15 5 years ago
  16. SunKing

    It is a worrying situation, but digital distribution is still in its very early stages, and there’s no reason stopping other companies from grabbing Valve’s market share – if they’re clever about it. I mean, compare Steam to GfWL, or even Impulse, and the difference in quality in terms of design is pretty great. While Steam has leveraged popularity through Valve’s games, Steam is the best digital distribution network I’ve come across so far.

    #16 5 years ago
  17. blackdreamhunk

    steam has a long way to go. the only reason steam is so good is because vavle is trying to compete with them pirates.

    then there is also the fact big curupt big companies push pc gamers online. where we are save from their evil hands.

    I’m talking about DD here. I also like the fact my games are cheaper.I don’t have to worry about spending $100 for a game.

    #17 5 years ago
  18. Leathersoup

    If Steam were a bad deal for the developers they would be going with another service.
    I’m not sure what the full issues are regarding regional sales but it may have something to do with regional retail prices as well.
    Most video game publishers and more importantly retailers will not put games out on the shelf if consumers can pick up a game at a fraction of the price elsewhere. So if a developer can make the same amount of money by publishing through a publishing firm for $60 or selling it on steam for $30. Retail outlets will not stock the item simply due to them not being able to have a competitive price. Due to this same reason publishing firms will not want to deal with the product either. Because of this developers charge an equivalent amount for the product on Steam in order to allow their product to hit a larger market.
    On top of this, when dealing with international software sales, Steam is going to be charged duties or tariffs on any product they sell across international borders.

    #18 5 years ago
  19. freedoms_stain

    “steam has a long way to go. the only reason steam is so good is because vavle is trying to compete with them pirates.” By pricing their games as expensive if not more so than other outlets? Cus pirates just love spending money on stuff.

    @Leathersoup, given the increasingly small amount of floorspace retailers are affording PC games that line of reasoning would appear to be rather shit.

    #19 5 years ago
  20. blackdreamhunk

    lol big companies made the mistake of pissing pc gamers off. how is gamestop doing these days. Their stocks have been on decline lately. As more and more pc gamers are moving to online DD.

    then there is the big companies who buy up all the retail space,pushing pc games to the back.

    yea the store shelf at retail is getting smaller and smaller lately even more so in a recession. The big companies like microsoft must been thinking that pc gamers are dumb and be forced to buy a gaming consoles. Instead pc gamers moved to DD in droves.

    Yea gamestop making a ton of money on the used game market. Some consoles are such a waste of time and not worth the $60 or $100 that some people go rent the games. I don’t blame them.

    lets not forget pircay on consoles too.

    #20 5 years ago
  21. Gekidami

    “how is gamestop doing these days. Their stocks have been on decline lately. As more and more pc gamers are moving to online DD.”

    PC gaming: losing jobs and runining lives. Well done PC.

    #21 5 years ago
  22. NiceFellow

    Wonder what he thinks of Live, then?

    As a consumer I have few issues with Steam. If developers think there is an issue behind the scenes then they should deal with it. Just whining doesn’t change anything.

    #22 5 years ago
  23. Leathersoup

    Well that’s because piracy has pretty much made the PC an undesirable platform. For anyone who says that piracy occurs on consoles as well, consoles have many methods of preventing you from enjoying the full experience when you’re running a pirated version of the game or a modded console.
    As such you will find fewer people running pirated versions of a console game than a PC game. For this reason alone more console versions of a game will be sold than a PC version. The end result is that retailers will want to stock more console games than games for the PC and devs will want to make more games exclusively for consoles than for PC.

    #23 5 years ago
  24. Gekidami

    You know, i’m really not sure in the case of the Wii, its as easy to play pirate games as a PC thanks to softmods. Maybe that sort of explains its terrible software sales.
    I’m pretty sure the reason Wii MotionPlus (without any game) sales were so high was because people who downloaded Resort couldnt play the game without it.

    Other then that its true that its alot more hassel to play pirate games on 360 and (as far as i know) impossible on PS3.

    #24 5 years ago
  25. freedoms_stain

    Incorrect Leathersoup, Piracy is certainly a factor, but PC gamers are more inclined to order online or buy digital because they can get the game 5 or 10 quid cheaper than retail shops.

    #25 5 years ago
  26. MushroomStamp

    Leather Incorrect again. There is absolutely 0% difference between pirated and retail games for consoles. I have NEVER had a console game that was different. It’s the PC piracy that gets chopped up because when patches are released they often break the ability to play correctly on the PC. NEVER had a console game update and not work.

    #26 5 years ago
  27. MushroomStamp

    BTW, I love Steam, because I don’t have to worry about discs getting damage and it’s like a vault for my games. Games are never more expensive than the store prices. I could care less about manuals and music Cd’s extras.

    #27 5 years ago

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