Valve “absolutely not” exploiting indies with Steam, says Tripwire

Tuesday, 13 October 2009 09:29 GMT By Patrick Garratt

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Tripwire boss John Gibson has claimed that Valve is “absolutely not” exploiting independent developers, countering comments to the contrary made by Gearbox’s Randy Pitchford last week.

“Is Valve exploiting independent developers? In short: absolutely not,” said Gibson, writing on Gamasutra.

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

Pitchford described Steam as a “money grab” last week, saying, “Valve is exploiting a lot of people in a way that’s not totally fair.”

Gibson explained that Steam gave Tripwire a route to market when disc-based pubs 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.”

Read it all. Interesting stuff.

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