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

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


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.



  1. ybfelix

    Or, maybe they are too afraid to say otherwise..
    Kidding :D

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Suikoden Fan

    no they exploit the customers with the pricing in general

    #2 5 years ago
  3. JonFE

    Interesting read indeed.

    Valve strike me as developers first and distributors second and it’s no surprise they offer decent royalty deals to independent developers; they certainly can afford to.

    Steam has evolved from a piracy protection scheme to a respectful digital distributor, where even the most powerful publishers like EA are offering their wares. Surely, the road to success may not have been all rosy for everybody, but, overall, I feel the benefits for both the gaming enthusiasts and game developers outweigh the negatives.

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Tonka

    Screw you Valve!
    /signs petition

    #4 5 years ago
  5. JonFE

    Tonka, Valve won’t be flying you to their office, no matter how many petitions you sign :-P

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Yoshi

    Steam = Awesome except for the pricing sometimes.
    Valve = I was convinced for years they were one of the best developers, then they said about L4D2 but im warming up to that now and its alot added from L4D. BUT soon as i heard Gabe is already planning for L4D3!! while L4D2 hasnt even released yet. He can go to hell :)

    #6 5 years ago
  7. blackdreamhunk

    steam even has achievements with is relly cool ontop o f that. I can download the game as meny times as I want with other DD does not offer.Then there is alot of deicated severs.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. DarkElfa

    See, I don’t understand how people like Yoshi can slam Valve for doing sequels when other publishers pump out sequels every year. I don’t see anyone screaming about Madden every year. All they needed to do there is update stats. The fact is that half of Valve’s fans think Valve should just give them everything for free forever. Valve spoiled them with all that free DLC and now they feel entitled. Well, I have news for you, Valve is entitled to make back the money they invest in creating all that content guys.

    #8 5 years ago
  9. Yoshi

    Im not saying they should give free stuff all the time, im just saying they have plenty of other options before bringing out a L4D3. They have HL:EP3, Portal 2, Counter-Strike 2 and Day of Defeat 2. (Dont even think about counting CS:Source or DOD:Source as a sequel becos its not + Yes they are still good games, im not sayin they aint but they still aint sequels)
    Also the only reason sports games bring out yearly games is becos new players, tranfers in teams etc etc so they use that as an excuse to make a new game plus with added features.
    PLUS just to finish off, i never really slamed on Valve i more like slamed on Gabe.

    #9 5 years ago

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