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Gearbox: Pitchford's Valve remarks "got twisted and contorted"


Recent remarks from Randy Pitchford on Valve "exploiting a lot of people in a way that’s not totally fair" with Steam have been taken "really out-of-context" and "twisted and contorted".

That's according to Gearbox creative director Mike Neumann, speaking to VG247 in an interview published today.

Neumann did add, however, that he believes that the "honor system" involved with publishing on Steam is "a little sketchy".

"Thing is, it was really out-of-context," said Neumann. "There is absolutely no bad blood there. We love Valve. We love Steam. We’re doing good on it right now. It’s a really great platform.

"[Randy] was simply making a sidenote. Like, 'Hey, they’re a developer, and they also self-publish. There might be a conflict of interest there.' It’s not like I disagree. There might be conflict of interest there. We haven’t seen any evidence. It’s all on the honor system. But it is a bit like, 'Hey, let’s at least acknowledge that we’re all on the honor system here.' It’s a little sketchy."

He added:

"I think the comments about exploiting developers really just got twisted and contorted. I think [Randy] was trying to stick up for the little guys a bit, and it was cool to see all the indie developers that have been using Steam as their platform come out and say Steam’s awesome.

"And it’s like, OK, the honor system’s working and everybody’s doing well. So really, all we proved is that Valve’s good people, and this is working out. So we’ll stick with this."

Pitchford initial said that, "As a guy in this industry though, I don’t trust Valve. 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."

Gearbox's latest release, RPG-shooter Borderlands, was released on October 29 and is currently the fifth bestselling game on Steam.

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Patrick Garratt

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Patrick Garratt is a games media legend - and not just by reputation. He was named as such in the UK's 'Games Media Awards', the equivalent of a lifetime achievement award. After garnering experience on countless gaming magazines, he joined Eurogamer and later split from that brand to create VG247, putting the site on the map with fast, 24-hour a day coverage, and assembling the site's earliest editorial teams. He retired from VG247, and the games industry, in 2017.