Mode 7 Games' co-founder, Paul Taylor, believes Steam is indispensable for the success of indie PC game developers.
Speaking in an interview with GI.biz, Taylor said Valve's use of unconventional sales methods not only attracts developers to the service, but customers as well, which is imperative for smaller firms.
"That’s one of the best things about Valve, they won’t say 'you are doing this' - which they could do very easily - they’ll say 'this is the kind of thing we want to do, this is why, how do you want to go about it?' It’s great, it lets you try stuff," said Taylor.
"We’re doing some stuff on Steam that people don’t normally do, like the free key for a friend thing, or offering the soundtrack as a separate thing you can upgrade to. They’re quite different, and Valve had to do some actual system-related stuff to allow us to do that. For an indie game that doesn’t have a lot of clout, they’re surprisingly flexible and that’s great.
"When you’re a company with that much power and that size, you have to strike a balance between doing things that benefit you and things that create a good eco-system for everyone. I think they’re pretty good at that, and they think very seriously about it. It is astonishing just how important they are in terms of the PC. Steam is really essential for indie games at the moment."
Taylor goes on to say that the level of trust consumers have in the Steam service is due to Valve's strict quality control, which keeps the service from offering loads of inferior content.
"People really use [Steam] as a mark of quality," he said. "There’s a good reason for that, because not everything gets on there."
Mode 7 Games' Frozen Synapse, a turn-based tactical-strategy game, was released on Steam back in May, and currently carries an 88 MetaScore on the service.