Is Valve's Steam really a big meanie?
As a PC gamer, it's hard to find problems with Steam. While it is a propriety distribution system, it's one that works and has provided good service to both developers and end-users.
Old time PC games industry veteran Randy Pitchford said in an interview with Maximum PC that Valve's online games delivery service isn't all sunshine and rainbows are some may believe.
"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," said Pitchford. "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."
While the argument exists that Valve makes it own games that may compete with the products that it can sell on Steam, many small developers were given exposure larger than they could ever manage on their own thanks to the service. President of Tripwire Interactive John Gibson responded in an opinion piece regarding all the nice things that Steam has done for him and his company.
"Ask the Tripwire Interactive employees if they feel exploited, as they move into their new offices paid for by the money the company has made on Steam," Gibson wrote. "Or me, as I drive away from the company that was built from the royalties we made on Steam, in my sports car paid for by the royalties we make on Steam, to the home that I pay for with the royalties we make on Steam."
"If that's exploitation, I'll take a little more," Gibson added.
Find out what other small PC developers are saying about this at Rock, Paper, Shotgun.