Valve “absolutely not” exploiting indie developers

John Gibson, president and co-founder of Tripwire Interactive, has written an opinion piece that tackles Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford’s recent comments on how Valve is taking advantage of the little guy with Steam. In it, Gibson says Valve is “absolutely not” exploiting independent developers and in fact credits the company with the success Tripwire has had.

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

He does agree that there could be a conflict of interest when a game developer operates a digital distribution service but says “the reality of dealing with Valve just doesn’t bear it out to be a problem.” Despite having titles that are competitors to Valve’s own games, Gibson says Tripwire has never seen a situation where Valve downplayed their titles, “On the contrary, they have done a great job of promoting our games on the front page of the Steam store and through the pop-up advertisements on Steam.”

“So the next time someone wants to say that small developers are getting exploited by Valve,” Gibson concludes, “I suggest they talk to a few first. Ask Garry Newman, creator of Garry’s Mod, or Dylan Fitterer, creator of Audiosurf if they feel exploited. 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. 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.”