Tripwire Prez Defends Valve & Steam

Tripwire Interactive President John Gibson has penned an opinion piece defending Valve Software and its Steam digital distribution service against comments made by Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford last week.

Pitchford had termed Valve’s dual role as developer and distributor a “conflict of interest.” Gibson, whose company has released titles like Red Orchestra and Killing Floor on Steam, told Gamasutra, “I can say with certainty that if it weren’t for Steam, there would be no Tripwire Interactive right now.”

Gibson initially approached traditional distributors for Tripwire Games, but was “shocked at how terrible their proposals were.” Valve’s approach was different:

When we got the contract from Valve, we were amazed at how much better the deal was from what we were getting from the standard publishers. Even our lawyer was surprised at how straightforward the contract was. Valve’s contract was the first one we had seen that didn’t have any land mines in it.

While he notes that there could be a conflict of interest stemming from Valve’s two roles, Gibson said that Valve’s angle is “Our game is good, and so is yours, so let’s both make some money together.”

In closing, as a final acknowledgment to Valve, Gibson referenced his company’s success:

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.

Developer Derek Smart (Battlecruiser 300AD) also backed Valve and Steam in a comment posted on the ShackNews.

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