Valve Software's business development chief Jason Holtman finally offered a response to what EA Origin boss David DeMartini said last month about Steam sales "cheapening intellectual property." At the time DeMartini said that EA's digital distribution platform would not copy Steam's frequent and deep discounting sales tactics.
Speaking to Holtman at Develop in Brighton, England this week, Eurogamer asked him what he thought about those comments. Holtman said that the opposite was true: Steam sales bring value and generate income for intellectual property owners.
"Ask our partners," he said. "Ask the large to the small and see what they think about that. Putting it all in the bucket of, it's all about the discounts, I don't think that's everything about it. Discounts serve a lot of functions. Highlighting serves a lot of functions. The qualities of the games serve a lot of functions. Everything we've seen, PC games and IP and all those franchises are more valuable today than they were four or five years ago."
He went on to say that discounting is just one of many small functions it does in the course of operating their market and store and doesn't cheapen IP. Holtman added that they do this with their own games, like Portal 2 and if he thought it would damage the Portal name he would not offer a steep discount.
Holtman added that Steam's promotions on older titles often convince gamers who may have passed on a game when it was released to give the game a chance.
"The nice thing is buying a year later at some discount or special promotion, those things used to be really hard to find. It used to be, if you didn't get a game in the first three months it was around, you were out of luck because you had to find a copy of it. You had to find a box where it was stocked."
Holtman has a lot more to say about the subject, which you can check out over at Eurogamer. Ultimately Holtman's conclusion is that DeMartini is wrong about what deep discounting does to games available via Steam.