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Garry: "Valve is not exploiting us"

Garry: "Valve is not exploiting us"

Garry of Garry's Mod fame has dismissed claims that Valve is exploiting smaller developers from Gearbox.

Responding to comments made by Gearbox yesterday that Valve might be exploiting smaller developers and ignoring a massive conflict of interest presented by the Steam platform, Garry Newman has claimed that spinning Steam out into it's own company would change very little.

Garry, who turned his Half-Life 2 modification Garry's Mod into a commercial release, says that Steam is actually very good for smaller developers - something he's recently proved by releasing some sales information about his game in light of a recent Steam sale.

"I am more than happy with the cut I get from Steam. Yeah of course more would be nice – but the cut isn’t anywhere near that low that it would turn me off selling through Steam," Garry wrote on his blog.

"Maybe I’m a special case because GMod has sold so well – but I know that Introversion nearly went under until they got on Steam"

Addressing Gearbox's suggestion that Valve should spin Steam off into a separate company to avoid a conflict of interest, Garry says he honestly can't see it making a difference.

"What difference does it make? It’d be the same Steam, run by the same people, probably from the same office. It would change nothing," he said.

"Should Steam get competition? Yeah sure competition is always good, but I can’t imagine anything will ever overtake Steam now. Steam is doing everything right, there’s no need for an alternative," he continued.

"Not to mention the amount of money we all have already invested in the games we own in Steam. Steam IS the PC gaming platform. As a consumer I don’t want to have different digital distribution software installed for every publisher."

Let us know your thoughts on the forums.

38 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
proxess 9th October 2009, 11:34 Quote
Garry's position as a developer on Steam to speak may be questionable, but as a consumer he sure does have a point. One distribution system is enough. I'd like to see what other developers, big and small, have to say.
bogie170 9th October 2009, 12:09 Quote
I'd like to see Steam having separate Stores. Maybe the big players could have store space within steam?
proxess 9th October 2009, 12:40 Quote
I don't think they should seperate Big devs from Small devs, that in itself would make what Gearbox said valid.
impar 9th October 2009, 12:47 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxess
... as a consumer he sure does have a point. One distribution system is enough.
It is. Overall, and from a technical pov, Steam is the best DD platform out there.

It has the huge disavantadge of being too expensive, though. That defeats the point of having the best DD platform and then forcing players to buy the games cheaper at retail, usually Steam wants 50€, ordering from retail one spends 35€.
general22 9th October 2009, 12:57 Quote
Yep the price is higher for everything that isn't sold by valve but correct me if I am wrong, the publishers set the prices not valve themselves so I'm guessing the publishers keep the price high so as not to cannibalise retail sales.
p3n 9th October 2009, 13:00 Quote
"Not to mention the amount of money we all have already invested in the games we own in Steam. Steam IS the PC gaming platform. As a consumer I don’t want to have different digital distribution software installed for every publisher."

Take the hint EA, M$ :)
Sathy 9th October 2009, 13:01 Quote
I'm sure having one Console platform for gaming would also be sufficient, except that then they would have free reign over pricing and ultimately it would be the gamers/consumers who would suffer from the lack of competition.

Having Steam as a frontrunner for DD on the PC has certainly had an impact on keeping the gaming for it alive and kicking. That doesn't mean it should be the only one to be supported, but others should learn from it - hint hint on the pricing - and improve where possible. Convenience is one thing, but improving on something excisting often doesn't fit into the "this is good enough" attitude.

So here's me waiting to see other good DD platforms making their way into the conciousness of the ever-narrowing PC gaming platform and it's users.
kornedbeefy 9th October 2009, 13:13 Quote
Does Steam still have to be launched/running in the background if you want to play a single player game? That big brother attitude has been a huge negative with me when it comes to Steam. I know they have an offline mode but when I've tried it in the past it wasn't always user friendly. It's like Valve made you jump through hoops to get it working. Especially if you wanted to play offline at a LAN party that didn't have an internet connection.

I was really ticked off when I bought the retail boxed versions of Dawn of War 2 and Empire Total War and entered a CD-Key and saw then Steam launched to "keep an eye" on my game purchase.

Until I'm treated like the honest customer that I am Steam and any other "intrusive" DRM is a floating turd in my eyes.
Unknownsock 9th October 2009, 13:27 Quote
Steam has the least invasive DRM out there.
If you actually care about steam that is pathetic, go back to your other games with securom if you want, it may be silent, but it sure aswell isn't as safe.

Fact: Some games require steam, get over it.
Jipa 9th October 2009, 13:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Some Douche
"As a consumer I don’t want to have different digital distribution software installed for every publisher."

I've never liked Steam. Most likely never will, either. I hate all such programs, they just seem like unwanted clutter to me. While easy updates are nice, I prefer to buy and install my games the old fashioned way. Couldn't be arsed by the community features either...
Phil Rhodes 9th October 2009, 13:32 Quote
It's been a good six months since I was last forced to point this out, but as soon as steam goes offline every piece of software ever purchased through it - now presumably billions worth - will instantaneously vanish like a puff of, well, steam.

Yes yes I know, it's impossible and unthinkable and the reich will last for a thousand years, and once we've invented time travel we'll be able to send people to the year fifty million and they'll report that steam is still alive and well. Obviously, Valve are completely infalliable and suggesting they might disappear is like suggesting the sun might disappear; they will unquestionably exist forever and to suggest otherwise is anathema.

However, regardless of whether it's generally accepted, it will happen at some point, as those of us over the age of about sixteen have already seen happen several times in the gaming industry.

Even if not, I know several people who've had to rebuy their entire itunes music collections after a hard disk crash.
Spraduke 9th October 2009, 13:48 Quote
Unlike iTunes and many games I can redownload my steam games as many times and on many diffferent pcs to my hearts content.
I won't buy anything on iTunes until they implement a similar policy (or steam do it!)
Horizon 9th October 2009, 14:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Terd Sandwhich
Quote:
Originally Posted by Some Douche
"As a consumer I don’t want to have different digital distribution software installed for every publisher."

I've never liked Steam. Most likely never will, either. I hate all such programs, they just seem like unwanted clutter to me. While easy updates are nice, I prefer to buy and install my games the old fashioned way. Couldn't be arsed by the community features either...

I don't see how the old fashion way is clean and less clutter, the game installs then immediately updates, and a majority of the time it's very transparent. You don't have to download an updater or separate patches, and for the past 3 years games have been requiring them. I'll take steam over having to have Impulse, gpgnet, EA download manager, xfire, whatever bioware uses, rockstar lounge to get updates for my games.
liratheal 9th October 2009, 14:11 Quote
I don't buy on steam unless I'm feeling lazy. I don't much care how they do business - It's clearly working sufficiently to get quite a number of big devs onboard, and quite a number of the smaller devs.

It's wonderful for convenience, and if they're screwing smaller devs so hard, why are they still using it, I wonder?
RichCreedy 9th October 2009, 14:28 Quote
i like steam, its so much easier when moving to a new machine, install steam, download all your games,then play

no more looking for the cds, downloading patches, then patches for patches, with steam, you download the game, and its already at the latest version, no patching needed.

sure it might take you a few hours downloading the games, but it could take you longer installing from cd, downloading the patches etc etc
Lepermessiah 9th October 2009, 14:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxess
... as a consumer he sure does have a point. One distribution system is enough.
It is. Overall, and from a technical pov, Steam is the best DD platform out there.

It has the huge disavantadge of being too expensive, though. That defeats the point of having the best DD platform and then forcing players to buy the games cheaper at retail, usually Steam wants 50€, ordering from retail one spends 35€.

Sigh, another guy who talks without knowing, you do know that maintaining the servers and bandwidth needed to maintain steam is a huge expense right? it is a constant expense, where as distributing retail boxes is a one time expense.
Lepermessiah 9th October 2009, 14:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
It's been a good six months since I was last forced to point this out, but as soon as steam goes offline every piece of software ever purchased through it - now presumably billions worth - will instantaneously vanish like a puff of, well, steam.

Yes yes I know, it's impossible and unthinkable and the reich will last for a thousand years, and once we've invented time travel we'll be able to send people to the year fifty million and they'll report that steam is still alive and well. Obviously, Valve are completely infalliable and suggesting they might disappear is like suggesting the sun might disappear; they will unquestionably exist forever and to suggest otherwise is anathema.

However, regardless of whether it's generally accepted, it will happen at some point, as those of us over the age of about sixteen have already seen happen several times in the gaming industry.

Even if not, I know several people who've had to rebuy their entire itunes music collections after a hard disk crash.

Wrong, you can backup your games to DVD or CD now, and there are already ways to get steam games to work without steam, come on, take off the tin hat. Also, Valve being the company they are, I would say there is a good chance they already have a plan in place in case steam ever does go away, lets not get over sensitive here.

At the end of the day, there will be a way to play the games way after steam goes away. Like i said, there are already ways now.
rpsgc 9th October 2009, 14:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepermessiah
Sigh, another guy who talks without knowing, you do know that maintaining the servers and bandwidth needed to maintain steam is a huge expense right? it is a constant expense, where as distributing retail boxes is a one time expense.

Oh the irony

One time expense my arse. Such statement reeks of ignorance. There are countless fees and expenses pertaining to it. You know nothing about the retail model.
DD was hailed as being CHEAPER than retail, no need for warehouses to store them, no need for cases and disks, no need to print manuals, covers, etc. You honestly believe bandwidth is more expensive than all that? LOL
Psy-UK 9th October 2009, 14:42 Quote
I honestly don't know where I'd be without Steam. For me it's about as important as my web browser.
ssj12 9th October 2009, 14:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bogie170
I'd like to see Steam having separate Stores. Maybe the big players could have store space within steam?

you mean like the PlayStation Network Store? if thats what you mean, really Steam already has it with the content filtering by publisher.
Phil Rhodes 9th October 2009, 14:55 Quote
Quote:
Also, Valve being the company they are, I would say there is a good chance they already have a plan in place in case steam ever does go away

Oh that's all right then, I'll just buy stuff on the basis that there's a good chance that it'll keep on working.

Every time I bring this up some breathless little fanboy pipes up with the "but valve are lovely" line. Valve are a profitmaking entity like any other and therefore can be counted on to do do precisely and only what makes them the absolute maximum possible amount of money. If steam stops making them money, it will go, and I would expect nothing less. The idea that under this circumstance they would some how un-DRM everything is ludicrous - given the number of people who publish on steam, each of whom will have hundreds of pages of complex legalese in their agreement with Valve, the sheer administrative complexity of doing that would create legal costs in the millions and take months to achieve. I promise you, it will never happen.

For the record I believe Valve have made similarly vague allusions to having some sort of plan in place, but until it's in the EULA it's vapourware - has anyone scoured a Steam EULA for this sort of thing? Let us know if you have.

P
liratheal 9th October 2009, 15:03 Quote
I don't know about the rest of you, but.. Aside from Valve games, I don't have any issue whatsoever starting the game without Steam.

KOTOR, Fallen Earth, VTMB - All three bought on steam, all three start without steam being even open, let alone online.

I'd say DoW2 does, too, but that I didn't buy on Steam, so..
impar 9th October 2009, 15:34 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepermessiah
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxess
... as a consumer he sure does have a point. One distribution system is enough.
It is. Overall, and from a technical pov, Steam is the best DD platform out there.

It has the huge disavantadge of being too expensive, though. That defeats the point of having the best DD platform and then forcing players to buy the games cheaper at retail, usually Steam wants 50€, ordering from retail one spends 35€.
Sigh, another guy who talks without knowing, you do know that maintaining the servers and bandwidth needed to maintain steam is a huge expense right? it is a constant expense, where as distributing retail boxes is a one time expense.
Quote:
Xir 9th October 2009, 15:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichCreedy
i like steam, its so much easier when moving to a new machine, install steam, download all your games,then play


For some reason this never worked for me...I log onto Steam on my new machine...nothing happens.

But if I try to play anything OFFLINE using the old steam...hey I'll start your game...after this 1 hour download for a tiny patch.

When it works it's convenient, but if you're on a relatively small broadband, it's a pain in the *rse
Lepermessiah 9th October 2009, 15:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpsgc
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepermessiah
Sigh, another guy who talks without knowing, you do know that maintaining the servers and bandwidth needed to maintain steam is a huge expense right? it is a constant expense, where as distributing retail boxes is a one time expense.

Oh the irony

One time expense my arse. Such statement reeks of ignorance. There are countless fees and expenses pertaining to it. You know nothing about the retail model.
DD was hailed as being CHEAPER than retail, no need for warehouses to store them, no need for cases and disks, no need to print manuals, covers, etc. You honestly believe bandwidth is more expensive than all that? LOL


bandwidth, licensing fees, and Maintenance on serves is more expensive, and yes, eventually retail distribution cose ceast to exist for a game, with DD it is a constant expense. You are a moron if you think maintaining the servers steam requires is not a HUGE expense, do you knwo how expensive licenses are alone? I suggest you actually deal with IT like i do before spewing garbage.
Lepermessiah 9th October 2009, 15:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepermessiah
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxess
... as a consumer he sure does have a point. One distribution system is enough.
It is. Overall, and from a technical pov, Steam is the best DD platform out there.

It has the huge disavantadge of being too expensive, though. That defeats the point of having the best DD platform and then forcing players to buy the games cheaper at retail, usually Steam wants 50€, ordering from retail one spends 35€.
Sigh, another guy who talks without knowing, you do know that maintaining the servers and bandwidth needed to maintain steam is a huge expense right? it is a constant expense, where as distributing retail boxes is a one time expense.
Quote:


That is just regards to the publishing, no where does he get into maintaining servers, bandwidth or licensing, thansk for trying, do come again.
Lepermessiah 9th October 2009, 15:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Quote:
Also, Valve being the company they are, I would say there is a good chance they already have a plan in place in case steam ever does go away

Oh that's all right then, I'll just buy stuff on the basis that there's a good chance that it'll keep on working.

Every time I bring this up some breathless little fanboy pipes up with the "but valve are lovely" line. Valve are a profitmaking entity like any other and therefore can be counted on to do do precisely and only what makes them the absolute maximum possible amount of money. If steam stops making them money, it will go, and I would expect nothing less. The idea that under this circumstance they would some how un-DRM everything is ludicrous - given the number of people who publish on steam, each of whom will have hundreds of pages of complex legalese in their agreement with Valve, the sheer administrative complexity of doing that would create legal costs in the millions and take months to achieve. I promise you, it will never happen.

For the record I believe Valve have made similarly vague allusions to having some sort of plan in place, but until it's in the EULA it's vapourware - has anyone scoured a Steam EULA for this sort of thing? Let us know if you have.

P

Ah, the old, you do not agree with me so I'll insult and call you a fanboy routine? how old are you? I am no fanboy, but fact remains it is easy NOW to play steam games without steam, so its a non issue. Where is your tin hat? paranoid much? There are already ways around this.
phuzz 9th October 2009, 16:43 Quote
Can't speak about generalisations but out of the games I own on Steam, the only ones I can't get working offline are TF2 and CS:S, HL2 and L4D both work offline (with some fiddling), and the 3rd party games I own (eg Fallout3, Bioshock), can be run from their executable, no steam required.
yay me :)
impar 9th October 2009, 17:55 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepermessiah
That is just regards to the publishing, no where does he get into maintaining servers, bandwidth or licensing, thansk for trying, do come again.
So, you maintain that a digital distribution model is more expensive than a traditional retail model?

You are out of touch with reality, Lepermessiah.
Lepermessiah 9th October 2009, 18:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepermessiah
That is just regards to the publishing, no where does he get into maintaining servers, bandwidth or licensing, thansk for trying, do come again.
So, you maintain that a digital distribution model is more expensive than a traditional retail model?

You are out of touch with reality, Lepermessiah.

Where did you learn to read? Did I say it was MORe expensive, I said it si costly, when it comes to reality, maintaining a consistent service eventually gets a lot more expensive then a shoprt term expense, in this case being boxed distribution. Sorry, but i am not the one out of touch with reality. Licensing fees alone are massive on windows servers, as well as maintenance and software fees. Plus the bandwidth, yes, it is expensive, saying otherwise shows a total lack of knowledge for the it industry in which i work. I did not say waht is more expensive, learn to read, but neither do you or I know which one is, but, the one that is constant will always be more expensive at the end of the day.
Nodule 9th October 2009, 19:32 Quote
You're not making sense Lepermessiah (at least it seems to be patently rubbish and I'll credit you that you actually have a point but aren't making it very well)
impar 9th October 2009, 19:39 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepermessiah
Where did you learn to read? Did I say it was MORe expensive, I said it si costly, when it comes to reality, maintaining a consistent service eventually gets a lot more expensive then a shoprt term expense, in this case being boxed distribution. Sorry, but i am not the one out of touch with reality. Licensing fees alone are massive on windows servers, as well as maintenance and software fees. Plus the bandwidth, yes, it is expensive, saying otherwise shows a total lack of knowledge for the it industry in which i work. I did not say waht is more expensive, learn to read, but neither do you or I know which one is, but, the one that is constant will always be more expensive at the end of the day.
You forget that even on a retail based model servers need to be maintened/rented, bandwidth needs to be bought, ...
DXR_13KE 9th October 2009, 20:01 Quote
Quote:
"Steam is doing everything right, there’s no need for an alternative,"

[rant]EXCEPT WHEN THEY BLOODY RAPE YOU FOR PAYING IN EUROS!!!!!![/rant]
Rocket_Knight64 9th October 2009, 21:52 Quote
Steams great so long as you dont pay full price for stuff (or use euros), and only haveing a single place to go for all your gaming needs on PC is fantastic.

But I have to agree that a monopoly is bad, although it is only because everything else is so dire or non-exsistant. GFWL or EA-DL? No dice. I'm hoping that Stardocks Impulse picks up some traction.
Star*Dagger 10th October 2009, 01:24 Quote
It is quite funny to watch people who do NOT use steam (or havent in years) argue about it and make simple fundamental mistakes about how the service works now.
Cyber-Luddites.

I wonder what they are going to do when game distribution goes 100% digital and most games are episodic or MMOs with a monthly sub, lol.

Keep up with the time, adapt or die.
If you do not like Steam do not use it, but you are stupid not to.

Yours in Steaming Plasma,
Star*Dagger
Saivert 10th October 2009, 04:36 Quote
It would have been much easier if Lepermessiah actually knew which one was more expensive between retail and digital distribution. But since nobody has Steam's numbers we will not know yet. He just argues with the fact that it's most likely that Digital distribution is the most expensive in the long run. I guess we can all agree with that, but it doesn't help us in any way. It's actually a sad thing.

Digital distribution is a two-edged sword in this case. But most of us has known that for a while.

I only use Steam because I'm forced to to play my games. I mostly have Valve games. I only have Gmod, Audiosurf, ARMA 2 and CoD4 as non-valve games. I could just as well have those outside the Steam system.

Steam sure is nice, with it's skinned game browser and update feature. But I think it's too tightly coupled with things. And Steam itself has prevented me from playing games because it has been broken. It adds complexity to things.

As for Valve as a company I have to say this:
Valve has lost touch in reality lately. It started before the whole Left 4 Dead 2 boycott debacle, with the Half-Life 2 episodes. They believe they are very innovative (and they have been for a good while) and they also believe they have the best solution for everything. This is far from true. And I would commend them to look back at themselves and think things through for a bit. Slow down for a while. I am a fan of Valve still because they are still doing a lot of things better than others, but that doesn't prevent me from being skeptical of their moves.
Dragunover 11th October 2009, 17:29 Quote
What? Digital Distribution costs more? No, it doesn't. Think of it like a FLAC to MP3. You definitely don't get to keep everything. It works for pretty much everyone, but not everyone wants to deal with the MP3.
For those of you who seriously don't think Steam is making MASSIVE profit off of even casual 2d games, you should really examine what's going on - Steam doesn't have to beg for a certain title, the developers of the game WANT to put it on Steam.
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