"So, is Valve exploiting independent developers?" Gibson wrote. "In short: absolutely not. Without pulling any punches, I can say with certainty that if it weren't for Steam, there would be no Tripwire Interactive right now." He praised Valve's contract, calling it "the first one we had seen that didn't have any land mines in it."
More importantly, Gibson also praised just how paid he has gotten from Steam. "Ask the Tripwire Interactive employees if they feel exploited," he said, "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" -- where he has the option to eat vegetables bought with royalties made on Steam, and then steamed.
Gibson admits that the situation does represent a potential conflict of interest for Valve, but, "What really matters is how they have handled this conflict of interest. In our experience Valve has handled it very well; other companies, not so well."