Randy Pitchford has a thing for making headlines. Referring to the hugely popular Steam digital distribution platform, the Gearbox boss recently told Maximum PC "I don't trust Valve." Having started his company making Half-Life expansions, Pitchford quickly couched that statement saying, "I, personally, trust Valve. But I'm just saying, honestly, I think a lot of the industry doesn't."
Of course, the idea that an independent video game developer would perceive one of the most successful digital distribution platforms for PC games in existence being controlled by essentially a competitor as troubling is ... well, it's enormously understandable. The question then is, why haven't more developers spoken out? While Apple's iTunes Music Store regularly gathers plenty of music industry grumping, Steam has coasted by on a wave of industry support.
The solution? Says Pitchford, "It would be much better if Steam was its own business." If Valve spun off the content delivery system, it would also remove the perceived conflict of interest Pitchford takes umbrage with. "Steam helps us as customers, but it's also a money grab, and Valve is exploiting a lot of people in a way that's not totally fair," Pitchford says. "Valve is taking a larger share than it should for the service it's providing. It's exploiting a lot of small guys."
Yeah. We expect to hear more on this all week long.