Steam branded â??exploitative money grabâ??

Steam branded â??exploitative money grabâ??

By Rob Crossley

October 8th 2009 at 11:02AM

Steam holds a â??horrid conflict of interestsâ?, says Gearbox CEO

Valve’s often-praised Steam service has been publicly criticised for an alleged ‘conflict of interest’ and verging on a monopoly in the digital PC space.

Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford believes that Steam’s growing dominance in the digital PC space has brought about inherent tensions.

“It would be much better if Steam was its own business,” Pitchford told MaximumPC.

“There’s so much conflict of interest there that it’s horrid. It’s actually really, really dangerous for the rest of the industry to allow Valve to win.”

Pitchford made it clear that Gearbox itself does not have a business conflict with Valve, adding that he loves Valve’s own titles.

“But, I’m just saying, Steam isn’t the answer. 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.”

“Valve is taking a larger share than it should for the service its providing. It’s exploiting a lot of small guys. For us big guys, we’re going to sell the units and it will be fine.”

The Gearbox CEO admitted that Steam will help the studio sell copies of its upcoming title, Borderlands.

“Steam helps,” he said. “As a guy in this industry though, I don’t trust Valve.”