Gearbox's Pitchford Says Valve is 'Exploiting' Smaller Devs with Steam, Advocates Split

In a new interview with Maximum PC, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford claims that Valve's dominance in the PC digital distribution arena could come to hurt the industry, citing a "dangerous" conflict of interest and a lack of competition that has already lead to the exploitation of smaller developers.

"I'll tell you what, Steam helps. As a guy in this industry though, I don't trust Valve," said Pitchford, who later clarified that while he personally trusts the company, "a lot of the industry doesn't."

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

Pitchford explained that since Microsoft "is focused on the console platform" and seems unwilling to compete, Valve should split off Steam and form a separate company to improve the service's image.

"It would be much better if Steam was its own business," he said. "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."

Added Pitchford: "I love Valve games, and I do business with the company. 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."