Randy Pitchford Talks Borderlands, Piracy, and Why He Doesn’t Trust Valve



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Does anyone know if I will be able to play Boarderlands on my PC with my friend playing on his XBOX / PS3?



There is a pretty decent look at the article here, which tries to look at Pitchford's points a little more and examine them.

Digital Distribution Review:Pitchford vs. Steam



Cool. There is an article based on your interview in Gamespot:







-Technology...  will kill us one day.....

Personaly i Think steam is Pretty hard to comit to piracy, and wal-mart... will be sold as CD-Roms which pirate bay and, their hackers, will soon be able to play for free... steam however seems only a few games can be pirated without notice.



 Everytime I saw this guy make a statement, a strange sadness fills me. I wonder when will someone interview Randy about BIA:HH multiplayer disaster. How would any serious game company could let a third party develop the multiplayer component to one of their flagship franchises in the world of Call of Duty 4/WaW and Halo 3 is beyond me. 

First, you failed us all BIA fans and let Infinity Ward imitator Treyarch to run over us and declare BIA is not even in the same category as COD:WaW then you make statements about Valve and Steam? Unless you forgot Randy, when nobody was doing anything about digital distribution, Valve put a lot of effort to put together probably the best digital distribution service out there. In the meantime, they did not outsource their multiplayer components and killed their flagship franchises. No sir, they improved on their masterpiece franchises HL2 and launched other masterpiece MULTIPLAYER masterpieces like L4D and Team Fortress. Valve never failed to deliver.

No, Randy. I do not trust you when you talk about multiplayer, because I know its just another overpromised statement  that you will underdeliver. You could not  even decide on if Borderlands' graphic style until late in the dev cycle; now you expect us to believe in Borderlands. It is time for Gearbox to reconsider its leadership.



As one of the competitor of Steam, the big thing we see that can be a problem is how the Steamworks software, is implemented in many big new titles. The Features they have are great, DRM, Autopatching, Mutliplayer functionallity and more. But the problem is that you have to be tied to Steam, something that customers in the end doen't like! We at GamersGate have taken the policy not to sell games that includes Steamworks, as they are a competitor for us, and we don't want to "give away" our customers to Steam. And this is starting to be a big issue, not only for us. I hear from people in the industry that they are starting to have problem selling in games that include Steam not only to digital distribution stores, but also regular retails!

With GamersGate.com we have had the end user in mind then developing our service, not to force any software to be installed and run in the background when they buy and wanna play their games from us. A more open approach, that differs from Steams "Locking in" mentality. 

The PC and Mac digital distribution growth is really great! The only thing worrying is that Steam gets to much attention when media rights about digital distribution. Sure they are the biggest, but no market works well when one have monopoly. The Digital distribution platform is great for Publishers and Developers who can get more reveune % out of their games than retail, and its easier to work with. 

GamersGate started the same way as Steam, developed by Paradox Interactive, but we have now split the companies to seperate entities operating independent. We try to focus much of our attention of our business on retail mentality, constantly working in pricing, special offers (something we were the first as a DD site to do, and now everyone else is doing it), pre-order campaigns and having the latest games, as well as backcatalog. What we see is that the theory "Long Tail" really works for us, regaring back catalog titles. 

Daniel Hjelmtorp

Partner & Product Manager




...for these so called "steam killers" and "competiors" should be considered spam.

Steam works is free seperate product. You do not need steam to use steam works.

Miller stated that the commisions on steam where "almost as bad as retail", not as bad. I'm of the opinion that this is the case only for big and well known studios.

You can have your recession. I'm not participating.



Yeah that comment about steam having some huge plot to rape devs for thier money rings a little hollow for me. Just by the fact that they'll happyly take it up the ass for Microsoft and there hard line requirements. Yet no complaints from most of them. Hmm. He did mention not wanting Microsoft to have control either but.....I'd like to know if he would go through the crap that most other devs go through to put thier game on Xbox live. I'm guessing he would.



If a developer doesn't wanna do business with valve there's always alternatives.





You can't be serious.  They're talking about Steam and you say Impulse is the alternative.  Impulse is owned by Stardock which has made such great failures as the poorly executed DemiGod.  I have to give Valve that atleast they are making good games.

However, in a near future where all gaming is done through digital distribution and Pcs move to the living room, game developers will find themselves in a bad situation if they put all the power into Valve's hands.  Imagine there is no more physical distribution and your only source for distribution is through your competitor's platform.  This would put way to much power into Steam's hands and trust me when the time is right they would act on it.  

That is a major reason we created GameStreamer, we are working on building a Steam Killer and we are 100% agnostic to devices and developers.  We don't make games and won't be.   We are focused 100% on our platform and it's features & functionality.   


Nathan Lands

Co-Founder & EVP of GameStreamer




They were only the publisher. Demigod was developed by Gas Powered Games, developers of Dungeon Siege, Supreme Commander, and Space Siege. If you want to denigrate Stardock's games, go after the games that they have actually developed, like Galactic Civilizations 1 and 2, The Political Machine, and the upcoming Elemental: War of Magic. Galactic Civilazations 2 had very good reviews, with GameRankings aggregating the reviews at around 87%.

Impulse today is a very good alternative to Steam, with EA having recently signing on to publish games through the Impulse service (EA is also distributing through Steam). Impulse's catalog has improved greatly recently and is slowly becoming a good alternative to Steam.



...and misused. I have heard absolutely no news or even rumors about Valve thwarting sales of "competitors." These accusations are being thrown around left and right with no concrete evidence to substantiate them. The only things that give them any weight is talk about “conflict of interest” and “control.”

Speaking of claims being pulled out of the rectum… Scott Miller said there will always be that impulse purchase at wal-mart. The folks who actually have years of real experience in digital game distribution (Valve) had stated again and again that display boxes for brick and mortar stores are not going away.

On top of all this, let's not forget that this is Valve we are talking about here, not the likes of Activision (who tried to sue Double Fine... and sued Valve), or 2K (who refused to fund the developers after buying the rights to Duke Nukem).

Valve may be making some profit off of steam, but from what I have experienced with my steam acount, it is Valve of all people who are being genuinely agnostic.  

You can have your recession. I'm not participating.




you can't be seirous.....

I read a little up on you guys.....you're ok I guess but you guys have head lines like: TOP DEV 1C signed to GameStreamer!" yeah as well as every other downloading service inculding steam. You have no community no social tools of any type. But hey compition makes for more inovation I guess.

*stays away from link just in case it's phishing ploy*

I just googled and looked at forum posts.


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Why didn't you ask him about the DRM on Borderlands specifically? Will it be SecuRom 7? Will there be install limits? 



I agree with what Pitchford has to say about digital downloading and piracy.  However, I don't think Valve should spin off Steam - it's their creation and they can do what they like with it.

 Remember, ultimately, Valve is a business and it's selling a service to make $$$.  So far, they have been more than reasonable in terms of pricing and convenience (major points as to why I'm paying lots for lots of games).



"We haven’t said anything about Steam yet."


I guess Valve finally convinced them. When Randy Pitchfork claims that "It’s exploiting a lot of small guys", I just keep thinking about how proud Valve was that audiosurf outsold the Orange Box. When I hear from the likes of Scott Miller and Randy Pitchfork that Valve should "spin off" steam, I think of when Gabe Newell talked about trying to work things out with Yahoo and Microsoft to see if they would create such service (which failed to fall through) before Valve created Steam.

Scott Miller stated that Valve's commissions are fairly high, being "almost as bad as retail" in one podcast I can't find, but I don't think commisions are Valve's bread and butter. In regards to the small guys... well I can't find a source but I think the commissions are much smaller for indie developers than for big studios and publishers.

Put simply, I just can't believe Valve has any ill intent. I don't think they keep the commissions "all to themselves", and most of that revenue go's back into Steam, paying for things like its development, bandwidth, and content servers.

You can have your recession. I'm not participating.



One question I wish you asked is if they were going to leave mouse and keyboard support in the console version of the games.

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