In an interview with Gamespot, Devolver Digital founder co-founder Graeme Struthers defends Steam in regards to their revenue split model and other business practices.
“Every month we were getting paid, and you were being paid accurately,” says Struthers of Steam. “We’ve all got our horror stories about doing audits on our publishers and finding huge discrepancies about what was being reported in sales. Here’s Steam–every month, accurate, straightforward, and transparent.”
Struthers stops short of calling out those other stores by name, but he does expand on how Valve’s business practices helped to make online distribution much more of a stable proposition for various developers.
“To come out of a model [before Steam] where we were, as a games publisher, maybe making 25 percent, and that’s if you were successful. To be in a 70/30 relationship, it was transformative in every sense,” says Struthers. “And that led to realignment with relationships with developers. If there is more money and it’s more frequent, you can have better terms with developers.”
Struthers also notes that he feels that Valve has “invested I don’t know how many hundreds of millions of dollars in their platform” while he doesn’t know if Epic has “yet to do that.” However, he does believe that competition in this sense is a good thing and that Epic’s sometimes controversial pursuit of exclusives is justified.
“Exclusivity has been a part of gaming since the beginning,” Struthers says. “I play games on PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch, and Devolver–we’ve done console exclusives with Sony, with Microsoft–I think it’s good, but I think we have to respect Steam for what they’ve done. Without them, none of this would have been a conversation in the first place.”
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.