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Steam's downfall would be a blow to 'the creative freedom of devs,' argues Larian CEO

Steam's downfall would be a blow to 'the creative freedom of devs,' argues Larian CEO

September 27, 2018 | By Alissa McAloon

"If Steam as a neutral platform loses market power, it flows even more back to the publisher. That's not good for the creative freedom of the developers."

- Larian Studios head Swen Vincke goes to bat for Steam in a German interview.

In an interview with the German publication GameStar (translated via Google Translate), Larian Studios CEO Swen Vincke shared his feelings on digital marketplaces like Steam and GOG.

As the argument goes, Vincke notes that developers have much more power when bringing titles to Steam than the would if the market were entirely publisher-run platforms like UPlay, Origin, and His comments come at a time where some developers, such as  Fortnite dev Epic Games with the mobile Google Play Store or Fallout 76 dev Bethesda with Steam, are challenging the idea of launching through big platforms.

Vincke notes that, in his experience, access to open platforms like Steam are more profitable for developers in the long run than the old retail store days since there's less reliance on middlemen to get a game to sale, even considering the 30 percent cut Valve takes from sales on the platform. On the topic of that 30 percent cut, Vincke says that the deal is fair since "Steam takes good care of us and is worth the money."

"Steam is not your enemy, Steam is open, free, fair and doing so much for our hobby," says Vincke, later taking time to explain that the platform has also helped more niche PC software like VR apps gain a foothold. "Steam has provided the best prices, for players and developers alike, and it's good for all parts of the PC gaming market."

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