InXile Entertainment head Brian Fargo has said that Valve and its Steam digital distribution service are "the saviours of the PC as far as I'm concerned."
Fargo, who is known for his work on The Bard's Tale series, as well as Fallout and Wasteland, the sequel for which is being crowdfunded on Steam Early Access, told Eurogamer that console companies "put all sorts of guns to our head" in order to release on their platforms, and alluded to Microsoft's requirement that Xbox Live Arcade publishers needed to have shipped a retail game.
But PC wasn't much of an alternative for many creators until Steam helped kick off digital distribution, Fargo said: "You think about where we all were, kind of in the dark ages, when there was nothing. There was just Flash. There was no digital distribution. [Valve] opened up a way to get directly to the audience in a way that isn't politicised, or forces us to do exclusives or all the other things the console guys do."
Steam controls a significant portion of the PC gaming market share. Even so, experiments like Early Access, which has allowed InXile to sell Wasteland 2 early and revise it often, are the order of the day instead of monopolistic money grabs, Fargo said.
"Valve has all this power but they don't wield it. They let us all work in an open system. So for that I can't say enough good things about them."