Brian Fargo on “the dark ages” of pre-Steam development: “They’re the saviours of the PC”

Wasteland 2: irradiated desert escapades enabled by Steam Early Access.

Brian Fargo, who never quite managed to successfully pitch a traditional RPG to console publishers after leaving Interplay, is understandably a bit hot on Steam. Where the Big Three console manufacturers used to “put all sorts of guns to our head”, the InXile chief says Valve are very different.

“Valve has all this power but they don’t wield it,” he explains.

“They’re the saviours of the PC as far as I’m concerned,” Fargo told Eurogamer.

“They’ve been great. 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. They’ve 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.”

Fargo despaired of the arbitrary rules that have prevented smaller developers from publishing digitally on the consoles.

“It used to be with Xbox, just until very recently, you couldn’t have an Xbox Live Arcade publishing license unless you had a retail product. What did that have to do with anything?,” he asked.

“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.”

Fargo has been working with Valve for Wasteland 2’s Steam Early Access release. I hear large stretches of the Floridian desert are already available to explore. Have you been exploring them?