Honestly, as much as I would like to think this guy isn't a jerk, he comes across as a whiner. What has Valve done that compromised Steam in favor of Valve's games? Say what you will about their technical support, DRM model, goat sacrificing, etc. They provide a damned fine service that, if anything, is too hurt by NOT standing up against developers (games with additional DRM).
Is there a conflict of interest? No. A conflict of interest would arise if they refused to patch a game or allow a game on their service. How would that benefit Valve? If they refuse to patch games, people view Steam as being nonfunctional (moreso than they already do). If they refuse to let a game on their service, then that game goes to a competitor, and the community has one less reason to want to run Steam. And you CAN'T play Valve games without Steam.
And before anyone cites the pricing issues: That bones Valve games too, not just EA or Ubi games.
So yeah, I am more interested in seeing how Valve are exploiting people or showing conlict of interest. Seems to me like he is just complaining for one reason or another. Hopefully this doesn't mean that Borderlands is going to flop as bad as Brothers in Arms did. Hopefully he is just bitter that Gearbox hasn't gotten to make a Half-Life for HL2 (which is a shame, since OpFor was freaking awesome).
And now for another fun metaphor: Lots of cops have families. But they are also tasked with protecting families (from "bad guys"). Is it a conflict of interest? Will Office O'Grady not arrest the guy who stole your TV because he has his own family? Nope. Because he benefits from protecting your family too. He won't have a montage that results in an elderly father figure being shot, and that is good for everyone, because nobody wants to see Officer O'Grady in spandex so tight that we can see if he was circumcised.
And as for "It is okay for CD Projekt ", why? Because they don't directly compete with the games on GoG? Well, what makes you say that? When I am looking for a good RPG, I actually do think about which one I want to play. I might play TWEE tonight, but next week I might be more in the mood for something like M&M. Sure I already own them, but they are competing.
And even if we ignore that: The article states that Steam is "exploiting a lot of small guys". Okay. does Valve compete against the "small guys"? Last I checked, Half-Life 2 and L4D target a demographic different than Darwinia or Uplink.
Doesn't conflict of interest have nothing to do with whether it happens or not? I thought that it was just 2 opposing interests that conflicted with each other, so regardless of what path the cop or Valve follow, the conflicting interests are still there.
And I took the exploiting the small guy as taking too big a cut from the sale price.