Gabe Newell has said that exclusives are not a good idea for customers or developers. He also mentioned that Steam is happy to provide funds for developers, to help them with their projects so they are less likely to take exclusive deals.
Valve boss Gabe Newell has shared his thoughts on the exclusivity in the gaming industry and how Steam are trying to fight this practice. In an email response to one user, Newell talked specifically about exclusives in the VR field, but his response can also be applied to the current situation with Epic Games exclusives.
Newell said exclusives are not a good idea for customers or developers but that he understands the risks that some new developers are going through and why some of them may opt for such deals.
"We don't think exclusives are a good idea for customers or developers," Gabe said and added that Valve as a company are in a much better position to absorb any financial risks that new devs may stumble upon, so they are ready to help them with funds.
"A lot of the interesting VR work is being done by new developers. That's a triple-risk whammy - a new developer creating new mechanics on a new platform. We're in a much better position to absorb financial risk than a new VR developer, so we are happy to offset that giving developers development funds (essentially pre-paid Steam revenue)," Newell explained.
He concluded by saying that developers don't have to create their game exclusively for Steam if the company helps them by giving development funds. He made it clear that there are no strings attached to those funds and the devs can also develop their game for Rift, PlayStation or other systems they feel are right for their games.
Newell also hopes that by helping developers with development funds, the studios' will decide against any exclusive deals. "Our hope is that by providing that funding that developers will be less likely to take on deals that require them to be exclusive," Gabe wrote in his email.
You can find Newell's full email reply on Reddit.