How is giving into the demands of the giant retailer in order to sell your game not the very definition of what I was arguing? Just because he is happy with the deal doesn't mean there aren't a dozen other Steam titles rejected because they priced themselves out of what Steam deems appropriate (including Spiderweb's older games). Do you honestly think Steam would accept his other games, which have been priced around 30 dollars at all? There's a reason why a TON of indie game developers have different prices for their games on their own sites versus what they sell them for on Steam.
Thing is, he doesn't word it in a way that makes me think it was a demand on Valve's part. Plus not all indie games are sold at ridiculously cheap prices. Take the recent Gratuitous Tank Battles.
$20 list price for a 2D somewhat tower defense somewhat strategy game. Or hell, Evochron Mercenary.
$25 for a respectable looking 3D space sim. Or again hell, Endless Space.
Pretty space indie strategy game, $30 list price. The appearance to me is more that Valve will suggest a price they believe would be good for the game (Based on their sales data) but it's up to the developer to set the price. Jeff Vogel even mentions leaving his games full (Pre-Steam) price at his own store as an experiment.
The theory being they charge less on Steam due to visibility and gigantic market, and more on their personal stores for fans especially devoted/invested in the game and being willing to pay more to support it. Not someone who thinks it looks sorta cool and picks it up on a whim.
Why is the game still $20 on our web site?
Short answer: Charging this little is an experiment. I believe that Indie devs who write niche products need to charge more for their work than the more mass market, casual, $0.99 app market. The question is whether a $10 price works. If going onto Steam for ten bucks turns out to not be a good idea (or if they don't want any more of our games), we need to maintain a higher baseline price on our site.
I know this seems odd, but I assure you that it makes sense from where I sit. And, by the way, we are FAR from the only developer who does this. For example, World of Goo is $20 on their site but $10 on Steam. And they are far smarter than we are.