"Valve is not your friend, and Steam is not healthy for gaming"

Forums - Gaming Discussion - "Valve is not your friend, and Steam is not healthy for gaming"

interesting, polygon seems to try to rehabilitate themselves.

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Pemalite said:
pokoko said:
That being said, it is rather odd how many people see Value as "the good guys".

It's because they earned that.
Just like CD Project Red has earned allot of respect... And in essence was allowed to spend a little of that banked respect on the "Cyber Punk" trademark garbage.
If it was a company using the... I dunno... Scrolls name it would be a completely different kettle of fish. Shit would hit the fan.

Valve reinvigorated PC gaming.
They brought the cost of games down for PC gamers.
They made PC games more accessible.
They pushed a community-centric focus on games, allowing for things like mods and multiplayer to prosper.
And so much more.

They have also made some of the best games of all time and actively supported those games years after release.

Microsoft had abandoned PC gaming to focus on Xbox. EA and Ubisoft never gave a crap about PC gaming... The PC pretty much had Blizzard and Valve, so obviously PC gamers are going to rally behind those companies.
But once Microsoft, EA and Ubisoft realised there was 180+ million PC gamers and a 30+ billion dollar market... They have tried to claw themselves back into the market with mixed results.

shikamaru317 said:

That makes me want to buy digital games a whole lot less. I know physical has alot of upfront costs as well; the disc, the in-case inserts, the case itself, the cost of shipping the game to retailers, and the retailers cut of the sale, but there's no way they're losing 30% on physical sales, or else they couldn't afford to sell physical games at $10 late in their life. 

They get their 30% cut even with Physical.

The difference with Steam and PC is that... A developer can cut out the massive chunk that a publisher demands, allowing developers to sell directly to consumers via Steam, that can bolster profit margins by a good 30-50% or more per sale.

Or you could be like Blizzard, EA etc' and not have your games on Steam at all and sell it via your own stores. Blizzard keeps 100% of a sale that way on PC, meaning it doesn't need high volumes to print money. (Although, they tend to sell a bucket load of games anyway.)


None of which erases criticism. It doesn't work like that. Credit for the good things you do doesn't write over the bad things you do. As for bringing the cost of PC gaming down, competition did that, though Steam eventually won against all the other digital distribution services that sprung up. Part of that was the Steam client but the main reason was their DRM. I'm not sure what you mean by "supporting", either. When I worked with Microsoft, it was a running joke that pretty much everyone had a support redirect except Valve. Someone had a problem with a Valve game then it was basically, "I don't know, maybe check out their forums?" Which I found out for myself later on. It took two weeks for them to send an email to address a problem I had with Portal not working with Windows 7 and the email was just a copy/paste that had nothing to do with my situation. Of course, I'd already found the solution on the forums before then. I see no reason to pretend they have no faults. Valve admitted their support was bad. This is a company that makes money hand over fist. There are no excuses. http://steamed.kotaku.com/valve-is-not-psyched-they-got-an-f-in-customer-service-1691308332 Edit: Where is my formatting? This website absolutely sucks.

It's just so horrible to have cheap games and free multi-player. Why don't you just move back to consoles? Competition is good for the consumer.

I do hope people realize that when a game is on steam, it will be on steam forever... Keeping games on your servers cost money and keeping them on your servers forever cost even more so... Brick and Mortar stores never keep anything on their shelves forever cause of the competitive nature of shelve space but digital games will be on the platform forever unless something happens like with Alan Wake.

The trade off is that having a digital game on a server costs much less than having it on the shelve, at least relatively on the short term. On consoles, the serves will most likely go down eventually when people no longer use the system to buy digital games due to generations. On PC though, when you have something on steam, generations is no longer a thing so steam has to keep the game on their servers for essentially forever. And that makes it a double edged sword cause if the game does sell, then valve will make money but if the game doesn't sell, then it's just sitting there taking up space which could have gone to a different game.

Now Valve as well as all the other digital platforms make more than enough money for it to not matter but let's not act like keeping a digital game on the server has no cost to it while having a physical game on a store shelf has tons of cost to it. In reality, both have costs involved, just one has costs on the short term while the other has costs in the long term.


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Conina said:
Cerebralbore101 said:

I had a college course on this a few years back. The console manufacturer gets $7-10 in fees. Next the publisher gets $10. Marketing is usually $10, but can be nothing if you don't want to market. Stores take $10-15. Shipping is $5. For a heavily marketed game where the developer is not the publisher, the dev gets $10 of your $60.

Must have been a pretty shitty course if it conveyed the false impression that all these shares are set in stone and don't vary depending on negotiations (devs <-> publishers), different stores with different impact/reach <-> publishers, circulation strength of a game, margins for back catalog titles...

Cerebralbore101 said:

IMO Valve should only take $10 off every new release sale.

$10, no matter if the price on Steam for the game (set by the publisher) is $20, $30, $40, $50, $60, $70 or $80?

Cerebralbore101 said:

AAA PC titles could easily release for $40

And you can find almost any PC title easily for $40 (or less) right at launch or within the first month. Even if a game needs Steam, Valve ain't the only one selling the game. Valve has some many partners like GreenManGaming or the Humble Store allowing a healthy competition for Steam-bound games.

Cerebralbore101 said:

But Valve and the devs want to make more money, instead of pass the savings on to the consumer.

Supply and demand are the base of a price, not the production or distribution costs.

Cerebralbore101 said:

Best Buy doesn't even charge the $15, which makes their games $45. They are banking on you buying additional products from their store, or paying interest on a credit card.

And why should Valve care about Best Buys prices? Valve has a much bigger marketing reach than Best Buys... so you can add some of your ten bucks for marketing to the Steam price.

1. But my wording conveyed that these things aren't set in stone. Usually. 7-10. 10-15. You are just nitpicking here.

2. No, $10 off what would be a $60 release in stores. Obviously they would take less or more depending on the price of the game.

3. And you can easily find a used copy of any physical version of a game for $40 right around launch. For example: vgpricecharting already has Prey listed at $40 for a CIB used copy. Digital should never be the exact same price as physical because a digital copy is worthless after you activate the key. With digital you aren't buying a game, you are paying for permission to play said game. The minimum price on the regular steam store for a brand new AAA release should be $40. Not a whopping $60.

4. With digital the supply is borderline infinite. 

5. Valve has bigger marketing than Best Buy? Do you have a source for that information?

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Sales drive product that isn't moving well. It creates an overall positive effect most times. On digital purchases there is even more room for profit which is shared by the developer and Valve. I don't see the problem there. Polygon doesn't deserve any clicks. I don't like it so I don't go there. Same solution can apply to Steam. If you don't like it don't go there. Or support the developers and find a higher priced physical copy or other digital version. Or what until the sale is over or hide some money in an envelope and mail it to the developer.

Cerebralbore101 said:

5. Valve has bigger marketing than Best Buy? Do you have a source for that information?

Valve are a worldwide store, bestbuy just one country. That pretty much guarantees a bigger marketing reach.

Bet Shiken that COD would outsell Battlefield in 2018. http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8749702

I agree that we as community should foster competition. Be it origin, uplay, Live, GOG.
But valve gives great service and the profit they get is what capitalism is all about. Is it dangerous? yes, but competition is there for this, and we should embrace the other services.

I mean is any company really our friend though? They all have shady practices, most companies are just here to make money.

Pemalite said:

Yeah. Nah. Steam is actually awesome.
And has no issue giving me refunds when requested as per their FAQ.

Plus, Valve has stated that a games sales rate actually picks up after a game has gone on sale than before the sale, netting more overall profit and revenue for a developer/publisher.
A sale is advertising, someone might see their friend play it and decide to purchase it and join in on the fun even after the sale has ended.

Sales also shine a light on a lesser known titles as well.
Older games also tend to hit the top of the sales charts, even decades after their initial release, that brings people into a franchise who might then be inclined to pay for a sequel at full price.

Ergo. Sales are actually a good thing. Seriously, I cannot understand people complaining about cheaper prices. We are consumers. I hope you never bought a second hand game in your life! Developers get nothing out of that.

Sales picking up is fine but how many are defered sales and what % of games go back to full price after the sale , my issue isn't so much that steam has sales ,everyone loves a bargain , my concern is these sales and the price points seem to be controled by the platform rathetr than  the developers.