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Steam Passes 30M Users

Valve announces that Steam has surpassed the 30 million account mark. Here's word on some of what this represents:

During the past 12 months the platform had year-over-year new user growth of 178%, pushing the total number of active accounts to over 30 million, with over 1,200 games now offered. Peak simultaneous player numbers were also up to over three million, with over six million unique gamers accessing Steam each day.

In addition to new user growth, Steam sales during the trailing 12 months increased by more than 200%, putting it on track for a sixth straight year of realizing over 100% year-over-year growth in unit sales. To meet this demand, the Steam infrastructure has been increased and now has ability to run at 400Gps, enough bandwidth to ship a digitized version of the Oxford English Dictionary 92.6 times per second.

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60. Re: Steam Passes 30M Users Oct 19, 2010, 10:57 Eldaron Imotholin
 
vacs wrote on Oct 19, 2010, 07:55:
Didn't know you get free support in case of problems if you pirate a game, I always though this was limited to those who actually buy games...

Support is overrated, and most patches work on cracked games. Sometimes you have to replace the cracked .exe with an original .exe backup, patch it, and then replace it with the cracked .exe again. Didn't have to do that at all this year however.. and there's been one hell of a lot of games I didn't buy this year. Thank god...
 
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59. Re: Steam Passes 30M Users Oct 19, 2010, 09:49 Verno
 
Well... that's kind of my point... forced registration. Something I don't have to do with a Retail Copy. As for expecting "anonymity"... I expect the exact same treatment as if I bought the game from a store. I buy the product, and leave me alone. At most, the only thing a store can do is track what you bought with the same CC.

They do give you that treatment though. The Steam hardware survey is optional and they never disclose your personal statistics in any identifiable way with regards to software. I can't recall if Steam Community stuff is opt-in or out but it can be disabled if you don't want your friends to know what games you're buying or etc. Everything you're asking for is there already. Registration is forced because otherwise you would have no method of making a purchase, the entire client is built around a model of user/game tree. On a technical and business level, this is required for them to exist. I'm failing to see the problem here, what exactly is your complaint that Steam is doing? You seem to be more complaining about something intangible that you imagine the industry at large is doing, not Steam specifically.

Again, I don't wish to participate in targeted advertising. I am THAT adverse to advertising. If I want something I research it. I don't need everything under the sun trying to get me to buy something. I shouldn't have to be worried about being spammed (one way or another) when I go to purchase something.

I don't love advertising either but where is Steam doing targeted advertising? Please be specific and point out where and when this is occurring. Running generic banners for game publishers on a gaming service on their store page isn't exactly evil incarnate.
 
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58. Re: Steam Passes 30M Users Oct 19, 2010, 09:34 wtf_man
 
Verno wrote on Oct 19, 2010, 09:12:
That's kind of my point. You're expecting anonymity when you surrendered it by registering at all.

Well... that's kind of my point... forced registration. Something I don't have to do with a Retail Copy. As for expecting "anonymity"... I expect the exact same treatment as if I bought the game from a store. I buy the product, and leave me alone. At most, the only thing a store can do is track what you bought with the same CC.

Verno wrote on Oct 19, 2010, 09:12:
You're going to have to give up some info to make a purchase online period but that aside... Yes, they want you to sign up for an account on their service because they want to make it easier for you to purchase more games from them in the future and depending on the ToS, I'm sure some do sell your info or demographics to advertisers. So read the fine print.

Again, I don't wish to participate in targeted advertising. I am THAT adverse to advertising. If I want something I research it. I don't need everything under the sun trying to get me to buy something. I shouldn't have to be worried about being spammed (one way or another) when I go to purchase something.

Anyway... I digress.

Is Steam convenient? In some ways... yes.
Is it also intrusive? Absolutely.
Is it the same intrusiveness as DRM schemes that make you activate / deactivate, or limited number of activations, or be online constantly? No. But, IMO, it's still intrusive compared to buying physical media and cracking it (so media DRM intrusiveness is thwarted before even connecting to the Net)
 
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57. Re: Steam Passes 30M Users Oct 19, 2010, 09:12 Verno
 
wtf_man wrote on Oct 18, 2010, 23:15:
How can they be "completely anonymous" when they have your CC info?

That's kind of my point. You're expecting anonymity when you surrendered it by registering at all.

What? you don't think they correlate the info they collect with your account info?

They have to do that so that you can have a functional account on their service. Did you think all of your games would just be registered to some random number? How would they verify CC purchases then without names? You do understand that CC processors will not let them accept purchases without it, right? How would they associate those purchases to an internal account ID? Steam doesn't publish your information with identifiable flags or marks. They say "Customers like X game" not "wtf_man plays this, his address is this and his dogs name is Blah".

And it's not just Steam collecting info... you have to sign up with Microsoft GFWL, or EA or other publishers, or the Dev Studio, etc. and they "track and publish your achievements"... and if you "refuse to participate" you can't play your game (My primary complaint in my original post).

You're going to have to give up some info to make a purchase online period but that aside... Yes, they want you to sign up for an account on their service because they want to make it easier for you to purchase more games from them in the future and depending on the ToS, I'm sure some do sell your info or demographics to advertisers. So read the fine print.
 
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56. Re: Steam Passes 30M Users Oct 19, 2010, 07:55 vacs
 
Eldaron Imotholin wrote on Oct 19, 2010, 06:55:
Give me a solid reason APART from supporting the developers (which I mentioned above already) why I should buy a digital version while I would experience/get the exact same thing through pirating it.

Didn't know you get free support in case of problems if you pirate a game, I always though this was limited to those who actually buy games...

Only a few years ago, I used to pirate a lot of games but I completely stopped when Steam was born. Pirating is useless now because you get all the games you want for amazing prices, don't have to worry about backing them up or checking if they are up to date; they just work using most of the time no copy-protection at all and the best of all, you support the developers!

I rarely pay more than 20-25 bucks for a game nowadays, even for big AAA products, you just have to wait 2-3 months.

The service Steam offers is just amazing, pirating is left to guys which either are to poor to buy the games or just like to be parasites of the modern society.

Wish I could say the same about movies...
 
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55. Re: Steam Passes 30M Users Oct 19, 2010, 06:55 Eldaron Imotholin
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Oct 19, 2010, 05:35:
Also, apart from supporting developers the one and only thing that keeps me from pirating every single game is being able to touch the box.. open the manual for no reason at all (maybe to smell it?) because no sane person has to read in it.. and have the sense that I actually ACQUIRED something that makes up for the 49 euros out of my wallet.

So you don't really care for gaming but like cheap, flimsy booklets? Yeah, that's not at all irrational.


I don't know how the hell you missed it, but I was talking about the fact that I feel no difference between buying a digital game or pirating a digital game. Unlike when you actually acquired a hardcopy, box, manual, etc, for the same money. In other, simple words: Give me a solid reason APART from supporting the developers (which I mentioned above already) why I should buy a digital version while I would experience/get the exact same thing through pirating it.

I have no idea how you could've possibly missed that point. I guess you're one of those people who just do their best to misinterpret things others say for the sake of starting a shallow, pointless discussion. *sigh*
 
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54. Re: Steam Passes 30M Users Oct 19, 2010, 05:35 theyarecomingforyou
 
All of the retail games I've purchased have been installed with a nocd patch - that's the only way to play! Thank goodness for the cracking groups that add so much value to the original programs.
That's exactly what I used to do until Steam came along. But it irritated me that in order to use a game properly I had to apply a crack just because publishers decided I needed to keep a disc in. It also gets rid of the other thing I can't stand - installers. It just downloads through the Steam client and I don't have to put up with installers that go fullscreen or play music.

Also, apart from supporting developers the one and only thing that keeps me from pirating every single game is being able to touch the box.. open the manual for no reason at all (maybe to smell it?) because no sane person has to read in it.. and have the sense that I actually ACQUIRED something that makes up for the 49 euros out of my wallet.
So you don't really care for gaming but like cheap, flimsy booklets? Yeah, that's not at all irrational.

How can they be "completely anonymous" when they have your CC info?

What? you don't think they correlate the info they collect with your account info?
No, I don't think they do. The hardware survey is opt-in and their business model is based around selling games, so they don't have any need to exploit user data like other companies. Sure it's not impossible that they correlate the data but I'd say it's highly paranoid to assume they do. And even if they do... what harm is there? Oh no, please save me from advertising that is actually relevant to my tastes. Please!
 
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53. I agree! Oct 19, 2010, 00:50 Darth Guybrush
 
I quite like Play-Asia but you can't always get EVERYTHING you want region free. 365Games? Will check it out!  
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52. Re: Steam Passes 30M Users Oct 19, 2010, 00:17 Dreadfire
 
As an Aussie I'll never buy a single game on steam again.
Just like every other major retailer over here Steam are just another rip off when it comes to games.
The AUD is almost at parity with the USD and yet we are expected to pay in excess of double the amount for the same product?!?!

Do these publishers think we are stupid or something?
Screw that Mate

The last game I bought on Steam was L4D2 and that was only to use the US CC trick to get it cheap and uncensored.

Now that you can't do that anymore I'll just go buy all my games from 365games and pay reasonable prices and get free shipping. So what I'll have to wait a couple of weeks to get the game but it beats being ripped off.

I bought CIV V for $37 AUD from 365games, sif I am going to fork out $79.95 AUD and buy it off Steam or anywhere else in the country.

Wake up Aussie gamers you don't have to get ripped off shop elsewhere until things change
 
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51. Re: Steam Passes 30M Users Oct 18, 2010, 23:15 wtf_man
 
How can they be "completely anonymous" when they have your CC info?

What? you don't think they correlate the info they collect with your account info?

And it's not just Steam collecting info... you have to sign up with Microsoft GFWL, or EA or other publishers, or the Dev Studio, etc. and they "track and publish your achievements"... and if you "refuse to participate" you can't play your game (My primary complaint in my original post).

I'm sorry. I just don't like that shit, nor do I want it being forced down my throat. Also... anyone thinks that Valve isn't tracking their activities, is being fairly naive, IMO. It's much like how search engines track your activities to serve up targeted advertising to you.

I really DON'T want to participate in that. Just leave me the fuck alone and let me play my game.

/shrug
 
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50. Re: Steam Passes 30M Users Oct 18, 2010, 22:58 Verno
 
They're completely anonymous statistics, I don't really see the problem. It's like Microsoft saying "Half of our Windows customers buy Office and 10% of those people buy Xbox games". It's totally meaningless in anything but a statistical context. The hardware survey is opt-out. You're obviously ok with it considering you gave Steam a bevy of personal information to purchase games on the service in the first place, so complaining after the fact seems strange especially considering they don't give away anything to personally identify you.  
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49. Re: Steam Passes 30M Users Oct 18, 2010, 22:36 wtf_man
 
Beamer wrote on Oct 18, 2010, 22:21:
Seriously, those stats actually get used to make the games better.

Uh... they're probably used more for marketing than anything.

That said.. all that shit should be "Opt-in" by default... not "Opt-Out" or "No option at all".

I don't LIKE people tracking me, especially without my permission.

I know in this Orewellian technical age that it can't be helped... but I try to minimize it as much as possible... browser set to not cache anything, extensions to clean out flash cookies, adblock and no-script enabled, avoid social networking sites, etc. etc.

You probably will think it's some silly Paranoia... but I do feel like Number 6 on the Internet Grid. (And I'm dating myself with that comment).
 
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48. Re: Steam Passes 30M Users Oct 18, 2010, 22:21 Beamer
 
It's none of their fucking business how I've played the game, the achievements I've attained, what my hardware is, etc. etc. - none of it.

A shame, I'm sure they're so interested specifically in how you specifically are playing and emailing any weirdness to all your neighbors.



Seriously, those stats actually get used to make the games better.
 
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47. Re: Steam Passes 30M Users Oct 18, 2010, 21:18 Eldaron Imotholin
 
wtf_man wrote on Oct 18, 2010, 20:25:
So my point is.... Steam is far from perfect... and to be honest, I'd still rather buy a physical copy, and then find a no-dvd (and/or other DRM thwarting) crack.

Same here.

Also, apart from supporting developers the one and only thing that keeps me from pirating every single game is being able to touch the box.. open the manual for no reason at all (maybe to smell it?) because no sane person has to read in it.. and have the sense that I actually ACQUIRED something that makes up for the 49 euros out of my wallet.

Buying a digital version feels just like pirating only I pay 49 euros for it. Ulgh...

Atleast I can show my collection to people who give a shit.
 
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46. Re: Steam Passes 30M Users Oct 18, 2010, 21:09 tuddies
 
I agree! All of the retail games I've purchased have been installed with a nocd patch - that's the only way to play! Thank goodness for the cracking groups that add so much value to the original programs.

Without the freedom to play discless and trackless, i wouldn't play. Period.

Some paul.dll online authentication schemes work well if they are only used upon the initial install and don't require a dvd inserted. Those are fine as well.

 
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45. Re: Steam Passes 30M Users Oct 18, 2010, 20:25 wtf_man
 
I have only purchased one game from Steam (Dragon Age:Digital Deluxe). For the record, I really don't care to be "tracked" by Valve NOR the Publisher of a game, so I have mostly avoided Steam.

It's none of their fucking business how I've played the game, the achievements I've attained, what my hardware is, etc. etc. - none of it.

That said... if I ever decide to re-play Dragon Age... I'll probably get a torrent version. Offline is supposed to fucking mean OFFLINE ... NOT "Oh you have DLC in your saved game?... you have to be logged into Bioware to load your Saved game).

-Not exactly Steam's fault... but a warning would have been appreciated, because I consider that requirement as being "3rd party DRM" that was "not listed".

So my point is.... Steam is far from perfect... and to be honest, I'd still rather buy a physical copy, and then find a no-dvd (and/or other DRM thwarting) crack.
 
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44. Re: Steam Passes 30M Users Oct 18, 2010, 20:07 Prez
 
When I talk about the "value-add" component of Steam, I'm referring to the way I have Steam set up to auto-start whenever my PC is turned on. I have a gamer buddy I served in the military with who lives in Texas 1200 miles away - we talk using Steam chat about once a day, and play games together over it. The same with a guy who lives in Iowa. I'm not into the whole 'facebook social popularity contest' nonsense, but I find the social features of Steam indispensable. Steam makes it easy to play with these guys as if we were still at the same duty station.  
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43. Re: Steam Passes 30M Users Oct 18, 2010, 19:57 Ventura
 
Just to clarify, thats not really steam's fault, its the publishers fault (as you point out).

I think the high prices in AU started because of the extra shipping cost they have to pay to get it over to the island. However, there's NO excuse for that with digital versions. I know the publishers are afraid of cannibalizing retail sales, but in AU they'd have a good reason to, because they'd make a lot more profit by avoiding those high shipping costs. Besides, its not as if retail sales in AU are going to be a huge factor compared to europe, etc. They could test that marketing strategy over there in fact, and see how much retail they'd lose if they offered the digital at a reasonable price.

While I don't attribute the blame to Steam for it being done, I do believe they could be a bit more proactive in trying to help fix the problem. The're not making the decision, but they have to assume part responsibility IMO. It's all too easy these days to just turn a blind eye.

I don't believe it was even about shipping, it's really just greed. They should save a fortune shipping it over in bulk, especially considering I can buy it myself and have it shipped over for far less. Why the cost almost doubles beats me, but they should be ashamed for it.
 
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42. Re: Steam Passes 30M Users Oct 18, 2010, 19:57 eRe4s3r
 
Interesting funfact: German Internet Backbone has max 3200Gps and average usage is 1000gps.

But what i really loath about this is that retarded companies like Blizzard and Stardock create their own walled gardens and refuse to sell their games on Steam. So now we got many competing stores who all have less games than Steam, but 3 or 4 games that can only be gotten there. What a stupid situation.
 
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41. Re: Steam Passes 30M Users Oct 18, 2010, 19:46 Dev
 
Ventura wrote on Oct 18, 2010, 18:45:
Fallout: New Vegas is a more extreme example; $49.99US for the yanks, $89.95US for Australian customers. Note that we do also pay in $US currency. Absolutely disgusting. I like how piracy is wrong, but doing that is just fine. Thinnest fucking line I ever did see.
Just to clarify, thats not really steam's fault, its the publishers fault (as you point out).

I think the high prices in AU started because of the extra shipping cost they have to pay to get it over to the island. However, there's NO excuse for that with digital versions. I know the publishers are afraid of cannibalizing retail sales, but in AU they'd have a good reason to, because they'd make a lot more profit by avoiding those high shipping costs. Besides, its not as if retail sales in AU are going to be a huge factor compared to europe, etc. They could test that marketing strategy over there in fact, and see how much retail they'd lose if they offered the digital at a reasonable price.
 
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