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More on BF3 and Steam

A note on Develop has further indications that Battlefield 3 will not be released through Steam, as speculation mounts that DICE's military shooter sequel will not appear on Valve's download service. They quote a comment from a report from financial research firm Baird based on a meeting with GameStop: "The upcoming EA title Battlefield 3 will be sold as a download through GameStop, but not through Steam," Baird says GameStop executives told them. "Given Steam's dominance – and insistence on users downloading a Steam client application – publishers are likely to be receptive to a competitive alternative." Thanks Computer and Video Games.

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297. Re: More on BF3 and Steam Jul 25, 2011, 14:59 StingingVelvet
 
Verno wrote on Jul 25, 2011, 11:07:
About as much work as managing activations and other nonsense with EA stuff over the years.

Uh... not really. Assuming you don't automatically deactivate during uninstall you can just launch a simple program and click a button. Backup up Steam games is a lot longer process.

For every inconvenience Steam gives me, other services seem ready to provide an equivalent in some other area. Digital distribution was supposed to be better than this and one day it will be but unfortunately we're here to see the growing pains.

Agreed.
 
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296. Re: More on BF3 and Steam Jul 25, 2011, 11:07 Verno
 
About as much work as managing activations and other nonsense with EA stuff over the years. For every inconvenience Steam gives me, other services seem ready to provide an equivalent in some other area. Digital distribution was supposed to be better than this and one day it will be but unfortunately we're here to see the growing pains.  
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295. Re: More on BF3 and Steam Jul 24, 2011, 16:54 StingingVelvet
 
Verno wrote on Jul 21, 2011, 08:37:

No...apparently StingingVelvet can't block patches.

Yes well, he does tend to exaggerate any Steam shortcomings but in this case I think he meant a simple toggle. I've actually used the "Do not keep this game up to date" successfully but apparently others have problems with it I guess.

That works as long as you are offline, but try to launch the game online and it forces the patch. Also I want to roll back patches, in case a patch messes with my game which several have.

I never thought about backing up a game after every patch and then going offline and reverting to the backup if the patch is bad. That's a good idea I guess, but honestly way too much fucking work.
 
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294. Re: More on BF3 and Steam Jul 22, 2011, 15:51 descender
 
OK, but what does that have to do with the DD services? Nothing. it has everything to do with the EU protecting their retail buddies. Steam et. al. are not imposing the increased price by choice, so blaming them for it doesn't make a lot of sense. Also, the whole world does not live in Europe and doesn't care that it costs more there.  
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293. Re: More on BF3 and Steam Jul 21, 2011, 12:35 Dev
 
Prez wrote on Jul 21, 2011, 08:20:
There's a pretty easy way to recover from a bad patch in Steam, not that I've ever experienced it. It involves archiving and requires extra storage, but external hard drives are so friggin' cheap these days it shouldn't be a problem.

Keep an archive of a working build of a game by using the back up feature you can see when you right-click on a game title in your Steam library list. Even if a patch slips in, all you have to do is this:
1) Using the right-click menu again, select 'delete local content'
2) Log off Steam and log back in into "offline mode"
3) Click on the archived .exe of the game, let Steam re-install it.
4) From the game title's right click menu again, under properties, de-select "let Steam keep this game up to date".
5) Log back in online and voila! The whole process takes about 5-10 minutes depending on the archive size and can be completed infinitely as long as you save the archived good version.

Personally I archive every game in my library (3 tetrabytes and counting!! ) because I hate waiting to re-download games, not to mention I'm on Comcast and have a 250 GB a month limit. 15GB game downloads will get you there in a hurry.
Huh, interesting. I hadn't thought about doing it that way.

Yeah, you can pick up 2 TB hdds nowadays for like $60. Slap a USB case on them and they become external.
 
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292. Re: More on BF3 and Steam Jul 21, 2011, 10:43 Creston
 
Slashman wrote on Jul 20, 2011, 22:43:
Is Origin even selling other games apart from what is under the EA portfolio?

Nope. And I think any publisher/dev would have to be REALLY fucking desperate to get into bed with EA in such a fashion.

Creston
 
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291. Re: More on BF3 and Steam Jul 21, 2011, 08:37 Verno
 

No...apparently StingingVelvet can't block patches.

Yes well, he does tend to exaggerate any Steam shortcomings but in this case I think he meant a simple toggle. I've actually used the "Do not keep this game up to date" successfully but apparently others have problems with it I guess.
 
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290. Re: More on BF3 and Steam Jul 21, 2011, 08:20 Prez
 
There's a pretty easy way to recover from a bad patch in Steam, not that I've ever experienced it. It involves archiving and requires extra storage, but external hard drives are so friggin' cheap these days it shouldn't be a problem.

Keep an archive of a working build of a game by using the back up feature you can see when you right-click on a game title in your Steam library list. Even if a patch slips in, all you have to do is this:
1) Using the right-click menu again, select 'delete local content'
2) Log off Steam and log back in into "offline mode"
3) Click on the archived .exe of the game, let Steam re-install it.
4) From the game title's right click menu again, under properties, de-select "let Steam keep this game up to date".
5) Log back in online and voila! The whole process takes about 5-10 minutes depending on the archive size and can be completed infinitely as long as you save the archived good version.

Personally I archive every game in my library (3 tetrabytes and counting!! ) because I hate waiting to re-download games, not to mention I'm on Comcast and have a 250 GB a month limit. 15GB game downloads will get you there in a hurry.
 
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289. Re: More on BF3 and Steam Jul 21, 2011, 04:39 Rockn-Roll
 
StingingVelvet wrote on Jul 20, 2011, 21:13:
Origin is really not that bad though. A lot of hate comments about it are rooted in the past when it was the EA Download Manager.

I honestly have never used Origin...I believe I installed the EA download manage only once, but uninstalled it immediately after I was seeing some instability in my system...I eventually had to perform a reformat and reinstall of everything except for the download manager and everything ran smoothly from then on.

StingingVelvet wrote on Jul 20, 2011, 21:13:
(don't tell me you can block patches, you can't really)

No...apparently StingingVelvet can't block patches. But Rockn-Roll can...and I can teach anyone to do it too, but not everyone can learn how...again...apparently. It's very simple really. All you need to do is backup the game when you first install it. Set Steam to be offline then uninstall the game and then you can reinstall the game in it's original version anytime you wish. You can do the same with every patch that comes out. You can backup after each and every patch to have every version there was...and the offline mode blocks patches.

What can you do with previous versions of multiplayer games? Not much really...well...all you can really do is host your own LAN parties because if you try to go online with an unpatched version then Steam will force you to patch it...it's called client security and Steam has it for us honest gamers...it's a feature to prevent hackers from joining games with unpatched exploit-ridden clients.

StingingVelvet wrote on Jul 20, 2011, 21:13:
Steam is better, sure, but Origin is not some terrible trip to the dark ages like Games for Windows Live is.

If Origin allows players to block patches to their clients and then join multiplayer games with known exploits still in place then it's not something I would want to use. But, I actually don't think that was what you were trying to say...maybe you don't really know yourself...you probably just heard something about not being able to block patches and just brought it up as a stab at Steam as it if was a shortcomming.

I've been involved in Steam vs. discussions for years and the only valid problem I know is from low bandwidth players who can't play for a couple of days when a patch comes out. Well...guess what? Valve just fixed that and now there is no valid complaint against Steam...it's the best service and it's free. Every complaint (including patch blocking) are just players that don't know how to use the service to their full advantage or (like with patch blocking) are wanting to use exploits and Steam isn't letting them.
 
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288. Re: More on BF3 and Steam Jul 21, 2011, 02:04 Krovven
 
Origin, or any first party publisher storefront for that matter, will never be "real" competition to Steam. The big publishers are never going to sell their competitors games from their digital storefronts.

Another mindset that set Valve apart.

 
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287. Re: More on BF3 and Steam Jul 20, 2011, 23:27 Sepharo
 
Slashman wrote on Jul 20, 2011, 22:43:
This is what I'm keeping my eye on. Instead of quibbling with Valve over DLC restrictions, I'd rather see EA make a determined effort to beat Valve on quality of service.

If they could, in fact, deliver a better(or comparable) platform and build on it quicker than Valve's admittedly leisurely approach in several areas, then I'd feel a lot better about the whole thing.

Totally agree with all of this but experience is telling me it won't happen.
 
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286. Re: More on BF3 and Steam Jul 20, 2011, 22:43 Slashman
 
Dades wrote on Jul 20, 2011, 21:19:
Origin is an inferior product to Steam and probably Impulse. It is barebones and provides almost no reason to use it. The best thing one can say about it is that you aren't required to use it which is pretty fucking funny. EA can provide a much better client but I'm sure they will half ass this like so many other things over the years. They flail around through trends like a headless chicken, it would be funny if they didn't have such an impact on everyone else.

There are countless features EA could offer with Origin but they aren't interested in innovation, just the bare minimum to reach parity. That's why Origin will never succeed and EA will continue to be a follower instead of a market leader.

This is what I'm keeping my eye on. Instead of quibbling with Valve over DLC restrictions, I'd rather see EA make a determined effort to beat Valve on quality of service.

If they could, in fact, deliver a better(or comparable) platform and build on it quicker than Valve's admittedly leisurely approach in several areas, then I'd feel a lot better about the whole thing.

Consumers don't benefit when there isn't competition on even footing between potential providers. Is Origin even selling other games apart from what is under the EA portfolio?
 
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285. Re: More on BF3 and Steam Jul 20, 2011, 22:21 Krovven
 
Continuing on with what Rock-N-Roll and Dades have said...

Steam/Valve don't need EA, Activision or THQ anymore. Never really did, they just wouldn't have grown quite as rapidly. Steam is a superior service to everything else out there. Nothing has come close to matching up the enduser options or more importantly the developer toolset that Valve provides free, if you publish on Steam.

Take away the big 3 publishers from Steam, they all have their own digital stores....Steam is still an indie powerhouse. In all reality, I think Valve could get away with digital only publishing of their games on Steam, PSN and Live, cutting out a need for a physical distro deal with any of them. I don't think this would happen quite so soon, but if Valve were to be cut off entirely from the big 3, they'd still be just fine, is my point.

I don't know the nature of the EA/Valve publishing deal, but if Valve could just walk away from EA on future games, I wouldn't be all that surprised to see them go with Zenimax/Bethesda.

 
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284. Re: More on BF3 and Steam Jul 20, 2011, 21:19 Dades
 
It all comes down to control and marketing. EA wants to deny us and other developers the features that Steam provides just for the marketing strategy...they believe if they could pull off a Steam like client then they would get a bigger market share of gamer attention. That is so far from the truth...have they not learned from Microsoft? Providing an inferior product (as all are...since Steam provides everything and more) is a sure way to create gamer hate. I don't know of any PC only gamers that would touch a game that requires Windows (xbox) Live. And, when you think about it console gamers are doing a lot more than running a client...they are running an entirely different computer system...which they actually are charged for!

Origin is an inferior product to Steam and probably Impulse. It is barebones and provides almost no reason to use it. The best thing one can say about it is that you aren't required to use it which is pretty fucking funny. EA can provide a much better client but I'm sure they will half ass this like so many other things over the years. They flail around through trends like a headless chicken, it would be funny if they didn't have such an impact on everyone else.

There are countless features EA could offer with Origin but they aren't interested in innovation, just the bare minimum to reach parity. That's why Origin will never succeed and EA will continue to be a follower instead of a market leader.
 
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283. Re: More on BF3 and Steam Jul 20, 2011, 21:13 StingingVelvet
 
Rockn-Roll wrote on Jul 20, 2011, 20:57:
It all comes down to control and marketing. EA wants to deny us and other developers the features that Steam provides just for the marketing strategy...they believe if they could pull off a Steam like client then they would get a bigger market share of gamer attention. That is so far from the truth...have they not learned from Microsoft? Providing an inferior product (as all are...since Steam provides everything and more) is a sure way to create gamer hate. I don't know of any PC only gamers that would touch a game that requires Windows (xbox) Live.

Origin is really not that bad though. A lot of hate comments about it are rooted in the past when it was the EA Download Manager. The program has been massively improved and even just recently added optional auto-patching, something I have wanted from Steam since it came out (don't tell me you can block patches, you can't really). Also Origin allowing you to launch and patch games without Origin running is really nice.

Steam is better, sure, but Origin is not some terrible trip to the dark ages like Games for Windows Live is.
 
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282. Re: More on BF3 and Steam Jul 20, 2011, 20:57 Rockn-Roll
 
Games used to run on DOS...there was an objection in 1995 about games that would only run on Windows. Developers actually delivered two versions of their games for like 3 years as I recall...an installer for DOS and another for Windows. But, that all changed when Windows 98 was released...developers only provided windows installers. The game could still be run from a DOS prompt, but many games required Windows because Windows 98 included a single point programming interface for keyboard, mouse, joystick, and most important of all network & internet.

In the DOS days developers had to design and develop their own keyboard, moust, joystick, and network components...or purchase the components from a 3rd party like kali. The same is true with Steam...the client has loads of features that developers would need to design and build themselves or purchase from a 3rd party...the most important of these features are product distribution and upgrades, market security...anti-pirate and anti-cheat components, social networking, server listing and client/server matching, achievement storage and processing, free storage of the customers settings and yes...full access to all the games they own on the service no matter where they are. I believe most of these are free to all developers and perhaps all free to independent developers.

The only reason that developers, like EA, are trying to run a similar product (and yes...there must always be a client component of some kind even if it's hidden from you) is because they think there's money in it. People who think that don't know their history...loads of these services have tried and failed to make any money on this kind of distribution service...many of them charging their customers even. The fact is that Steam is just keeping itself going...doing well yes, but it's by no means an oil gusher.

It all comes down to control and marketing. EA wants to deny us and other developers the features that Steam provides just for the marketing strategy...they believe if they could pull off a Steam like client then they would get a bigger market share of gamer attention. That is so far from the truth...have they not learned from Microsoft? Providing an inferior product (as all are...since Steam provides everything and more) is a sure way to create gamer hate. I don't know of any PC only gamers that would touch a game that requires Windows (xbox) Live. And, when you think about it console gamers are doing a lot more than running a client...they are running an entirely different computer system...which they actually are charged for!

 
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281. Re: More on BF3 and Steam Jul 20, 2011, 17:08 Creston
 
Verno wrote on Jul 20, 2011, 16:27:
Over a rumored billion dollars in largely unsuccessful and derivative MMO titles too. Heads are going to roll if TOR is a one month wonder.

It won't be. The hardcore star wars nerds will HAVE to move to TOR to get their Star Wars MMO fix, since Galaxies is shutting down. Coupled with enough people loving Bioware that they'll give TOR a go, and enough people intrigued with the rumored amount of content, and I think it'll do well enough.

Will it kill WoW? Unlikely, but the average WoW player would apparently rather raid the exact same dungeon for the 198,000th time in the hopes of finding a drop with an extra +2 somewhere, so there's no possible way you could ever convince those people to leave WOW anyways.

But I'd be very surprised if, in 12-24 months, it hasn't made that rumored 300 million back in revenues.

Creston
 
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280. Re: More on BF3 and Steam Jul 20, 2011, 16:27 Verno
 
Over a rumored billion dollars in largely unsuccessful and derivative MMO titles too. Heads are going to roll if TOR is a one month wonder.  
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279. Re: More on BF3 and Steam Jul 20, 2011, 16:14 Krovven
 
EA for the last 10 years or so have been followers, not leaders.

This is still true to this day, made evident by their purchases of Chillingo and more recently PopCap.

 
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278. Re: More on BF3 and Steam Jul 20, 2011, 15:55 Verno
 
EA hasn't exactly been swift as a cheetah at adapting to emerging markets either though. They could have really done something with Battlefield Heroes, look at how successful other F2P models have been so far. I'm not convinced they really know what they're doing with DLC either, their strategy has been all over the place. At least with Origin they are seeking some uniformity though again its years late, not a long road decision.

When you look at what EA does best in terms of revenue its mostly the casual market stuff like Madden and Sims. Thankfully Madden appears to be a literal license to print money in America so they always have that going for them.
 
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