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Gabe Newell on EA vs. Steam

Develop has Gabe Newell's take on some EA games not being sold on Steam, like the recently removed Crysis 2 and the upcoming Battlefield 3. In spite of the indications from EA that this is a result of Steam policy, Valve's managing director seems to indicate this decision is EA's as he takes an upbeat approach to the underlying conflict being a matter of showing "EA itís a smart decision to have EA games on Steam." Here are a few quotes from an upcoming interview that cover the topic:

"Companies have to earn the right to install content on their customers' PCs on a regular basis," he began.

"The same thing is true of Steam. We have to prove we are creating value on an ongoing basis, whether itís to EA or Ubisoft or whoever.

"We really want to show thereís a lot of value having EA titles on Steam. We want EAís games on Steam and we have to show them thatís a smart thing to do," he said.

"I think at the end of the day weíre going to prove to Electronic Arts they have happier customers, a higher quality service, and will make more money if they have their titles on Steam. Itís our duty to demonstrate that to them. We donít have a natural right to publish their games."

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112 Replies. 6 pages. Viewing page 1.
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112. Re: Gabe Newell on EA vs. Steam Aug 20, 2011, 15:36 cronik
 
I like Gabe.  
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111. Re: Gabe Newell on EA vs. Steam Aug 20, 2011, 12:34 Krovven
 
Rockn-Roll wrote on Aug 19, 2011, 02:18:

I'd like to focus on the fact that Steam has been delivering an excellent service for over a decade now.

What? Get your facts straight. Steam launched in 2003. It's been 8 years next month, and they didn't start providing a digital distro service right away.

 
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110. Re: Gabe Newell on EA vs. Steam Aug 19, 2011, 10:56 killer_roach
 
Just had a bit of a weird thought - anyone consider the possibility that this might be posturing on the part of EA, and they ultimately relent by doing some sort of joint partnership with Valve with their services? EA loses a bit of money, Valve loses a bit of control, and the games ultimately come back up. After all, EA and Valve have worked together in the past, and it would simultaneously explain Gabe Newell's Alfred E. Newman-esque "What, me worry?" attitude about the whole situation.  
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109. Re: Gabe Newell on EA vs. Steam Aug 19, 2011, 09:57 Dev
 
RollinThundr wrote on Aug 18, 2011, 21:38:
Valve does the same thing. So why is it acceptable for Valve to do it but not any other publisher? This is what I don't understand. Oh nos other publishers, we (valve) have to get a chunk of your DLC sales, just as one example.

You folks are so damn hypocritical.
Valve doesn't set the prices, the publishers do. If the prices in other countries are outrageous, that's because the publishers set it that way.

Valve wants customers to be able to buy DLC through steam. As I've said before in this thread, thats exactly what I want too. I want to see what DLC is available and what I have and purchase it all through steam. Valve doesn't mind if publishers ALSO sell it through other means.
 
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108. Re: Gabe Newell on EA vs. Steam Aug 19, 2011, 07:23 Beamer
 
Cutter has been here for about a decade and he's still bitching that Steam prices match B&M prices?


Seriously?
 
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http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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107. Re: Gabe Newell on EA vs. Steam Aug 19, 2011, 02:18 Rockn-Roll
 
I'd like to focus on the fact that Steam has been delivering an excellent service for over a decade now. Some of you weren't around or forget when there was finally a decent online gaming service where we could hang out and play games together for free...and it being free was very unusual at that time. That's why some of us are fans of Steam...not only because they are providing a decent service now, but because they came through for gamers when we were struggling to pay the $15 per month for some of the services on top of purchasing the required games.

EA is the one that's causing the problems...trying to make it look like Steam is bad. EA most likely did as much as they could to hurt Valve...which means that they couldn't find much wrong with Steam which left them with the simple message of selling their own games only on Origin and making us login to our EA accounts or lose our nicks as well as any products that we have registered with EA. Which happens to have been the worst thing they could have done...gamers don't react well to threats...especially not direct threats to take our games away. I'm glad I only own retail boxes for all my EA games...if I had purchased any through EA's digital delivery then I'd probably lose them at some point because I simply forgot to login to my account every year.

History indicates that Steam is a product made by people who care about providing the best free service for gamers. EA's Origin is a product made by people who don't care about providing a free service for gamers and only in it for the money.
 
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Let's Rock!
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106. Re: Gabe Newell on EA vs. Steam Aug 18, 2011, 23:14 ^Drag0n^
 
RollinThundr wrote on Aug 18, 2011, 21:38:
Asmo wrote on Aug 18, 2011, 21:21:
Cutter wrote on Aug 17, 2011, 22:17:
If EA et al. want to cut out the middleman than why doesn't that reflect in the price of their games?

More to the point, Steam has been selling software at US equivalence prices since it's inception (when the AUS dollar was in the toilet and we're paying the same rate as AU brick and mortar stores).

EA and a few others jacked their steam price in USD to match b&m AU stores in AUD (since we're above parity, it was actually more expensive to own a digital copy with no shipping/physical item over Steam of an EA game than it is to buy a physical copy, and about triple what you'd pay for a physical import).

Then you have the wonders of the EA store where I could buy the 2142 expansion for 50 odd USD vs 15 USD if I'd used a VPN to look like I was coming from the US (both are digital downloads)...

EA wants to cut out the middle man but keep the middle man cash for themselves. Not surprising in the least.

Valve does the same thing. So why is it acceptable for Valve to do it but not any other publisher? This is what I don't understand. Oh nos other publishers, we (valve) have to get a chunk of your DLC sales, just as one example.

You folks are so damn hypocritical.

Read my post from about 2 pages ago on how Brick and Mortar drives the price. If your going to bitch about something, at least understand the mechanics of the business model driving it. Seriously. Try selling a game that Gamestop, WalMart, Target, and Amazon don't carry and make *significant* profit.

You can't. And that's why they dictate price. Don't think for a minute that the retailers are benign and blameless in this. And don't think for a second that they don't have significant influence on the digital distribution pricing. I've been trough it, and it is not pretty at all.

^D^
 
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"Never start a fight, but always finish it."
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105. Re: Gabe Newell on EA vs. Steam Aug 18, 2011, 23:06 ^Drag0n^
 
killer_roach wrote on Aug 18, 2011, 15:12:
Creston wrote on Aug 18, 2011, 15:03:
Are you arguing console customers, or PC customers? Because the meteoric rise of indies on the PC is kind of putting that statement over hot coals while electrodes are clamped to its nipples and... yeah I'm not good at analogies.

He did say "over $10 and under $50/$60"... let's face it, most of the sales these indies are doing, Notch excepted, are below the $10 price point, and often far below.

Pretty sure I paid over $10 for Torchlight. And Trine. And AI War. And Killing Floor. And Audiosurf. And...

^D^
 
Avatar 55075
 
"Never start a fight, but always finish it."
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104. Re: Gabe Newell on EA vs. Steam Aug 18, 2011, 21:38 RollinThundr
 
Asmo wrote on Aug 18, 2011, 21:21:
Cutter wrote on Aug 17, 2011, 22:17:
If EA et al. want to cut out the middleman than why doesn't that reflect in the price of their games?

More to the point, Steam has been selling software at US equivalence prices since it's inception (when the AUS dollar was in the toilet and we're paying the same rate as AU brick and mortar stores).

EA and a few others jacked their steam price in USD to match b&m AU stores in AUD (since we're above parity, it was actually more expensive to own a digital copy with no shipping/physical item over Steam of an EA game than it is to buy a physical copy, and about triple what you'd pay for a physical import).

Then you have the wonders of the EA store where I could buy the 2142 expansion for 50 odd USD vs 15 USD if I'd used a VPN to look like I was coming from the US (both are digital downloads)...

EA wants to cut out the middle man but keep the middle man cash for themselves. Not surprising in the least.

Valve does the same thing. So why is it acceptable for Valve to do it but not any other publisher? This is what I don't understand. Oh nos other publishers, we (valve) have to get a chunk of your DLC sales, just as one example.

You folks are so damn hypocritical.
 
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103. Re: Gabe Newell on EA vs. Steam Aug 18, 2011, 21:21 Asmo
 
Cutter wrote on Aug 17, 2011, 22:17:
If EA et al. want to cut out the middleman than why doesn't that reflect in the price of their games?

More to the point, Steam has been selling software at US equivalence prices since it's inception (when the AUS dollar was in the toilet and we're paying the same rate as AU brick and mortar stores).

EA and a few others jacked their steam price in USD to match b&m AU stores in AUD (since we're above parity, it was actually more expensive to own a digital copy with no shipping/physical item over Steam of an EA game than it is to buy a physical copy, and about triple what you'd pay for a physical import).

Then you have the wonders of the EA store where I could buy the 2142 expansion for 50 odd USD vs 15 USD if I'd used a VPN to look like I was coming from the US (both are digital downloads)...

EA wants to cut out the middle man but keep the middle man cash for themselves. Not surprising in the least.
 
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102. Re: Gabe Newell on EA vs. Steam Aug 18, 2011, 19:40 KilrathiAce
 
Gabe fails to realize this is EA, unless he bows down and throws money at them it wont work.  
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"On 2646.215 I myself attacked & destroyed TCS Tiger's Claw in my Jalthi heavy fighter"
Bakhtosh Redclaw Nar Kiranka
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101. Re: Gabe Newell on EA vs. Steam Aug 18, 2011, 19:16 Rattlehead
 
In what way is that a joke?  
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100. Re: Gabe Newell on EA vs. Steam Aug 18, 2011, 18:51 Zefalephelah
 
If cannabalism was legal Gabe could end world hunger all by his fat self.
 
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99. Re: Gabe Newell on EA vs. Steam Aug 18, 2011, 18:24 Creston
 
Beamer wrote on Aug 18, 2011, 15:16:
And 12 years ago a frakking SHITLOAD of people thought they could make it as a dot com advertiser. That didn't work so well.


Tell that to Mark Cuban.

Creston
 
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98. Re: Gabe Newell on EA vs. Steam Aug 18, 2011, 18:07 RollinThundr
 
Verno wrote on Aug 18, 2011, 11:54:
RollinThundr wrote on Aug 18, 2011, 11:43:
What cracks me up about this thread is all the sheeple praising Gabe, if this were the EA Ceo saying the same thing they'd be telling him to fuck off. "We hate DRM! except if its from Valve"

To quote another forum poster who debunked this already:

The difference is that Steam, essentially, adds value for its DRM. This is an incredible thing, and part of why it survived so well after its shaky start. You have no need for CD checks, you have infinite redownloads at high speed, there's no need for other outside DRM shit (despite some companies adding it anyway), patches and everything are handled automatically in the background, installation is handled by Steam, you have friends lists and achievements and server browsers and all integrated, and so on. While you have to have the client running, sure, what you get for it is generally more than made up for by the services you get in return.

So because people are too lazy to download and install a patch I should praise Valve? Weak excuse if you ask me. DRM is DRM. I'd have no issues and I really don't have anything against Valve or Steam aside from being in the very small minority that didn't think Halflife was this amazing best FPS ever!111!eleventy that so many have.

What bothers me is people bitch so damn much about DRM while praising Steam/Valve in the same breath when its still DRM just not quite as intrusive I suppose. meh. whatever.
 
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97. Re: Creston Aug 18, 2011, 17:56 Rattlehead
 
When you sign your name to your posts, it makes you seem both like you're writing everyone here a love letter and redundant.

While you may be a jackass, I agree with you 100% on this comment, people who sign their names after every post are fucking clowns.
 
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96. Creston Aug 18, 2011, 17:53 Zefalephelah
 
Your comments are always ignored. Even if I had half my brain tied behind my back, I wouldn't listen to a single thing you say. Everyone's name is clearly posted on the far-right of the screen. When you sign your name to your posts, it makes you seem both like you're writing everyone here a love letter and redundant.  
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95. Re: Gabe Newell on EA vs. Steam Aug 18, 2011, 15:46 WyldKat
 
It's like an abusive relationship.

EA beats Gabe and Gabe still wants him back.
 
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94. Re: Gabe Newell on EA vs. Steam Aug 18, 2011, 15:16 Beamer
 
Are you arguing console customers, or PC customers? Because the meteoric rise of indies on the PC is kind of putting that statement over hot coals while electrodes are clamped to its nipples and... yeah I'm not good at analogies.

That's why I said between $10 and $50. Indies are often below $10, and people have very different expectations from indies regardless. It's not fair to compare a AAA game made by a team of 400 over 2 years to an indie game made by 3 guys in 5 months. Yeah, I know, it's the same money going to them, and you may get more enjoyment from it, but it's still not a fair comparison.

But on the PC, more and more it's getting to the point where cheaper=better.

Yeah, hence all my use of "right now." Clearly this will change. But it's true right now. Changing, still true.

(Not all of them, obviously, but the indie scene is doing well enough that a frakking SHITLOAD of people think they can make it as an indie, so that's saying something.)

And 12 years ago a frakking SHITLOAD of people thought they could make it as a dot com advertiser. That didn't work so well. Indies are absolutely changing this game, though. I'd argue the entire thing was kicked off by the iPhone, truthfully - it's what started generating so much attention to being an indie. Personally I think this will lead to ASeven's feared crash - if everyone starts putting out indie games we'll have no clue what's good and what isn't and just give up. It's happened to me already, but I think Steam will do a decent job filtering and it will just be a minor shakeout, not a big crash - we'll just lose the dead weight. And maybe some of the social companies.
There's got to be some melding of indie and AAA, in price and in quality. I'm just not sold on the indies winning. Many of these are just fun timewasters more than deep games (with clear exceptions.)

 
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Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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93. Re: Gabe Newell on EA vs. Steam Aug 18, 2011, 15:12 killer_roach
 
Creston wrote on Aug 18, 2011, 15:03:
Are you arguing console customers, or PC customers? Because the meteoric rise of indies on the PC is kind of putting that statement over hot coals while electrodes are clamped to its nipples and... yeah I'm not good at analogies.

He did say "over $10 and under $50/$60"... let's face it, most of the sales these indies are doing, Notch excepted, are below the $10 price point, and often far below.
 
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