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Steam Hits 7.6M Concurrent User Record

Steam's Game and Player Statistics Page reflects a new record for concurrent users on Valve's online service, showing they had 7,679,599 players online just before noon yesterday. This came about 24 hours after they hit 7.5 million concurrent users and is about a half-million users beyond the 7.19 million user record reported under a month ago. Thanks GameSpot.

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109 Replies. 6 pages. Viewing page 1.
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109. Re: Steam Hits 7.6M Concurrent User Record Jan 1, 2014, 20:22 Jerykk
 
jdreyer wrote on Dec 31, 2013, 23:10:
@ Jerykk,

I don't see Steam abusing their power either, but here's the problem with a monopoly: the control of the industry is concentrated in the hand of one (Gabe) or a few individuals who can make radical changes on a whim. Gabe might retire, or have a stroke. Will the new people in charge make changes? Start charging a Steam monthly fee of $10? Start stripping out games with less than 1000 concurrent users? In a true competitive market, if a market leader makes a bad or manipulative choice, it's corrected by the market b/c users have choices. But with Steam's dominant position, the switching costs are massive if suddenly Steam decided to screw you. There's almost no way to manage your risk. It's becoming Steam, or nothing.

These things could happen, sure. But they most likely won't. If Gabe dies or Valve sells out and starts making stupid business decisions, people will simply stop using Steam. Remember that Steam is only as big as it is now because publishers, developers and consumers made it that way. There's no reason why they wouldn't do the same for another distribution platform should Steam drop the ball. Steam already has plenty of competitors who would love to take over.
 
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108. Re: Steam Hits 7.6M Concurrent User Record Jan 1, 2014, 19:46 Slashman
 
avianflu wrote on Jan 1, 2014, 16:31:
Slash re: your statement that Steam would be around "till we all die"

That is a very 20th Century statement. Few businesses of any sort large or small last that long these days. I couldnt take that idea at all seriously.

I do think Steam will be completely viable for another 5 years. After that? Who knows.

It really only needs to be around for as long as I'm interested in gaming. I'm not the type to lament over old games that I'm never going to play again anyway. There are very few games old games that I actively play over, and even if for some reason Steam did shut it's doors, I'm not worried that I won't be able to get games that I want to play. I can go and buy the whole Wing Commander series on GOG right now. How old is that series?

The thing is that you keep ignoring that developers and publishers ultimately hold the final say in what restrictions are placed on their games. Steam does not. And they aren't interested in doing so. So bashing or hating on Steam is pointless. It has downsides like everything else. In my opinion it has way more upsides than than down.
 
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107. Re: Steam Hits 7.6M Concurrent User Record Jan 1, 2014, 17:17 nin
 
avianflu wrote on Jan 1, 2014, 16:18:
nin, sorry but you are espousing the corporate view of software licensing. There are many who would raise an eyebrow at your matter of factness on that particular topic.

At best, those "universal" software agreements are boiler-plate corporate lawyer spin. That are specifically designed to protect big business, not the consumer.




Sorry, that's how it works. Read the EULA. You're buying a license to use the software, you don't own it.

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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106. Re: Steam Hits 7.6M Concurrent User Record Jan 1, 2014, 16:31 avianflu
 
Slash re: your statement that Steam would be around "till we all die"

That is a very 20th Century statement. Few businesses of any sort large or small last that long these days. I couldnt take that idea at all seriously.

I do think Steam will be completely viable for another 5 years. After that? Who knows.
 
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105. Re: Steam Hits 7.6M Concurrent User Record Jan 1, 2014, 16:18 avianflu
 
nin, sorry but you are espousing the corporate view of software licensing. There are many who would raise an eyebrow at your matter of factness on that particular topic.

At best, those "universal" software agreements are boiler-plate corporate lawyer spin. That are specifically designed to protect big business, not the consumer.



 
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104. Re: Steam Hits 7.6M Concurrent User Record Jan 1, 2014, 16:03 Slashman
 
avianflu wrote on Jan 1, 2014, 11:16:
Slash, you explain the advantages for the devs re: the Steam client, which is all great for devs.

Did you properly read my post? How is my first paragraph about advantages for developers?

However, for consumers? Suggesting that Steam will be around "to the day we die" is not likely convincing to most folks.


If Steam's longevity wasn't convincing to most folks, most folks wouldn't be using Steam. The fact is that most folks do and most folks have no issue doing so.

Lastly, you have ignored the most important point about Steam. Valve isn't forcing those large publishers or smaller indie devs to exclusively use its service. They actually encourage them to sell their games as many places as possible and there are no contract restrictions in place to prevent them doing so.

So why are you blaming Steam for how a game is distributed and DRMed when it is entirely possible to sell a Steam game without DRM? Go and criticize all the developers and publishers who choose to sell their games in a manner that you think is pro-DRM/anti-consumer.
 
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103. Re: Steam Hits 7.6M Concurrent User Record Jan 1, 2014, 12:21 nin
 
avianflu wrote on Jan 1, 2014, 06:53:
Steam is in effect a game renting service with mandatory game client.

You dont own your games if Steam goes away.

Pro Steam folks make some good points but sorry guya, the truth is that your game library is a rental library.

That applies to almost every single software license, genius. Reading is fun!

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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102. Re: Steam Hits 7.6M Concurrent User Record Jan 1, 2014, 11:16 avianflu
 
Slash, you explain the advantages for the devs re: the Steam client, which is all great for devs.


However, for consumers? Suggesting that Steam will be around "to the day we die" is not likely convincing to most folks.

 
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101. Re: Steam Hits 7.6M Concurrent User Record Jan 1, 2014, 09:14 Slashman
 
avianflu wrote on Jan 1, 2014, 06:53:
Steam is in effect a game renting service with mandatory game client.

You dont own your games if Steam goes away.

Pro Steam folks make some good points but sorry guya, the truth is that your game library is a rental library.

First, most people aren't pro-Steam as much as practical about where they buy games from. Ease of use and access, friend lists and reviews. Frequent and decent sales. No hassle auto updates and even free stuff now and then.

The whole rental angle is just a scare tactic in an attempt to make people panic over something that they are very unlikely to need to panic over. If all my Steam games are 'rentals' and they are all available til the day I die, do I really give a crap? Do most people give a crap?

Last and most important point. Steam does not force the system on developers who use it. A developer can sell a game to you on Steam and make that game work just fine without it. Or even give you access to a no-DRM version. Egosoft did this with Terran conflict/Albion Prelude. Gratuitous Space Battles run without the Steam client and GOG gave me a download link to a DRM free copy of The Witcher 2 even though I bought it on Steam.

If you look at the Steam page where Valve offers its services to developers, they outright say that they don't have any interest in restricting how developers sell their games outside of Steam or the other methods by which they do it.

So instead of putting the blame on Valve for whatever crime you think they are committing, put it where it belongs: The developers who choose to use the service without exercising their ability to tailor how their games run on it.
 
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100. Re: Steam Hits 7.6M Concurrent User Record Jan 1, 2014, 06:53 avianflu
 

Steam is in effect a game renting service with mandatory game client.

You dont own your games if Steam goes away.

Pro Steam folks make some good points but sorry guya, the truth is that your game library is a rental library.
 
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99. Re: Steam Hits 7.6M Concurrent User Record Jan 1, 2014, 04:21 Jensen
 
jdreyer wrote on Dec 31, 2013, 23:10:
but here's the problem with a monopoly:

I don't see it as a monopoly problem. If I bought a whole bunch of games from a digital distribution service that only had 5% share of the market, I would still be screwed if they started charging a $10 monthly fee.

If Steam implemented a mandatory $10 monthly fee, many (most?) developers would pull their games from Steam, and most users would stop buying any games from Steam.

According to this list, just over 200 of the thousands of games on Steam are exclusively available on Steam.
 
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98. Re: Steam Hits 7.6M Concurrent User Record Dec 31, 2013, 23:10 jdreyer
 
@ Jerykk,

I don't see Steam abusing their power either, but here's the problem with a monopoly: the control of the industry is concentrated in the hand of one (Gabe) or a few individuals who can make radical changes on a whim. Gabe might retire, or have a stroke. Will the new people in charge make changes? Start charging a Steam monthly fee of $10? Start stripping out games with less than 1000 concurrent users? In a true competitive market, if a market leader makes a bad or manipulative choice, it's corrected by the market b/c users have choices. But with Steam's dominant position, the switching costs are massive if suddenly Steam decided to screw you. There's almost no way to manage your risk. It's becoming Steam, or nothing.
 
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"Microsoft is the absent minded parent of PC gaming" - Verno
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97. Re: Steam Hits 7.6M Concurrent User Record Dec 31, 2013, 22:10 Jerykk
 
Jensen wrote on Dec 31, 2013, 18:30:
Jerykk wrote on Dec 31, 2013, 18:13:
EA and Ubisoft do sell keys outside of their respective platforms (though EA doesn't sell them on Steam).
But do they allow third party developers on Origin to give/sell Origin keys outside of the Origin store?

As far as I understand, developers on Steam are given the ability to freely produce Steam keys that can be given away, sold on their own website, sold on Amazon or the Humble store, used as a Kickstarter reward, etc.

Any other digital distribution store strictly limits the number of promotional keys available.

I think it's great that Steam allows this! I'm just surprised that I've rarely seen this advantage pointed out.

The only games that use Origin/Uplay are EA/Ubisoft's first-party games. Pretty telling, really. Publishers, developers and customers choose to use Steam. Nobody chooses to use Origin or Uplay except the companies that created them.

Also, Alice doesn't require Origin. No game on Steam requires Origin because EA stopped selling games on Steam after they created Origin.
 
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96. Re: Steam Hits 7.6M Concurrent User Record Dec 31, 2013, 20:53 Dwarf-Snowninja
 
There seems to be some origin games that crop up on steam from time to time (Alice and I forget the other both show up on Steam and origin for me)?  
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95. Re: Steam Hits 7.6M Concurrent User Record Dec 31, 2013, 18:30 Jensen
 
Jerykk wrote on Dec 31, 2013, 18:13:
EA and Ubisoft do sell keys outside of their respective platforms (though EA doesn't sell them on Steam).
But do they allow third party developers on Origin to give/sell Origin keys outside of the Origin store?

As far as I understand, developers on Steam are given the ability to freely produce Steam keys that can be given away, sold on their own website, sold on Amazon or the Humble store, used as a Kickstarter reward, etc.

Any other digital distribution store strictly limits the number of promotional keys available.

I think it's great that Steam allows this! I'm just surprised that I've rarely seen this advantage pointed out.
 
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94. Re: Steam Hits 7.6M Concurrent User Record Dec 31, 2013, 18:13 Jerykk
 
EA and Ubisoft do sell keys outside of their respective platforms (though EA doesn't sell them on Steam). For them, not doing so would be really bad for business since they don't have nearly the market share of Steam. Valve could probably get away with making Steamworks games only available on Steam but they've chosen not to do that because they are a very consumer-centric company. A Steam monopoly would not be the same as a Microsoft monopoly.  
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93. Re: Steam Hits 7.6M Concurrent User Record Dec 31, 2013, 18:05 Jensen
 
jdreyer wrote on Dec 31, 2013, 06:53:
Even though Steam is by far the most popular distribution platform, there are still plenty of other places to buy PC games, even ones that require Steam. Now, if Valve suddenly declares that all Steamworks games can only be sold on Steam, that would be problematic. But they haven't done that and I see no reason for them to do that. Everything they've ever done has been in favor of the customer (unlike Microsoft's monopolistic habits).

I don't know of any other digital distribution platform that allows developers/publishers to sell keys outside of that platform's store. Valve does have a reason to restrict sales of Steamworks games to Steam: a 30% cut of every game sale they provide services for. But they don't, and that's one of the reasons developers like Steam.

As far as I know, Steam has no exclusivity agreements. There's nothing to prevent developers from leaving Steam, except millions of views on the home page of Steam. Developers are free to publish non-Steam versions of their games.

This comment was edited on Dec 31, 2013, 18:16.
 
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92. Re: Steam Hits 7.6M Concurrent User Record Dec 31, 2013, 15:46 Jerykk
 
jdreyer wrote on Dec 31, 2013, 06:53:
@ Jerykk, I agree with pretty much everything you said, but Ladron's got a point: Steam is a defacto monopoly, and that's problematic. A benevolent dictator is still a dictator. I have 270 games on the system, and I love its features, but it's scarily dominant. I spent most of this year avoiding buying games on Steam, instead buying them on Gamefly and Humble. As the year went on, more and more games from those platforms included or required Steam keys. Valve has PC gaming by the balls, and so far they've been gentle. But I'd prefer my balls to be in no one's hands. Keeps me from being locked in, or losing all my marbles if the monopoly sells out or goes belly up. I lost access to a lot of games when D2D sold out to Gamefly. If Steam did that, it would be a nightmare.

That may be true in theory but I haven't really seen it happen with Steam. For all intents and purposes, Steam has had a monopoly for the past few years. The majority of Steam users aren't even aware of sites like GMG or Gamefly. To them, Steam is really the only place to buy PC games. Has that really hurt the industry? No, not really. Even though Steam is by far the most popular distribution platform, there are still plenty of other places to buy PC games, even ones that require Steam. Now, if Valve suddenly declares that all Steamworks games can only be sold on Steam, that would be problematic. But they haven't done that and I see no reason for them to do that. Everything they've ever done has been in favor of the customer (unlike Microsoft's monopolistic habits).

Is Valve a benevolent dictator? Maybe. Is that actually a bad thing? Has there ever been a genuinely benevolent dictator? People assume that dictatorships are inherently bad but that's because dictators have always been (to my knowledge, at least) tyrants who abuse their power. Valve hasn't done that and I don't really see that changing.

Julio wrote on Dec 31, 2013, 08:59:
Slashman wrote on Dec 31, 2013, 07:54:
GOG will NEVER be embraced by game devs and publishers, no matter how many experiments CD Projekt Red runs to show that piracy isn't a factor in game sales....Valve didn't put Steam in the position it is in today, the people who buy games did that.

As long as people support Steam over GOG, they are voting with their wallets for DRM. I'm still optimistic that GOG will thrive, and I put my money with them.

It's not quite that simple. GOG doesn't sell any new, non-indie games. So even if you buy every game on GOG, that doesn't really tell publishers anything. The only way to convince publishers to sell their new games on GOG is to buy their new games on GOG. Unfortunately, their new games aren't available on GOG so that's not really an option.

Don't get me wrong, I think GOG is great. However, it is never going to get the same publisher support that Steam does. Hell, it isn't going to get the same consumer support that Steam does either. When given a choice between buying a game on GOG or Steam, 99% of consumers will opt for the Steam version. Why? Because to most people, the Steam version has more benefits than the GOG version.

This comment was edited on Dec 31, 2013, 16:53.
 
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91. Re: Steam Hits 7.6M Concurrent User Record Dec 31, 2013, 14:18 HorrorScope
 
ASeven wrote on Dec 31, 2013, 08:17:
Steam has done wonders for PC gaming but it is, for all matters, a monopoly, and monopolies are never good for any market.

They rule, but to me they aren't a monopoly. I have 7 places on my bookmark folder for places to buy games and they are all competitively competing well. Some people want one place and choose steam, that doesn't make it a monopoly. There is competition, actually quite a bit, more than I would have expected since one is so strong.

I prefer Steam if price is equal, but other than GFWL, I haven't had big enough issues with any service/launcher, so I have to use my experiences to be fair. Now a completely DRM free app is cool to, but isn't high on my list, since again, not having any tangible issues. A lot of what I read feels like "Doomsday Preppers".
 
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90. Re: Steam Hits 7.6M Concurrent User Record Dec 31, 2013, 12:27 Creston
 
jdreyer wrote on Dec 31, 2013, 06:53:
But I'd prefer my balls to be in no one's hands.

/Jessica Biehl: *pout!*
 
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109 Replies. 6 pages. Viewing page 1.
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