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EA & Valve

Valve Signs With EA to Distribute Future Releases of Half Life 2 Worldwide is the press release announcing that EA will be Valve's new publishing partner at retail. Here's a bit:

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS - News), the world's leading interactive entertainment company and Valve®, the award-winning studio behind the blockbuster franchises Half-Life® and Counter-Strike(TM), today announced that the two companies have entered a multi-year agreement to deliver a collection of Valve games to players worldwide. The first two games to be released under this agreement are Half-Life 2: Game of the Year and Counter-Strike: Source(TM) for PC, both launching this fall. In addition, Half-Life 2 for the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, currently in development at Valve and targeted for release in October, will be published and distributed worldwide by EA.

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117 Replies. 6 pages. Viewing page 1.
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117. Re: $10,000 BF2 and CSS Tournament Aug 14, 2005, 15:31 Overon
 
Wow. Valve keept saying that bypassing the publisher and releasing through steam would lead to lower prices for their games. And then when Valve released HL2 and said "sorry we can't lower the price because we have an agreement not to undercut the price of our publisher on retail store shelves." Then they said, "Don't worry, our next games that don't have a retail publisher agreement will be cheaper." Now I'm wondering, if EA publishes any NEW valve games in retail, Steam is not going to result in lower prices and all those Valve assurances will be bullshit.

 
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116. $10,000 BF2 and CSS Tournament Jul 23, 2005, 09:40 b3ak3r
 
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http://www.firescore.com/Tournament/tpage

 
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115. Re: No subject Jul 22, 2005, 19:43 nin
 
Without a Riley-esqe explanation about the dynamics of global economics and the impact this will supposedly have on the birds in my backyard, I will ask a certain question:

I like that..."Riley-esqe"...

I also nominate "Rileyvision!"

--------------------------------------------------------------
GW: Nilaar Madalla, lvl 20 R/Mo / Xylos Gath, lvl 10 W/Mo

I have to apologize for the way I feel... http://www.nin.com
 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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114. No subject Jul 22, 2005, 19:18 Xenos Overdrive
 
Without a Riley-esqe explanation about the dynamics of global economics and the impact this will supposedly have on the birds in my backyard, I will ask a certain question:

Is this indeed a true union made in the depths of hell?

 
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113. Re: EA? Jul 20, 2005, 15:41 Scottish Martial Arts
 
As far as I can tell, it's just the collectors edition with no shirt or sampler book.

I guess your right, for some reason I was thinking it included DoD:Source but I guess not. My corrected answer to the original question:

It's a lot cheaper and comes with the latest patch.

 
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112. Re: EA? Jul 20, 2005, 14:37 Undead Scottsman
 
It comes with more goodies and costs less than the collectors edition.

As far as I can tell, it's just the collectors edition with no shirt or sampler book.

 
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111. Re: EA? Jul 20, 2005, 13:13 Scottish Martial Arts
 
What is so special about the GOTY edition?

It comes with more goodies and costs less than the collectors edition.

 
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110. Re: EA? Jul 20, 2005, 12:05 Tumbler
 
What pisses me off is why I bought the Half-Life 2 Collectors Edition and not the Game of the Year Edition.

What is so special about the GOTY edition?

Unpaid Employee and Fanboy of DICE and anything BF2.
 
99gamers.com-Game trading site, PC digital trading!
Kickstarter "Game Developer"!
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109. Re: EA? Jul 20, 2005, 10:42 Creston
 
I'm just gonna respond to this one point, today's not as quiet at work

I think the answer to that lies in the fact that a steam thread doesn't go by without someone making some comment about the shmucks still on dial up. In other words you can't reach the entire market segment with just one channel of distribution. I'm certain that Valve wants to be able to sell a copy of Half-Life 2 to every conceivable person that would ever buy one; Valve can't do that if they go all digital, hence the distribution agreement with EA.

I doubt it. If Valve REALLY wants to sell to everyone who wants a copy, they'd get rid of this bullshit "You MUST connect to steam before you can play" kinda crap. There ARE people still out there without internet access. Similarly, there are presumably far more people who have two computers, only one of which is connected to the internet.
The schmucks on dial-up can at least still CONNECT to steam, there's plenty of people who can't.

But oh well, whatever, like I said, the only reason I was debating this in the first place is because it was a slow day at work. Valve can do whatever they want to, I find it amusing that they team up with the one publisher who's known to be a total asswipe to developers. As for who has more leverage against the other, I dunno. I somehow doubt EA being outbullied by Valve, so to speak.

Creston


 
Avatar 15604
 
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108. Re: EA? Jul 20, 2005, 08:42 nin
 


Riley, what color is the sky in your world?



--------------------------------------------------------------
GW: Nilaar Madalla, lvl 20 R/Mo / Xylos Gath, lvl 10 W/Mo

I have to apologize for the way I feel... http://www.nin.com
 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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107. Re: EA? Jul 20, 2005, 05:43 Riley Pizt
 
Question: When a Steam thread rolls around does anyone actually pay attention to Riley anymore?
The fact that you not only replied to at least one of my previous posts in this one plus made that additional post to editorialize on my posting in general answers your own question, moron.

This comment was edited on Jul 20, 05:52.
 
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106. Re: EA? Jul 20, 2005, 05:34 Riley Pizt
 
The lawsuits previously were due to contract violations...
Yes, Vivendi believed that Valve lied to it about its intentions of selling its games through Steam and that it (Vivendi) had the right to distribute Valve's games in bulk licenses outside of retail distribution. That is what Vivendi maintained in its court filings. Price was not the issue. So, of course Vivendi would have no stipulation in its contract restricting Valve's prices via electronic distribution since Vivendi's contention was that Valve would not sell the games using electronic distribution. And, that at least strongly implies that any price levels Valve would be allowed to charge were not discussed or included in the contract. Valve of course contended otherwise on both counts and prevailed by getting a summary judgement. Valve is simply feeding its customers a line of bullsh*t to cover up the real reason why prices on Steam are so high.

Just because SOME stores lower the price of HL2, doesn't mean that EVERY store is selling it at that price.
Yes I bet some store in upper Mongolia will probably have an old copy of the game five years from now still at the release price. Any price reference in the contract would be average retail price or average street price not "the highest price you can find in a single retail store or a relative few."

This comment was edited on Jul 20, 06:14.
 
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105. Re: EA? Jul 20, 2005, 03:14 Undead Scottsman
 
Question: When a Steam thread rolls around does anyone actually pay attention to Riley anymore?
I think everyone should give them a good read mock.

 
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104. Re: EA? Jul 20, 2005, 02:27 Prez
 
I'm reading all of Riley's posts right now to see if I should or not...;P

 
Avatar 17185
 
Goodbye my Monte boy. May you rest in the peace you never knew in life.
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103. Re: EA? Jul 20, 2005, 02:16 Scottish Martial Arts
 
I don't because the retail price of Half-Life 2 dropped long ago, and Valve has never matched it.

Question: When a Steam thread rolls around does anyone actually pay attention to Riley anymore?

 
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102. Re: EA? Jul 20, 2005, 02:14 Scottish Martial Arts
 
hen EA is presumably going to say "Welll....no.

While possible I have a hard time believing this. Look at all the shit Valve went through as a result of it's contract with VU. I would imagine that Valve, using it's incredible leverage as the maker of the world's most popular PC game, would be able to define the terms of the contract, even with a giant like EA. It's certainly possible that Valve would choose to make the same mistakes as before but now that they have the capability not to make them I would assume they wouldn't.

A is going to have some hefty costs associated with the producing boxes / manuals / discs and getting them in stores.

Are you serious? Software has a huge, huge, huge fucking profit margin. The cost of goods sold for software sales are so infinitismly small it's not even funny, and for Steam sales the COGS would be zero because at that point the business merely needs to meet it's operating expenses to ensure that the software can continue to be sold, in otherwords a 100% Gross Margin. Even still it costs virtually no money what so ever to get those discs/manuals/boxes printed and on shelves relative to the amount they sell for. Even those 10 dollar jewel case versions of older but well regarded (i.e. Diablo or Jedi Knight or Fallout) make a profit, and a fairly good one too.

so why NOT simply go all digital then?

I think the answer to that lies in the fact that a steam thread doesn't go by without someone making some comment about the shmucks still on dial up. In other words you can't reach the entire market segment with just one channel of distribution. I'm certain that Valve wants to be able to sell a copy of Half-Life 2 to every conceivable person that would ever buy one; Valve can't do that if they go all digital, hence the distribution agreement with EA.

This comment was edited on Jul 20, 02:20.
 
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101. Re: EA? Jul 20, 2005, 02:03 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Do you really think that if EA is involved, Valve's going to be able to sell their games on Steam for less than what they would sell for when EA puts them in the store?

The answer is no.

Without seeing the contract between the two I couldn't tell you. What I can tell you is that Valve would've had an unbelievable amount of leverage to create a deal entirely favorable to themselves when searching for a publishing partner. If I were to make an educated guess, Valve probably shopped around an unnegotiable contract, basically saying "here's what we want in a distribution/publishing contract, whoever can pay the most money for this contract gets the share of profit that is stipulated in the contract." EA obviously has the resources to outbid everyone else. Valve, being Valve, wouldn't need to make concessions to EA because every other publisher/distributor would undoubtedly make a bid.

Now this is all supposition on my part but I would like to think there is some rational thought behind it. Additionally, your counterargument here is just as much supposition as my own.

The details of the relationship between the two don't matter.

Well I would think they would because the contract may state that Valve cannot sell it's games through Steam for less than the MSRP. That would be entirely different than a contract that puts no restrictions on Steam pricing and leaves the door open for Valve to lower prices at it's leisure.

People have been saying that "once the publisher / distributor / middle man is out of the picture, prices for Valve's games will drop."

That's certainly whats implied however my take has always been that VU Games wasn't so much the reason why prices hadn't dropped so much as the reason why prices could not drop. The distinction is that the contract VU had with Valve closed the door for Steam price drops. Now that that contract is no longer binding the door is now open, essentially what I described in the previous paragraph. Previously it wasn't up to Valve, now the ball is in Valve's court so to speak. I suppose Valve could decide not to lower prices, and that may be what ends up happening, however I would think that now that the door is open Valve would choose to price it's Steam products competitively with the retail version. But again that's all supposition which is as much as you or I or anyone can do.

Prices will stay exactly where they are, and at some point, EA will simply take control (you KNOW this will happen).

Well we don't know this for certain as there has never been a developer with as much leverage as Valve that worked with EA before. EA has worked with (and bought out) small independent developers with limited resources such as DICE, and longstanding but struggling larger developers such as Westwood or Bullfrog. EA has not tried to work with a Valve or an id or an Epic or a Bioware. It's still conceivable that Valve could hit hard times and be gobbled up by EA but typically when a developer reaches a point like that the creative magic is already gone (*cough*Black Isle*cough*Ion Storm*cough*).

And fuckdammit, this new firewall here at work is the fucking shit. And not in a good way.

Yep I know the feeling. The university firewall did not like games, nor did the net connection seem to have the bandwidth necessary to support a college dormitory.

 
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100. Re: Meh Jul 19, 2005, 23:42 Xenos Overdrive
 
DOD:Source... meh, gimme Call of Duty2 (Yay, no Steam!).

CoD 2 is using Source? That's kind of cool, I suppose. I only just now decided to pick up the combo pack, original CoD and its expansion, at Walart the other night. Played through them both, enjoyed the hell out of it.


As you said, lawsuits ARE more expensive. Until the contract with Vivindi expires, Valve is bound to it. Just because SOME stores lower the price of HL2, doesn't mean that EVERY store is selling it at that price. (My local store is still selling it for $50.)



Mine too...the cheapest I've seen it "on sale" was for 39.99.


This comment was edited on Jul 19, 23:43.
 
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99. Meh Jul 19, 2005, 19:49 Kris Redbeard
 
Half-Life2 came with my video card. Last time I actually bought a Valve product was when a some of us pooled money for one of the Half-Life packs with CS, BlueShift etc... and we only did that for the CD keys so we could play Natural Selection online (Never even opened the CD sleeves).

Steam doesn't work properly or efficiently.
Half-Life2 was nice, but the Source engine aint that hot (multiplayer wise).
Counter-Strike was old *years* ago... Source version doesn't fix that.
DOD:Source... meh, gimme Call of Duty2 (Yay, no Steam!).

And WTF happened to the mod scene?

/me cries

Stuff it... I'll go gank some Alliance to make myself feel big.

 
Avatar 21244
 
GROUND BRANCH
Mature Classic Tactical First Person Shooter
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98. Re: EA? Jul 19, 2005, 19:46 Undead Scottsman
 
Riley has a great point troll...
He's just economically aware paranoid.

 
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117 Replies. 6 pages. Viewing page 1.
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