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Real Name Slick   
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Signed On Sep 4, 2012, 06:20
Total Comments 3833 (Veteran)
User ID 57545
 
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News Comments > Morning Multiplex
1. Re: Morning Multiplex Aug 16, 2019, 20:43 Slick
 
ooOOooh dat Commandos 2 remake might be just what the doctor ordered.  
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News Comments > DayZ Going Into Rehab Over Aussie Ban
10. Re: DayZ Going Into Rehab Over Aussie Ban Aug 13, 2019, 15:11 Slick
 
I still remember those haunting words repeating on an endless carousel in my head: "Fracture detected, morphine administered". How many years has it been? Too blurry to count. I've been chasing the crowbar ever since.  
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News Comments > Steam Workshop Adding Item Approvals
2. Re: Steam Workshop Adding Item Approvals Aug 13, 2019, 08:36 Slick
 
I'm not a religious man, but I quite like that quote from scripture in your signature.  
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News Comments > Gone Gold - Gears 5
5. Re: Gone Gold - Gears 5 Aug 9, 2019, 22:07 Slick
 
Gears 1 was really cool, and an amazing showcase for the tech of it's time. Seems like's fallen by the wayside considerably... same cookie-cutter gameplay, and same UE3-looking graphics. No offense to fans.  
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News Comments > Take-Two's Borderlands 3 Investigation Sparks Controversy
17. Re: Take-Two's Borderlands 3 Investigation Sparks Controversy Aug 8, 2019, 05:53 Slick
 
So you'd feel the same if someone found a "glitch" to access sensitive personal information about you and then sold access to that information to the public?

By a couple admissions in this very thread, it's been brought up that EGS has problems with messaging with their consumers, this is used as justification? They aren't nice guys so fuckem!

Say I was an asshole that no one liked, would that exonerate you from glitching to access private information about me and then selling it to the public? I am an asshole after all, so would you feel justified?
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
57. Re: Op Ed Aug 8, 2019, 05:40 Slick
 
jdreyer wrote on Aug 8, 2019, 03:39:
Verno wrote on Aug 7, 2019, 19:53:
Exactly thank you, finally some sanity. What is good for Epic as a company is not necessarily good for me as a consumer. People seem to just throw around the word "competition" as if it was magical and explains everything. You know another thing that's good for the industry? Loot boxes. Yep, they make a lot of money. Don't see many of you championing that practice. Similarly its hard to get consumers excited about "big company gobbles up exclusive distro rights" as if that is somehow going to trickle down to the consumer in any way.

What's good for consumers is competition. Epic as a valid Steam competitor is good, even if it comes with the hard pill of timed exclusives. Loot boxes, on the other hand, are pure greed.

The idea that Epic is just keeping Steam on its toes is amusing, Steam as a client is feature rich and is ironically the one thing that Valve has been consistently developing.

Epic forced Valve to make this change, for example:

Valve’s new Steam revenue agreement gives more money to game developers

Pretty funny, so now the great and powerful GabeN has seen fit to bestow the lowly peasants (who make the products he profits from) with a generous 30% skim only for the first $10,000,000 in sales (which Valve makes $3,000,000 from), then until $50,000,000 in sales they only charge 25% (which valve makes an additional $10,000,000 from), and after that it's only 20%!

Wow! Big brother valve sure is looking out for the little guy. All praise lord GabeN! So to get to the enviable position of 20% (still almost double the middleman tax as EGS), you just have to have to hand over $13,000,000 to an online store. What a deal! I'm sure the server costs and payment processing cost about $12,000,000 to be fair, right guys? That sounds about right. $12,000,000 for bandwidth that's as cheap as oxygen and some payment processing? yeah, sounds about right.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
56. Re: Op Ed Aug 8, 2019, 05:21 Slick
 
jdreyer wrote on Aug 8, 2019, 04:20:
Slick wrote on Aug 8, 2019, 01:14:
Please god, can someone give me one good argument in favour of the 30%? I'm so tired of saying the same shit over and over and over. Just put me out of my misery, give me the coup de grace and show me why I'm wrong. That or we can consider this settled and move to other more interesting topics.

A good argument for 30%? It's cheaper than the 50% charged by traditional brick and mortar outlets.

Yeah you're right, back in 2004. Steam was conceived to pay 0% for distribution, because they realized in the internet age, they can do that themselves, that they should have the right to sell their own product. The deals they had with Vivendi (their publisher) would still be honoured (publishers usually front development costs, marketing, support, networking etc.), but the part of the deal they wanted to override was that only Vivendi could sell their games, and take a giant cut. That was the rub. And it took a lengthy 4 year legal battle for them to overcome that raw 50% + exclusivity deal. That precedent allowed other companies to do the same, but no one did for 99% of 3rd party games, they weren't going to build out their own digital distribution platform, that was a lot of work to get off the ground, so they all went to Steam.

The 30% number only came about when Steam started selling 3rd party games (secret bonus question, can you name the first 3rd party game to be sold on Steam?) It was Valve's desire to sell their OWN games that got this ball rolling in the first place. It was more akin to EA wanting to sell their own wares on Origin, or Ubisoft on uPlay. Steam has grown into a much different beast since then. That 30% was very attractive to other studios who were used to 50%, so they cleaned up. Until people realized that 30% is still super high, especially considering Valve didn't have to print hundreds of millions of optical media discs, produce packaging, and deal with worldwide physical distribution anymore. Don't worry, in 5 years we'll realize that 12% is pretty damn high for a payment processor and some bandwidth.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
55. Re: Op Ed Aug 8, 2019, 05:06 Slick
 
jdreyer wrote on Aug 8, 2019, 04:26:
Slick wrote on Aug 8, 2019, 02:33:
4) EGS is new? Not really, it's been around for a while now, it just got big with Fortnite. Epic have been around since the dawn of PC gaming. 1991 to be exact. Valve came into existence 5 years later in 1996. So to frame the Epic game store as a bunch of unshaven college upstarts who don't know what they're doing is FUD.


The question isn't "Will Epic be around?"

The question is "Will EGS be around?"

Google has been around nearly as long as Epic, and they have a long list of services they've killed over the years. If EGS becomes a financial burden to maintain for Epic, it's sayonara baby: "Sorry gamers, nothing personal, just business."

If Epic did that with EGS, then it would be sayonara for Epic as a company too. Technically it would be more seppuku, but you get the idea.

Take Steam for instance, people had the same fear when they launched. "What? I don't' get the CD-motherfucking-ROM for my game? What happens when Valve decides to shut down Steam!? What happens to all my games!?!?" We've been here before, this is old hat, the sky hasn't fallen.

These storefronts are *cough* HIGHLY profitable, it's a hard thing to fuck up. This isn't Trump running 3 casinos into the ground, where the patrons at least have a chance of winning their money back. These digital distribution platforms are money-printing machines. They take pennies worth of electrons and photons, and through mystic digital greed-fueled alchemy turn it into gold bars stacked to the vault ceiling.

Why doesn't anyone have the same concerns for Steam? Why don't I hear the same wailing cries of anguish and gnashing of teeth over the thought that Steam might one day shutter it's virtual doors? What will happen to all your games then? If they continue this archaic scheme to skim 30% from developers, then I'd be more worried about my Steam collection getting zeroed out than future competing platforms that treat their clients with a modicum of respect. What happens with their monopoly fails? What do they have? A cool store? integrated forums? An embedded web browser? As I've established in this thread, there is a LOT of headroom in the digital distribution model, others will undercut and will gain market share. You think 12% is low? HA! They'll still make billions. Once someone comes around that is content only making hundreds of millions, that percentage will get a lot smaller.

That 30% should be 5% tops, and that reclaimed 25% should be split in a fair ratio between the people who made the game, and the people who play the game. That's win for the customers, win for the creatives, and a lose for the middlemen. Fuck yeah.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
54. Re: Op Ed Aug 8, 2019, 04:45 Slick
 
@PropheT

If I was making your argument I'd go for something like Amazon, as they provide a service that's actually superior to brick-and-mortar retail. Shopping there is lining the pockets of the richest person on the planet, but the service is actually superior. I can buy anything I want in my underpants, and then it's delivered to my door and I receive it still in said underpants.

Any online store on my computer gives me fundamentally the exact same experience. I download an app, make an account, input payment info, buy the game, download the game, play the game. I don't buy the convenience argument of having all your records in the same crate. The crate is your PC. They're already all in the same crate. Feeding a virtual monopoly with shitty practices is not convenience, that's OCD. That's arranging the vegetables on your plate so the peas and carrots don't touch each other.

You're just double-clicking an icon on the desktop. If one icon launches a game bought on Steam, another a game on Origin, another on uPlay, another on EGS... try this next time: double-click then close your eyes and wait 15 seconds, then open them and try to see if there's a difference.

It's kind of crazy how OCD people can be, wanting to hand over the same amount of $$$ to Valve as all the talented people combined who make the games end up getting after their costs. It's ludicrous, it's absurd. Next time you go see a movie (most movies are digital nowadays), just imagine all the 15,000+ people who worked on that film, then imagine the theatre, their staff, the projector costs, the sound system, all of that. Then imagine the company that processed your ticket payment online, the website payment portal, say they're also the ones that are also in charge of digitally sending the deliverable final cut of the film from the studio to the theatre's projector hard drive. Now imagine that entity takes 30% of your ticket price. Does that seem at all reasonable? that 30% supports exactly 1 person, Gabe Newell. The other 70% supports thousands and thousands of people who actually make the art that has enhanced your life throughout the years.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
48. Re: Op Ed Aug 8, 2019, 02:42 Slick
 
FloorPie wrote on Aug 8, 2019, 01:50:
Wow, you actually got it right. The average take on credit card processing fees is 3%. See gasoline prices at cash/debit vs credit places for confirmation. The 76's or Chevron stations near the Arco's that only do cash/debit tend to be only about 3% higher on price per gallon. The chevron stations farther away go up more in price. Lack of competition in the immediate area I suppose.

So now valve is making only 27% of a sale. Minus operating costs which apparently you think don't exist. I'm sure dealing with charge backs/refunds doesn't cost money either or effect banking/credit costs. Oh, and lets not forget any currency exchange fees. My credit card company is back to charging me a fee for doing business with the Polish GoG even if I use paypal as the processor/middleman. DRM free now costs me on average an extra $1.50. It often now makes more sense to buy GoG wallet money for multiple transactions.

"Generally, Mastercard, Visa and Discover charge an average of .13 percent, but the percentage changes by the company with regularity."

0.13% on average. And again, with scale it tips towards the lower end of that figure for a giant company like Valve.

Throw on top a generous 0.1% for bandwidth and hosting, and what the hell, an obscenely large 0.01% for their "operational costs", which I guess consists of some employees making sure their servers don't go down, and keeping the store app up-to-date.

So our grand total is 0.24%! They could aim for a 90% profit margin by charging 1000% what their costs are, and it would be only 2.4%, they'd still be raking in money hand-over-fist, AND still have money to piss away on other non-Steam projects.

If you're concerned about "operational costs" you should probably think of the level designers, sound designers, programmers, visual effects artists, concept artists, writers, producers, directors, voice actors, composers, 3D modelers, musicians, lighting artists, texture artists, network techs, under-appreciated QA staff, server techs, and everyone else it takes to actually make the games you love.

The only operational cost beyond app maintenance, bandwidth, and payment processing Valve has to bear is paying the janitor to kick the money-printing server box to restart it when it stops printing money for a microsecond.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
47. Re: Op Ed Aug 8, 2019, 02:33 Slick
 
Well thank you MeanJim for actually reading what I wrote and not just calling me a hater/fanboi etc.

There's a lot that doesn't add up about your arguments, but I don't really have the wherewithal to go point by point right now. Ugh, that sounds like a cop out, okay here we go!

1) There are oodles of good games that never come to PC, but whatever platform you wanna play on is all you.

2) You're mischaracterizing what I've written if you think that I'm: "Okay with Epic doing this, but not okay with MS and Sony doing it."

3) The sky is not falling. There is no evidence that Valve is the only company (I guess that will ever exist?) that will keep serving you the games you've bought. You could make that same strawman argument for anything, I'll do it now! "I've never gotten an under-cooked burger at McDonalds, why would I trust buying a burger from anywhere else? They might be under-cooked!" See? Doesn't hold water. In short, yeah, it's basically just double-clicking a different icon on your desktop, which in my direct comparison is less onerous than plonking down $500 on a different console to play the game you want.

4) EGS is new? Not really, it's been around for a while now, it just got big with Fortnite. Epic have been around since the dawn of PC gaming. 1991 to be exact. Valve came into existence 5 years later in 1996. So to frame the Epic game store as a bunch of unshaven college upstarts who don't know what they're doing is FUD.

5) I think you missed my (I thought) clear call for consistency in our outrage. What do I think people are complaining about? They're complaining about EGS. Not Sony, MS, or Nintendo. That's the point.

6) If Steam does a billion transactions a year, and their costs are 2 cents per, that's 20 Million dollars a year. What do you think their operating costs are? 20 million is a lot of scratch to run servers that do all the work. But fine, make it 20 cents per transaction, that's $200 million dollars per year. Is that enough to run and maintain a piece of software that does all the work for you?

7) Can Valve afford to operate on less than 20% cut? The answer is yes. You know how I know? Cause math.

This comment was edited on Aug 8, 2019, 02:45.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
44. Re: Op Ed Aug 8, 2019, 01:14 Slick
 
Please god, can someone give me one good argument in favour of the 30%? I'm so tired of saying the same shit over and over and over. Just put me out of my misery, give me the coup de grace and show me why I'm wrong. That or we can consider this settled and move to other more interesting topics.  
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News Comments > Op Ed
43. Re: Op Ed Aug 8, 2019, 01:12 Slick
 
Slashman wrote on Aug 8, 2019, 00:33:
Slick wrote on Aug 7, 2019, 22:26:

The payment processor is more expensive, and I honestly don't know how much it costs, but considering they do probably a billion transactions a year on Steam, I can't see the processors charging much. They'd be climbing over each other to land that contract, another purely rent-seeking business. Just run payments through a server, kick your feet back, and make a hundred million pure profit in a year from a single client if they charge 10 cents per transaction.

So you're just talking out of your ass then. Because it feels good to make Steam the big bad guy.

Yes, I don't have exact figures for their payment processing, I doubt anyone outside of a select few at Valve know that number. But running an online business myself, I do have some experience with this. Payment processing is a large part of running an online store, but it's usually 30-50 cents for us small fries. With scale things get cheaper.

Even if it is 30-50 cents, that's by far the largest expense for Valve when they scoop up 30% of the sale price, the same 30% slice that the developers hope to get from their creation. Tell me why it's cool to have Valve make the same profit as the studio? Valve didn't make the game, they didn't pay for one red cent of development, and took zero risk.

I've yet to hear one reasonable argument that can contest this. All I get is either I'm an EGS fanboi (literally never installed it), or I hate Steam (I have about 300 titles). Someone tell me why it's reasonable that paying Valve for bandwidth and payment processing should be valued the same as paying the programmers, paying the level designers, paying the concept artists, paying the texture artists, paying the modelers, paying the sound designers, paying marketing, paying for servers, paying for QA, paying for customer service, paying for the office space, paying for engine licencing, paying music royalties, etc.

None of what Valve provides requires the input of a single human being, it's just running electrons through silicon and photons across fiber. Compare that with the humans it takes to do literally everything else when it comes to making videogames. Should those 2 figures be even? Really? Even Steven?
 
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News Comments > Take-Two's Borderlands 3 Investigation Sparks Controversy
8. Re: Take-Two's Borderlands 3 Investigation Sparks Controversy Aug 8, 2019, 00:56 Slick
 
Leaker got caught leaking and profiting from said leaks, that's the story. So now what... boycott the game? We're now siding with the perp of the crime instead of the victim? And you can fuck right off if your values all of a sudden switch polarity because the victim is a studio and not a private citizen. Quite the moral argument to be making.

The fuck...
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
41. Re: Op Ed Aug 7, 2019, 22:26 Slick
 
FloorPie wrote on Aug 7, 2019, 21:29:
Slick wrote on Aug 7, 2019, 20:43:
And for anyone who still doesn't understand what 30% of gross means:

A game costs $10

Valve's 30% gets them $3

Their costs are about $0.02

Total net profit for Valve $2.98

Publisher's 70% gets them $7

Their costs are to: pay the programmers, pay the level designers, pay the concept artists, pay the texture artists, pay the modelers, pay the sound designers, pay marketing, pay for servers, pay for QA, pay for customer service, pay for the office space, pay for engine licencing, pay music royalties, etc. etc. etc So how much do you think is left? If they're lucky they have $3 profit at the end.

Why should Valve get the same cut for essentially just hosting a server with zero human input required, as all the people collectively who actually work to make the games that we love?

I'm not saying EGS is the solution, but if you haven't been paying attention, Valve's behaviour is the problem.

Hehe. Yes, cost is just .02. Indeed. And bandwidth costs nothing. So says my ISP Comcast... who has had a hard limit at 1TB/month these days. Yet we have many games at 50-100GB installs.

Oh and no costs regarding banking/credit card fees. Why, middlemen have no costs at all. Which, if were true they wouldn't exist because the manufacturers aka devs/publishers would sell the games directly.

Indeed! Okay maybe I exaggerated, it could be as high as 3 cents =p

Bandwidth is soooooooo cheap. There's a reason why a platform like twitch can stream gigabytes upon gigabytes of random noob's streams to 5 viewers each, all for maybe 0.2 cents total revenue from ads, and it still turns a profit.

ISPs are not representative of the true cost of bandwidth, I think last I looked ISP's profit margins were 99.5-99.8% as far as their actual cost per gigabyte served versus what they charge consumers for the service. When you get to giant enterprise solutions the costs become realistic. Having set up Amazon AWS services before, most of the cost is the computational one, not bandwidth. So for gamers, the cost of running live servers is much more expensive than the original download from the store, as they have a 24/7 computational cost.

The payment processor is more expensive, and I honestly don't know how much it costs, but considering they do probably a billion transactions a year on Steam, I can't see the processors charging much. They'd be climbing over each other to land that contract, another purely rent-seeking business. Just run payments through a server, kick your feet back, and make a hundred million pure profit in a year from a single client if they charge 10 cents per transaction.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
37. Re: Op Ed Aug 7, 2019, 20:43 Slick
 
And for anyone who still doesn't understand what 30% of gross means:

A game costs $10

Valve's 30% gets them $3

Their costs are about $0.02

Total net profit for Valve $2.98

Publisher's 70% gets them $7

Their costs are to: pay the programmers, pay the level designers, pay the concept artists, pay the texture artists, pay the modelers, pay the sound designers, pay marketing, pay for servers, pay for QA, pay for customer service, pay for the office space, pay for engine licencing, pay music royalties, etc. etc. etc So how much do you think is left? If they're lucky they have $3 profit at the end.

Why should Valve get the same cut for essentially just hosting a server with zero human input required, as all the people collectively who actually work to make the games that we love?

I'm not saying EGS is the solution, but if you haven't been paying attention, Valve's behaviour is the problem.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
36. Re: Op Ed Aug 7, 2019, 20:43 Slick
 
Verno wrote on Aug 7, 2019, 19:53:
Bhruic wrote on Aug 7, 2019, 19:12:
Epic has been trying to sell the idea that it is good for us really hard, but almost every bullet-point they use is actually something that is good for developers. I'm certainly glad for developers if they get 88% of the profit instead of 70%.

Exactly thank you, finally some sanity. What is good for Epic as a company is not necessarily good for me as a consumer. People seem to just throw around the word "competition" as if it was magical and explains everything. You know another thing that's good for the industry? Loot boxes. Yep, they make a lot of money.

If you don't want to "support" a store-exclusive game, then go for it. You vote with your wallet. But consider that voting to give Steam a giant 30% cut of gross is also casting a vote. For me if the game exists equally on Steam and EGS, and doesn't make use of SteamWorks, then it's a no-brainer. I support the people who make the games, not rent-seeking behaviour from multi-billion dollar companies. If we're being real, for the service provided, some bandwidth and a payment processor, the stores should be fighting over who can get their take down to 2%. 12% is still a far cry from a success story, it just reminds us how 30% is laugh-out-loud scummy.

And I don't buy loot boxes full stop.

If we hold publisher's feet to the fire, it's not an insane idea that ditching lootboxes while gaining a higher take from sales is a win-win for them and us. Just sayin', it's not outside the realm of possibility. These publicly traded companies are legally bound to try and give the highest returns to their shareholders. Let's just show em how we choose to roll. When with one voice we say we want to line GabeN's pockets with (quite probably) a larger profit than the studio themselves see with every sale, then we're saying: "you'll have to figure out other ways to make money, we'd rather pay a middleman more than your studio" and then they'll do just that. Enjoy your lootboxes =p


 
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News Comments > Op Ed
35. Re: Op Ed Aug 7, 2019, 20:18 Slick
 
Good. Gooooood. Quote me. It gives me power. It makes me strong.  
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News Comments > Op Ed
31. Re: Op Ed Aug 7, 2019, 19:25 Slick
 
This "debate" is soooooooooooooo boring. Is anyone else as bored as I am with this? I would literally rather read another Star Citizen thread, that's how bad it's become.

Why don't you gamers get as angry when 90% of the good Japanese videogames get sold exclusively on the Playstation instead of the Xbox? There are millions of western gamers who grew up on, and love Japanese games. If it already exists as a Playstation title, porting to Xbox is NOT very difficult, they're essentially the same hardware.

Studios make games and specifically release them on ONLY Nintendo, Xbox, Playstation, or PC. That's exclusive behaviour, and nobody seems to care. It is FAR more cumbersome to literally buy a new console just to play the game you want. With EGS it's double-clicking a different icon on your desktop. Some perspective please.

Can we either have the same level of outrage across the board or just give it up already? It's clear that people pick their fights based on where the most outrage is to not feel isolated.
 
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News Comments > Game Reviews
1. Re: Game Reviews Aug 4, 2019, 14:34 Slick
 
I love those old Sierra adventure games, still have fond memories of my friend and I playing Leisure Suit Larry and discovering the secret key combination to bypass the startup questions to see if you are indeed 18+ or not (questions about like political figures of the 60's and 70's).  
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