Retailers Versus Steam?

A story on MCV with a quote in the headline (which isn't in the article itself) stating "Valve monopoly is killing PC market," reports they understand "that at least two big-name digital retailers are facing financial difficulties as they struggle to compete" with Steam. "I've fought hard for my customer, and never before have I had to give my customers away. Steam is killing the PC market and it is no wonder digital retailers are failing," says the director of a Steam rival. "Steam is locking down the market." In a separate report they also discuss retailer dissatisfaction with Steam's dominance of the marketplace, which insiders tell them amounts to 80% of PC downloadable games. Since this competes with online sales initiatives by retailers, they say at least two major U.K. merchants will demand that publishers remove Steam integration from their games or they will refuse to sell them. With PC game sales at retail stores in steady decline, it seems an odd moment for these stores to flex their atrophying muscle, but they quote the head of sales at a big-name digital service provider saying: "At the moment the big digital distributors need to stock games with Steam. But the power resides with bricks and mortar retailers, they can refuse to stock these titles. Publishers are hesitant, but retail must put pressure on them."
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145 Replies. 8 pages. Viewing page 5.
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65.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 15:19
65.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 15:19
Nov 11, 2010, 15:19
 
Steam is bullshit for charging full retail prices on games when you receive no actual physical merchandise.. as there is a significant amount of developmental money that goes into art/packaging/advertising, which is recouped in the purchase price - and im not just talking about the component cost, which is negligible. Since steam doesnt deliver any physical materials, the resulting retail price should be lower by a noticeable margin.

Thats not to mention the incredibly invasive client you are required to have up online and running.

Steam isnt the devil, but its no angel either.
64.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 15:16
64.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 15:16
Nov 11, 2010, 15:16
 
No, I cannot name a service that spoon-feeds better than Steam does, that does not mean there is no "better" alternative.

It's giving people what they want. PC gaming doesn't have to be difficult to be rewarding and enjoyable. You can get all pissy while making snide comments like "spoon feed" but those people don't care, hell most of them probably don't even read sites like this.

You claimed there was a better alternative but the reality is that there isn't one which is why you can't name it. Steam is the perfect storm of price, convenience and features. It won't be dethroned until a competitor can replicate that experience.

The industry is allowing platform lock-in to happen, Valve isn't forcing anyone kicking and screaming into this stuff, they don't have that kind of power over the publishing world. That suggests to me that the industry wants that kind of unification on the PC which means that with or without Valve/Steam, they are going to try to force it on people. The only way to combat that is an open competitor and none exists right now.

I'd love to support an alternative but at the same time, I'm also a gamer and I'm not going to stop my favorite hobby just because there isn't an open version of Steam.

So I do get your point and position but frankly there is plenty of blame to go around in this situation.
Avatar 51617
63.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 15:07
63.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 15:07
Nov 11, 2010, 15:07
 
Nxs wrote on Nov 11, 2010, 12:59:
Well, you are entitled to your opinion. I just really hate steam.
I long for the days when I could buy a game, plug in the CD code, install, and play. BF: 1942 is a great example of that.

Never have and never will buy a game that requires steam.

I don't mind having to do on-line activation/registration, but yeah, I have to agree. I really dislike the, you must log-in to Steam (or Battle.Net or whatever) to play the game, even in single player mode. It annoys the ever living hell out of me.
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
62.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 15:04
62.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 15:04
Nov 11, 2010, 15:04
 
well if it should end with only digital games , i say cut 1/2 of the price and you got a deal , i still like my box and what ever is in there
61.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 14:56
61.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 14:56
Nov 11, 2010, 14:56
 
Tumbler wrote on Nov 11, 2010, 13:50:
It's definitely a concern if a game forces you behind steam, ala Civ V. Civ V is a game I'd likely sell at this point because it's so buggy for MP. I don't remember there being any way to try it prior to purchase so I'm stuck with it but that was a problem before steam on many games.

Civ V has a demo on steam. Not multiplayer though.
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60.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 14:54
60.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 14:54
Nov 11, 2010, 14:54
 
Rattlehead wrote on Nov 11, 2010, 10:12:
What a crock of shit. Steam has done wonders for PC gaming. It doesn't have a monopoly since there are many other digital distribution channels to choose from.

Whoever wrote this article must be really butthurt. Yea, I'm guessing it's that dick bag Wardell.

Nice troll, but actually, but these complaints seem to be primarily from a group of UK "High Street" retailers.

It's possible that the very last quote about putting pressure on retailers came from Impulse, but it could have just as easily came from gamersgate, direct2drive, or anything other large DD service.
59.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 14:49
59.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 14:49
Nov 11, 2010, 14:49
 
The reason it doesn't do that is the retailers though. They'd refuse stocking the game if digital was cheaper. But of course if retail disappears theres no incentive for lower prices either.... So its a lose:lose situation.
Avatar 54727
58.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 14:44
58.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 14:44
Nov 11, 2010, 14:44
 
Verno wrote on Nov 11, 2010, 14:39:
Like what? I have yet to find anything that offers a comprehensive client and library management app on par of the quality of Steam. Show me the same feature parity and quality without platform lock-in and I'll be the first person there.

You seem to think everyone shares your opinion on value which is false. Some people only care about price, others only care about individual product features and other people don't care about anything except ease of use. If people only cared about price then sure they would order from Amazon but some people just value convenience and theres nothing wrong with that. Put bluntly, some people just want to play games and don't care about the politics of gaming like you and I do.

Yes, I know... giving up the freedom and independence of PC gaming for convenience and simplicity, just like a console. That was pretty much my entire point. No, I cannot name a service that spoon-feeds better than Steam does, that does not mean there is no "better" alternative.
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57.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 14:39
57.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 14:39
Nov 11, 2010, 14:39
 
StingingVelvet wrote on Nov 11, 2010, 14:16:
The idea of ONLY using Steam though just baffles me... there are better options often

Like what? I have yet to find anything that offers a comprehensive client and library management app on par of the quality of Steam. Show me the same feature parity and quality without platform lock-in and I'll be the first person there.

You seem to think everyone shares your opinion on value which is false. Some people only care about price, others only care about individual product features and other people don't care about anything except ease of use. If people only cared about price then sure they would order from Amazon but some people just value convenience and theres nothing wrong with that. Put bluntly, some people just want to play games and don't care about the politics of gaming like you and I do.

I shudder to think of the position PC gaming would be in without Steam so I take issue with the notion that it's somehow destroying PC gaming or something. PC gaming is a continuously evolving platform and while I share your concern about a single entity having too much control, the nature of the platform ensures even the smallest competitor can enter the space. The real concern is with the medium to AAA markets but those sub markets have players with huge pockets who can fight their own battles.

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56.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 14:31
56.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 14:31
Nov 11, 2010, 14:31
 
it represents how many PC gamers are throwing away what is great about our platform for some convenience. Auto-patching, DRM, account-based ownership, one platform with overlords...

I undertand your point but until retailers start selling and promotting PC games I'll use STEAM. Never like the service but I'm not going to give my hard earned $$ to stores that dedicate 99% of shelve space to console games and give PC games a small rack in an obscure corner of the store.

I feel no sympathywhat so ever! Just like game devs they need to give the people what they want!

I used to be able to go to the mall and try PC games at EB now I cant even find them cause the display area is so small.
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55.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 14:16
55.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 14:16
Nov 11, 2010, 14:16
 
What's up with so many people saying they use Steam because you can't find boxed versions? If you're on the internet for Steam perhaps you heard of something called amazon? I get all my games on amazon... release day delivery for 99cents (or free if you become a Prime member) and AMAZING deals. I routinely get games for $10 or even $20 off on release day from amazon. Call of Duty Black Ops? $35 delivered on release day. Force Unleashed 2? $20 delivered on release day.

Steam's dominance is a matter of hype and marketing, nothing more. Make people think they get better deals than they could get anywhere else. Make people think they are more convenient than anywhere else. Make people think their DRM is customer friendly and not restrictive. You can get pretty much every singleplayer Steam feature by just launching the games from the Steam window but people act like they NEED the Steam version.

Anyway, I don't hate Steam, far from it. For multiplayer games, which I rarely play but do sometimes, I actually prefer it. The idea of ONLY using Steam though just baffles me... there are better options often, and it does a great disservice to many indies, small teams and rival publishers who release great PC games elsewhere.

I agree Steam becoming PC gaming in total is a massive problem. One of the reasons I love PC gaming is because there is no all-powerful Microsoft or Sony deciding what can be sold and when. Steam having almost that same level of power is sad to me, it represents how many PC gamers are throwing away what is great about our platform for some convenience. Auto-patching, DRM, account-based ownership, one platform with overlords... it's exactly what PC gaming should NOT be.
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54.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 14:12
54.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 14:12
Nov 11, 2010, 14:12
 
Nameless Again wrote on Nov 11, 2010, 13:46:
Fuck these douchebags. If they would offer a service that was near comparable to Steam, maybe they wouldn't be bitching and complaining? I'm glad they're failing.

No, what they're complaining about - and quite fairly - is the Steam integration. Everyone should want to see that dissapear. Personally, I never buy anything digital online unless it's in the bargain bin. When they charge just as much or more than a retailer it's, quite frankly, ridiuclous. Every new game digitally online should cost half what it does at retail, if that.
"Van Gogh painted alone and in despair and in madness and sold one picture in his entire life. Millions struggled alone, unrecognized, and struggled as heroically as any famous hero. Was it worthless? I knew it wasn't."
53.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 14:08
53.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 14:08
Nov 11, 2010, 14:08
 
I haven't read any of the other comments yet, but this sounds like sour grapes to me. Someone complaining that the competition is kicking their ass. Please, if you can't keep up with the competition, you are going to fail. I love steam, and I think the people who use Steam have spoken with their wallets. I choose NOT to go to stores. I choose NOT to deal with snotty, asshole, salesmen. I choose to use Steam. I have used Impulse, D2D, Amazon, and others, and Steam has so far provided me with the best experience. Why would I use an inferior service?
Avatar 55452
52.
 
Haven't bought in retail for 6 years now.
Nov 11, 2010, 14:05
52.
Haven't bought in retail for 6 years now. Nov 11, 2010, 14:05
Nov 11, 2010, 14:05
 
And don't miss it. With Amazon and Steam, who needs physical stores? Sounds like a dying industry not wanting to accept it.
Avatar 54727
51.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 13:53
51.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 13:53
Nov 11, 2010, 13:53
 
I actually thought UK retailers had already decided to stop stocking PC titles - check out Game and HMV, for example, for their stunning range of, er, 3' of shelf-space for PC vs the rest of the shop for console.

If they go through with this 'cut my own nose off' mentality and stop selling Steam titles, who exactly is going to notice?
Avatar 55514
50.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 13:51
Jim
50.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 13:51
Nov 11, 2010, 13:51
Jim
 
Nxs wrote on Nov 11, 2010, 12:59:
bhcompy wrote on Nov 11, 2010, 12:57:
Well, you are entitled to your opinion. I just really hate steam.
I long for the days when I could buy a game, plug in the CD code, install, and play. BF: 1942 is a great example of that.

Never have and never will buy a game that requires steam.
oh yeah, plug in the cd code, look for the cd, hope that it isn't scratched, look at the waiting screen while it does a disk check... those days won't be missed.
49.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 13:51
J
49.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 13:51
Nov 11, 2010, 13:51
J
 
Evolution - survival of the fittest and the strongest. If they want my money they can start by offering a better service. They'll probably find they'll get a lot of other people's custom that way too.
nin: This forum is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
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48.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 13:50
48.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 13:50
Nov 11, 2010, 13:50
 
It's definitely a concern if a game forces you behind steam, ala Civ V. Civ V is a game I'd likely sell at this point because it's so buggy for MP. I don't remember there being any way to try it prior to purchase so I'm stuck with it but that was a problem before steam on many games. With online activation vs Steam I think steam is a better choice there but not being able to sell your games really makes the PC market a dangerous place to spend money.

That is the biggest problem with PC gaming in my opinion. I purchase very few full priced games because in most cases I regret it. Civ V, (even at a discount), DoW2, DoW2 expansion (discounted to 50%, still regret it), Tales of Monkey Island, I think those are all the PC games I've purchased at launch in the last 2 years and every single one was something I'd choose to trade to someone else if that was an option.

It's not valve that has too much control. It's the developers and publishers in general of all the AAA games. They've taken right or resale away from consumers and the whole thing feels like a big rip off now. Clearance sales are still a decent value, things under $10 are usually a good deal in the end.
47.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 13:46
47.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 13:46
Nov 11, 2010, 13:46
 
Fuck these douchebags. If they would offer a service that was near comparable to Steam, maybe they wouldn't be bitching and complaining? I'm glad they're failing.
46.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 13:27
46.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 13:27
Nov 11, 2010, 13:27
 
Verno wrote on Nov 11, 2010, 10:55:
Well the big bitch seems to be that retailers cave and carry Steamworks titles. What's the solution there though? There is no standard distribution format for digital games right now. The entire industry would need to collaborate on that and in an open market some companies will simply ignore it.

I agree that it sucks that Direct2Drive has to sell a Steamwork title for example, as it exposes their customers directly to Steam which is the entire goal. I just don't see a solution other than moving the market backwards five years.

Don't give them ideas... They can send a terminator 12 years back in the past and kill Gabe Newell before the first Half Life.

145 Replies. 8 pages. Viewing page 5.
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