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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1.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 10:10
nin
1.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 10:10
Nov 11, 2010, 10:10
nin
 
"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."

Brad, is that you?

2.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 10:12
2.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 10:12
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.
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3.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 10:20
3.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 10:20
Nov 11, 2010, 10:20
 
What a lot of these guys are forgetting is for the longest time the only games on steam were first party titles. I think what is "killing" these rival digital distribution services is that they don't have any major first party exclusive games/software. Steam was made a success early on because of Half-life and counter-strike.

Simply reselling games isn't going to cut it you have to give us a reason to use your service.
4.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 10:27
4.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 10:27
Nov 11, 2010, 10:27
 
Publishers are hesitant, but retail must put pressure on them.

As they should be. I don't buy games if they aren't on Steam (and to some extent Impulse). The only B&M games I buy are collector edition Blizzard games. Retail stores can fuck off.
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5.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 10:31
nin
5.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 10:31
Nov 11, 2010, 10:31
nin
 
I don't buy games if they aren't on Steam (and to some extent Impulse). The only B&M games I buy are collector edition Blizzard games. Retail stores can fuck off.

That's pretty much where I am. While there was never a conscious shift, I can't remember the last physical game I bought that wasn't a CE. And more and more I find that if it isn't on Steam yet, I just wait until it shows up or I don't bother at all...

6.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 10:32
6.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 10:32
Nov 11, 2010, 10:32
 
It's no different than Blockbuster versus Netflix.

B&M retailers are becoming dinosaurs when it comes to digital distribution.

Are they threatening not to sell CD's if they're also carried on i-Tunes?

Idiots.
7.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 10:34
Verno
 
7.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 10:34
Nov 11, 2010, 10:34
 Verno
 
I can't really say Steam has a monopoly on the market, I have plenty of options to choose from but I continually go with Steam because they typically present the best mixture of everything. Their prices aren't always the best but there is value in other aspects of the service.

That said, I have zero loyalty to Steam and as soon as a competitor comes along with a superior product then I'll be happy to use it instead. Most of the other DD vendors simply don't have a competitive package like what Steam offers. You can't just compete on price if your main competitor is giving consumers library software to manage their catalog and so on.

Platform lock-in is an issue but ultimately consumer choice is what is driving it. I do think there needs to be some sort of platform agnostic distribution format but who would administer it? The useless PCGA?
Playing: Elden Ring, HZD: FW, Kingdom Rush series
Watching: Severance, The IT Crowd, The Batman
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8.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 10:38
8.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 10:38
Nov 11, 2010, 10:38
 
I don`t like hunting an entire city for a game upon release. The Retailers do not bring in enough copies, and these days peeps stay home from school or work to get the games. So Steam is nice cause I can pay, and d/l. Done.
9.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 10:39
9.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 10:39
Nov 11, 2010, 10:39
 
"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."

ROFL

cool story bro
10.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 10:42
10.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 10:42
Nov 11, 2010, 10:42
 
Interesting.....Ill be watching this closely to see how it plays out. Unlike the e-book business, which will never completely destroy the "physical" retail book market, I think in the long run the retailers are fighting a loosing battle here no matter how much they flex their so-called muscle.
I have a nifty blue line!
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11.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 10:43
11.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 10:43
Nov 11, 2010, 10:43
 
wrlwnd wrote on Nov 11, 2010, 10:32:
Are they threatening not to sell CD's if they're also carried on i-Tunes?
This is full of win.

Like I sand on HardOCP about this. Steam is only accelerating the decline of retail gaming. LONG BEFORE STEAM most stores had nothing more than a rolling cart for their PC game selection.

This sounds exactly like publishers and what have you bitching that piracy is killing PC gaming. Same with the RIAA/MPAA blaming piracy. These asses would rather bitch and point fingers instead of finding out what really is driving people to Steam.

As for me. I go to Steam for the reasons above. Pathetic selection in B&M stores. For a long while I was against digital distro because I like physically having the game. Now I'm just sick of hunting down what I want when I can preorder on Steam then wake up on unlock day/after work and have it fully downloaded and installed. Its loads more convent for me even if it is no cheaper than the boxed version.

The only thing so far that pisses me off about Steam are the games that have Steam DRM & some other form with limited activations.
12.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 10:45
12.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 10:45
Nov 11, 2010, 10:45
 
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!! We've been treating PC gamer customers like shit for ten consecutive years, and now they won't buy their games from our meager collections anymore! It's not fair! WAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!

Fuck the brick and mortar stores, and fuck the "major UK merchants." Offer your customers what they want, as in the games they want, on the day they come out, and they'd buy them from you. But you couldn't be fucking bothered to do this since forever, so yeah, big surprise your customers walk away.

The only game I even considered buying outside of Steam was FO:NV, because of the FOSE/NVSE issue with Steam's encrypted .exe, but once I learned that it'd require activation on Steam anyways, eh.

I don't think Steam is perfect in any way, and they could do a lot of things better, but they offer me two things which I particularly care about :

1) No fucking hassle on installing it on multiple machines. (Unless the idiot publisher demands it.)
2) I can get the game on the day that it comes out, without having to wait for some functionally retarded Best Buy monkey to find the box they were in six days after release date.

oh, and 3) They offer tons of sales.

As for the idea that "the power resides with brick and mortar stores", yeah. Not anymore. Or at least it's going away really quickly. And that's what they're fucking whining about. Fuck 'em.

Creston
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13.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 10:53
nin
13.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 10:53
Nov 11, 2010, 10:53
nin
 
I don't think Steam is perfect in any way, and they could do a lot of things better, but they offer me two things which I particularly care about :

1) No fucking hassle on installing it on multiple machines. (Unless the idiot publisher demands it.)
2) I can get the game on the day that it comes out, without having to wait for some functionally retarded Best Buy monkey to find the box they were in six days after release date.

oh, and 3) They offer tons of sales.


I agree with your first paragraph there...but put 3 above 1 and 2!
14.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 10:55
RaZ0r!
 
14.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 10:55
Nov 11, 2010, 10:55
 RaZ0r!
 
Frijoles wrote on Nov 11, 2010, 10:27:
Publishers are hesitant, but retail must put pressure on them.

As they should be. I don't buy games if they aren't on Steam (and to some extent Impulse). The only B&M games I buy are collector edition Blizzard games. Retail stores can fuck off.

Yup same here.
I pwnz j00!
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15.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 10:55
Verno
 
15.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 10:55
Nov 11, 2010, 10:55
 Verno
 
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.
Playing: Elden Ring, HZD: FW, Kingdom Rush series
Watching: Severance, The IT Crowd, The Batman
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16.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 10:56
16.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 10:56
Nov 11, 2010, 10:56
 
I don't have any loyalty towards Steam, in fact I think a Steam monopoly would hurt PC gaming in the long-run. Having said that, my opinion mirrors Creston's perfectly.

The B&M stores have been treating PC gamers like shit for a lot of years, hence the reason why digital distribution became big on the PC in the first place, and now they're QQing as they see the PC market starting to grow again and them not having a share? Tough shit, B&M assholes, you had your chance and you treated us like shit, allow us to return the favor.

Go QQ somewhere else that cares, B&M retail. You had your chance and because you didn't take it, you've become obsolete on the PC market.

Oh and Beamer, PC was the 2nd platform earning the most revenue this 2Q for EA, almost as much as the first, the xbox.
17.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 11:02
17.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 11:02
Nov 11, 2010, 11:02
 
That's pretty much where I am. While there was never a conscious shift, I can't remember the last physical game I bought that wasn't a CE. And more and more I find that if it isn't on Steam yet, I just wait until it shows up or I don't bother at all...

My move from retail wasn't conscious, but unlike others I don't care about boxes (I had to go to my parents house and throw a ton of ones from the early 90s away last year, actually, all in their basement), and once it was clear I was digital or bust it was conscious for me to be 100% Steam. Like you, if a game doesn't hit Steam I don't play it.



Yeah, it's bad. Yeah, that is what created the Steam monopoly (and I think we're pretty much at the point that you can call Steam a monopoly over the PC game digital distribution market.) I think Microsoft may break the monopoly, I think Amazon may break the monopoly, but as it stands I am solely Steam. For the 100th time (haha!), I don't want multiple programs running at one time on my system, and I like having one "bookshelf" that I can open up and see the list of games I have available to play.

It may be worse for me to have a monopoly, but it's far nicer for me to only have one provider to deal with.
18.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 11:07
18.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 11:07
Nov 11, 2010, 11:07
 
I haven't bought a PC game in a box since February 2009. Not because I don't want to, but because most of the retailers in my area have a very meager selection of PC games.

To be fair, Wal-Mart and FutureShop have a good variety of PC games, but they're way out in the sticks and I don't like going out there.

These days, nearly every PC game I buy is bought via Steam, GamersGate, or Direct2Drive.
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19.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 11:13
19.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 11:13
Nov 11, 2010, 11:13
 
nin wrote on Nov 11, 2010, 10:53:
I don't think Steam is perfect in any way, and they could do a lot of things better, but they offer me two things which I particularly care about :

1) No fucking hassle on installing it on multiple machines. (Unless the idiot publisher demands it.)
2) I can get the game on the day that it comes out, without having to wait for some functionally retarded Best Buy monkey to find the box they were in six days after release date.

oh, and 3) They offer tons of sales.

I agree with your first paragraph there...but put 3 above 1 and 2!

Well, true, but the sales aren't what's driving me to Steam. I love that they have them, and I buy probably 95% of my games on sale now, but Steam could stop doing sales altogether, and I'd still buy stuff through them.

If they stopped with 1 and 2, I'd quickly stop using them altogether and go back to gogamer.

Creston
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20.
 
Re: Retailers Versus Steam?
Nov 11, 2010, 11:17
20.
Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 11:17
Nov 11, 2010, 11:17
 
I only use Steam and i am proud of it.

I think it's an amazing service, and no, i am in no way affiliated with Valve. I've just been playing PC games since Half Life and many of the great mods (Natural Selection) and i've grown to like Valve and what they have done to keep PC gaming alive and rocking. I also live in a european country which screws me over with B&M prices so i buy every game now through Steam.

Steam is just superior, even though ValveTimeā„¢ can be annoying some times.
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