Source 2 Games Must Use Steam

There's a follow-up to Valve's announcement of the free Source Engine 2 on Rock, Paper, Shotgun, where they talk with Valve's Erik Johnson (inaccurately promoting him to "studio founder" along the way), who explains how Valve will make money while giving away their development tools. Erik explains that Source 2 games must be made available though Steam, which will pay Valve a 30% commission on all sales. There is no exclusivity to this, however, so said games can also be sold elsewhere as well, with no additional proceeds to Valve. They hash through what might be the best option for small developers choosing between Unity 5, Unreal Engine 4, and Source 2, all of which have recently introduced new business models making them all more affordable.
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47.
 
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam
Mar 10, 2015, 16:25
47.
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam Mar 10, 2015, 16:25
Mar 10, 2015, 16:25
 
Creston wrote on Mar 5, 2015, 19:10:
Not releasing on Steam is pretty silly anyway. Sure, it's a 30% cut, and that may be more than what GOG or Origin or Uplay or GMG or whatever take, but Steam also has by far the most potential customers.

It's better to sell 50000 copies with a 30% cut taken out than it is to not sell 50000 copies.

I am a huge fan of GOG but they are also taking 30%: http://www.gog.com/indie
46.
 
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam
Mar 6, 2015, 10:43
46.
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam Mar 6, 2015, 10:43
Mar 6, 2015, 10:43
 
Valve doesn't set the price of games, all it does is provide information on what they consider to be the appropriate price. Steam games often appear cheaper on third-party sites. The reason you don't usually see cheaper prices at launch is because it undermines their profits.

Personally I think this is a decent offer, though I can't see many other publishers taking advantage (not like Ubisoft, EA, Activision, etc). Basically it's a way for mod makers and independent developers to use a quality engine and have a platform to sell it on.

Most engines are heading towards this model, where there is no upfront cost and they simply take a cut of the proceeds.
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45.
 
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam
Mar 6, 2015, 07:37
45.
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam Mar 6, 2015, 07:37
Mar 6, 2015, 07:37
 
Armengar wrote on Mar 6, 2015, 07:05:
Slashman wrote on Mar 5, 2015, 23:59:
For large, AAA titles it makes sense to want to sell it on your own service if you're a large publisher. The majority of games on Steam aren't from large publishers. And unless you think every game developer should create their own digital distribution service, complete with high level tools for stat tracking, updating and online bug tracking of all their own games, you have no point.

Not true, there are plenty of AAA titles on steam, look at total war franchise, GTA, CoD etc. Even Ubisoft sell on steam.

Did you actually read what I posted? I said it would makes sense for a large AAA publisher to WANT to sell on their own service. That would depend on them actually having a service in the first place. It would also depend on if they minded sharing profits with Valve from DLCs as well as main sales. Since I believe that is what started the whole EA title pull from Steam in the first place.

Yes, there are a lot of AAA titles on Steam. Are the majority of games on Steam AAA? I think the answer there is no. Indie games and games from smaller developers heavily outnumber the AAA titles on Steam.
44.
 
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam
Mar 6, 2015, 07:05
44.
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam Mar 6, 2015, 07:05
Mar 6, 2015, 07:05
 
Slashman wrote on Mar 5, 2015, 23:59:
For large, AAA titles it makes sense to want to sell it on your own service if you're a large publisher. The majority of games on Steam aren't from large publishers. And unless you think every game developer should create their own digital distribution service, complete with high level tools for stat tracking, updating and online bug tracking of all their own games, you have no point.

Not true, there are plenty of AAA titles on steam, look at total war franchise, GTA, CoD etc. Even Ubisoft sell on steam.

This comment was edited on Mar 6, 2015, 07:20.
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43.
 
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam
Mar 6, 2015, 07:00
43.
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam Mar 6, 2015, 07:00
Mar 6, 2015, 07:00
 
what most people forget is that a game using source 2 isn't using a competitors engine. Most developers will use steam to publish anyway so that wont matter. What will matter is that other engines may not have market penetration.

This also means that steam will make some money from people downloading (even if it is available elsewhere for cheaper some people may have money in their steam wallet etc).
Its not the cough that carries you off but the coffin they carry you off in.
42.
 
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam
Mar 5, 2015, 23:59
42.
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam Mar 5, 2015, 23:59
Mar 5, 2015, 23:59
 
Slick wrote on Mar 5, 2015, 16:52:
1) The bandwidth cost of a game, even if I download it 100 times, costs literally pennies. The one thing I've taken from the recent FCC title ruling is that upon close examination, the ISPs make over %99 profit on their internet sales. That's including all their own costs, employees, marketing, infrastructure. %99+ profit. I think that %30 of a $60 game is an outrageous cost for the bandwidth used.

That's irrelevant since Valve isn't an ISP. They pay ISPs the same as everyone else for bandwidth.

2) the difference, again, with valve and EA/bliz/Ubi is that the latter makes games, and they're offering a service for their own in-house games. very big difference. using Steam to buy battlefield makes as much sense as buying Half-Life on Origin. You're just handing $20 a copy to the competition for no real reason, as they put exactly zero dollars towards building and developing the game.

For large, AAA titles it makes sense to want to sell it on your own service if you're a large publisher. The majority of games on Steam aren't from large publishers. And unless you think every game developer should create their own digital distribution service, complete with high level tools for stat tracking, updating and online bug tracking of all their own games, you have no point.

Again. The people who should be complaining about this (the actual developers), don't agree. Most devs want to use Steam. You seem to think that all Steam is, is a storefront. Talk to actual developers who use the service and you will see that it is not. Even putting out patches for games is a headache on other digital distribution platforms. With sometimes weeks required to get an update that is available on Steam on day 1 due to how their service works.

Stop talking out of your ass about stuff you don't know and talk to the people who actually use this stuff to make their living.

Also. People go on about this 30% that Steam charges. Show me some proof that other digital retailers are offering more competitive pricing as well as all the other tools that Steam gives to developers for free.
41.
 
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam
Mar 5, 2015, 22:52
Slick
 
41.
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam Mar 5, 2015, 22:52
Mar 5, 2015, 22:52
 Slick
 
Krovven wrote on Mar 5, 2015, 22:09:
Alamar wrote on Mar 5, 2015, 20:11:
Krovven wrote on Mar 5, 2015, 18:33:
Slick wrote on Mar 5, 2015, 16:43:
not at launch, at least not that I've seen. most games launch with the same price on all platforms/stores.

Gotta disagree with that. Most games on PC that offer a digital preorder, generally offer a discount. GMG always has voucher codes available.

If you can't find a discounted digital preorder for PC versus the same game as on other platforms at release, then you are doing it wrong.


Coupons are another factor, which I assume he's taking into consideration. The point is both <insert new game> come out at 59.99 on Steam, and 59.99 on GMG... GMG is the obvious choice for anything available there, because of their near-constant 20%+ coupons, but the game is still listed at 59.99, and outside of GMG, all the other sites have it at that rate for months.

Thought we were talking generalities not a specific game. Most games will have a preorder discount or a launch discount.

I don't know what "most" games we're talking about right now, I don't play a lot of indie games. there are some games which offer a pre-order discount. but my point remains that on LAUNCH, games are pretty much the same price everywhere. one outlet isn't going to have it cheaper than any other.

Same reason that 2 different gas stations across from each other charge the same amount for gas. if one of them lowered their price, the other would match it immediately.

Amazon is famous for undercutting everyone and everything, and they offer 1 penny less on launch games. that's the degree of freedom they exercise on launch pricepoints.

This comment was edited on Mar 5, 2015, 22:57.
For your transgressions you shall be labeled a shill, called an idiot and anytime you mention facts or disagree with a tribe member you will henceforth be known as a troll. The best you can hope for is that the labels won't haunt your offspring. -RedEye9
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40.
 
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam
Mar 5, 2015, 22:09
40.
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam Mar 5, 2015, 22:09
Mar 5, 2015, 22:09
 
Alamar wrote on Mar 5, 2015, 20:11:
Krovven wrote on Mar 5, 2015, 18:33:
Slick wrote on Mar 5, 2015, 16:43:
not at launch, at least not that I've seen. most games launch with the same price on all platforms/stores.

Gotta disagree with that. Most games on PC that offer a digital preorder, generally offer a discount. GMG always has voucher codes available.

If you can't find a discounted digital preorder for PC versus the same game as on other platforms at release, then you are doing it wrong.


Coupons are another factor, which I assume he's taking into consideration. The point is both <insert new game> come out at 59.99 on Steam, and 59.99 on GMG... GMG is the obvious choice for anything available there, because of their near-constant 20%+ coupons, but the game is still listed at 59.99, and outside of GMG, all the other sites have it at that rate for months.

Thought we were talking generalities not a specific game. Most games will have a preorder discount or a launch discount.
39.
 
No subject
Mar 5, 2015, 21:28
39.
No subject Mar 5, 2015, 21:28
Mar 5, 2015, 21:28
 
TheEmissary wrote on Mar 5, 2015, 15:30:
I have no clue if the ~30% is fair or not, but distribution services are hosting the files and other game features that has to be paid for somehow. In the case its a percent per unit. On the consoles you have similar fees for releasing your games regardless if its digital. Physical retailers take a cut as well. Its part of the cost of doing business and being able to reach larger audience/market.

There is nothing stopping these developers from self-publishing or using an engine with better terms. The developers choose off-shelf engines and pre-built solutions for a reason.

30% is very fair at least from the people that I work with in our h-game circle, one of the reasons why people keep hoping that steam will allow AO titles on there in more frequency. The biggest sites like (all nsfw) dmm.co.jp, dlsite.com, getchu all use a "seller rate" structure. Using a "you post for less, they take more." Look at DLsite, you put a game up for $1 you get $0.25. Your $30 game you get $18.50. Getchu and dmm are the same, so yeah a 30% flat rate? You better believe it's fair.

You're right though, there's nothing to stop them from self-publishing but you know why people use sites like I mentioned or steam right? Market exposure. Once a title is listed, tagged and so on, it becomes easy in terms of finding eyes to buy your stuff.

If steam launched their own AO service, that worked cross-regional you'd see JP devs jump on it especially with the amount of fuck-over that circles get now for their own titles.
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38.
 
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam
Mar 5, 2015, 20:11
38.
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam Mar 5, 2015, 20:11
Mar 5, 2015, 20:11
 
Krovven wrote on Mar 5, 2015, 18:33:
Slick wrote on Mar 5, 2015, 16:43:
not at launch, at least not that I've seen. most games launch with the same price on all platforms/stores.

Gotta disagree with that. Most games on PC that offer a digital preorder, generally offer a discount. GMG always has voucher codes available.

If you can't find a discounted digital preorder for PC versus the same game as on other platforms at release, then you are doing it wrong.


Coupons are another factor, which I assume he's taking into consideration. The point is both <insert new game> come out at 59.99 on Steam, and 59.99 on GMG... GMG is the obvious choice for anything available there, because of their near-constant 20%+ coupons, but the game is still listed at 59.99, and outside of GMG, all the other sites have it at that rate for months.
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37.
 
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam
Mar 5, 2015, 19:10
37.
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam Mar 5, 2015, 19:10
Mar 5, 2015, 19:10
 
Not releasing on Steam is pretty silly anyway. Sure, it's a 30% cut, and that may be more than what GOG or Origin or Uplay or GMG or whatever take, but Steam also has by far the most potential customers.

It's better to sell 50000 copies with a 30% cut taken out than it is to not sell 50000 copies.
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36.
 
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam
Mar 5, 2015, 18:33
36.
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam Mar 5, 2015, 18:33
Mar 5, 2015, 18:33
 
Slick wrote on Mar 5, 2015, 16:43:
not at launch, at least not that I've seen. most games launch with the same price on all platforms/stores.

Gotta disagree with that. Most games on PC that offer a digital preorder, generally offer a discount. GMG always has voucher codes available.

If you can't find a discounted digital preorder for PC versus the same game as on other platforms at release, then you are doing it wrong.

35.
 
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam
Mar 5, 2015, 18:29
35.
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam Mar 5, 2015, 18:29
Mar 5, 2015, 18:29
 
WaltC wrote on Mar 5, 2015, 17:14:
where they just might do much better than on Steam (For instance, DRM-less at Gog, etc.)

LOL, what fantasy world are you in?

34.
 
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam
Mar 5, 2015, 18:26
34.
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam Mar 5, 2015, 18:26
Mar 5, 2015, 18:26
 
Slick wrote on Mar 5, 2015, 16:52:

1) The bandwidth cost of a game, even if I download it 100 times, costs literally pennies. The one thing I've taken from the recent FCC title ruling is that upon close examination, the ISPs make over %99 profit on their internet sales. That's including all their own costs, employees, marketing, infrastructure. %99+ profit. I think that %30 of a $60 game is an outrageous cost for the bandwidth used.

If it's that easy and that cheap, go ahead and show us how it's done.

33.
 
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam
Mar 5, 2015, 17:14
33.
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam Mar 5, 2015, 17:14
Mar 5, 2015, 17:14
 
It's going to be a simple matter of a value proposition. If most developers find that Source 2 meets their needs best, they'll use it. If not, they won't. Ho-humm.

Valve already gets 30% of gross revenue from all the games sold through Steam (presumably.) Badly made games won't sell very well and Valve won't make much/any profit just because they are Steam distributed--the same way it is now for all other games(30% of nothing is still nothing...;)) Steam games that sell well will make Valve a bundle, but that is just like it is now, too.

The only difference here is that Valve is now giving away its engine and tools, the Steam stipulation meaning very little at all since the games can be sold elsewhere simultaneously--where they just might do much better than on Steam (For instance, DRM-less at Gog, etc.)

It sure looks like the only difference here for Valve is that they're now giving Source 2 & tools away for free. There are no guarantees, no set pricing schedules or models to pay Valve for Source 2--doesn't appear that Valve thinks Source 2 will be a money-maker for the company. It's pretty much a freebie, looks to me.
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32.
 
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam
Mar 5, 2015, 16:52
Slick
 
32.
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam Mar 5, 2015, 16:52
Mar 5, 2015, 16:52
 Slick
 
Slashman wrote on Mar 5, 2015, 14:56:
updates anytime from anywhere with no additional bandwidth charges, no matter how many people download, re-download and patch their games.

This is all stuff I've gotten from talking to developers. Steam is simply a good deal for most of them. The only people who dislike the 30% cut they ask is large publishers like EA who want to have their cake and eat it too.

1) The bandwidth cost of a game, even if I download it 100 times, costs literally pennies. The one thing I've taken from the recent FCC title ruling is that upon close examination, the ISPs make over %99 profit on their internet sales. That's including all their own costs, employees, marketing, infrastructure. %99+ profit. I think that %30 of a $60 game is an outrageous cost for the bandwidth used.

2) the difference, again, with valve and EA/bliz/Ubi is that the latter makes games, and they're offering a service for their own in-house games. very big difference. using Steam to buy battlefield makes as much sense as buying Half-Life on Origin. You're just handing $20 a copy to the competition for no real reason, as they put exactly zero dollars towards building and developing the game.

also my "manage all" app was a joke, i meant that you could just put shortcuts on your desktop, and voila, they're all in the same place, problem solved. stop giving money to people who did nothing to make the game. it's just dumb.
For your transgressions you shall be labeled a shill, called an idiot and anytime you mention facts or disagree with a tribe member you will henceforth be known as a troll. The best you can hope for is that the labels won't haunt your offspring. -RedEye9
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31.
 
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam
Mar 5, 2015, 16:43
Slick
 
31.
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam Mar 5, 2015, 16:43
Mar 5, 2015, 16:43
 Slick
 
jdreyer wrote on Mar 5, 2015, 16:07:
Slick wrote on Mar 5, 2015, 13:35:
JD, I'm not sure if they'd be allowed to price the game cheaper on their own websites. With any other game there seems to be a fixed pricing structure at launch per region no matter if it's digital, or a retail physical copy. I mean it costs a studio less to ship digitally rather than print DVD copies and stuff them into boxes like a caveman. However they're both $59.99. They seem to hold up an MSRP that's platform independent, and I guess that's up to whoever is publishing the game. So I think there is enough precedent to assume that Valve would include clauses in their contracts which stipulate that the prices must remain the same for X months after launch.
Not sure I get what you're saying. If Developer A makes a game and gets it on Steam, where they charge $50, how does that preclude them from selling that game on developera.com for $40? Are you saying that Steam has exclusivity wording in their contracts? There are games on both Gog and Steam, and those prices differ all the time.

not at launch, at least not that I've seen. most games launch with the same price on all platforms/stores. I know that there are exceptions, however it doesn't seem to be common practice. They have to keep their digital sales the exact same price as a brick and mortar store, because they COULD totally undercut those stores, however they'd bankrupt them and they still depend on them as part of the gaming ecosystem.

there's a cross dependency of Valve letting you use their engine for free, so they wouldn't let you undercut them. that would entirely defeat the purpose. although people would still shop there even if it was %50 the cost at the developer's own store probablylol.
For your transgressions you shall be labeled a shill, called an idiot and anytime you mention facts or disagree with a tribe member you will henceforth be known as a troll. The best you can hope for is that the labels won't haunt your offspring. -RedEye9
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30.
 
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam
Mar 5, 2015, 16:07
30.
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam Mar 5, 2015, 16:07
Mar 5, 2015, 16:07
 
Slick wrote on Mar 5, 2015, 13:35:
JD, I'm not sure if they'd be allowed to price the game cheaper on their own websites. With any other game there seems to be a fixed pricing structure at launch per region no matter if it's digital, or a retail physical copy. I mean it costs a studio less to ship digitally rather than print DVD copies and stuff them into boxes like a caveman. However they're both $59.99. They seem to hold up an MSRP that's platform independent, and I guess that's up to whoever is publishing the game. So I think there is enough precedent to assume that Valve would include clauses in their contracts which stipulate that the prices must remain the same for X months after launch.
Not sure I get what you're saying. If Developer A makes a game and gets it on Steam, where they charge $50, how does that preclude them from selling that game on developera.com for $40? Are you saying that Steam has exclusivity wording in their contracts? There are games on both Gog and Steam, and those prices differ all the time.
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29.
 
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam
Mar 5, 2015, 15:30
29.
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam Mar 5, 2015, 15:30
Mar 5, 2015, 15:30
 
Slick wrote on Mar 5, 2015, 13:47:
Also, I've said it before, and I'll say it again. All someone needs to do is code a launcher program which manages all of your, well, launchers. All you'd see is your list of games, and then when you doubleclick them, it automatically launches the e-store which corresponds, and then the game. You'd never have to interact with the e-store, you'd wait a few seconds, and then your game would start. it's brilliant I tell you!

Then you'd be able to support the developers themselves by not buying from 3rd party corporations. Instead of letting a corporation which had NOTHING to do with the game's development skim %30, (of gross, which is insane. %30 of net would be a hard pill to swallow. But %30 of gross? that's insane) More money would go directly to the developers. Is altruistic at worst, and will come back in the form of higher game budgets for us gamers to enjoy at best.

It's the perfect solution, I don't know why anyone hasn't thought of it yet. The ability to somehow manage games from all sorts of competing developers, with the sense that your collection was still somehow all in the same place. Oh wait, they did. It's called "placing a shortcut on your desktop"

fucking gamers *shakes head*

I have no clue if the ~30% is fair or not, but distribution services are hosting the files and other game features that has to be paid for somehow. In the case its a percent per unit. On the consoles you have similar fees for releasing your games regardless if its digital. Physical retailers take a cut as well. Its part of the cost of doing business and being able to reach larger audience/market.

There is nothing stopping these developers from self-publishing or using an engine with better terms. The developers choose off-shelf engines and pre-built solutions for a reason.
28.
 
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam
Mar 5, 2015, 14:58
DG
28.
Re: Source 2 Games Must Use Steam Mar 5, 2015, 14:58
Mar 5, 2015, 14:58
DG
 
NKD wrote on Mar 5, 2015, 10:10:
Really important point I just thought about. If Source 2 games MUST be on Steam, then does it follow that Steam MUST sell all Source 2 games? I doubt that Valve is going to commit to that.

So it seems that you'll have a scenario where you use Source 2, have Valve say they don't want to sell your game for whatever reason, and then you're forbidden from selling your game at all.

Or must you simply be WILLING to list your game on Steam, and if Valve declines, you get a free pass?

Unless I see contract wording to the contrary, I'd assume it's written such that use of Source2 requires acceptance of the Steam seller agreement, not that the game actually has to be selling on the Steam store.
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