Sepharo wrote on Aug 7, 2018, 21:09:
Steam launched as platform for distributing Valve patches. Then a platform for distributing whole Valve games. And the finally a platform for selling other games (where they get a percentage of the cut and distribute patches and if desired help with DLC infrastructure, achievements, anti-cheat, etc). Nobody would have ever accepted any of those steps from MS. Most went kicking and screaming with it being Valve and on their own games initially.
Well, Games for Windows Live was supposed to provide a multiplayer backbone or something, but it wasn't really better than Steam, and there was the whole thing about $50/month. And they have games on the Microsoft Store, including the Forza games. But it boggles my mind that, in addition to still not being as good as Steam, MS can't even give people Solitaire without it being ad-ridden, buggy and ridden with microtransactions.
I really don't understand how all these other companies, when designing their own launchers, can't sit down for 30 minutes to bullet point Steam's key features, and then copy all of those. Search and sorting options, reviews and ratings, tags, multiple drive support and custom paths, wishlists with notifications, gifting, the mod workshop, download management, free weekends, a refund policy, a friends list and chat, family sharing, a browser interface with as many of the same features as possible.
There's probably more, but when the Oculus Store launched, I think it had like 2 of those things -- they've mostly achieved parity now, but some of those don't seem like they should have been that hard for a company with Facebook money when Steam was right there. And the Microsoft Store is still pretty abysmal.
If you want to go the extra mile and improve on Steam, there are also third party sites and add-ons like Enhanced Steam and Lorenzo Stanco's Steam Library filters page. Copy those! It's true that EA, Microsoft and Oculus are working uphill against public opinion, but I feel like they'd have an easier time if they spent more time and effort to actually be as good as Steam.
Something these also-rans could do to sway me would be online spawned installations, like the old Blizzard games, so that one person buys a game and other people can join for free. A lot of smaller multiplayer games look like they could be fun for a Friday night game, but if you need four or more people to all buy a copy then that puts a damper on things.