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23.
 
Re: Evening Interviews
May 9, 2021, 17:35
23.
Re: Evening Interviews May 9, 2021, 17:35
May 9, 2021, 17:35
 
jdreyer wrote on May 9, 2021, 14:30:
Orogogus wrote on May 9, 2021, 11:59:
I believe game prices are set according to what companies think people are willing to pay, making the MFN clause mostly irrelevant. I think companies agree to it since it doesn't bother them.
Of course it doesn't bother the companies. They make more money this way. This is bad for consumers, for you.
That's a different argument, then, since you're talking about forcing the game developers and publishers to do something different, not Valve. You were saying the companies would tell Valve to "fuck off", and now you're saying it's good for them.

GOG does have a restrictive policy in their "No DRM" clause. From all appearances there are lots of companies who can't live with that. According to you they should be going out of business because everyone "told them to fuck off".
GOG has been barely holding on for years and barely grown, and it had massive layoffs a couple of years ago. Every year they make a few 10s of thousands of profit, compared to Valve's billions. They're lucky in that they need not stand on their own two feet. If they have a few red quarters, they can be supplemented with CP77 profits.
Citation, please. Because I think you're talking about the time in 2019 when GOG laid off 12 people while hiring 20, mentioning that Epic's 12% cut was putting pressure on them. Which is another incidental factor -- if you race to the bottom, it squeezes out the small competitors before the big companies are forced to fold, and the end result is that profits are sent overseas, where they can make do with less.

It's more like you said that it's impossible to survive a 100 MPH crash and then got snarky and mad when I pointed out guys who did. And in point of fact I picked out the two games that invented their own genres and made megabucks, which is the main situation where ducking the distributor's cut is worthwhile.
The point is that a couple of independent megahits do not make an industry. Relying on winning the lottery is no way to run a business.
What you said was that developers have to sell on Steam or they'll go broke. There are indie games that started off on platforms like Kongregate or itch.io, or on their own websites (Mount & Blade, Factorio, Defender's Quest, Dwarf Fortress), before jumping onto Steam to make more money. What you seem to want is a legislative solution that makes it so developers can't possibly make more money by selling on Steam. Not because of their MFN clause or any anticompetitive practices, the goal appears to be just smashing any company that builds a large enough audience that game companies would want to sell there.

Not at all, I think that storefronts should be able to set prices for the products they sell, not have those prices determined by a monolithic competitor. In most industries stores buy products at cost, then set their own prices. That's price competition. I can go to my local toyshop and pay $30 for a Lego set and get the benefits of shopping there (personal service, expertise, location convenience) or I can drive to the suburbs and get that same set from the rundown Walmart for $25. If my local toyshop could dictate Walmart's price, why would I ever go Walmart?
It's not the monolithic competitor setting prices to $60, or $70. It's the game companies, who have determined that this is where their maximum revenue is on the demand curve, and it's independent of the developer cut. As I said, this is a separate discussion, since you could eliminate Steam's MFN clause, and in fact eliminate Steam altogether, and it wouldn't change that price. You don't want to remove the MFN rule, you want to create a new rule binding companies to the same selling profit/unit from Valve/Epic/etc.

And In your analogy, you're rooting for the rundown Walmarts, not the local toyshops, which isn't a great look.
22.
 
Re: Evening Interviews
May 9, 2021, 17:27
22.
Re: Evening Interviews May 9, 2021, 17:27
May 9, 2021, 17:27
 
jdreyer wrote on May 9, 2021, 14:52:
Verno wrote on May 9, 2021, 14:37:
Instead of getting mad that I'm invoking Godwin's law, why not refute my points?

It's a shitty thing that you keep doing on purpose and you know better, that's why.

I'm using hyperbole to point out the absurdity of defending Steam's practices. I apologize for using it in my response to you, as you gave a more nuanced argument. Some of the other posters simply give a full-throated defense of Steam, which is ridiculous. Steam is not their friend. Valve's goal is to get as much of their money as possible, and this MFN rule of theirs is part of it. They should be angry that Steam artificially keeps prices high by preventing price competition. Instead, they defend it. It makes no sense.

I'm just wondering why you're so set on riling people up on getting angry at Valve/Steam for allegedly keeping prices high without any proof. As far as I've found there's no actual realeased version of this allegde MFN/price parity. The only documentation i found was for use of Steam keys to sell on other platforms. In which they say you can't use the keys, where Valve doens't get a cut, to offer a lower price than Steam itself. Which is a price that the developers/publishers themselves choose.
Steam key docs

Considering the prices of EGS exclusives are similar to what the games would cost on Steam, the argument of high price fixing seems weird as well. On top of that big publishers have increased the prices of games on PC to 60$ and now 70$ and have in the past stated that lowering said prices would cheapens their intellectual property.
example

In a similar lawsuit filed earlier this year something similar was claimed, while arguing that it's more of a problem that lowering prices on other platforms would force them to lower prices on steam which cuts too much in their share of the revenue. So it's less an MFN for keeping prices high and more of an MFN that forces prices on Steam to be same as the lowest offered. The fact that they included quotes from Tim Sweeney about price fixing gives it less validity imo.
report
21.
 
Re: Evening Interviews
May 9, 2021, 14:52
21.
Re: Evening Interviews May 9, 2021, 14:52
May 9, 2021, 14:52
 
Verno wrote on May 9, 2021, 14:37:
Instead of getting mad that I'm invoking Godwin's law, why not refute my points?

It's a shitty thing that you keep doing on purpose and you know better, that's why.

I'm using hyperbole to point out the absurdity of defending Steam's practices. I apologize for using it in my response to you, as you gave a more nuanced argument. Some of the other posters simply give a full-throated defense of Steam, which is ridiculous. Steam is not their friend. Valve's goal is to get as much of their money as possible, and this MFN rule of theirs is part of it. They should be angry that Steam artificially keeps prices high by preventing price competition. Instead, they defend it. It makes no sense.
'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence? - GC
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20.
 
Re: Evening Interviews
May 9, 2021, 14:37
Verno
 
20.
Re: Evening Interviews May 9, 2021, 14:37
May 9, 2021, 14:37
 Verno
 
Instead of getting mad that I'm invoking Godwin's law, why not refute my points?

It's a shitty thing that you keep doing on purpose and you know better, that's why.
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Watching: The Banishing, Bad Banks, Ted Lasso
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19.
 
Re: Evening Interviews
May 9, 2021, 14:30
19.
Re: Evening Interviews May 9, 2021, 14:30
May 9, 2021, 14:30
 
Orogogus wrote on May 9, 2021, 11:59:
I believe game prices are set according to what companies think people are willing to pay, making the MFN clause mostly irrelevant. I think companies agree to it since it doesn't bother them.
Of course it doesn't bother the companies. They make more money this way. This is bad for consumers, for you.

GOG does have a restrictive policy in their "No DRM" clause. From all appearances there are lots of companies who can't live with that. According to you they should be going out of business because everyone "told them to fuck off".
GOG has been barely holding on for years and barely grown, and it had massive layoffs a couple of years ago. Every year they make a few 10s of thousands of profit, compared to Valve's billions. They're lucky in that they need not stand on their own two feet. If they have a few red quarters, they can be supplemented with CP77 profits.

It's more like you said that it's impossible to survive a 100 MPH crash and then got snarky and mad when I pointed out guys who did. And in point of fact I picked out the two games that invented their own genres and made megabucks, which is the main situation where ducking the distributor's cut is worthwhile.
The point is that a couple of independent megahits do not make an industry. Relying on winning the lottery is no way to run a business.

I don't think we're arguing from the same perception of reality. You're just going to call me a Nazi or a capitalist or whatever, but I believe 1) increasing revenue is harder than simply raising your prices, and 2) if it were that easy, then companies would do it all the time regardless of how much they "needed" the extra revenue. There's a fundamental disagreement, because as far as I can tell you believe companies set out to make <x> amount of money and then stop. Like, you think there should be lots of examples of games selling only on GOG or Kartridge or the Microsoft Store, but not on Steam because the developers just didn't need any more money. To you, the fact that hardly anyone does this means that they're not making their "<x> amount of money" goals, whereas I think any normal company just wants to make as much money as possible. You're demanding a situation where it's impossible for developers to make any more money if they sell on Steam, and I think that's absurd.
Not at all, I think that storefronts should be able to set prices for the products they sell, not have those prices determined by a monolithic competitor. In most industries stores buy products at cost, then set their own prices. That's price competition. I can go to my local toyshop and pay $30 for a Lego set and get the benefits of shopping there (personal service, expertise, location convenience) or I can drive to the suburbs and get that same set from the rundown Walmart for $25. If my local toyshop could dictate Walmart's price, why would I ever go Walmart?
'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence? - GC
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18.
 
Re: Evening Interviews
May 9, 2021, 14:03
18.
Re: Evening Interviews May 9, 2021, 14:03
May 9, 2021, 14:03
 
Verno wrote on May 9, 2021, 08:45:
"Steam is a benign dictator, so what's the problem?" There were lots of people happy under the Nazi regime too.

Ah yes, the typical "try to put the other person on the side of Nazis" debate tactic, always the sign of an argument with a strong foundation.

And yet all the other competitors combined comprise a mere 25% of industry revenue.

Marketshare is not proof of antitrust. Again, the PC platform is entirely open, the barrier of entry is low, there are many competitors, consumers have abundant choice and I don't see any demonstrated harm by one company simply having a market share percentage that offends you.
Instead of getting mad that I'm invoking Godwin's law, why not refute my points?

Marketshare is not proof, but it's certainly smoke. And the MFN clause is just waiting to be investigated. No one wants a Yaris if it's the same price as a Lexus. Everyone will go for the Lexus. Valve has removed price competition, which is the primary way (but not the only way) companies compete. Lastly, there is proof of antitrust in valve, which is why there have been investigations and fines.
'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence? - GC
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17.
 
Re: Evening Interviews
May 9, 2021, 11:59
17.
Re: Evening Interviews May 9, 2021, 11:59
May 9, 2021, 11:59
 
jdreyer wrote on May 9, 2021, 04:38:
If Steam was 10% of the market and tried to enforce a MFN clause, everyone would tell Steam to fuck off, and they'd go out of business. It's that simple. No one does that b/c Steam is 75% of the market.
I believe game prices are set according to what companies think people are willing to pay, making the MFN clause mostly irrelevant. I think companies agree to it since it doesn't bother them.

GOG does have a restrictive policy in their "No DRM" clause. From all appearances there are lots of companies who can't live with that. According to you they should be going out of business because everyone "told them to fuck off".

Your logic is "My friend Tommy crashed his car at 100 MPH without his seatbelt and lived, so nobody needs to wear seatbelts!"
It's more like you said that it's impossible to survive a 100 MPH crash and then got snarky and mad when I pointed out guys who did. And in point of fact I picked out the two games that invented their own genres and made megabucks, which is the main situation where ducking the distributor's cut is worthwhile.

As for EGS exclusives, sure they're not lowering the prices, because they need more revenue due to not being on Steam
I don't think we're arguing from the same perception of reality. You're just going to call me a Nazi or a capitalist or whatever, but I believe 1) increasing revenue is harder than simply raising your prices, and 2) if it were that easy, then companies would do it all the time regardless of how much they "needed" the extra revenue. There's a fundamental disagreement, because as far as I can tell you believe companies set out to make <x> amount of money and then stop. Like, you think there should be lots of examples of games selling only on GOG or Kartridge or the Microsoft Store, but not on Steam because the developers just didn't need any more money. To you, the fact that hardly anyone does this means that they're not making their "<x> amount of money" goals, whereas I think any normal company just wants to make as much money as possible. You're demanding a situation where it's impossible for developers to make any more money if they sell on Steam, and I think that's absurd.
16.
 
Re: Evening Interviews
May 9, 2021, 08:45
Verno
 
16.
Re: Evening Interviews May 9, 2021, 08:45
May 9, 2021, 08:45
 Verno
 
"Steam is a benign dictator, so what's the problem?" There were lots of people happy under the Nazi regime too.

Ah yes, the typical "try to put the other person on the side of Nazis" debate tactic, always the sign of an argument with a strong foundation.

And yet all the other competitors combined comprise a mere 25% of industry revenue.

Marketshare is not proof of antitrust. Again, the PC platform is entirely open, the barrier of entry is low, there are many competitors, consumers have abundant choice and I don't see any demonstrated harm by one company simply having a market share percentage that offends you.
Playing: Subnautica Below Zero, Mass Effect Legendary, Resident Evil The Village
Watching: The Banishing, Bad Banks, Ted Lasso
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15.
 
Re: Evening Interviews
May 9, 2021, 04:53
15.
Re: Evening Interviews May 9, 2021, 04:53
May 9, 2021, 04:53
 
Verno wrote on May 8, 2021, 21:28:
There seems to be a running theme on here that if something is successful and has any significant market share, it must be due to anti-competitive behaviour and no other explanation is reasonable or even possible.
Both can be true, and not even equally.


I think people are forgetting the reason this policy was instituted was due to companies using the platform as an advertising service to push them offsite to other sources. EA was one such offender I recall, essentially listing a product on Steam then using in app banners and even Steams product news functionality to direct people to their own sites to avoid any revenue share whatsoever. Put on Steam for the exposure then list it for sale on your own service to bypass it entirely.
Source?

People say Steam charges an unfair revenue share but I doubt there is one that people would be happy with. They want free access to everything Steam offers and to pay nothing into if possible. This is understandable behaviour from a profit perspective.
Epic takes 5% of revenue after the first million for games that use the Unreal Engine. Everyone thinks that's more than fair, and no one complains.

Likewise it's sensible that Steam would stop companies from doing that since they took all of the risk, literally building out an entire distribution platform on the PC when nothing like it existed. It's also a pretty significant operation that requires constant reinvestment.
"Steam was the pioneer, so they should be able to behave like a monopoly." That's how I'm reading what you wrote.

I don't know what constitutes a fair revenue share but I do know that the PC platform is entirely open and many companies have success without Steam. It is also has a significant number of competitors already and consumers have a lot of choice. I have 6 different PC distribution clients installed and play/own games on all of them. I'm never lacking for choice and generally get games at very satisfactory prices.
And yet all the other competitors combined comprise a mere 25% of industry revenue.

For all of the monopoly accusations, Steam seems fairly benign and doesn't seem to be stifling competitors or innovation in the marketplace.
"Steam is a benign dictator, so what's the problem?" There were lots of people happy under the Nazi regime too.
'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence? - GC
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14.
 
Re: Evening Interviews
May 9, 2021, 04:38
14.
Re: Evening Interviews May 9, 2021, 04:38
May 9, 2021, 04:38
 
Orogogus wrote on May 8, 2021, 16:42:
jdreyer wrote on May 8, 2021, 03:13:
The only reason Steam's "most favored nation" status is remotely enforceable is because the have 75% of the market. Unless you're Blizzard or backed by megabillion dollar corporations like Tencent or Facebook, you *have* to be on Steam or you'll go under. If Steam was 10% of the market, there's no way they could enforce that.
Sure they could. GOG could easily ask their partners same thing. It doesn't seem like this would drive companies away, since Isthereanydeal.com shows that their prices are the same as Valve's. Enforcement just means they don't have a deal, and I don't see any terrible repercussions if they opt not to sell this or that game. Your argument seems to be, GOG doesn't have the biggest share of the market so if they put any conditions whatsoever in their sales contracts then developers can laugh in their faces and refuse to honor them, and GOG just has to sit and take it. But I don't see why that would be true.

As far as pricing goes, it doesn't look like EGS exclusives are being sold for lower prices without Valve's MFN interfering. Kingdom Hearts 3, Hitman 3, Anno 1800 and Watch Dogs Legion are $60 games. Total War Troy is priced higher than the other Saga games.

re: Having to be on Steam. Roblox and Minecraft made it big off of Steam without backing. Second Life, if that's considered a game. Starsector's not big, but is still chugging along. And Steam probably wouldn't let you do whatever it is Star Citizen is doing.
If Steam was 10% of the market and tried to enforce a MFN clause, everyone would tell Steam to fuck off, and they'd go out of business. It's that simple. No one does that b/c Steam is 75% of the market.

"Minecraft made it big!" Way to pick the one game out of the last 10 years that invented it's own genre. "LeBron is a superstar, everyone else should be able to replicate that too!" Second Life isn't really a game, more of a unique environment, and built its audience 15 years ago when it was the only game in town, and has its own economy. Starsector is a unicorn that started 10 years ago when such games were rare and spread through word of mouth, and barely makes enough to cover costs. Again, way to choose the exception that proves the rule. Meanwhile there are 1000s of games that are unable to replicate that kind of niche following. And Star Citizen started as a Kickstarter back when space combat games were non-existent, and Christ Roberts used his star power (Wing Commander, Freelancer, Starlancer) to build a cult following. Your logic is "My friend Tommy crashed his car at 100 MPH without his seatbelt and lived, so nobody needs to wear seatbelts!"

As for EGS exclusives, sure they're not lowering the prices, because they need more revenue due to not being on Steam.
'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence? - GC
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13.
 
Re: Evening Interviews
May 9, 2021, 04:09
13.
Re: Evening Interviews May 9, 2021, 04:09
May 9, 2021, 04:09
 
Tenshinochi wrote on May 8, 2021, 04:52:
jdreyer wrote on May 8, 2021, 03:13:
I really fail to understand how all these people raised in the West with our long tradition of free market competition are actually defending a defacto monopoly like Steam. Perhaps large swaths of the country converted to Fascism or Communism and their preferences for state-controlled monopolies while I was busy raising a family and gaming?

The only reason Steam's "most favored nation" status is remotely enforceable is because the have 75% of the market. Unless you're Blizzard or backed by megabillion dollar corporations like Tencent or Facebook, you *have* to be on Steam or you'll go under. If Steam was 10% of the market, there's no way they could enforce that.

Maybe because the alternative this 'free market' leads to is more like Amazon. Where a single company uses it's billions to stifle competition in an attempt to become the monopoly. This by for example selling products at a loss, something Epic has already hinted at to be willing to do and has to some extend already done this through a sale without consent from the devs where the explanation was that Epic would still pay the full price revenue to the devs.
While you claim Steam is the defacto monopoly, the price deal provides air to competition, we've seen plenty of other stores pop up like GOG, greenman gaming, humble store, Epic store. It allows stores to differentiate themselves on service level instead of trying to stifle competition, which in my opinion is more of a free market.
Exactly, the endgame to unregulated capitalism is monopoly. Big eats little until there's only one left. When Steam enforces price parity, that means that people will always choose Steam because they have better features because they have a lot more money to build features.


'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence? - GC
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12.
 
Re: Evening Interviews
May 8, 2021, 21:28
Verno
 
12.
Re: Evening Interviews May 8, 2021, 21:28
May 8, 2021, 21:28
 Verno
 
There seems to be a running theme on here that if something is successful and has any significant market share, it must be due to anti-competitive behaviour and no other explanation is reasonable or even possible.

The latter is just flat out forbidden by Valve; you allow your game's regular price lower price on another store other than it is on Steam, you get booted off Steam.

I think people are forgetting the reason this policy was instituted was due to companies using the platform as an advertising service to push them offsite to other sources. EA was one such offender I recall, essentially listing a product on Steam then using in app banners and even Steams product news functionality to direct people to their own sites to avoid any revenue share whatsoever. Put on Steam for the exposure then list it for sale on your own service to bypass it entirely. People say Steam charges an unfair revenue share but I doubt there is one that people would be happy with. They want free access to everything Steam offers and to pay nothing into if possible. This is understandable behaviour from a profit perspective. Likewise it's sensible that Steam would stop companies from doing that since they took all of the risk, literally building out an entire distribution platform on the PC when nothing like it existed. It's also a pretty significant operation that requires constant reinvestment.

I don't know what constitutes a fair revenue share but I do know that the PC platform is entirely open and many companies have success without Steam. It is also has a significant number of competitors already and consumers have a lot of choice. I have 6 different PC distribution clients installed and play/own games on all of them. I'm never lacking for choice and generally get games at very satisfactory prices. For all of the monopoly accusations, Steam seems fairly benign and doesn't seem to be stifling competitors or innovation in the marketplace.
Playing: Subnautica Below Zero, Mass Effect Legendary, Resident Evil The Village
Watching: The Banishing, Bad Banks, Ted Lasso
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11.
 
Re: Evening Interviews
May 8, 2021, 16:42
11.
Re: Evening Interviews May 8, 2021, 16:42
May 8, 2021, 16:42
 
jdreyer wrote on May 8, 2021, 03:13:
The only reason Steam's "most favored nation" status is remotely enforceable is because the have 75% of the market. Unless you're Blizzard or backed by megabillion dollar corporations like Tencent or Facebook, you *have* to be on Steam or you'll go under. If Steam was 10% of the market, there's no way they could enforce that.
Sure they could. GOG could easily ask their partners same thing. It doesn't seem like this would drive companies away, since Isthereanydeal.com shows that their prices are the same as Valve's. Enforcement just means they don't have a deal, and I don't see any terrible repercussions if they opt not to sell this or that game. Your argument seems to be, GOG doesn't have the biggest share of the market so if they put any conditions whatsoever in their sales contracts then developers can laugh in their faces and refuse to honor them, and GOG just has to sit and take it. But I don't see why that would be true.

As far as pricing goes, it doesn't look like EGS exclusives are being sold for lower prices without Valve's MFN interfering. Kingdom Hearts 3, Hitman 3, Anno 1800 and Watch Dogs Legion are $60 games. Total War Troy is priced higher than the other Saga games.

re: Having to be on Steam. Roblox and Minecraft made it big off of Steam without backing. Second Life, if that's considered a game. Starsector's not big, but is still chugging along. And Steam probably wouldn't let you do whatever it is Star Citizen is doing.
10.
 
Re: Evening Interviews
May 8, 2021, 11:17
10.
Re: Evening Interviews May 8, 2021, 11:17
May 8, 2021, 11:17
 
The difference between Amazon and Steam is Amazon uses its position to promote its own brand over sellers. Regardless there are no shortage of online marketplaces for stuff. Just because most choose not to compete with Steam doesn't mean you can't. No one ever said it would be easy or cheap. Jesus, it's like you expect someone to just hand you some multi-billion dollar success without having to put in any effort. It's not like any of these corps started that way. The problem is most of you have never actually run a business.

"You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."
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9.
 
Re: Evening Interviews
May 8, 2021, 11:12
9.
Re: Evening Interviews May 8, 2021, 11:12
May 8, 2021, 11:12
 
Sigwolf wrote on May 7, 2021, 22:57:
Rilcon wrote on May 7, 2021, 22:11:
Cutter wrote on May 7, 2021, 20:38:
No choice? So he's not allowed to compete with Steam? Someone has a gun to his head?


He did try to. Guy founded Humble Bundle, after all.
...and just had to sell it out to IGN and make a big profit for himself. Steam made him do it.

Nice one, Centurion, nice one. Hah!

"You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."
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8.
 
Re: Evening Interviews
May 8, 2021, 10:15
8.
Re: Evening Interviews May 8, 2021, 10:15
May 8, 2021, 10:15
 
Shadow Warrior 3: Looks like everything I wanted from Doom Eternal, but didn't get. If there's no parkour, I'm all in!
- "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." - Albert Einstein
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7.
 
Re: Evening Interviews
May 8, 2021, 07:05
Rilcon
 
7.
Re: Evening Interviews May 8, 2021, 07:05
May 8, 2021, 07:05
 Rilcon
 
Sigwolf wrote on May 7, 2021, 22:57:
...and just had to sell it out to IGN and make a big profit for himself. Steam made him do it.
I mean, yeah? If he had bills to pay and his store wasn't making enough money or was even running at a loss, pretty much because neither he nor anybody else can compete against Steam, sort of means Steam made him do it. That Humble Bundle ended up in the hands of such a great company like IGN (and we're already seeing its effects...) is an unsurprising shame.

Tenshinochi wrote on May 8, 2021, 04:52:
Maybe because the alternative this 'free market' leads to is more like Amazon. Where a single company uses it's billions to stifle competition in an attempt to become the monopoly. This by for example selling products at a loss, something Epic has already hinted at to be willing to do and has to some extend already done this through a sale without consent from the devs where the explanation was that Epic would still pay the full price revenue to the devs.
While you claim Steam is the defacto monopoly, the price deal provides air to competition, we've seen plenty of other stores pop up like GOG, greenman gaming, humble store, Epic store. It allows stores to differentiate themselves on service level instead of trying to stifle competition, which in my opinion is more of a free market.
Steam has been operating for so long with such a large audience that it already has all the features any consumer could think of wanting. The only differentiation the different stores can possibly have is either in what games they offeror in price.

The former means exclusives, and even EA, Ubisoft, MS, and ActiBlizzard, the only ones with the internal studios capable of pushing out more than a couple of games a year, with their own stores, and massive marketing power, have given up and accepted that Valve owns the market, selling their games on Steam and taking the hit. Epic is trying for this angle, but I think everyone can see how well that is going, between the massive financial loss and the absolute demonization from consumers.

The latter is just flat out forbidden by Valve; you allow your game's regular price lower price on another store other than it is on Steam, you get booted off Steam.

So, what can a competing platform do to differentiate itself on a service level? What feature can a competing store bring to the table that would actually attract new customers, and that Steam couldn't just copy before it would make an impact? You'd think GoG's DRM-free offering would be a knockout punch, yet it's clear consumers really don't care about it (nevermind publishers).

Tenshinochi wrote on May 8, 2021, 04:52:
Another reason is that people have a vested interest in certain stores due to the games they have bought on that store and where the license is stored on that store's servers. So if the store was to go under, people would possibly lose access to their games. This is a problem with how the stores have evolved. Even for GOG which offers DRM free copies of games, if you don't have the storage to store all of them, you're dependent on the store.
"Steam has taken the market hostage" is a pretty good argument against Steam and practically every other platform, really. Your toaster shouldn't stop working because the store you bought it from shut down, and the implicit threat of that happening shouldn't be what stops people from shopping elsewhere.


The Free Market is "free" and "fair" in the same sense as ye olde King of the Hill games were; once you're on top, the easier it is to stay on top, and no one can beat you 1v1.

6.
 
Re: Evening Interviews
May 8, 2021, 04:52
6.
Re: Evening Interviews May 8, 2021, 04:52
May 8, 2021, 04:52
 
jdreyer wrote on May 8, 2021, 03:13:
I really fail to understand how all these people raised in the West with our long tradition of free market competition are actually defending a defacto monopoly like Steam. Perhaps large swaths of the country converted to Fascism or Communism and their preferences for state-controlled monopolies while I was busy raising a family and gaming?

The only reason Steam's "most favored nation" status is remotely enforceable is because the have 75% of the market. Unless you're Blizzard or backed by megabillion dollar corporations like Tencent or Facebook, you *have* to be on Steam or you'll go under. If Steam was 10% of the market, there's no way they could enforce that.

Maybe because the alternative this 'free market' leads to is more like Amazon. Where a single company uses it's billions to stifle competition in an attempt to become the monopoly. This by for example selling products at a loss, something Epic has already hinted at to be willing to do and has to some extend already done this through a sale without consent from the devs where the explanation was that Epic would still pay the full price revenue to the devs.
While you claim Steam is the defacto monopoly, the price deal provides air to competition, we've seen plenty of other stores pop up like GOG, greenman gaming, humble store, Epic store. It allows stores to differentiate themselves on service level instead of trying to stifle competition, which in my opinion is more of a free market.

Another reason is that people have a vested interest in certain stores due to the games they have bought on that store and where the license is stored on that store's servers. So if the store was to go under, people would possibly lose access to their games. This is a problem with how the stores have evolved. Even for GOG which offers DRM free copies of games, if you don't have the storage to store all of them, you're dependent on the store.
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Re: Evening Interviews
May 8, 2021, 03:13
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Re: Evening Interviews May 8, 2021, 03:13
May 8, 2021, 03:13
 
I really fail to understand how all these people raised in the West with our long tradition of free market competition are actually defending a defacto monopoly like Steam. Perhaps large swaths of the country converted to Fascism or Communism and their preferences for state-controlled monopolies while I was busy raising a family and gaming?

The only reason Steam's "most favored nation" status is remotely enforceable is because the have 75% of the market. Unless you're Blizzard or backed by megabillion dollar corporations like Tencent or Facebook, you *have* to be on Steam or you'll go under. If Steam was 10% of the market, there's no way they could enforce that.
'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence? - GC
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Re: Evening Interviews
May 8, 2021, 00:54
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Re: Evening Interviews May 8, 2021, 00:54
May 8, 2021, 00:54
 
Monopolies...
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