Now that Half-Life 2 is around the corner we will finally be able to see Steam in action. A lot of entrepreneurs have tried this model of game distribution in the past (during the tech boom) and failed... one of the primary reasons for failure, I believe, is that these entrepreneurs did not have the customer base.
Since HL2 is such a highly anticipated game, Gabe has all the customer base he needs. So, if the broadband distribution of games is going to work, Steam is its best chance. I personally think it will succeed. Why? Because it is attractive to dev houses as well as (some) consumers.
Attractive to devs since they are "truly" independent now, and don't have to rely on a publisher or a publisher's contractual financing to get a game on retail shelves. And the devs don't have to worry about shelf space or the extra charge that the retailer takes either. So, game prices shouldn't be as high and the developers are no longer the publisher's bitch. Furthermore, (some) consumers like it since they dont have to line up, drive to stores to find games on release dates and deal with the fucking geek employees at your local EB store. (Granted, some consumers like the smell of the new box, but I prefer the smell of a woman instead... but I digress...)
Havings said that are publishers/retailers not concerned about this trend? (assuming Steam will be successful, which I think it will be). Eventually other game devs will be leasing Steam technology to sell their wares, and other larger dev houses (id? the Unreal guys?) may even develop their own Steam-clones. ..
... so my question is: to you guys who work in the games industry... have you heard any rumblings about the possible shift in power between the devs and the publishers IF broadband game developing becomes a success? Not even some small rumblings?
Come on... at least publishers' and retailers' attention should be perked by this a little bit!
(taken from my qt3 forum post)