I don't know what Vivendi was charging, but it wouldn't surprise me if they dropped the price in order to unload as many units as possible so they could get as much out of it as possible before the agreement was terminated.I don't doubt that is the case, but the point still stands. Valve did not drop its price when it could have even if there had been some agreement which kept it from lowering its price below the price charged by retailers.
The number of middle-men aren't the same because digital distribution has the potential of taking the publisher out of the picture as well.First, that is why I specifically mentioned third-party games. Second, even in cases of games from outside developers where the publisher is eliminated, the price of the game on Steam to consumers is not less, and Valve's cut simply fills in the gap. With Red Orchestra Valve's cut is supposedly 50% despite the fact that it did not fund the game, and the selling price of the game on Steam is not lower than the retail price.
Packaging doesn't come out of the publishers cut, it's factored into it. There's a difference.No, there isn't a difference because the money saved from the packaging and media DOESN'T go to the developer or the consumer. Sure, the publisher saves that money, but since your point was that the developer would benefit from this, the fact is that it won't and neither will the consumer.
But there are a number of games on Steam from independent developers. And they're the ones that Steam has the most potential of helping.Given that Valve's cut of these sales is so large, I doubt that it is that helpful. Independent developers can certainly do better than Steam when it comes to distribution costs, but since Valve doesn't publicly disclose the sales figures and since it is essentially impossible to predict whether sales via Steam would have been greater than with a another digital distributor, it is hard to say definitively.
It would be stupid to believe that freedom from a publisher would automatically make a game good.Yes, it would, but that is what you and other Steam supporters have been claiming or implying. Evidence from self-funded sequel titles like Sin Episode 1 and Freedom Force 2 demonstrates that the lack of publisher input more likely makes a game worse.
One of the best examples would probably be Introversion Software. Their games (Uplink, Darwinia, and DEFCON) are ones that no publisher in their right mind would fund. They are niche products that may not sell incredibly high numbers. But, with low overhead they are able to do quite well. Using the profits from the previous game, they are able to make to the next one better and more polished.They also don't need publisher funding given the low development costs and production values. But, that is not the point. My point is that having a publisher wouldn't make these games any worse.
So, how long do you think we can keep this thread going?That all depends on how long it takes you to come to your senses and stop trying to contradict me.
Vivendi knew about Steam when they signed the contract, and did insist that both versions be sold for the same price. What Vivendi claimed in the lawsuit was that Valve misrepresented the size of role that Steam would play. They figured that Valve would just use Steam to sell a few copies, but instead Valve pretty much pushed it as the main way to purchase Half-Life 2. Which meant far less money for VivendiVivendi's court filings say otherwise, and Valve didn't even match Vivendi's price when it later dropped so there was no willingness on Valve's part to drop its price and it used the supposed contractual obligation as an excuse to justify its position.
As soon as the contract with Vivendi was terminated, Valve immediately signed with EA. So, there was always a publisher involved.No, Valve didn't. At least one month went by before Valve signed with EA when Vivendi's contract expired. Plus there was the delay for the EA retail boxes to be produced and hit the streets. Valve did nothing during that period to lower the price of the game, and the remaining Vivendi boxes were being sold for as low as $19.99 at retail all the way to December of 2005. And, in addition to that Valve didn't match the price Vivendi was charging for Half-Life 2 on its website in the final months when Vivendi was still the publisher.
But, in retail there is always more than one middle man. You have the publisher, the retail store, and sometimes a distributor, all taking their cut.What you fail to realize is that the retailer's cut and the distributor's cut is actually the same cut NOT two separate cuts. Retailers which buy the game direct from the publisher simply get more margin per sale than those who purchase the game via distribution. Therefore, the number of middle-men is the same when compared to Steam.
Plus the cost of the CD and packaging. Altogether that's much more than Valve's cut will ever be.Again you are wrong because the elimination of the media and packaging ADDS to Valve's cut because the list price for games is not increased to add it, i.e. the publisher normally absorbs that cost.
I actually don't have a problem with games distributed online costing the same as the retail editions (though it would be nice if they were lower), as long as that "extra" money goes to the developer and not the publisher.That doesn't happen in all of those publisher re-released games on Steam. Customers are simply feeding Valve and the publisher not the developer the majority of their money.
Online distribution could potentially give developers more freedom from publishers and allow them to maintain creative control over their games.That is a myth because it doesn't solve the huge problem of paying for a game's development. Self-publishing or publishing through digital distribution doesn't solve the problem of who will pay for the huge expense of a game's development. Plus, if you look at Ritual's Sin Episodes as an example, elimination of the publisher's influence does nothing to improve a game's quality and originality. The original Sin was better than the sequel.
Maybe you should go over there and work on converting them.
Watch as Steam shuts down in the next couple of months.Assuming that many
When Valve released Half Life 2, they had to agree not to sell the Steam version for less than the boxed one.Actually that is a myth because Vivendi sued Valve for selling the game directly at all. Price was not the issue. Proof of that an agreement was not keeping the prices of games on Steam higher was first seen when Vivendi's publishing agreement with Valve expired. Valve did NOT lower or even match the prices Vivendi had been charging on its own website store for Valve's games let alone street prices.
The publisher didn't want a lower priced Steam version to cut into their profits. I'm sure every publisher is insisting on the same thing.For the most part Steam doesn't even match the street prices of games sold at retail.
Unfortunately, as long as a game has a boxed version there will always be a middle man.The box has nothing to do with it. All third-party games on Steam have a middle man too. It's Valve.
I counted 60 games for sale on Steam. About half of those are selling for less than the initial retail price.Genius, those prices are not less than the retail price of the games at the time they were offered on Steam. The initial retail price is irrelevant if the game wasn't offered on Steam at its initial release.
So, they do half a fairly decent bargain bin.Selling games at the same or higher than the current suggested retail price is no bargain. So, no Steam doesn't have a decent bargain bin.
Wow. I thought prices were supposed to go down by cutting out the box, cd, manual, store, etc. and selling it online. Instead it goes up? GJ!
"Both the “left” and the “right” pretend they have the answer, but they are mere flippers on the same thalidomide baby, and the truth is that neither side has a clue."
- Jim Goad
How does that crow taste, Scott?