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The end of ZeniMax studios (Bethesda/id/Arkane/Machine Games) titles on Steam appears to be nigh


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4 hours ago, Slug said:

I hate this direction.  It's the same way streaming TV is going.

It was inevitable.

 

But I also think that’s an apples to oranges comparison. There’s a difference between having to subscribe to a whole bunch of services to get the content you want. I don’t really give a shit about how many launchers I need for products I’ll pay for once, aside from the mild inconvenience of managing multiple friends lists.

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Just now, Kal-El814 said:

It was inevitable.

 

But I also think that’s an apples to oranges comparison. There’s a difference between having to subscribe to a whole bunch of services to get the content you want. I don’t really give a shit about how many launchers I need for products I’ll pay for once, aside from the mild inconvenience of managing multiple friends lists.

Yeah it was inevitable.  Still don't like it.

 

And I think the comparison is still a good one.  You're losing something of value in both cases; either money or time or resources.  Because I'm not paying for a subscription to Origin/Battlenet/BlizzLaunch/Bethesdastic or whatever doesn't mean I'm not expending value.

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Valve deserves competition. Their revenue cut has been too high and they have done nothing to continue earning the top spot. I used to be such a Steam fanboy, but now I welcome other publishers pushing Valve to make their product better.

 

How about Valve makes some great games again and updates their 15 year old interface!

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lol. I still laugh at the idea that just taking a few exclusives and launching your own half-assed store is anything nearing "competition."

 

If there were actual competition, any one of these lame ass stores would launch with, at the very least, feature parity with Steam, and, in a world with REAL competition, they'd be superior in multiple ways.


Instead, they all lack several features, somehow have worse designs despite being a decade and a half newer, and have paltry libraries.

 

So what exactly is competitive about this? None of these companies are actually trying to compete, they're just trying to save a few bucks by not paying Valve. Hence why most "exclusives" outside of Battle.net and I guess Origin tend to show up on Steam eventually. The benefit of getting 100% of the revenue is usually outweighed by having like 150 million less people to see your game, y'know?


The only people MAYBE benefiting from this are the developers and publishers trying to get a slightly bigger cut. Consumers? We get to spread our CC info to 10 different launchers with individual two-factor authentication systems and disparate refund policies, patching methods, install directories, friend lists, etc.

 

We as consumers have basically seen zero benefit from any of this, and all of the negatives. I think the only services with any sort of tangible benefits are those offering subscriptions like Game Pass or Origin Access, but what happens when we've got a subscription for every launcher to boot? Maybe that's when we'll start seeing real competition in the form of ONCE AGAIN unifying our fucking libraries.

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2 minutes ago, Xbob42 said:

lol. I still laugh at the idea that just taking a few exclusives and launching your own half-assed store is anything nearing "competition."

 

If there were actual competition, any one of these lame ass stores would launch with, at the very least, feature parity with Steam, and, in a world with REAL competition, they'd be superior in multiple ways.


Instead, they all lack several features, somehow have worse designs despite being a decade and a half newer, and have paltry libraries.

 

So what exactly is competitive about this? None of these companies are actually trying to compete, they're just trying to save a few bucks by not paying Valve. Hence why most "exclusives" outside of Battle.net tend to show up on Steam eventually. The benefit of getting 100% of the revenue is usually outweighed by having like 150 million less people to see your game, y'know?

The publisher platforms will be featureless revenue grabbers. However, what Epic is doing is trying to compete with Steam. You cannot expect them to open up with every game in the Steam library. Valve is arguably not treating developers the way they should, and Steam is stagnating. So we got Discord, Epic, and GOG putting an effort forward. I believe Epic will be the one to create some real competition for Steam.

 

Edit: And where the fuck is Half Life 3? Honestly, Valve has spat in our face for years if you think about it. Remember when they made good games over a decade ago? Now we are getting some stupid card game. I have lost my sympathy for them. I have a huge library on Steam and I still like it, but the only reason Valve would even think about innovating is someone stepping up to the plate. It's about time.

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2 minutes ago, Massdriver said:

The publisher platforms will be featureless revenue grabbers. However, what Epic is doing is trying to compete with Steam. You cannot expect them to open up with every game in the Steam library. Valve is arguably not treating developers the way they should, and Steam is stagnating. So we got Discord, Epic, and GOG putting an effort forward. I believe Epic will be the one to create some real competition for Steam.

Name something the Epic store is doing to benefit us as customers. I don't give two fucks about developer revenue. How do I benefit from the Epic store? Aside from buying some exclusives, what can I log onto that store and get, feature-wise, price-wise, etc, that I couldn't get elsewhere? What is the hook? Because I have yet to see developers or publishers passing a single cent of those savings onto customers, and I really don't expect anyone outside of maybe an indie or two to actually do that, so I can't be bothered to give a fuck.

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Just now, Xbob42 said:

Name something the Epic store is doing to benefit us as customers. I don't give two fucks about developer revenue. How do I benefit from the Epic store? Aside from buying some exclusives, what can I log onto that store and get, feature-wise, price-wise, etc, that I couldn't get elsewhere? What is the hook?

It just opened. In the future, if Epic is semi successful, I believe we will see better sales on Steam. Eventually some of the competitive pressure should come to us.

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1 minute ago, Massdriver said:

It just opened. In the future, if Epic is semi successful, I believe we will see better sales on Steam. Eventually some of the competitive pressure should come to us.

But, again, how do you launch without feature parity? How is their fucking store UGLIER than Steam? I'm not even talking library here. So maybe in the nebulous future they'll... what? I don't put blind trust into people making storefronts, as none have impressed me yet. Especially not one owned by Tencent.

 

Some better sales would be fine, I guess. But I've already got GMG for that. I wouldn't complain about even steeper discounts, of course, but I don't know if we can really expect that. It'd be better than nothing, at the very least.

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3 minutes ago, Xbob42 said:

But, again, how do you launch without feature parity? How is their fucking store UGLIER than Steam? I'm not even talking library here. So maybe in the nebulous future they'll... what? I don't put blind trust into people making storefronts, as none have impressed me yet. Especially not one owned by Tencent.

 

Some better sales would be fine, I guess. But I've already got GMG for that. I wouldn't complain about even steeper discounts, of course, but I don't know if we can really expect that. It'd be better than nothing, at the very least.

Considering the massive head start Steam has on every other store, I don't expect Epic to come out the gate with a product just as good as Steam. Let's be realistic. It could take a couple of years, but the reason it's worth watching is they are fucking rich. Their model is the exact model Valve used to build Steam, only they have even more cash to work with.

 

Edit: The other thing we get from competition is eventually these stores could have more features. We have already seen how Steam has reacted to Discord and Twitch. The more competitive pressure that exists, the more features we get with Steam. There is nothing bad about that.

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10 minutes ago, Massdriver said:

Considering the massive head start Steam has on every other store, I don't expect Epic to come out the gate with a product just as good as Steam. Let's be realistic. It could take a couple of years, but the reason it's worth watching is they are fucking rich. Their model is the exact model Valve used to build Steam, only they have even more cash to work with.

It's true that they're rich, but I don't think they're really doing what Valve did with Steam. Valve came in and took a market that was splintered all to hell with CD keys and individual installs and manual patching and slowly unified a fragmented market. Epic is doing the opposite.

 

And I do not think it's unreasonable to expect a new marketplace, especially one from a super rich company trying to be taken seriously, to have at least equal features to an old ass client like Steam. Not only does it not have feature parity, it's not even fucking CLOSE. You just get zero information from the Epic Game store, the store page is just randomly sized banner images with the title, the developer and the price. No user reviews or Metacritic scores, no forums, less details than other stores, etc. They didn't have to innovate or design any unknown or untested features, just match the basics. But people are using the Steam forums for Ashen to get troubleshooting... despite it not being out on Steam. High quality!

 

But I get what you're saying -- they'd obviously improve it over time. Or would they? My hesitation comes from the fact that most other storefronts are treated like iffy side projects or something. Like developers or publishers will build a store, realize it's pretty empty, and quickly lose interest. Origin, uPlay, etc. have not really improved much since launch. I think Origin finally added gifting back recently? Epic might stick with it if they gain some traction because I know they want a more permanent revenue stream (they're obviously aware they can't rely on Fortnite forever) but will they actually stick it out? We've seen how easily they drop projects that aren't as immediately profitable as Fortnite. (i.e. literally every other game they were working on, including the other "half" of Fortnite that they worked on for over half a decade.)

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I think Epic will be different. It isn't going to be a publisher's revenue grab. It's crap right now and maybe they shouldn't have released it until much later, but I think they are going to devote a significant revenue stream to it. 

 

Point taken on how they are fragmenting the market while Valve consolidated it. However, Valve has overcharged developers and their sales have become worse over time. The only mechanism that can correct this is competition. 

 

I have no intention of using the Epic store right now. My hope is that Valve feels pressure over time and improves. I would like other stores to have around 30% of the revenue stream eventually. I don't like publishers all setting up their own shitty launchers, but I would like to see one or two other serious efforts made to compete with Steam.

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1 hour ago, Massdriver said:

Point taken on how they are fragmenting the market while Valve consolidated it. However, Valve has overcharged developers and their sales have become worse over time. The only mechanism that can correct this is competition. 

Valve has charged exactly the same as literally every other digital storefront. Were they seriously expected to cut into their revenue to be altruistic?

 

I'm not stating whether 70/30 was right or wrong, but I do know Steam hosting your game in perpetuity is not free. I imagine if your game is highly repayable but has a short tail while having a big enough download size, then it's not inconceivable that they could eventually lose money on certain games, granted that's a very specific hypothetical.

 

What I will say is that the only reason Epic did this was because of their insane luck with Fortnite, not because they wanted to show anyone "how it was done."

 

Let's not forget that Epic was more than happy to give people on their Unreal Market that same exact 70/30 split before they "somehow" decided it was bad. Obviously when you make big money you can make big moves, but none of this feels good or right to me as an actual consumer. Let's hope it makes things better for everyone regardless.

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11 minutes ago, mikechorney said:

I don't understand why people think that Steam is so good....

It's not necessarily a case of Steam being "so good" so much as it is easily the best available option by far, and has helped unify libraries, so I don't have to keep track of what games I own over 900 different services.

 

If you don't think Steam is "so good," then what should you think of stores that aren't even close to as good and why would you use them?

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