The state of Steam in 2012

By on June 5, 2012 6:47:22 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

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Join Date 03/2001
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steamLet me get this out of the way: I like Steam. I like Valve.

We have a poll up right now that asks whether you use Steam. Let us know please.

I’ve been in digital distribution since before digital distribution was a thing.  The very first computer game that was launched at retail and digitally distributed was Galactic Civilizations back in February 2003.

For us, digital distribution was a matter of life or death. Consider this, how many other independent (or heck, just non-publicly traded) game studios have been around 20 years? Go ahead. Count them up. Not many eh?

I incorporated Stardock back in 1993 from my college dorm room. And I can tell you, if it weren’t for digital distribution, we would have stopped making games a long time ago.  That’s because the more people that are between you and your customer, the more opportunities there are for theft. Not by players but by retailers, publishers, distributors, etc. 

One of the reasons why the whole “piracy” bellowing from publishers irritated me was because the biggest obstacle to getting paid for my work wasn’t from pirates. It was from the middle men.

In 1994, we released our first game. Galactic Civilizations for OS/2.  It was published by a company called Advanced Idea Machines.  The game was a huge hit. So I heard anyway. We didn’t get paid. And being a poor college student at the time, I couldn’t afford a lawyer.

So in 1996, we released Galactic Civilizations 2 for OS/2.  This time we released it ourselves. But our retail distributor, Micro Central, went bankrupt and didn’t pay us and our mail order distributor, Blue Orchards went out of business as well and didn’t pay us.

So then we moved to Windows and we released Galactic Civilizations for Windows, published by Strategy First….and again, didn’t get paid.

Do you see a pattern here?

What saved us was digital distribution.  With it, we could sell directly to customers, cutting out the middle man.

As you can imagine, when Steam came out we started to get a little nervous. Not because of the competition but because we feared the idea that we would one day need to sell our software through a third party and hence risk not getting paid…again.

As it had turned out, our fears have been unwarranted.  Impulse, now owned by Gamestop, pays like clock work and so does Steam.  By contrast, with a retail distributor you were lucky to get paid merely 90 days late. And that’s not counting the obnoxious and expensive RMA games they play. I like the service Steam provides. They’re easy to work with, they’re honest, and they’re passionate about what they do.  And most importantly, they let me, as a game developer, focus on what matters: making games.

Anyway, the point here being, what are your feelings on Steam these days?

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August 16, 2012 9:50:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I waited for D3 to come out for years.  When I heard Steam was required to run it, I decided not to buy it.  Call me full of %#^@ if you want but that's the way I am.   I'm not going to buy a game from a company that can lock me out of every game I bought through them just because THEY THINK I tried to pirate one of their games.  It's a matter of principle.  End of discussion as far as I'm concerned. 

And for all you fan-boys out there, I sincerely hope you never have cause to regret your devotion.  Because God help you if your PC is ever hacked and the hacker hits your Steam account because Steam sure as hell won't!!!!

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August 16, 2012 11:56:05 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Quoting Aerion Istari,
I waited for D3 to come out for years.  When I heard Steam was required to run it, I decided not to buy it.  Call me full of %#^@ if you want but that's the way I am.   I'm not going to buy a game from a company that can lock me out of every game I bought through them just because THEY THINK I tried to pirate one of their games.  It's a matter of principle.  End of discussion as far as I'm concerned. 

And for all you fan-boys out there, I sincerely hope you never have cause to regret your devotion.  Because God help you if your PC is ever hacked and the hacker hits your Steam account because Steam sure as hell won't!!!!

 

Ditto, but for civ5!

As for hoping fanboys don't regret their devotion to Steam because of hackers, ahem just hackers?? Is that it?? When there are so many more weird and wonderful things that could bring such regret!!! Steam get sold out, go broke, merge with Apple computers, start charging rental fees on all your games, start charging fees for this and that other, blah blah and all the good things that come with the eventual absolute power they will gain over everyone's computer games, gee, the sky is the limit and you just say 'hackers'?????

 

I played Dungeonsiege 3 just recently after buying the box set. Collecting loot/interacting is really shitful compared to D2 or D1. I have already played D2 before, so I'm now playing D1 and it is still better than D3

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August 17, 2012 4:10:06 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Quoting darkclown,
I love Steam.  

I won't use Impulse, or anything else associated with GameStop.

This is so ridiculous...

facepalm

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August 17, 2012 2:58:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

There's plenty of valid reason to hate Gamestop.  I don't , but there are plenty of reasons people do, and they're valid.

 

 

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August 20, 2012 2:33:44 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

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August 20, 2012 2:36:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Eh, I can understand not wanting to deal with Gamestop, I have had some unpleasant experiences with them.

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August 22, 2012 6:02:23 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,
Eh, I can understand not wanting to deal with Gamestop, I have had some unpleasant experiences with them.

I've only had those in other cities Gamestops...one clerk tried to convince me that the devs/publishers DID see money off used game sales.

The ones here actually know what they're talking about

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August 23, 2012 12:54:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I used to be quite wary of Steam for the simple reason that you could not enjoy a game without being connected to the internet. As broadband became the norm (at least where i live), this ceased to be a problem, and i now support Steam as its a very convinient way of getting updates, etc.

 

What i *dont* like on the other hand, is that there are a "gazillion" other platforms out there that tries to take market shares away from Steam. Not that i am against competition, what i am against is having to run 3+ different clients (Steam, Impulse, Origin, etc etc), that is, from a consumer point of view beyond retarded

 

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August 29, 2012 4:16:26 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Just bought it. EDIT: ON STEAM!!!

downloading and prepping to watch True Blood with wifey...

 

then, all night is mine...

 

Can we get any numbers that you managed to sell on steam, you know, just to cheer you up?

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August 29, 2012 5:57:52 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting athelasloraiel,
Just bought it. EDIT: ON STEAM!!!

downloading and prepping to watch True Blood with wifey...

 

then, all night is mine...

 

Can we get any numbers that you managed to sell on steam, you know, just to cheer you up?

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August 30, 2012 4:19:48 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Aerion Istari,
I waited for D3 to come out for years.  When I heard Steam was required to run it, I decided not to buy it.

by the way, D3 doesn't require Steam.  It requires battle.net...

just, you know, to be anal about it

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August 30, 2012 4:21:51 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I am a big supporter of Steam. Steam is very good apps for pc

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August 31, 2012 12:44:44 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Quoting OddskiBoddski,

 

What is that picture? I know, they just found out they need to install Steam to use the transporters!!

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September 4, 2012 4:19:43 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I have never had a problem with Steam, and the only problem with Gamestop is that the actual stores themselves have dropped any PC support whatsoever except preorders.

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September 4, 2012 8:16:16 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm very late to this party but I'll post anyway.

 

I see the ups and downs in Steam. The up being that many small indie developers can get their shot at having their game sold through Steam and no problems with distribution whatsoever. I like that the updating is fast and simple.

I do not like the fact that I need to have this third party software RUNNING all the time however, on-line or off-line. It takes computer resources and frankly the simple fact that for playing A I need B bothers me immensely.

A perfect Steam for me would be an on-line store and a updating service "on call". Like, check updates for my games, select the ones I want updated, go. An e-mail update notification would be great, too.

So, to summarize; a perfect Steam would be GamersGate with updating service.

 

The games available at GamersGate (that do not need Steam anyway) I buy there, the rest mostly at Steam as there is no other good option.

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September 21, 2012 2:33:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I will never again buy a steam game because of their Orwellian policies. Every so often they come up to me and say "We are changing the terms of the deal you have with us and if you don't agree we will delete all of your games and you can't play anymore".  Every time they update, it gets worse - before too long you will have to agree to let steam function as policeware or they will delete all of your games.  This is more than a privacy issue or a trust issue, this is an issue that the entire industry of video game companies has decided they are entitled to steal my private information and sell it to companies like spokeo for profit while paying me no royalty for using my information as the product.

 

With digital distribution there are advantages:  you can generally install games on a different machine, without worry of a scratch on a disc.  you don't normally have to have a clunky manual to type in DRM passwords every time you want to play.  If your house burns down and your computer is destroyed, your digital property survives the fire.  But these days, a hacker can steal your account and gift himself your games - no longer is digital property theft-proof, there is a risk in it.  Also, most digitally distributed games require constant internet connection meaning when a storm knocked out my internet several months back i could not play my games.  There are many reasons i might not have internet access "right now" and i should not be unable to play my game because of that. And fusing digital distribution with the ability to destroy my ability to play the games just because i say no to something i don't like makes the model less attractive.

 

Steam might not be the only company responsible for this plague, this parasite model that is anti-customer in the worst way.  Steam however, is the most influential catalyst.  I can understand steam denying me access to steam community, store and workshop if i disagree to new terms of service, but deleting my games?  really?  this is how a bully operates.  he tells you that you have to agree with what he wants or he will punish you and deprive you of something.  Steam uses bullying as its policy and while it might not function as full spyware/malware right now - it could change to become that tomorrow and your choice is to agree or lose all the games you paid for. This threat always lingering over my head.  Digital distribution is a good thing on paper but even with steam sales, you have games released at different prices in different countries - living somewhere means you have to pay more!  And they don't compete with each other, the steam prices are never cheaper than going to the store except during insane sales which are backed up by the threat that i not only don't own what i paid for - but you can take it away from me.

 

I want an honest pro-customer game industry that understands the rights of the customer - after all, it isn't like i am allowed to tell steam my new terms of service is that they are not allowed to collect any information about me or else they lose all the money i paid them for games, and they aren't going to reimburse me if they do delete my account.  Also, there is no way to contest any decision steam makes that you don't like - you can't even take it to court any more.  Steam knows how expensive it would be to sue them for a policy change and they know they will find at least one judge who agrees with them entirely.  Customers should be allowed to play their games without being connected to the internet, and have permanency over their purchases. Steam is not the only guilty party - the entire industry is just a parasitic, destructive force as a whole.

 

So while i have some games that were before steams Orwellian policies, i stopped buying their games and am committed to never again buying a product that someone can repossess for my refusal to let them have the free service of collecting all my information and selling it to their friends without paying me a royalty.  Part of the problem is they get paid more from these companies and advertisers than from customers - they have no interest in gamers, who are now just a medium to let them contract information fishing scams for bigger money.  so who is their real customer and what is their real product?  it feels to me that the 'game' is just a front to install malware and make you agree to the malware because of a financial investment you have in a program that requires that malware to run.

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September 21, 2012 10:01:10 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Quoting thadianaphena,
I will never again buy a steam game because of their Orwellian policies. Every so often they come up to me and say "We are changing the terms of the deal you have with us and if you don't agree we will delete all of your games and you can't play anymore".  Every time they update, it gets worse - before too long you will have to agree to let steam function as policeware or they will delete all of your games.  This is more than a privacy issue or a trust issue, this is an issue that the entire industry of video game companies has decided they are entitled to steal my private information and sell it to companies like spokeo for profit while paying me no royalty for using my information as the product.

Yea, I have a huge problem with the whole "by agreeing to this EULA you automatically agree to any changes we feel like making to it"

That is a blank check.

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October 12, 2012 8:33:23 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting taltamir,

Quoting thadianaphena, reply 366I will never again buy a steam game because of their Orwellian policies. Every so often they come up to me and say "We are changing the terms of the deal you have with us and if you don't agree we will delete all of your games and you can't play anymore".  Every time they update, it gets worse - before too long you will have to agree to let steam function as policeware or they will delete all of your games.  This is more than a privacy issue or a trust issue, this is an issue that the entire industry of video game companies has decided they are entitled to steal my private information and sell it to companies like spokeo for profit while paying me no royalty for using my information as the product.

Yea, I have a huge problem with the whole "by agreeing to this EULA you automatically agree to any changes we feel like making to it"

That is a blank check.

 

Yes, that´s why i was very dissapointed when Brad sold out and put all the SD games on Steam, and made them Steamworks. And not only that, but most people in the SD boards seem to love Steam nowadays. It´s good that thet european consumer group is challenging steam for their orwellian policies, and forcing them to abide by that european ruling that digital games should be resold. They´ll probably have steam on court.

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October 12, 2012 10:34:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I just hope GalCiv3 isn't mandatory Steamworks.   I expect to be disappointed.

 

Steam's ok, I just don't like having all my eggs in one basket, for various reasons (hacking, abuse of corporate power being the big ones)

 

Right now, if Steam did something abusive, like forcing folks to pay a monthly fee to use the service, I could just write off my library.  If I had everything on Steam it would be painful.

 

(no, I don't think Steam will do that, but it would make them a lot of money)

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October 12, 2012 10:50:29 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Been using Steam since the Orange Box came out in 2007. Never had a single problem or issue. Nothing but postive things to say about it. Don't have several dozen boxed games taking up space. All patches and updates done automatically means one less obstacle to playing and maintaining the game. Great sales at various times of the year. Easy way to meet and communicate with friends for MP.

People ranting about the paranoid stuff like omg hackers omg what if they decide to start charging rent are ridiculous. Might as well say omg Burglars stole my boxed games omg the sky is falling omg Armageddon no more internet... 

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October 17, 2012 7:21:37 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Steam has good things and bad things, but overall is fine enough. I found the EFE beta access thanks to the advertising of the day, and inmediately bought it. 

For a game developer, I guess the most important is to be seen and advertised, so to be in Steam is very recommended.

IDK the other platforms, as I find in Steam all I may need for now, but anyway, to be in many platforms is better, as more people will see your work.

 

 

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October 29, 2012 8:26:40 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

A lot of the hate for Steam seems to be unwarranted paranoia and mis-information about DRM.  My experience with Steam from the point of view of someone who actually uses it is this:

 

I started using it when I bought the Orange a few years ago, and it has been fantastic.  I have an easy to use list of all my games right there in front of me.  They update automatically, which is super convenient.  Through the Steam sales, I have purchased dozens of games that I never could afford at full price.  It's also a dream for indie developers (which is reason enough to support Steam).  I have a ton of great indie game that I would never have known existed if it wasn't for Steam.  In fact, I will only buy a game if I can activate it on Steam (if possible).  None of this makes me a "fanboy", I just appreciate a great and convenient system when I see one.

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October 29, 2012 9:11:04 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Yet another ignorant fanboy using Steam here.  I can tell I am an ignorant fanboy because so many people here feel comfortable calling me that and other names as a method of persuasion, so it must be true.  I can have no opinion of my own, it is not allowed.  I can only follow the dictates and thought patterns of those who claim Steam is a digital dictatorship.  All of us who use Steam are idiots and do not deserve the joys of playing the games we do.  We should be ashamed of ourselves, shouldn't we?  Actually thinking for ourselves and claiming our opinions have value, oh the arrogance of it all. 

 

If you are paranoid enough about Steam to not buy a game you would like to play, then that is your problem and your decision, not mine.  It is not a motivation that works for me.  I would love to be agreeable and say please make your own decisions, but judging by the overall tone of the people who do not use Steam, agreeing to disagree is not acceptable.  I myself do understand why people would be paranoid about steam and decide not to use it.  I do not understand insulting me and others because we do. 

 

Yet another game player who doesn't need to be lectured insultingly and will react negatively towards the opinions who take that tactic.  It is hard to believe anyone who takes that tactic cares what I think and do and decide as much as what they think and do and would decide for me.  Especially when they are actually only a very vocal minority trying to yell loud enough to look like they are important to the gaming community.  It is my observation that their actual importance to software distributors decreases every day.  They are becoming as relevant as those who would insist their software comes on floppy disk.

 

Thanks Brad for putting your products on Steam.  It has worked for me and for several people I know.

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October 29, 2012 9:16:23 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting erischild,
They are becoming as relevant as those who would insist their software comes on floppy disk. runs on XP.

Fixed that for you. 

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October 29, 2012 9:44:16 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting erischild,
I can tell I am an ignorant fanboy because so many people here feel comfortable calling me that and other names as a method of persuasion

I have followed this thread and others like it. It seems to me that you are the one insulting people that do not like or use Steam.
Nice try. 

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