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Ex Valve Developer Lashes out about Steam "Steam Killing PC Gaming"

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    I do not think that this kind of threatening post is welcome. If someone does something requiring action from mod and infraction points are handed out, it is mod who gives out warnings.
    Not member treatening other member. That's not cool.

    (Sorry for OT.)
     
  2. Hilbert Hagedoorn

    Hilbert Hagedoorn Don Vito Corleone Staff Member

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    Might I suggest everybody gets back on topic and chill down a bit? Thanks.
     
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  3. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    Oh I will get kicked here because I am able to point out that Tencent bought a big part of Epic, a reknown fact that I did not comment either in a political way or giving it a good or bad quality? I was merely trying to stop our fellow guru @SeanChin to get all to American patriotic with his Mr. Sweeny. Stating that Sweeny is big American man is okay, but me pointing out he's working with Chinese money is not?
    You did also not call me out on the comments I made about Epic / Tencent's partnership and how maybe Epic wanted to get a grip on the Chinese market, which I pointed out could be an actually bigger part than what we discuss about Steam and Epic when it comes to the other 60% of the world wide market. Interesting that this was not offending you. Or when I pointed out that Epic's partnership with Tencent might also be branching out towards mobile gaming (where Tencent's ahead of Epic), because it's the biggest market.
    My comment was meant to show that the world is not black and white, and that the American Mr. Sweeny and his company are not what some might see in them. Which is the whole point of this topic. If you see politics in this, feel free to report me to the mods, and they will get in touch with me, I'm certain.


    Thanks for linking the bout page of the EGS, I'm not sure what your point is though. I might have put the wrong number into my posts, since Epic does keep those 12%, and the 18% compared to steam is the actually bigger cut. Thanks for pointing that out. I was using the wrong numbers there.

    Still my question remains the same, and it's actually not Epic's thing to worry about, do those additional 18% revenue cut really end up with the dev, if there's a publisher in between? I still haven't seen anybody confirming that those 18% really end up with 4A games, and not somewhere with Deep Silver / Koch. But if you can show me that the 18% are going directly into 4A's pockets, that's actually a good thing, and I would appreciate your posting such a link. This would be a valubale addition to the thread and the whole discussion.
     
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  4. g60force

    g60force Master Guru

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    PS: Geldreich as seperate words could indeed mean Money Rich... but i assume REICH in this case is Reach or Empire
    so it's more likely to be translated into MoneyEmpire... which is even cooler i think :D

    btw im Dutch like you but my grandfather was german (i also have a german lastname lol)
     

  5. sunnyp_343

    sunnyp_343 Master Guru

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    For how long Epic stay at 10% fees?We all know this that Epic is new so he wants to obtain the market share with low fees.But after a year or two he will increase fees to 20% then 30%.Then?
     
  6. TalentX

    TalentX Member

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    Hello Ladies and Gentlemen

    I found myself interested in this topic after reading through all this pages, therefore liked to contribute a bit of my share as well.

    Now there have been mentioned quite some opinions and thoughts to the matter about game launchers in general, and picking everybody in quote would make this quite inconvenient to read I guess, which is why I will pick the topic and most things that have been mentioned here already directly to share my thoughts from my personal observation results over the past 10 years.

    You're a bit mistaken, though what you analysed is indeed part of the decision of creating new game platforms, but it isn't solely.

    Publishers are aiming for the standard gamer that doesn't understand much about business. They talk in a disconnected corporate speak to the public to bring the consumers to a point, where they can be driven at their will. Now this may sound exaggerated, but I can tell that it is working and being executed since years.

    You must know and realise that any launcher of this sort is mainly part and a form of digital rights management (DRM). The launcher it self is to provide access limit to the consumer, and this purpose gains benefit if the product is exclusive to the platform. Why? The problem here is that, as a consumer, they don't allow you any freedom to the choice you make (e.g. retail or digital purchases, as both are exclusively DRM protected to the aiming platform where they have to be connected with). Thus regardless of how you purchase it, once activated, you have no chance of returning the product any longer, as well as you become dependent to the platform!
    Additionally product advertisement, especially about the so called "AAA" titles - which has become an utterly misleading term these days - are made through quantity, not quality and by providing them through platforms like Steam or Epic, it benefits them even more due to the limits the consumer has with those.
    At this point Epic Launcher comes handy, due to the higher shares (for now that is, because I don't think this will last long which I will explain further below) they can gain from sales. And this is also why the "exclusiveness" is only for a short period of time like a half or a single year, until it gets available in other platforms.

    Considering these issues, I think the way how some games have been published through the Epic Launcher lately is a mere proof that these games are aiming for the mass, where quality is only described through advertisements and misleading information provided by publishers, while even game development itself is aiming for quantity not quality.

    To share my personal aspects as an example, I stopped supporting EA the day they forced their Download Manager to become a DRM method back in 2010/2011, which is now known under the name "EA Origin". So did I when Ubisoft started with Uplay. And now even Epic Games due to their "Epic" Launcher - although the last good game I played that was made by Epic Games was Unreal Tournament 2004 anyway, not like I missed anything since then up until now.
    However, I stepped away from their products and as a result I started to realise how much, which I call "Copy-Paste" their game series have become lately, which is kind of weird with the consideration of them being called AAA, because for me it looks like they're saving money as much as possible to gain maximum profit instead of investing a high budget to make a "great" game - which should be the case when you normally talk about "AAA" since you can expect something great with a great budget, but in this case it is not.
    Someone here mentioned that "AAA" games have become more expensive, that's not true and publishers talk in a way, so you think that it is expensive, because it is just what the consumer wants to hear. Evidence even show the opposite happening currently.


    Coming back to the specific topic regarding the Epic Launcher, and as a professional in IT with several years of experience in bigger companies than Epic Games or Valve, I can tell that there is a reason why Steam requires a share of 30%. Also GOG does takes 30% by the way.
    It is required to maintain the platform they're providing which has lots of costs like storage, electricity, backup concepts, redundancy concepts, networking facilities, marketing, parcel, taxes, maintenance and people who have a monthly salary for as long as the service is running - and these are just a bunch, there is many more.
    These platforms are free of monthly fees to the consumer too, the only fee is the price the consumer pays for the product she/he purchases there from which only 30% goes to Valve, and how much was it for Epic Games? 12%? to Epic Games.
    And I didn't mention yet, that - of course - like any other private company, they want to make at least some profit too, otherwise the whole purpose of this service would be meaningless for those who're providing it.

    Considering how large Valve's Steam library has become, Epic Games might be able to provide this low share for now, but I doubt they can do it forever, because once they get bigger, they have to expand, or cancel the service if they cannot maintain it, as costs will rise from time to time.
    What will happen to the library of the consumers then? That's DRM.

    Edit:
    Thinking about it, the name "Game Launcher" is a propaganda word itself, because it has not really much to do with "launching" games.

    The name is of Germanic origin, and was written "Gilderic" while "Gild" was referring to tax/tribute and "ric" to might/power. The Germans described it as money and rich, which is why they called it "Geldreich". Aalthough you could consider that in Germanic times rich people had lands on their own which could mean that they had an empire reaching wide areas, but the name itself isn't derived from it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
  7. MonstroMart

    MonstroMart Master Guru

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    That's a good question and something people who don't like Steam conveniently leave out of the picture. It's one thing to offer a 10% cut when you try to grab the market and only have a few games available and not as many users (not much bandwidth wasted on update and no old games not seeling anymore to support). It's a completely different thing to keep offering this 10% cut once you are the number 1 and most people buy, download and update their games from your store.

    Personally outside of free games i'll wait to see where the EPIC store is going before i buy my games on it instead of GoG or Steam. For now it's probably the most bare bone client out there and while some people like it personally i like my client to offer more like mods, user guides, ...

    Steam is too high at 30% but don't be surprised if EPIC raises it at 15% or even 20% once they grab the market (if they do).
     
  8. ezodagrom

    ezodagrom Master Guru

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    You guys know that 30% is pretty much the industry standard, right? It's not only Steam that takes a 30% cut, consoles digital stores also get a 30% cut, Android and iOS stores as well, most 3rd party digital stores on PC as well (Discord, Epic, Itchio and Humble being the few exceptions).

    Recently Steam also changed their policies to take a 25% or 20% cut instead of 30% for games that sell well, though I do think the barrier of entry for those tiers should have been considerably lower (at the moment a game needs to make $10m revenue, including DLC and microtransactions, to reach the 25% cut tier and $50m to reach the 20% cut tier).
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
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  9. D3M1G0D

    D3M1G0D Ancient Guru

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    It's not mentioned because it's not a problem. If more people buy games the more money you make, which can be put towards more servers and additional bandwidth.

    And those developers hate it. There's a reason why Netflix forces user to sign up through their website instead of the app - it's an inconvenience for users but it allows them to get around the app store fee. Nobody likes a middle-man taking 30% of the cut, and if given the choice, they would choose not to pay it (or pay as little as possible).
     
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  10. ezodagrom

    ezodagrom Master Guru

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    Yet Steam is the one people complain the most about when it comes to taking 30%, even though they're the ones who do the most for that cut (between the client's features, allowing devs to generate keys freely to be sold outside of Steam, covering more payment methods than other stores without charging the user, ...).

    It's really weird to see regular users complaining about this though, since it's thanks to the 30% cut together with the free keys generation that we have great discounts on 3rd party stores... (GMG, Voidu, Fanatical, Gamesplanet, ...)

    Though, as I say in the edit in my previous post, Steam does take a lower cut for games that sell well (25% and 20%), even though I do think the barrier of entry for those tiers is too high at the moment, it's still an improvement over consoles, I guess (and I don't see people complaining about those, even though they even take money from users for online play other than the cut they take from devs...).
     
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  11. D3M1G0D

    D3M1G0D Ancient Guru

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    Mobile app stores also take a lesser cut for subscriptions beyond the first year - subsequent years are only 15%. Even still, Netflix refuses to allow billing through the app store. Devs complain about these fees all the time so the recent wave of publishers fleeing Steam for the EGS is not surprising, especially since it doesn't cost gamers any money to use the EGS. Why keep accepting a 30% fee if you don't have to?
     
  12. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    All very true, this could only be a thing if you'd need more sales on another platform, no matter how big the cut is. This is eliminated by EGS "handing over money" for sales guarantees. De facto, they've taking the gamer out of the equation, being a good or bad thing is a matter or discussion, and point of view.
     
  13. TalentX

    TalentX Member

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    It does. You pay with your freedom. And that's not it yet, as a customer, you even pay them with money (buying games on the platform) and your privacy (registering on and using the platform) for taking away your freedom as a gamer.
    You should not call it Epic Game Store, you should call it Digital Rights Management. Steam is the same.
    What you do here is more like "renting" the game under conditions that the Publisher is forcing you into.
     
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  14. D3M1G0D

    D3M1G0D Ancient Guru

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    The publisher has that right. We have no automatic right to these games, nor the right to determine where they are sold - if we want to play them then we have to play by the publisher's rules. Even when we bought physical games there were clear limitations on what we could do (e.g., making another copy was not allowed).

    We have the freedom to drive, but that doesn't mean we can go through red lights and drive both ways on a one-way street. Freedom doesn't mean absolute freedom - there are always rules to follow and gaming is no exception. We are free to buy and play games, but we need to abide by the rules that are set by the publisher / developer.
     
  15. vbetts

    vbetts Don Vincenzo Staff Member

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    Eh, I can play the game whenever I want. I own the game by purchasing a license to play it. On any platform I don't feel forced or like I'm renting a game.
     

  16. TalentX

    TalentX Member

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    But you have the right for free speech, don't you? I would agree with you, if the publishers would play with the rules as well, but they aren't. They are always looking for legal grey areas to make their way regardless of law principles.
    In the end the legitimate buyer of the game is suffering due to this way of publishing, and on top of it the buyer is misled with all the misinformation they're being provided with (e.g. bad games advertised as great games, games released unfinished, game launchers for the sake of players (which it isn't) etc.).
    I pretty much call this utter greed. The DRM method at this point isn't just to protect it from piracy, I described it on my earlier post.

    The example you gave is common sense, but if the publisher tells you that you have to jump from the window of the skyscraper in order to play the game, would you agree and jump?
    And this is why things are getting unreasonable here.
    So commons ense would be, that you don't have to accept, then don't play it. Ok, but do you really think that it's fine what they're doing? Is it something to be able to accept so easily, when you understand the intention behind it? I personally don't think so.

    That's good for you I guess, however it won't change the facts though, and not everybody will feel like you do.
    I feel like - some - publishers are thinking that the consumers (we) are fools, accepting anything they've to offer.
     
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  17. vbetts

    vbetts Don Vincenzo Staff Member

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    The same could be said for what you're saying though as well. None of what you said is fact by any means, and is all pretty much subjective. Not that there's anything wrong with that of course.
     
  18. HeavyHemi

    HeavyHemi Ancient Guru

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    Eh, you can't start talking about feelings then assert you're stating facts. You're stating your opinions and your feelings on the matter. The lone fact you did state was that people will feel differently about it. And that fact is illustrated by your post. In my view, there is a wide variety of platforms to choose from. Some implemented better than others. The market should sort out the players. As internet access speed and caps change over time, so do methods and methodologies of acquisition. Supplying physical media for games is becoming quite expensive relative to simply piping the bits to your drive. The paradigm is changing, adapt or die. You're welcome.
     
  19. H83

    H83 Ancient Guru

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    That´s not completely true. There are some cases were a company closed the dedicated servers of certain games and because of that those games have of their parts (online mostly) disabled forever. And if we continue down this path i won´t be surprised if someday a company decides to no longer host a game on their servers and shut it down completely and forever making our license useless...
     
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  20. D3M1G0D

    D3M1G0D Ancient Guru

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    Buying games through a digital storefront is not a dangerous or unreasonable thing. Of course there is a certain level of risk involved (if my Steam account was compromised or Steam goes offline then I'll lose everything) but most gamers accept the risks for the sake of convenience. Buying games online and downloading them is a lot more convenient than going to a brick and mortar store and buying a physical copy, and playing them through a launcher is a lot more convenient than putting in a CD/DVD or manually entering a key.

    For me, it doesn't really matter if I'm "renting" a game from Steam / Origin / Epic. As long as I can play it when I want, I don't really care (what I care about is my access to the game). It's similar to how I treat my Netflix or Google Music subscriptions - I don't really care that I don't own the shows or songs, as long as I can watch / listen to them when I want. These kinds of questions have risen with services like Stadia as well but it's a moot point with me. In fact, if Stadia proves to be more convenient than the current method (e.g., paying a monthly fee for unlimited access to games) then I might give it a go as well - might be a good chance to try out games that I wouldn't bother buying.
     

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