Monday, June 15th 2020

Has The Epic Games Store Helped or Hindered the PC Gaming Market?

When Epic Games launched the Epic Games Store back in December 2018 most people wrote it off as a glorified Fortnite launcher which could never compete with Steam's reach and features. While the Epic Games Store is still lacking in features compared to Steam it has come a long way since it's launch slowly adding in new features.

The Epic Games Store surprised many when it offered Subnautica for completely free on the store and so began the tradition of the Epic Games Store's weekly game giveaways which have given away over 100 different games in the last 18 months. While pursuing this strategy of game giveaways to attract new users to the platform Epic Games also secured many exclusives for the launcher which wasn't nearly as well received.
The Epic Games Store has given away roughly 110 games since it's launch with a total value of 2298 USD RRP or 668 USD based on the lowest recorded sale price. When analyzing all the games given away it is interesting to see that most had previously been on sale for under 10 USD with just over half of the games going on sale for under 5 USD. When looking at the data we can see Epic Games isn't slowing down with the two recent giveaways of Civilization VI, and Grand Theft Auto V being some of the highest value games offered.

While the Epic Games Launcher has arguably upended a very complacent market with their free game giveaways it also employed the extremely unpopular strategy of launcher exclusive games such as with Metro Exodus. The Epic Games Store now holds over 100 exclusives and 30 more in the pipeline which limits competition and locks consumers into their platform.

What do you think, has Epic Games done more good with their free game giveaways or hurt the industry with exclusivity deals?

You can view the full table of games below:
Sources: Pro Game Guides, IsThereAnyDeal
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105 Comments on Has The Epic Games Store Helped or Hindered the PC Gaming Market?

#76
NRANM
Rahnak
I'm pretty sure I've used it when Steam's servers were down though, @NRANM. Doesn't really make a ton of sense otherwise. Maybe you experienced a bug?
If Steam is already logged in when servers go down, there are no issues. The problem is when the servers are down, and you need to login with your name and password. I couldn't. I remember reading somewhere that if Steam is set to remember the user's password and login automatically upon startup, then with a change in a configuration file, one could force it to go into offline mode, although I also remember reading that this was patched out. I couldn't test it anyway, as my Steam is set to not remember my password. So I could not play any games until the Steam servers came back online. It could have indeed been a bug, although I doubt it. May have to try and artificially block Steam's access via firewall so that I can test this further.
Anyhoo, this behavior (intentional or bug) struck me as kind of similar to an always online DRM.
SamuelL
Ideally, the marketplaces should compete on price, features, ease of use, etc.
At least in the ease of use department I would say the Epic launcher has Steam beaten: its UI is simpler and cleaner. Granted, the Epic launcher has fewer features, which makes creating a simple interface easier, whereas Steam is much more feature-rich, so it is much more of a challenge to produce a solid UI, but I still think Steam's UI could use a bit of work.
SamuelL
TL,DR - Exclusivity agreements harm PC gaming overall.
I have yet to see any conclusive evidence to support this claim.
Posted on Reply
#77
Rahnak
Vayra86
Realistically the average sale price of new games is closer to MSRP for a longer time for most of what appears on EGS. You can also see it in the price of grey market keys. They barely ever drop below EGS normal pricing.

But, that is a good thing. Effectively, EGS has a stronger hold on key distribution (its not the free for all that you have on Steam with keys and gifts flying all over the place, regional sales, etc.) and this echoes in the price point. They kind of placed the illegal key sellers out of the market as well. Win? For publishers it most certainly is.
Oh, I took the higher prices as in MSRP, not average. But they still go down during sales, so it's not like they're just keeping it at MSRP all the time. Also, I don't think EGS has a similar key distribution feature like Steam has. Looking at their roadmap board, the Humble integration is as far as they go as external sellers right now.

And yeah, I also agree that this is a good thing. Steam opened a pandora's box with their constant sales and key distribution and it's not usual to find games discounted on a (too) frequent basis, even recent ones. While I love me some good deals, I ocasionally feel a little guilty/scummy for underpaying for a game.
NRANM
If Steam is already logged in when servers go down, there are no issues. The problem is when the servers are down, and you need to login with your name and password. I couldn't. I remember reading somewhere that if Steam is set to remember the user's password and login automatically upon startup, then with a change in a configuration file, one could force it to go into offline mode, although I also remember reading that this was patched out. I couldn't test it anyway, as my Steam is set to not remember my password. So I could not play any games until the Steam servers came back online. It could have indeed been a bug, although I doubt it. May have to try and artificially block Steam's access via firewall so that I can test this further.
Anyhoo, this behavior (intentional or bug) struck me as kind of similar to an always online DRM.
That sounds like an interesting test. I would be very disappointed if that's the way Steam operates.
Posted on Reply
#78
Mpt
Valantar
Quite frankly I'm shocked that nearly half of people voting here still cling to the inane idea that EGS is somehow "harming" the gaming market? How? By taking profits away from Steam? Boo-frickin'-hoo. Steam is not our friend. Valve is not our friend. Steam has grown into a good platform through years and years of users pushing Valve to give users fair dues and necessary features, not through some benevolent attitude. And Valve is well known for fleecing developers and treating them terribly - including forcing them to take part in sales where the entire price cut comes out of the delvelopers' cut.

Yes, I get that it's simpler and easier to keep all of your games in one place, and that keeping friend lists and the like matched up across different services is a hassle. But is it that big of a deal? No. We just need publishers and platform holders (like Valve) to not block cross-play and not limit fundamental features to only the same platform. Beyond that, just install GOG Galaxy and keep track of all your games and friends that way.

Competition is good for everyone. Period.
My sentiments exactly. I’ve never understood the hate towards epic it’s pretty good as a store and it’s quick plus I’ve never had to uninstall and reinstall it like ive had to with steam when an updates broken some of my games. the love of steam I find weird as let’s face it steam caused a loss of ownership of our games in the first place.
Posted on Reply
#79
lexluthermiester
NRANM
Wait, you do?!
Oh yes. My experience as been that you can run offline for a week before being required to login online again. Not really "offline" if it requires an online login...
Razrback16
Yep I love GOG. They are my #1 storefront. Steam is #2.
Same here. Overwhelmingly GOG is #1!

To be fair, EGS is growing on me, but it's it's slow going.
Posted on Reply
#80
Valantar
SamuelL
I despise Epic. Not for creating an opposing/rival storefront to steam - I like Valve’s games as much as the next person but I am no Steam fanboy. I pay the lower price between Steam, GOG, and (rarely) Origin/Ubi. I don’t dislike Epic for having a more basic platform. Not even for their ties to Tencent (though that does give me pause).

No, I hate Epic because of the **** exclusivity agreements with developers. That stifles price competition and does nothing to help consumers. Ideally, the marketplaces should compete on price, features, ease of use, etc. Instead of this, Epic’s approach is to give us a platform lacking much basic functionality while locking games into exlusivity agreements that drastically limit future price competition. This is the sort of thing that could lead to higher prices for new games and fewer protections for customers - after all, why make concessions on price or offer “no reason” refunds if your store is the only one that can carry a given product?

TL,DR - Exclusivity agreements harm PC gaming overall.
Do (mostly timed) exclusivity agreements really harm PC gaming? More than a single actor maintaining their monopoly in the market would? I seriously doubt that. And how, exactly, do (timed) exclusivity deals hinder future price competition or drive up prices for future games? You need to explain the logic behind those claims, because they don't make much sense along the lines of typical market thinking. If a timed exclusive passes for a big title, the competing store(s) are likely to jump on the chance to not only now have a cool big title on offer, but to have it cheapest too - to prove that they are better in some way. As for prices for future games, those are set based on industry standards, development and marketing costs, and heaps of other factors. The existence of exclusivity deals is highly unlikely to change that, and other factors (such as the precarious situation of most developers, and increasing development costs of modern games) are much more likely to affect this.

Also, why do you waste energy hating a company that has only the most tangential relation to you? Isn't that just a massive waste of time and energy? Hate is a useless and silly emotion.

Oh, by the way, Steam refunds? Grudgingly implemented as their previous no-refund policy was illegal in Europe. Praising them for following the law is a pretty low bar. Just because they went the no-effort route of not demanding a reason for refunds (which is a cost savings measure first, saving them personnel costs, not primarily a customer friendly feature) doesn't make it any better - and to a certain degree it also harms developers of small niche games that can often be played in full within the refund window.
Razrback16
Publishers really should follow the CD Projekt Red example and just sell their games everywhere so people can just buy it where they want.
If only it were that easy. Sadly, that is exactly how monopolies are maintained, as the vast majority of users don't even know of other storefronts, and certainly don't care beyond convenience and price. With that approach, Steam would continue to entrench their position, gaining ever more power over PC gaming. Relying on conscientious consumers to take down a monopoly is naive to the extreme. No thanks.
AusWolf
Same here, except that I check Steam first because I somehow accumulated most of my games there.
"Somehow" - that made me laugh :D It takes some serious effort for that not to happen. Where else would you do so?
ilyon
EGS per se is not a problem, a new player in the game is good to see: people like me are complaining about the "exclusivities" policy and for me, stealing work done on Steam platform during devlopment. Valantar disagrees with me about this, but to-day, an indie game is also "made" (sort of) by community, channels, streamers, etc. and Steam helps developers in this way (speaking with knowledge about one of them: Dead Cells, and loving the clear policy of Motion Twin on the subject, a bit of publicity for them.)
The thing is, the problem with what you are describing can't actually be laid at the feet of Epic - it's not them that are (by your account) abandoning their communities or denying others credit, it's developers. It goes without saying that if you're developing an early access title with a lot of community input and are offered an exclusivity deal on a competing platform, you need to give something back to your supporters. What that ends up being is of course up to your negotiating power, but it could be anything from a (significant) discount on the final game to getting it for free due to your early access support. We've see EGS honor Steam pre-orders on other games, so this is possible. Also, this is a fitting illustration of the dire straits of most developers; that they would be in such dire need of financial stability that they are willing to possibly piss off their community by taking a deal like that tells us a lot about how precarious their situations are. Most developers like this work on shoestring budgets, have no salary, and are dependent on Patreon or similar charities to survive at all. With no guarantee of high sales on Steam (where indie games go to drown and die), it really isn't any wonder that they gladly accept an EGS exclusivity deal for the financial stability it offers.
bew1977
Examples of this? Genuinely curious. I pay little attention to the Valve side of things.
While this might sound a tad speculative, the Steam Sale is the most clear-cut example of this - a monopolist pricing their competitors out of the market through their financial strength. (Oh, and before you bring up key resellers; those sell Steam keys, which Steam still profit off of - after all, a key is a zero-cost item.) This is textbook anti-competitive behaviour. Today there are alternatives that are able to offer similar discounts, and Steam has largely created an industry standard (Xbox and Playstation have copied this model, among others), but in the first years the Steam Sale was a tool to lock in gamers to their platform and squeeze out smaller competitors that suddenly looked crazy expensive. Heck, they even made a huge "event" out of it with "leaked" Steam Sale dates and the like, which just further served to stop sales on competing platforms.
bew1977
Quite frankly, in the overall scheme of things I don't think the needle has moved much with the tactics they have employed. I'd really love some hard numbers on sales Epic actually does and game sale comparisons of prior exclusives that have been released on steam. As I said before, I get why dev's take the Epic deal. It's how some have acted after taking it that turns me off.
I can understand that - though being defensive about taking a controversial decision that you view as borderline necessary for your survival is also understandable. Most developers aren't very good at PR. As for the needle not moving much, I think you're mostly right - again, monopolies don't have to make much of an effort to maintain their position, they have mindshare and consumer habits to rely on - but even if they have 1% market share, that is dramatically higher than they would have had by just saying "Hey, we're here too!".
bew1977
There is where you are wrong. I will open the store page to see trailers/reviews/discussions and in another tab have isthereanydeal open. Of the 1200 games I own on Steam, I'd wager less than 500 I've actually purchased through steam. Many of those before learning of things like Humble Bundle and other storefronts existing. Not shopping around when you have a myriad of storefronts competing for your business is how you put it, incredibly naive.
Firstly, you are then in a clear minority. The vast majority of Steam keys/games are sold through Steam, and the vast majority of people buying games neither know of other places to buy games nor look for them. And, of course, Steam still makes money on Steam keys sold through other storefronts, even if they don't make their full cut there. The wide distribution of Steam keys actually serves as another example of an underhanded and anticompetitive move by Steam - it created the illusion of competition, while in reality the "choice" of consumers was to buy from Steam, or buy from someone buying from Steam (with any price difference mostly (but not entirely) coming out of developers' cuts. That's another classic monopolist move, to become not only a retailer but also the distributor that all your competitors become reliant on; thus you have total control of the market even if you give off the impression of competing.
bew1977
Let me get this on the table: other than exclusives, I bear no hate for Epic. I do, however, think their store isn't worth using right now beyond their free game giveaways. Trying to browse their store is difficult, there are a ton of Quality of Life features that should have been implemented day 1 that still aren't there. (Not even including the shopping cart, which I think is Epic just trying to meme by this point) The launcher itself is very barebones and not useful in the slightest. It all just feels like a 5 year old putting on his dad's clothes and trying to sit at the adult's Thanksgiving Poker game. "I can sell games too!" it exclaims, while throwing play money on the table.
I can agree that the EGS store is lacking in features (the lack of a shopping cart is particularly egregious, though the Nintendo eShop doesn't have one either), and the 15-year disadvantage against Steam in terms of features definitely shows. They have most of the basics down, but I completely agree that they don't yet have what it takes to be a fully competitive alternative. GOG is miles ahead in that regard, though they also beat out Steam on a lot of points. Steam wins in the high-tech, high-concept features like remote play, though their UX is terrible and their recent facelift didn't do much to improve that. The Steam overlay is still a confusing and messy piece of junk. But back to EGS, we can't really expect feature parity from a brand new storefront either - though it's on them to fix this as quickly as possible. The more time passes without them adding necessary features, the worse they look.
bew1977
Tim Sweeny can suck a fat one though.
Along with every other "big personality" in the gaming industry. As with most other successful businesspeople, they tend to be a**holes.
Posted on Reply
#82
AusWolf
NRANM
"Somehow" - that made me laugh :D It takes some serious effort for that not to happen. Where else would you do so?
What I actually meant is: I would prefer GOG as a no.1 platform to buy games, but Steam has been there far longer, so naturally I have way more games on it. As I mentioned before, I like keeping things simple, so I buy games on Steam first, then GOG second, not because Steam is a better platform (it maybe is), but because I want my games in one launcher as much as possible. :)
Posted on Reply
#83
Valantar
AusWolf
What I actually meant is: I would prefer GOG as a no.1 platform to buy games, but Steam has been there far longer, so naturally I have way more games on it. As I mentioned before, I like keeping things simple, so I buy games on Steam first, then GOG second, not because Steam is a better platform (it maybe is), but because I want my games in one launcher as much as possible. :)
Are you using GOG Galaxy (2.0 and above)? That has the ability to import all your accounts from other launchers, leaving you with one to interact with for the vast majority of time :)


Also, could someone in forum admin figure out what causes this "quotes attributed to seemingly random other users" bug? @W1zzard ?
Posted on Reply
#84
Razrback16
Valantar
If only it were that easy. Sadly, that is exactly how monopolies are maintained, as the vast majority of users don't even know of other storefronts, and certainly don't care beyond convenience and price. With that approach, Steam would continue to entrench their position, gaining ever more power over PC gaming. Relying on conscientious consumers to take down a monopoly is naive to the extreme. No thanks.
I disagree. All you have to do is offer better features. For example, I have most of my gaming collection on Steam (probably around 70% of it), however, I recently started using GOG as my primary storefront - I use GOG over Steam now anytime I can because of their NO-DRM policy and the significantly better refund policy. I still like Steam and they are my backup storefront, but GOG's features are simply so valuable to me that they actually trump all the really nice things about Steam. Epic however, offers nothing I want, and represents things that I will never support with my wallet.
Posted on Reply
#85
Valantar
Razrback16
I disagree. All you have to do is offer better features. For example, I have most of my gaming collection on Steam (probably around 70% of it), however, I recently started using GOG as my primary storefront - I use GOG over Steam now anytime I can because of their NO-DRM policy and the significantly better refund policy. I still like Steam and they are my backup storefront, but GOG's features are simply so valuable to me that they actually trump all the really nice things about Steam. Epic however, offers nothing I want, and represents things that I will never support with my wallet.
That's one approach, sure, but what constitutes "better features" for most people? I would say "has all my friends on it" is the biggest feature for the majority of gamers, which again gives the advantage to the incumbent monopolist. (Sadly) very few gamers are idealistic enough to choose a storefront based on their DRM policy. So while an admirable approach, and one I personally agree with, it's not one that will ever actually amount to evening out the playing field. Appealing to conscientious consumers to "vote with their wallets" and support smaller players is a tactic that never, ever works, and ultimately just entrenches monopolists in their positions of power.

Personally, I buy from GOG first when possible, then Epic if they have what I want and GOG doesn't (I want to support competition, so I check EGS before Steam for that reason alone), then Steam. This still leads to quite a few Steam purchases, as Steam has a massive mindshare advantage leading them to be the first and only choice among heaps of developers no matter how problematic they are.
Posted on Reply
#87
Razrback16
Valantar
That's one approach, sure, but what constitutes "better features" for most people? I would say "has all my friends on it" is the biggest feature for the majority of gamers, which again gives the advantage to the incumbent monopolist. (Sadly) very few gamers are idealistic enough to choose a storefront based on their DRM policy. So while an admirable approach, and one I personally agree with, it's not one that will ever actually amount to evening out the playing field. Appealing to conscientious consumers to "vote with their wallets" and support smaller players is a tactic that never, ever works, and ultimately just entrenches monopolists in their positions of power.

Personally, I buy from GOG first when possible, then Epic if they have what I want and GOG doesn't (I want to support competition, so I check EGS before Steam for that reason alone), then Steam. This still leads to quite a few Steam purchases, as Steam has a massive mindshare advantage leading them to be the first and only choice among heaps of developers no matter how problematic they are.
I think everyone has their own priorities and things they value. I also like Steam's friend list, messageboards, and review system. I play a lot of Rocket League via Steam and have buddies I party up with on there which I like, that's why Steam gets a good chunk of my business, with all the features they have. I think things would have gone so much better for Epic had they handled their launch differently and added some better features that benefit the actual customers. Steam has a 2 week ownership / 2 hour playtime refund policy which really isn't all that great in my opinion. Epic should have opened with a better policy there, continued their push for sales and free games, and chances are good I would have at least created an account and taken a look at them like I did with GOG. But those exclusives, especially the ones that were Kickstarted and stated to be on Steam that were then pulled and put exclusively on Epic really rubbed me the wrong away, especially with some of Sweeney's statements on the matter - that sealed it for me, I'll never so much as create an account on Epic, much less spend any money there.

I respect your differing point of view though, you do your thing my fellow gamer and I will do mine. :D
Posted on Reply
#88
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
Uskompuf
it also employed the extremely unpopular strategy of launcher exclusive games such as with Metro Exodus.
Unpopular with who? It was a vocal minority, and they have all quieted down. Much ado about nothing. If anything, EGL has caused Steam and GOG to do more freebies, with even Uplay getting in on the act a few times.
TheUn4seen
and a dozen "launchers" running in the background.
Why on Earth would you do that? You only need one at a time. People actually CREATE stuff to complain about.
cryohellinc
Additionally, no modding support and no customer reviews is a major drawback. If this will be fixed, EGS can become a very strong competitor.
They are on the roadmap.
silentbogo
Steam sales are on an opt-in basis. That's why you have different discount rates for different games, or some games not being discounted at all. Once again - voluntary, not mandatory.
Epic's sales are opt-in as well. @FordGT90Concept has actually investigated that and posted it several times. The publishers or independent studios decides if they want to participate and to what percentage.
Posted on Reply
#89
silentbogo
rtwjunkie
The publishers or independent studios decides if they want to participate and to what percentage.
Even if it is optional on Epic today, that's not really relevant to what I was saying. The point in my previous post was that Steam sales aren't mandatory (as some people tend to think).

But just to be a prick, I'm just gonna leave this in here, just in case you missed their first "Mega Sale".
rtwjunkie
They are on the roadmap.
Shopping cart is also on a roadmap.... for the past 1.5 years. Since launch it got bumped from "3 months" to "6 months" to "Future development", whatever that means, along with other QoL features.
Posted on Reply
#90
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
silentbogo
Even if it is optional on Epic today, that's not really relevant to what I was saying
It actually is relevant, because we were in the middle of a discussion about Steam vs Epic, and the implication of the statement, by saying Steam doesn’t force it, is that Epic does. Context is important.

Also, you can be a prick all you want, it doesn’t hurt me in the slightest. But there is no call for it. Neither you or I have a financial stake in these two giants. :)
Posted on Reply
#91
Vayra86
ilyon
I don't have any problem with the fact that Epic Games are on EGS, Ubisoft on Uplay, EA Games on Origin etc. I think you don't remember where the PC gaming market was at the end of 2000s.
Half-Life: Alyx is exclusive on Steam ? Normal. Fortnite is exclusive on EGS ? Normal. FIFA on Origin, etc ? Normal. But lots of indie studios gain their name with Steam. Was Steam greedy ? I'm quite sure about it. Was Steam a real help to them ? I'm quite sure too.
But stealing work done by creating a community, a game greenlit by Steam etc with the fake 30 % argument is a piece of junk.
PC market will have a new winter soon, before everyone will servily take his subscription on a service or another.
And our market will be another console market. Maybe we deserve this by our complete lack of political consumer sense.
'Political consumer sense' is exactly what you're advocating against by artificially limiting your own choices. Its not like EGS suffers for this, the publishers do, and those are the publishers that do NOT push subscription based content. Those indies you speak of... they didn't get big on Greenlight... Greenlight was a cesspool of utter junk and the end result was a mildly interesting Early Access status. Indies got big because of themselves, not because of Steam. Crowdfunding is not something Steam invented. Indies gained their momentum on Kickstarters, and on new promotion methods through streamers and community driven enthusiasm. If anything, Steam damaged the credibility of indie devs by not curating enough. Every joe with two lines of code could post it.

Community driven content or even just 'products' are huge the world over now, its not even exclusive to gaming.

Bottom line, the world will keep turning without middle-men like Steam, or EGS. They don't enable anything anymore. Steam paved the way for digital game distribution ONLY, but that was decades ago, its the norm now and you can host that stuff anywhere. The only REAL added value for these services is perhaps the integration they offer (with each other, most of all, especially if you don't like exclusivity... and in thát they all suck), but all of that can also be arranged by devs themselves. Beyond that its just outsourced distribution for publishers. Nothing else. And if you compare EGS and Steam on that basis... EGS is offering publishers far more freedom and budget.
silentbogo
Shopping cart is also on a roadmap.... for the past 1.5 years. Since launch it got bumped from "3 months" to "6 months" to "Future development", whatever that means, along with other QoL features.
Conclusion: the demand for that feature is non-existant, despite the ruckus some vocal minority made of it in their well known 'feature comparison' Reddit circlejerk ;)

Its all about perspective, see.
Posted on Reply
#92
londiste
Vayra86
Bottom line, the world will keep turning without middle-men like Steam, or EGS. They don't enable anything anymore. Steam paved the way for digital game distribution ONLY, but that was decades ago, its the norm now and you can host that stuff anywhere. The only REAL added value for these services is perhaps the integration they offer (with each other, most of all, especially if you don't like exclusivity... and in thát they all suck), but all of that can also be arranged by devs themselves. Beyond that its just outsourced distribution for publishers. Nothing else.
Well, that is not exactly true. Especially in the quote's context of community/user-created content. Steam Workshop is a big deal for user-created content. I do not know if or how much it costs to use that, but rolling your own system for this and keeping it up is not cheap. Having a working standard solution for this is very helpful that other platforms are not providing (yet, or at the same level). There are more features that Steam provides to developers that "just work".
Posted on Reply
#93
Valantar
londiste
Well, that is not exactly true. Especially in the quote's context of community/user-created content. Steam Workshop is a big deal for user-created content. I do not know if or how much it costs to use that, but rolling your own system for this and keeping it up is not cheap. Having a working standard solution for this is very helpful that other platforms are not providing (yet, or at the same level). There are more features that Steam provides to developers that "just work".
Itch.io and several other services are arguably far superior for this, with the only advantage of Steam being its massive mainstream user base. Which, of course, is also a drawback in some ways given that mainstream audiences generally tend towards mainstream tastes and wild swings in interest and attention.


Oh, btw, for those here acting as if EGS was the first to do lots of game giveaways: Ubisoft was way earlier, giving away a small pile of games back in 2016 for their 30th anniversary (one a month?). AFAIK that's the source of 12 out of the 13 games I own on Uplay.
Posted on Reply
#94
londiste
Valantar
Itch.io and several other services are arguably far superior for this, with the only advantage of Steam being its massive mainstream user base. Which, of course, is also a drawback in some ways given that mainstream audiences generally tend towards mainstream tastes and wild swings in interest and attention.
I specifically meant mods, maps, skins and other stuff that populates Steam Workshop. Itch.io is AFAIK more geared towards games themselves.
Valantar
Oh, btw, for those here acting as if EGS was the first to do lots of game giveaways: Ubisoft was way earlier, giving away a small pile of games back in 2016 for their 30th anniversary (one a month?). AFAIK that's the source of 12 out of the 13 games I own on Uplay.
The giveaway started back in June 2016 with “Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time”, followed by “Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell” in July, “Rayman Origins” for August, “The Crew” in September, “Beyond Good & Evil” for October, “Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon” in November, and ultimately “Assassin’s Creed 3” for December.
Posted on Reply
#95
SkullFox
Competition is alwasy good, but the way they did it is completely terrible. Basicaly bribing publishers.

If they had come with a platform that rivals Steam, I would be on board. But no, they came with a platform that rivals Steam 10 years ago. This way they just added another launcher for no reason!!!
Posted on Reply
#96
Valantar
SkullFox
Competition is alwasy good, but the way they did it is completely terrible. Basicaly bribing publishers.

If they had come with a platform that rivals Steam, I would be on board. But no, they came with a platform that rivals Steam 10 years ago. This way they just added another launcher for no reason!!!
Building a platform requires users - you can't just lump together a bunch of untested features and expect anything but a horrible mess. Starting basic is a much better approach, though they seem to have been too slow in fixing bugs and adding features since the launch. They need to step up their game, but the current state of affairs is mediocre at worst, certainly not reason for that kind of emotion.

As for "bribing" publishers: don't be daft. A bribe implies taking money under the table to allow someone to bypass some rule or law. AFAIK there is no rule saying a developer or publisher must sell their games everywhere, right? Not to mention that exclusivity deals are quite above-board (no, you don't have a right to know the sums involved - why would you?). Sure, they're not the norm, but it is a way of doing things that ensures developers actually get paid for their work and stay in business. But of course, having a modicum of job security is just so damn unfair to gamers, right? Gamers who are now denied... what, exactly? The freedom of not having to add another account to their existing hundreds? The freedom to not install another launcher? The transgression you're making this out to be is minuscule to the point of being nonexistent, while the real benefits to real people making the games are undeniable. And the long-term benefits for gamers if this works out into an actually competitive market instead of a monopoly are pretty significant too.
Posted on Reply
#97
Vayra86
londiste
Well, that is not exactly true. Especially in the quote's context of community/user-created content. Steam Workshop is a big deal for user-created content. I do not know if or how much it costs to use that, but rolling your own system for this and keeping it up is not cheap. Having a working standard solution for this is very helpful that other platforms are not providing (yet, or at the same level). There are more features that Steam provides to developers that "just work".
Really?

www.moddb.com/
www.nexusmods.com/

Steam does nothing that wasn't being done before. They only offer it in a full service package. Its easy. It also costs 30% of revenue. Steam is nothing more than a gateway with some added value for gaming. The added value was always available elsewhere in numerous applications, websites, databases. But yes, the online framework is easy entry for many smaller devs, correct. But is that really special in this day and age, with big players like AWS and MS readily available?

The workshop is still nice and being used frequently don't get me wrong. But this is just the 'fast food takeaway' approach. Make it easy because people are lazy. Its how most on demand services work.

What's more, those individual services are not platform specific, and the workshop sort-of is. Your exposure is only on Steam and works only for Steam DRM-enabled titles, most of the time. Yes, you can hack around that... but that is a lot more difficult than just visiting any of the mentioned websites and getting everything from there. Steam plays it smart: the barrier of entry for those services is super low, so people get into it and think they have no alternatives. Ironically... EGS is attempting something similar with their free giveaways. They want to make the login so normal, that you just do it and have it open every time you boot up.

Steam's prevalence has really inflicted damage to modding because even on those websites you will find mods built for a Steam only game version. Its a monopolist at work and the benefit is always only short term.

And when you look beyond modding, such as communities and communication... Steam is the worst place to do it because again, platform specific and game specific. Discord as a service for all of that is miles better in every possible way. Or any other voice/collab app.

All of these considerations though, stand or fall with the realization that Steam as a monopolist does not benefit the market in the mid-long term. If that penny hasn't dropped... any sensible discussion is impossible. Not saying that is what you think. But that is the problem with this subject even if the loudest opposition has quieted down a bit.
Posted on Reply
#98
londiste
Vayra86
Really?

www.moddb.com/
www.nexusmods.com/

Steam does nothing that wasn't being done before. They only offer it in a full service package. Its easy. It also costs 30% of revenue. Steam is nothing more than a gateway with some added value for gaming. The added value was always available elsewhere in numerous applications, websites, databases.

The workshop is still nice and being used frequently don't get me wrong. But this is just the 'fast food takeaway' approach. Make it easy because people are lazy. Its how most on demand services work.

What's more, those individual services are not platform specific, and the workshop sort-of is. Your exposure is only on Steam and works only for Steam DRM-enabled titles, most of the time. Yes, you can hack around that... but that is a lot more difficult than just visiting any of the mentioned websites and getting everything from there.

Steam's prevalence has really inflicted damage to modding because even on those websites you will find mods built for a Steam only game version. Its a monopolist at work and the benefit is always only short term.

And when you look beyond modding, such as communities and communication... Steam is the worst place to do it because again, platform specific and game specific. Discord as a service for all of that is miles better in every possible way. Or any other voice/collab app.
Do ModDB and Nexusmods have an API you can tie your game onto and utilize that to automatically download content? Preferably without separate sign-in?
The full service package is exactly what it is and saying it costs 30% of revenue is disingenuous. It is a value-add feature to that full-service package that costs 30% where other aspects are more desired - or expensive.
Posted on Reply
#99
Vayra86
londiste
Do ModDB and Nexusmods have an API you can tie your game onto and utilize that to automatically download content? Preferably without separate sign-in?
The full service package is exactly what it is and saying it costs 30% of revenue is disingenuous. It is a value-add feature to that full-service package that costs 30% where other aspects are more desired - or expensive.
Truth.
Posted on Reply
#100
AusWolf
rtwjunkie
Unpopular with who? It was a vocal minority, and they have all quieted down. Much ado about nothing. If anything, EGL has caused Steam and GOG to do more freebies, with even Uplay getting in on the act a few times.
I can't speak for other people, but I just waited the year for M:E to be back on Steam, and bought it there. I had other games to play with in the meantime.
rtwjunkie
Why on Earth would you do that? You only need one at a time. People actually CREATE stuff to complain about.
You only need one RUNNING at a time, but you need all of them installed if you want your games installed. And you have to remember which game uses which launcher. And you have to open your launchers to look for your games. And you might notice that the game you wanted is associated with a different launcher, so you have to close it, and open another one. And if you don't run ALL of them in the background, you won't get updates for your games, so when you actually open a launcher to play a game, you might have to wait for the updates to download.

How much simpler would it be to have only one launcher running in the background keeping your games up to date, so whenever you want to play something, you know it's there in that one launcher, and it's ready?

As for me, I run Steam, GOG Galaxy, Origin and Uplay in the background all the time just to keep my games up to date. Not that it's hard to do with modern hardware, but basically half of my system tray icons are game launchers. For some people, it's alright. For me, it's unnecessary complexity.
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