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Penny Arcade - Comic - Here Comes A New Challenger

2

Posts

  • dennisdennis Registered User regular
    edited August 27
    Haha at all this hand wringing over right and wrong sorts of competition.

    The right sort of competing is the sort that gets people on your platform. Which is exclusives, especially when trying to compete with an entrenched monopoly people have already poured money into.

    Like you're all having a laugh if you genuinely believe all a company needs to do to unseat Steam is provide some magical launcher with so many fancy features that it over-rides Steam and it's store/app launch ads being the splash screen for where you launch most your games from.

    Steam is not a monopoly because you can choose to buy its products other places. Epic is a monopoly because you can't. Exclusives are the opposite of breaking monopolies.

    Monopolies are defined by market share, not by individual products.

    By this absolutely asinine description an independent film studio is a monopoly in the film industry.

    I was with you until that last sentence. A monopoly is not illegal per se. So there's nothing asinine about your example because it's quite literally true and yet not against the law. To be illegal, they have to actually get and maintain their monopoly in a certain set of anti-competitive practices. "Monopolies" aren't always illegal but "monopolization" is.

    https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/competition-guidance/guide-antitrust-laws/single-firm-conduct/monopolization-defined

    US anti-trust law (ideally) isn't about preventing monopolies. It's about preventing monopolies based on dicking over the smaller competitors.

    dennis on
    H3Knuckles
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    I figure that I'm going to wait until Epic have at least their first huge data breach, which feels inevitable at this point. Security is always the lowest priority for a storefront, until it's the highest.

    It's known that you're not really a digital storefront until you have your first big data breach. Look at Steam. Or the Playstation Store.

    It's sort of the bar or bat mizvah of digital distribution marketplaces.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
    DjiemTetraNitroCubane
  • milskimilski UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ Registered User regular
    edited August 27
    Most people understand monopolies in the sense of a broad category of goods; operating systems, or grocery sales, or internet service, or video games, and colloquially use "monopoly" to refer to anticompetitive or non-competitive examples in those categories. It is technically correct but very weird to me to use "monopoly" to refer to specific individual games; it strikes me as like saying McDonald's has a "monopoly" on Big Macs.

    Anyway, Steam has exclusive games just like Epic does, so I don't exactly see how the "exclusives" comparison works in favor of Steam (and no, Steam developing the games isn't relevant). If you want to say Epic's practice of buying exclusivity is bad, that's fair, but it's weird to say it's monopolistic. It's not, it's just standard capitalism, which, sure, I'm down with saying creates a ton of problems.

    E: As far as Steam being a monopoly for digital game sales in general, I definitely wouldn't say they are one, but at times past it felt like they were effectively the only game in town. You had a few publisher specific launchers, maybe some grey market keys, and physical disc sales that went to the Steam downloader. GoG, alternative launchers, itch.io, and direct purchase have definitely grown, but there was a pretty solid period where Steam was basically the only game in town with any mindshare.

    milski on
    You can't write me off like that! You're just a voice, pal! You don't know a DAMN THING ABOUT RACING!!
    Albino BunnycB557
  • RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    milski wrote: »
    Most people understand monopolies in the sense of a broad category of goods; operating systems, or grocery sales, or internet service, or video games, and colloquially use "monopoly" to refer to anticompetitive or non-competitive examples in those categories. It is technically correct but very weird to me to use "monopoly" to refer to specific individual games; it strikes me as like saying McDonald's has a "monopoly" on Big Macs.

    Anyway, Steam has exclusive games just like Epic does, so I don't exactly see how the "exclusives" comparison works in favor of Steam (and no, Steam developing the games isn't relevant). If you want to say Epic's practice of buying exclusivity is bad, that's fair, but it's weird to say it's monopolistic. It's not, it's just standard capitalism, which, sure, I'm down with saying creates a ton of problems.

    E: As far as Steam being a monopoly for digital game sales in general, I definitely wouldn't say they are one, but at times past it felt like they were effectively the only game in town. You had a few publisher specific launchers, maybe some grey market keys, and physical disc sales that went to the Steam downloader. GoG, alternative launchers, itch.io, and direct purchase have definitely grown, but there was a pretty solid period where Steam was basically the only game in town with any mindshare.

    Again, monopolies were brought up by people saying Steam is one and that Epic is the one rescuing us from them.

    It seems like a reach to say that one video game is as much like another as a Big Mac is like a Whopper*. Especially when the indie Kickstarter games targeted aggressively by Epic are typically games that have gained traction on KS mainly because there is nothing else quite like them available.

    *Digital products, especially creative ones, are always going to be a little different, but while we're using analogies: there would be a difference between McDonald's making a Big Mac to compete with other burgers and them somehow making it impossible for any other burger to use Thousand Island.

  • milskimilski UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ Registered User regular
    edited August 27
    I don't think either is a monopoly on games, but I think that Steam was at one point closer to the colloquial definition.

    My point with the Big Mac is merely that you wouldn't colloquially describe just having a specific item as a "monopoly". This still applies to games even if they differ more than burgers. Saying Steam has a monopoly on DotA 2 would be true technically but very silly colloquially.

    milski on
    You can't write me off like that! You're just a voice, pal! You don't know a DAMN THING ABOUT RACING!!
    Albino BunnycB557
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Bad Opinion Haver Registered User regular
    milski wrote: »
    Most people understand monopolies in the sense of a broad category of goods; operating systems, or grocery sales, or internet service, or video games, and colloquially use "monopoly" to refer to anticompetitive or non-competitive examples in those categories. It is technically correct but very weird to me to use "monopoly" to refer to specific individual games; it strikes me as like saying McDonald's has a "monopoly" on Big Macs.

    Anyway, Steam has exclusive games just like Epic does, so I don't exactly see how the "exclusives" comparison works in favor of Steam (and no, Steam developing the games isn't relevant). If you want to say Epic's practice of buying exclusivity is bad, that's fair, but it's weird to say it's monopolistic. It's not, it's just standard capitalism, which, sure, I'm down with saying creates a ton of problems.

    E: As far as Steam being a monopoly for digital game sales in general, I definitely wouldn't say they are one, but at times past it felt like they were effectively the only game in town. You had a few publisher specific launchers, maybe some grey market keys, and physical disc sales that went to the Steam downloader. GoG, alternative launchers, itch.io, and direct purchase have definitely grown, but there was a pretty solid period where Steam was basically the only game in town with any mindshare.

    Again, monopolies were brought up by people saying Steam is one and that Epic is the one rescuing us from them.

    It seems like a reach to say that one video game is as much like another as a Big Mac is like a Whopper*. Especially when the indie Kickstarter games targeted aggressively by Epic are typically games that have gained traction on KS mainly because there is nothing else quite like them available.

    *Digital products, especially creative ones, are always going to be a little different, but while we're using analogies: there would be a difference between McDonald's making a Big Mac to compete with other burgers and them somehow making it impossible for any other burger to use Thousand Island.

    To be clear: The tone I'm using is not "oh Epic is rescuing us from the bad monopoly" but "Epic is doing the correct way to unseat Steam's control and people who paint them as some unique villain rather than just *gestures at capitalism* are having a laugh".

    Also Steam literally had a 75% market share in 2017. If your definition of monopolizing a market doesn't count someone who had three quarters of it as of two years ago then I don't really know where to start.

    DjiemcB557Local H Jay
  • BremenBremen Registered User regular
    edited August 27
    milski wrote: »
    Most people understand monopolies in the sense of a broad category of goods; operating systems, or grocery sales, or internet service, or video games, and colloquially use "monopoly" to refer to anticompetitive or non-competitive examples in those categories. It is technically correct but very weird to me to use "monopoly" to refer to specific individual games; it strikes me as like saying McDonald's has a "monopoly" on Big Macs.

    Anyway, Steam has exclusive games just like Epic does, so I don't exactly see how the "exclusives" comparison works in favor of Steam (and no, Steam developing the games isn't relevant). If you want to say Epic's practice of buying exclusivity is bad, that's fair, but it's weird to say it's monopolistic. It's not, it's just standard capitalism, which, sure, I'm down with saying creates a ton of problems.

    E: As far as Steam being a monopoly for digital game sales in general, I definitely wouldn't say they are one, but at times past it felt like they were effectively the only game in town. You had a few publisher specific launchers, maybe some grey market keys, and physical disc sales that went to the Steam downloader. GoG, alternative launchers, itch.io, and direct purchase have definitely grown, but there was a pretty solid period where Steam was basically the only game in town with any mindshare.

    Again, monopolies were brought up by people saying Steam is one and that Epic is the one rescuing us from them.

    It seems like a reach to say that one video game is as much like another as a Big Mac is like a Whopper*. Especially when the indie Kickstarter games targeted aggressively by Epic are typically games that have gained traction on KS mainly because there is nothing else quite like them available.

    *Digital products, especially creative ones, are always going to be a little different, but while we're using analogies: there would be a difference between McDonald's making a Big Mac to compete with other burgers and them somehow making it impossible for any other burger to use Thousand Island.

    To be clear: The tone I'm using is not "oh Epic is rescuing us from the bad monopoly" but "Epic is doing the correct way to unseat Steam's control and people who paint them as some unique villain rather than just *gestures at capitalism* are having a laugh".

    Also Steam literally had a 75% market share in 2017. If your definition of monopolizing a market doesn't count someone who had three quarters of it as of two years ago then I don't really know where to start.

    75% strikes me as low enough that I wouldn't call it a monopoly, actually. When I hear monopoly I think 100%, or failing that at least something ridiculous like 95%+. And, to be fair, if you'd told me Steam was 95% of video game purchases I would have found it believable.

    75% means a quarter of purchases are using other options which means those other options are real and readily available.

    Bremen on
  • milskimilski UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ Registered User regular
    edited August 27
    Bremen wrote: »
    milski wrote: »
    Most people understand monopolies in the sense of a broad category of goods; operating systems, or grocery sales, or internet service, or video games, and colloquially use "monopoly" to refer to anticompetitive or non-competitive examples in those categories. It is technically correct but very weird to me to use "monopoly" to refer to specific individual games; it strikes me as like saying McDonald's has a "monopoly" on Big Macs.

    Anyway, Steam has exclusive games just like Epic does, so I don't exactly see how the "exclusives" comparison works in favor of Steam (and no, Steam developing the games isn't relevant). If you want to say Epic's practice of buying exclusivity is bad, that's fair, but it's weird to say it's monopolistic. It's not, it's just standard capitalism, which, sure, I'm down with saying creates a ton of problems.

    E: As far as Steam being a monopoly for digital game sales in general, I definitely wouldn't say they are one, but at times past it felt like they were effectively the only game in town. You had a few publisher specific launchers, maybe some grey market keys, and physical disc sales that went to the Steam downloader. GoG, alternative launchers, itch.io, and direct purchase have definitely grown, but there was a pretty solid period where Steam was basically the only game in town with any mindshare.

    Again, monopolies were brought up by people saying Steam is one and that Epic is the one rescuing us from them.

    It seems like a reach to say that one video game is as much like another as a Big Mac is like a Whopper*. Especially when the indie Kickstarter games targeted aggressively by Epic are typically games that have gained traction on KS mainly because there is nothing else quite like them available.

    *Digital products, especially creative ones, are always going to be a little different, but while we're using analogies: there would be a difference between McDonald's making a Big Mac to compete with other burgers and them somehow making it impossible for any other burger to use Thousand Island.

    To be clear: The tone I'm using is not "oh Epic is rescuing us from the bad monopoly" but "Epic is doing the correct way to unseat Steam's control and people who paint them as some unique villain rather than just *gestures at capitalism* are having a laugh".

    Also Steam literally had a 75% market share in 2017. If your definition of monopolizing a market doesn't count someone who had three quarters of it as of two years ago then I don't really know where to start.

    75% strikes me as low enough that I wouldn't call it a monopoly, actually. When I hear monopoly I think 100%, or failing that at least something ridiculous like 95%+. And, to be fair, if you'd told me Steam was 95% of video game purchases I would have found it believable.

    75% means a quarter of purchases are using other options which means those other options are real and readily available.

    For reference, Microsoft had about an 86% OS market share when they were hit with antitrust legislation in 1998 E: and likely less by 2000 when they lost the case. 95+% is a pretty extreme standard.

    milski on
    You can't write me off like that! You're just a voice, pal! You don't know a DAMN THING ABOUT RACING!!
    Albino BunnySynthesisDjiemMoridin889cB557Local H Jay
  • BremenBremen Registered User regular
    milski wrote: »
    Bremen wrote: »
    milski wrote: »
    Most people understand monopolies in the sense of a broad category of goods; operating systems, or grocery sales, or internet service, or video games, and colloquially use "monopoly" to refer to anticompetitive or non-competitive examples in those categories. It is technically correct but very weird to me to use "monopoly" to refer to specific individual games; it strikes me as like saying McDonald's has a "monopoly" on Big Macs.

    Anyway, Steam has exclusive games just like Epic does, so I don't exactly see how the "exclusives" comparison works in favor of Steam (and no, Steam developing the games isn't relevant). If you want to say Epic's practice of buying exclusivity is bad, that's fair, but it's weird to say it's monopolistic. It's not, it's just standard capitalism, which, sure, I'm down with saying creates a ton of problems.

    E: As far as Steam being a monopoly for digital game sales in general, I definitely wouldn't say they are one, but at times past it felt like they were effectively the only game in town. You had a few publisher specific launchers, maybe some grey market keys, and physical disc sales that went to the Steam downloader. GoG, alternative launchers, itch.io, and direct purchase have definitely grown, but there was a pretty solid period where Steam was basically the only game in town with any mindshare.

    Again, monopolies were brought up by people saying Steam is one and that Epic is the one rescuing us from them.

    It seems like a reach to say that one video game is as much like another as a Big Mac is like a Whopper*. Especially when the indie Kickstarter games targeted aggressively by Epic are typically games that have gained traction on KS mainly because there is nothing else quite like them available.

    *Digital products, especially creative ones, are always going to be a little different, but while we're using analogies: there would be a difference between McDonald's making a Big Mac to compete with other burgers and them somehow making it impossible for any other burger to use Thousand Island.

    To be clear: The tone I'm using is not "oh Epic is rescuing us from the bad monopoly" but "Epic is doing the correct way to unseat Steam's control and people who paint them as some unique villain rather than just *gestures at capitalism* are having a laugh".

    Also Steam literally had a 75% market share in 2017. If your definition of monopolizing a market doesn't count someone who had three quarters of it as of two years ago then I don't really know where to start.

    75% strikes me as low enough that I wouldn't call it a monopoly, actually. When I hear monopoly I think 100%, or failing that at least something ridiculous like 95%+. And, to be fair, if you'd told me Steam was 95% of video game purchases I would have found it believable.

    75% means a quarter of purchases are using other options which means those other options are real and readily available.

    For reference, Microsoft had about an 86% OS market share when they were hit with antitrust legislation in 1998. 95+% is a pretty extreme standard.

    Is that including Macs and business systems? Because the problem wasn't Microsoft monopolizing the OS market, it was it monopolizing the PC OS market with anti-competitive practices. It would have been an issue even if Macs were half of all computer sales.

    H3Knuckles
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    milski wrote: »
    Bremen wrote: »
    milski wrote: »
    Most people understand monopolies in the sense of a broad category of goods; operating systems, or grocery sales, or internet service, or video games, and colloquially use "monopoly" to refer to anticompetitive or non-competitive examples in those categories. It is technically correct but very weird to me to use "monopoly" to refer to specific individual games; it strikes me as like saying McDonald's has a "monopoly" on Big Macs.

    Anyway, Steam has exclusive games just like Epic does, so I don't exactly see how the "exclusives" comparison works in favor of Steam (and no, Steam developing the games isn't relevant). If you want to say Epic's practice of buying exclusivity is bad, that's fair, but it's weird to say it's monopolistic. It's not, it's just standard capitalism, which, sure, I'm down with saying creates a ton of problems.

    E: As far as Steam being a monopoly for digital game sales in general, I definitely wouldn't say they are one, but at times past it felt like they were effectively the only game in town. You had a few publisher specific launchers, maybe some grey market keys, and physical disc sales that went to the Steam downloader. GoG, alternative launchers, itch.io, and direct purchase have definitely grown, but there was a pretty solid period where Steam was basically the only game in town with any mindshare.

    Again, monopolies were brought up by people saying Steam is one and that Epic is the one rescuing us from them.

    It seems like a reach to say that one video game is as much like another as a Big Mac is like a Whopper*. Especially when the indie Kickstarter games targeted aggressively by Epic are typically games that have gained traction on KS mainly because there is nothing else quite like them available.

    *Digital products, especially creative ones, are always going to be a little different, but while we're using analogies: there would be a difference between McDonald's making a Big Mac to compete with other burgers and them somehow making it impossible for any other burger to use Thousand Island.

    To be clear: The tone I'm using is not "oh Epic is rescuing us from the bad monopoly" but "Epic is doing the correct way to unseat Steam's control and people who paint them as some unique villain rather than just *gestures at capitalism* are having a laugh".

    Also Steam literally had a 75% market share in 2017. If your definition of monopolizing a market doesn't count someone who had three quarters of it as of two years ago then I don't really know where to start.

    75% strikes me as low enough that I wouldn't call it a monopoly, actually. When I hear monopoly I think 100%, or failing that at least something ridiculous like 95%+. And, to be fair, if you'd told me Steam was 95% of video game purchases I would have found it believable.

    75% means a quarter of purchases are using other options which means those other options are real and readily available.

    For reference, Microsoft had about an 86% OS market share when they were hit with antitrust legislation in 1998 E: and likely less by 2000 when they lost the case. 95+% is a pretty extreme standard.

    It's only tangentially related, but Apple hasn't really made much headway in the intervening time (especially in newer non-American markets). Today, the OS marketshare is more than 87% Windows (between Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 primarily) and 9% Mac (between OS X versions). That includes laptop, which represent a big part of the Apple presence, of course.

    However, considering the prevalence of mobile phone and tablet OS compared to 20 years ago, I don't know if that would warrant another case against Microsoft (itself highly derided in execution by some of the US judges who weighed on it).

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • milskimilski UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ Registered User regular
    Bremen wrote: »
    milski wrote: »
    Bremen wrote: »
    milski wrote: »
    Most people understand monopolies in the sense of a broad category of goods; operating systems, or grocery sales, or internet service, or video games, and colloquially use "monopoly" to refer to anticompetitive or non-competitive examples in those categories. It is technically correct but very weird to me to use "monopoly" to refer to specific individual games; it strikes me as like saying McDonald's has a "monopoly" on Big Macs.

    Anyway, Steam has exclusive games just like Epic does, so I don't exactly see how the "exclusives" comparison works in favor of Steam (and no, Steam developing the games isn't relevant). If you want to say Epic's practice of buying exclusivity is bad, that's fair, but it's weird to say it's monopolistic. It's not, it's just standard capitalism, which, sure, I'm down with saying creates a ton of problems.

    E: As far as Steam being a monopoly for digital game sales in general, I definitely wouldn't say they are one, but at times past it felt like they were effectively the only game in town. You had a few publisher specific launchers, maybe some grey market keys, and physical disc sales that went to the Steam downloader. GoG, alternative launchers, itch.io, and direct purchase have definitely grown, but there was a pretty solid period where Steam was basically the only game in town with any mindshare.

    Again, monopolies were brought up by people saying Steam is one and that Epic is the one rescuing us from them.

    It seems like a reach to say that one video game is as much like another as a Big Mac is like a Whopper*. Especially when the indie Kickstarter games targeted aggressively by Epic are typically games that have gained traction on KS mainly because there is nothing else quite like them available.

    *Digital products, especially creative ones, are always going to be a little different, but while we're using analogies: there would be a difference between McDonald's making a Big Mac to compete with other burgers and them somehow making it impossible for any other burger to use Thousand Island.

    To be clear: The tone I'm using is not "oh Epic is rescuing us from the bad monopoly" but "Epic is doing the correct way to unseat Steam's control and people who paint them as some unique villain rather than just *gestures at capitalism* are having a laugh".

    Also Steam literally had a 75% market share in 2017. If your definition of monopolizing a market doesn't count someone who had three quarters of it as of two years ago then I don't really know where to start.

    75% strikes me as low enough that I wouldn't call it a monopoly, actually. When I hear monopoly I think 100%, or failing that at least something ridiculous like 95%+. And, to be fair, if you'd told me Steam was 95% of video game purchases I would have found it believable.

    75% means a quarter of purchases are using other options which means those other options are real and readily available.

    For reference, Microsoft had about an 86% OS market share when they were hit with antitrust legislation in 1998. 95+% is a pretty extreme standard.

    Is that including Macs and business systems? Because the problem wasn't Microsoft monopolizing the OS market, it was it monopolizing the PC OS market with anti-competitive practices. It would have been an issue even if Macs were half of all computer sales.

    Desktop Operating Systems, so yes, PCs. The point is that the 95% standard is kind of absurd for colloquially calling something a monopoly (and also not how what antitrust suits hinge on anyway).

    You can't write me off like that! You're just a voice, pal! You don't know a DAMN THING ABOUT RACING!!
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    edited August 27
    milski wrote: »
    The idea of a shopping cart as some critical feature for a games storefront is bizarre to me. I can literally count on one hand how many times I've ever bought more than one game at once. It seems exclusively useful for non-bundled DLC and for people who have the whole 500-game backlogs on Steam who buy games speculatively hoping to play them, which isn't exactly a common demographic.

    During the sale Epic had, some people who chose to take advantage if it for multiple games got their purchases flagged for suspicious activity because they had to buy them individually.

    It also sucks if you're not willing to save your CC info onto the service (given how often services like this get hacked, isn't a weird move) and so you have to put it in manually each time. I had to do that when I bought the Mass Effect trilogy + DLC on Origin a few months back.

    Undead Scottsman on
    SatsumomoH3Knuckles
  • dennisdennis Registered User regular
    Bremen wrote: »
    milski wrote: »
    Most people understand monopolies in the sense of a broad category of goods; operating systems, or grocery sales, or internet service, or video games, and colloquially use "monopoly" to refer to anticompetitive or non-competitive examples in those categories. It is technically correct but very weird to me to use "monopoly" to refer to specific individual games; it strikes me as like saying McDonald's has a "monopoly" on Big Macs.

    Anyway, Steam has exclusive games just like Epic does, so I don't exactly see how the "exclusives" comparison works in favor of Steam (and no, Steam developing the games isn't relevant). If you want to say Epic's practice of buying exclusivity is bad, that's fair, but it's weird to say it's monopolistic. It's not, it's just standard capitalism, which, sure, I'm down with saying creates a ton of problems.

    E: As far as Steam being a monopoly for digital game sales in general, I definitely wouldn't say they are one, but at times past it felt like they were effectively the only game in town. You had a few publisher specific launchers, maybe some grey market keys, and physical disc sales that went to the Steam downloader. GoG, alternative launchers, itch.io, and direct purchase have definitely grown, but there was a pretty solid period where Steam was basically the only game in town with any mindshare.

    Again, monopolies were brought up by people saying Steam is one and that Epic is the one rescuing us from them.

    It seems like a reach to say that one video game is as much like another as a Big Mac is like a Whopper*. Especially when the indie Kickstarter games targeted aggressively by Epic are typically games that have gained traction on KS mainly because there is nothing else quite like them available.

    *Digital products, especially creative ones, are always going to be a little different, but while we're using analogies: there would be a difference between McDonald's making a Big Mac to compete with other burgers and them somehow making it impossible for any other burger to use Thousand Island.

    To be clear: The tone I'm using is not "oh Epic is rescuing us from the bad monopoly" but "Epic is doing the correct way to unseat Steam's control and people who paint them as some unique villain rather than just *gestures at capitalism* are having a laugh".

    Also Steam literally had a 75% market share in 2017. If your definition of monopolizing a market doesn't count someone who had three quarters of it as of two years ago then I don't really know where to start.

    75% strikes me as low enough that I wouldn't call it a monopoly, actually. When I hear monopoly I think 100%, or failing that at least something ridiculous like 95%+. And, to be fair, if you'd told me Steam was 95% of video game purchases I would have found it believable.

    75% means a quarter of purchases are using other options which means those other options are real and readily available.

    There's no hard and fast rule, other than "more than 50%". And apparently even that's not an absolute, either. From the FTC link I posted above:
    Courts look at the firm's market share, but typically do not find monopoly power if the firm (or a group of firms acting in concert) has less than 50 percent of the sales of a particular product or service within a certain geographic area. Some courts have required much higher percentages.

  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    Haha at all this hand wringing over right and wrong sorts of competition.

    The right sort of competing is the sort that gets people on your platform. Which is exclusives, especially when trying to compete with an entrenched monopoly people have already poured money into.

    Like you're all having a laugh if you genuinely believe all a company needs to do to unseat Steam is provide some magical launcher with so many fancy features that it over-rides Steam and it's store/app launch ads being the splash screen for where you launch most your games from.

    Not really; it's not good competition if it doesn't actually make Valve do anything. It just becomex another storefront at that point, and we have a bunch of those already. (GOG, Humble, Origin, Uplay..) And at least GoG and Humble have features Steam will never have (DRM free releases and the ability to donate to charity)

    Right now the Epic service is undeniably worse Steam in almost every conceivable way, and in places it's not, it doesn't exceed Valve in the slightest. So how is Valve supposed to compete with that? Roll out more features? Why? They're already better than the EGS. (That said, Valve already rolls out new features on a somewhat steady basis and have since Steam launched.)

    So to compete with Epic's exclusives, do you really think Valve should push money for exclusives? As I mentioned already, they already get a ton of exclusives just by being the defacto standard gamestore on PC. (Though Valve doesn't lock them into exclusive deals, so there's nothing preventing the dev from going elsewhere if they choose, or selling a key on another website) But even if that wasn't the case, would you want Valve response to be start buying exclusives themselves, restricting consumer choice even further?

    So far Epic hasn't done anything to actually push Steam to be better, which is the whole benefit of competition. I outlined MULTIPLE places where Steam is deficient, where they have been deficient for YEARS. Things people have complained about for ages. Imagine if they had come out going "Hey, when you use our support service, you can actually talk to a human" or imagine if they had a curation system that straddled the line between their "every title has to be entered manually" and Valve's "open the floodgates".

    Epic definitely has the money to do this, but they went with the least creative way to use that money. There's no innovation, there's no iteration. There's nothing really to compete with there. Like, honest question, besides being the only place to buy a particular game, why on Earth would you use the EGS over Steam or GOG or any of the other game storefronts that already exist? What's the niche for EGS? What's the hook? What's the thing that's going to make Valve sit up and take notice?

    RatherDashing89SatsumomoTetraNitroCubaneH3Knuckles
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Bad Opinion Haver Registered User regular
    You’re right, there are plenty of storefronts with good features that fail to compete meaningfully with Steam.

    Which is why Epic does the smart thing and provides the unique selling point of ‘you can only play this game on our store’.

    It’s like having conversations with people comparing consoles specs when the actual thing that matters to sell people is which one plays Halo or Metal Gear.

    cB557milski
  • RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    It's amazing how often conversations on this forum ending up drifting into one side arguing the point "is this business practice smart, shrewd and/or effective" and the other side arguing the point "is this business practice something positive for us as consumers and something that we should praise with our words or support with our dollars?"

    Because those are, in fact, two different questions with two different answers.

    MichaelLCH3Knuckles
  • SatsumomoSatsumomo Rated PG! Registered User regular
    Sure, what Epic does is "smart", just like people cutting in line to save time.

    I can still call them out on their shitty behavior and not want to buy from them, specially when they lock me out of my games for two hours because some bot tried to brute force my account, and I'm punished for it, with no way to prove my identity.

    H3Knuckles
  • milskimilski UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ Registered User regular
    edited August 27
    It's amazing how often conversations on this forum ending up drifting into one side arguing the point "is this business practice smart, shrewd and/or effective" and the other side arguing the point "is this business practice something positive for us as consumers and something that we should praise with our words or support with our dollars?"

    Because those are, in fact, two different questions with two different answers.

    The anti-anti-Epic argument is not just "Epic is running an effective business". It is that Epic is not unique, that their business practices are an inevitable result of how competitive platforms work for digital goods with no distribution cost under Capitalism, and that criticizing them as specifically evil or aberrant in their business practice is missing the forest for the trees. Hell, Steam isn't your friend here either; their last attempts to do anything meaningful were a failed attempt to leverage their popularity into driving a new set of standardized hardware, and an attempt to create a predatory TCG leveraging their marketplace. The problem is not the company, it's the underlying system driving the companies actions.

    Adding a couple caveats: Epic's current strategy of buying exclusivity is an extremely attractive prospect for a certain subset of indie devs who need a steady paycheck or guaranteed return to survive, and that is a temporary "good" in the same sense that Uber offering rides well below market value is a "good" thing for riders, but it is probably not sustainable in the long term. And personally, given I have near zero engagement with Steam's features aside from the time-saving nature of some community hub guides, Epic is actually slightly preferable to me because it stays out of the way rather than sending me a few friend requests and item drop notices every time I sign in.

    milski on
    You can't write me off like that! You're just a voice, pal! You don't know a DAMN THING ABOUT RACING!!
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  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Bad Opinion Haver Registered User regular
    Yeah, the actual answer to ‘what’s best for a consumer’ is if there were not huge incentives rent seeking the act of being a middle man between product and customer.

    But until it’s not hugely profitable to do that companies will continue to try and brute force their way into the market. Heck Discord had some exclusive games, you just didn’t hear about or make a fuss over it because they don’t have the budget to buy big and notable ones.

  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    edited August 27
    You’re right, there are plenty of storefronts with good features that fail to compete meaningfully with Steam.

    Which is why Epic's offering is tragically inadequate, as they're not even going as far as these smaller, scrappier storefronts. Hell, GOG literally has a secondary business model of taking old games and getting them to work on modern systems; you can find lots of games there that aren't available on Steam. Epic, for the most part, is just taking games that would otherwise exist and dumping money on them to get them to not release them on Steam (or GoG, or humble...)
    Which is why Epic does the smart thing and provides the unique selling point of ‘you can only play this game on our store’.

    It’s like having conversations with people comparing consoles specs when the actual thing that matters to sell people is which one plays Halo or Metal Gear.

    If nothing but exclusives mattered, we wouldn't have Xbox Live, the Wii never would have happened, stream integration wouldn't be a thing and numerous other technical and OS enhancements over the history of consoles would be nonexistent.. Hell, Sony and Microsoft both put out mid-step consoles this generation to take advantage of 4K. They wouldn't have done that if it wasn't a selling point. They even specifically requested that there'd be no titles made exclusive for those 4K consoles over baselines. If exclusives were the end-all, be-all they would have put out some 4K exclusives. Hell, I remember when Xbox made Rise of the Tomb Raider a timed exclusive and got lambasted for it, and that's basically what has happened with Epic. Timed exclusives and a lot of resentment because of it.

    That said, I'm not saying exclusives aren't important, I'm saying Epic building a platform solely on the backs of paid exclusives does nothing to push actual competition. You compete against exclusives with exclusives, which Valve doesn't need to do right now. (And again, if they did need to do, it'd just result in more reduction of consumer choice.)

    Basically the only effect Epic is having on Valve is a handful of games will come out on their platform at a later date, and will probably sell pretty good when they do.

    Undead Scottsman on
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Bad Opinion Haver Registered User regular
    Steam being such an entrenched position that neither other launchers doing the mythical good competition nor epic doing nasty bad competition budges them isn’t really an argument against epic.

    Hahnsoo1cB557Synthesis
  • RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    GoG and Humble may not have budged Steam but they are both doing great, as far as I know. I know that means nothing to an Epic CFO or shareholder, (who would never be satisfied with a GoG or Humble level of success) and for them I'm sure scrabbling up exclusives is the best choice, at least in the short term. But if the question is, "should I boycott evil Epic or boycott evil Steam?"...well, 100% of my meager games budget has gone to Humble for several years now. It's fortunate that I can actually refuse to support either business, as I find them both lazy and manipulative, and still easily buy way more games than I could ever play with no inconvenience and little expense to myself.

    Rchanen
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    edited August 27
    Steam being such an entrenched position that neither other launchers doing the mythical good competition nor epic doing nasty bad competition budges them isn’t really an argument against epic.

    It's an argument against the relevancy of the EGS; if they exist solely on the back of timed exclusives, they're not going to go far. At least not with me. They're just another storefront, and one that isn't really enticing me to use them. Like I said, Steam needs a good swift kick in the ass. Epic COULD have been that kick, but they've done nothing to actually do so, despite having that Fortnite money.

    I've outlined several areas where Steam is famously deficient. Everyone has a Steam support horror story. The discussion forums are an active trashfire. People have cited Steam's lack of curation as an actively harming the industry as a whole. And each and every one of these problems can be tracked back to Valve's obsession with offloading work to automation, crowdsourcing or basically any other activity that requires the bare minimum effort from Valve. Granted, for Epic to provide better service, they'd need to hire a bunch of people, which would cost money. If only they had some money to throw around though. :razz:

    Should the EGS be nuked from orbit? No, of course not. But unless they start doing stuff that makes Valve take notice, they are pretty useless to me and are just a place for devs to make some extra scratch in exchange for a delayed release date on Steam. Which, hey, I'm all for devs making that cheddar, but that ain't going to last forever. Either Epic will establish itself, in which case it'll roll back on the handouts; or it's going to flop in which case Epic isn't going to keep throwing good money after bad.

    Undead Scottsman on
  • milskimilski UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ Registered User regular
    Humble drastically, drastically lowering the perceived value of indie games probably has some interesting knock-on effects, although I imagine arguing about how good or bad that is would be akin to the arguments about whether Spotify is good or bad for musicians.

    You can't write me off like that! You're just a voice, pal! You don't know a DAMN THING ABOUT RACING!!
    RatherDashing89Albino BunnycB557Moridin889Tofystedeth
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    milski wrote: »
    Humble drastically, drastically lowering the perceived value of indie games probably has some interesting knock-on effects, although I imagine arguing about how good or bad that is would be akin to the arguments about whether Spotify is good or bad for musicians.

    Or how Gamepass is going to affect things in the long run.

  • BremenBremen Registered User regular
    edited August 27
    Steam being such an entrenched position that neither other launchers doing the mythical good competition nor epic doing nasty bad competition budges them isn’t really an argument against epic.

    The point is that even if Epic does leverage exclusives to the point where they're larger than Steam, it doesn't benefit the customer by breaking the Steam monopoly; Steam isn't going to turn around and offer a better customer experience to try to win the market share, because Epic will have proven a better customer experience means nothing when compared to exclusives. Steam's only option would be to fight back with their own exclusives. And any future stores as well; the net result would be very annoying and frustrating for the consumer.

    Saying "Competition is good for the consumer" is only true when they're competing to be the platform the customer wants to use, instead of the platform the customer is forced to use.

    Bremen on
    Satsumomo
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Bad Opinion Haver Registered User regular
    Epic leverages exclusives the same way that Valve did with The Orange box, Dota 2 and CS:GO: As a method to create habitual visits and build up value in a library to change your behaviour so you check their store regularly.

    Also you aren't reading my posts if you think I'm in anyway arguing that competition is good for the consumer.

  • BremenBremen Registered User regular
    edited August 27
    Epic leverages exclusives the same way that Valve did with The Orange box, Dota 2 and CS:GO: As a method to create habitual visits and build up value in a library to change your behaviour so you check their store regularly.

    If that were even remotely true Epic would put even halfhearted effort into making a store you wanted to use. It doesn't have to be better than Steam, but "more than the bare minimum to be useable" would be nice.

    The thing about Steam? Yes, they sold games you had to have Steam to use. But they became a force that dominated the market by offering a service that people liked. Epic is trying to do the first without the second, and that's why people resent them.

    Bremen on
    Satsumomo
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Bad Opinion Haver Registered User regular
    They still sell games you have to have steam to use. Among their most popular games, plus last I checked Capcom is at least one big publisher that only releases PC titles on Steam.

    Weirdly no one is crying out that the monopoly is holding whole triple A publishers hostage.

    cB557
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    Epic leverages exclusives the same way that Valve did with The Orange box, Dota 2 and CS:GO: As a method to create habitual visits and build up value in a library to change your behaviour so you check their store regularly.

    Not really; those are internally or contractually developed titles; Valve didn't pay another company for exclusive rights of an existing game. (Especially not one that was set to come out on a competitors storefront in mere months or days.) Also, those games are available on other platforms.

    A better comparison for Epic would Fortnite or Unreal Tournament. (Man, remember that Unreal Tournament remake that Epic just dropped once Fortnite took off?) In fact, the EGS basically exists by Epic going "Crap, we have 20 bajillion players playing Fornite and most of them don't have Steam installed!"

    ..just don't ask how they knew how many of them had steam installed :whistle:

  • BremenBremen Registered User regular
    edited August 27
    They still sell games you have to have steam to use. Among their most popular games, plus last I checked Capcom is at least one big publisher that only releases PC titles on Steam.

    Weirdly no one is crying out that the monopoly is holding whole triple A publishers hostage.

    That's because those publishers are free to sell on other platforms if they want; they simply choose not to. You can complain about the lack of choice if you want, but it's not Steam's fault that it's only on their store, it's Capcom's.

    Bremen on
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    They still sell games you have to have steam to use. Among their most popular games, plus last I checked Capcom is at least one big publisher that only releases PC titles on Steam.

    Weirdly no one is crying out that the monopoly is holding whole triple A publishers hostage.

    They're not holding a triple A publisher hostage. Capcom is free to go to GoG, humble, origin, Uplay, or even start their own storefront. (There's actually a handful of Capcom games on Origin) Additionally, Capcom can sell keys for their games wherever they want, completely cutting Valve out of the profit even though the key is redeemed on Steam.

  • milskimilski UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ Registered User regular
    Bremen wrote: »
    Epic leverages exclusives the same way that Valve did with The Orange box, Dota 2 and CS:GO: As a method to create habitual visits and build up value in a library to change your behaviour so you check their store regularly.

    If that were even remotely true Epic would put even halfhearted effort into making a store you wanted to use. It doesn't have to be better than Steam, but "more than the bare minimum to be useable" would be nice.

    The thing about Steam? Yes, they sold games you had to have Steam to use. But they became a force that dominated the market by offering a service that people liked. Epic is trying to do the first without the second, and that's why people resent them.

    Wasn't steam derided as terrible malware on launch with people hating they needed it to play Steam exclusives, though?

    You can't write me off like that! You're just a voice, pal! You don't know a DAMN THING ABOUT RACING!!
    Albino BunnyHahnsoo1cB557TofystedethSynthesisYoungFrey
  • BremenBremen Registered User regular
    milski wrote: »
    Bremen wrote: »
    Epic leverages exclusives the same way that Valve did with The Orange box, Dota 2 and CS:GO: As a method to create habitual visits and build up value in a library to change your behaviour so you check their store regularly.

    If that were even remotely true Epic would put even halfhearted effort into making a store you wanted to use. It doesn't have to be better than Steam, but "more than the bare minimum to be useable" would be nice.

    The thing about Steam? Yes, they sold games you had to have Steam to use. But they became a force that dominated the market by offering a service that people liked. Epic is trying to do the first without the second, and that's why people resent them.

    Wasn't steam derided as terrible malware on launch with people hating they needed it to play Steam exclusives, though?

    Yeah, and it continued to be hated until they actually made the store a vast improvement on PC gaming (who remembers manual patching? Losing your CD keys?). That's when it took off as a market force.

    Moridin889Tofystedeth
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Bad Opinion Haver Registered User regular
    They still sell games you have to have steam to use. Among their most popular games, plus last I checked Capcom is at least one big publisher that only releases PC titles on Steam.

    Weirdly no one is crying out that the monopoly is holding whole triple A publishers hostage.

    They're not holding a triple A publisher hostage. Capcom is free to go to GoG, humble, origin, Uplay, or even start their own storefront. (There's actually a handful of Capcom games on Origin) Additionally, Capcom can sell keys for their games wherever they want, completely cutting Valve out of the profit even though the key is redeemed on Steam.

    I mean, this is my point: Steam is such a hugely entrenched monopoly that they literally get triple A exclusives 'for free' because they are so advantageous to every other platform in market share.

    Epic is a shitty platform in a lot of ways but I just can't even fathom caring about the exclusives because like, that's the only way they're ever going to claw at the beast that is Steam.

    cB557
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    They still sell games you have to have steam to use. Among their most popular games, plus last I checked Capcom is at least one big publisher that only releases PC titles on Steam.

    Weirdly no one is crying out that the monopoly is holding whole triple A publishers hostage.

    They're not holding a triple A publisher hostage. Capcom is free to go to GoG, humble, origin, Uplay, or even start their own storefront. (There's actually a handful of Capcom games on Origin) Additionally, Capcom can sell keys for their games wherever they want, completely cutting Valve out of the profit even though the key is redeemed on Steam.

    I mean, this is my point: Steam is such a hugely entrenched monopoly that they literally get triple A exclusives 'for free' because they are so advantageous to every other platform in market share.

    Epic is a shitty platform in a lot of ways but I just can't even fathom caring about the exclusives because like, that's the only way they're ever going to claw at the beast that is Steam.

    Yes, which is why Epic competing with Steam basically solely with exclusives is something I'm critical of. They're basically dropping tons of money into something that Steam gets for free. That does not seem sustainable and I don't see it putting much of a dent in Valve in the short term either. They need to do more if they expect to compete with Steam, otherwise they're just forcing the handful of people who can't wait into using an inferior service. That doesn't really help anyone, even Epic.

  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Bad Opinion Haver Registered User regular
    They still sell games you have to have steam to use. Among their most popular games, plus last I checked Capcom is at least one big publisher that only releases PC titles on Steam.

    Weirdly no one is crying out that the monopoly is holding whole triple A publishers hostage.

    They're not holding a triple A publisher hostage. Capcom is free to go to GoG, humble, origin, Uplay, or even start their own storefront. (There's actually a handful of Capcom games on Origin) Additionally, Capcom can sell keys for their games wherever they want, completely cutting Valve out of the profit even though the key is redeemed on Steam.

    I mean, this is my point: Steam is such a hugely entrenched monopoly that they literally get triple A exclusives 'for free' because they are so advantageous to every other platform in market share.

    Epic is a shitty platform in a lot of ways but I just can't even fathom caring about the exclusives because like, that's the only way they're ever going to claw at the beast that is Steam.

    Yes, which is why Epic competing with Steam basically solely with exclusives is something I'm critical of. They're basically dropping tons of money into something that Steam gets for free. That does not seem sustainable and I don't see it putting much of a dent in Valve in the short term either. They need to do more if they expect to compete with Steam, otherwise they're just forcing the handful of people who can't wait into using an inferior service. That doesn't really help anyone, even Epic.

    Epic 100% benefits from people building a library and consistent use of their service.

    Like do you think they offer free games bi-weekly for funsies?

  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    They still sell games you have to have steam to use. Among their most popular games, plus last I checked Capcom is at least one big publisher that only releases PC titles on Steam.

    Weirdly no one is crying out that the monopoly is holding whole triple A publishers hostage.

    They're not holding a triple A publisher hostage. Capcom is free to go to GoG, humble, origin, Uplay, or even start their own storefront. (There's actually a handful of Capcom games on Origin) Additionally, Capcom can sell keys for their games wherever they want, completely cutting Valve out of the profit even though the key is redeemed on Steam.

    I mean, this is my point: Steam is such a hugely entrenched monopoly that they literally get triple A exclusives 'for free' because they are so advantageous to every other platform in market share.

    Epic is a shitty platform in a lot of ways but I just can't even fathom caring about the exclusives because like, that's the only way they're ever going to claw at the beast that is Steam.

    Yes, which is why Epic competing with Steam basically solely with exclusives is something I'm critical of. They're basically dropping tons of money into something that Steam gets for free. That does not seem sustainable and I don't see it putting much of a dent in Valve in the short term either. They need to do more if they expect to compete with Steam, otherwise they're just forcing the handful of people who can't wait into using an inferior service. That doesn't really help anyone, even Epic.

    Epic 100% benefits from people building a library and consistent use of their service.

    Except, as we've both mentioned, Steam is basically getting the same effect for free. Epic needs to offer something that Steam can't or won't, rather than playing tit for tat with exclusives in an arena where they're shelling out tons of money and Steam is just coasting by. Like I said, it's not sustainable: what is their longterm strategy for maintaining a customer base? Because Steam ain't going anywhere anytime soon.
    Like do you think they offer free games bi-weekly for funsies?

    The problem is how long do you think they're going to keep offering those free games, though? They'll end at some point (they say "rest of 2019" right now), and when they do, are people going to stick around if the EGS is still as barebones as it is? How long is Epic going to be willing to pump the gas?

  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Bad Opinion Haver Registered User regular
    a) I think you're missing the point of free games/exclusives building a library and habit if you think them stopping the gravy train is some failure of the strategy.

    b) Yes, again and obviously: Steam gets all their shit for free or cheap as heck because they're a hellish monopoly determined to only seek rent as hard as possible.

    Like their last two ideas were fucking paid mods and "what if we made card games as exploitative as MtG for digital cards???"

  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    edited August 27
    a) I think you're missing the point of free games/exclusives building a library and habit if you think them stopping the gravy train is some failure of the strategy.

    It's a failure of strategy if they don't give people a reason to stick around after the gravy train ends, which is my whole point. Right now the EGS is entirely gravy train and exclusives, both of which aren't cheap. Once they expire, what's going to be left? Is there going to be any reason for people to buy new games on the EGS after that? "because they have EGS installed" isn't really a great excuse because chances are, they're going to have Steam installed too.
    b) Yes, again and obviously: Steam gets all their shit for free or cheap as heck because they're a hellish monopoly determined to only seek rent as hard as possible.

    Like their last two ideas were fucking paid mods and "what if we made card games as exploitative as MtG for digital cards???"

    I've mentioned I agree that Steam needs competition - Which is why the EGS annoys me so; they have the money to be a thorn in Valve's side, instead they're they're disrupting consumers more than they are Valve.

    Undead Scottsman on
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