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Penny Arcade - Comic - Here Comes A New Challenger

13»

Posts

  • EnlongEnlong Registered User regular
    Wabbit season!

    YggiDee wrote: »
    Having teenaged RPG leads is really cool until you stop being a teenager yourself. Do you remember being seventeen? You're a dumbass at seventeen! I wanna be saved by the guy who's twenty-seven. He's at least payed taxes. He knows how to do shit. He can drive.
    Hahnsoo1dennisRchanen
  • milskimilski UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ 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.

    I think that you're overestimating consumer tolerance for quality and vastly underestimating consumer complacency/habit forming. "Because the last game I launched was on Epic" is how a lot of sales of non-exclusive games are going to go, regardless of the relative quality of the services. Convenience and mindshare go a very, very long way. (Also Epic has way faster download speeds than Steam, which is nice).

    As far as "disruption" goes, I think that on balance, I think that piles of free games is more of a benefit than any "disruption" faced by needing a second launcher. Obviously, the goal of the free or deeply discounted games is to build marketshare, but that doesn't change that it's pretty convenient for consumers as it stands to get free games. And to loop it back to the point I've been making, the issue is capitalism as a whole. Wishing for "good" competition to Steam is a fools errand, because every competitor to Steam will have to engage in practices you find distasteful and every platform that gets remotely near the level of Steam will leverage it towards a different set of distasteful practices that are profitable because of their size.

    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!!
    cB557zepherinSynthesisMagicalGoats
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    milski wrote: »
    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.

    I think that you're overestimating consumer tolerance for quality and vastly underestimating consumer complacency/habit forming. "Because the last game I launched was on Epic" is how a lot of sales of non-exclusive games are going to go, regardless of the relative quality of the services. Convenience and mindshare go a very, very long way. (Also Epic has way faster download speeds than Steam, which is nice).

    But like I said, they're also going to have Steam installed; there's no scenario where people will switch over en mass AND delete Steam. These aren't consoles where price will force people to pick one or the other; the best EGS can hope for is coexistence. "last game I launched on epic" is only an alt-tab away from checking out prices on Steam. Also if even ONE of the features that Steam has over the EGS (like, for example, workshop support) appeals to them, then they're going to be more likely to go with Steam over EGS. This is why I think Epic needs to be doing more.

    Can't speak to the download speeds since Steam maxes out my tiny ass connection just fine. You might be overestimating how many people can utilize the faster speeds. Boardband, in the USA at least, sucks in a lot of areas still.
    As far as "disruption" goes, I think that on balance, I think that piles of free games is more of a benefit than any "disruption" faced by needing a second launcher. Obviously, the goal of the free or deeply discounted games is to build marketshare, but that doesn't change that it's pretty convenient for consumers as it stands to get free games.

    Sorry, didn't meant to imply the disruption towards consumers was problematic, was just using it to exemplify how little they've moved Valve since releasing. There was the improved split stuff that happened before EGS was announced (likely due to Valve getting a heads up from devs it was coming) and then nothing really in the ten months sense. Knew I should have rephrased that.
    And to loop it back to the point I've been making, the issue is capitalism as a whole. Wishing for "good" competition to Steam is a fools errand, because every competitor to Steam will have to engage in practices you find distasteful and every platform that gets remotely near the level of Steam will leverage it towards a different set of distasteful practices that are profitable because of their size.

    The tastefulness of the practices isn't really what I'm talking about here. I'm saying they're short-sighted and that Epic needs to do more than paying companies for a year of exclusivity if they want long-term viability. Unless they just want to keep dumping money into something Valve gets for free.

  • LttlefootLttlefoot Registered User regular
    I’m one of those people with hundreds of games steam backlog and I think this comic is accurate because I didn’t even realise that a lot of these games will be epic exclusive, I probably would have just forgotten that I was interested in them till they showed up on steam.

    However I do grab launchers to get free games. Thanks to this discussion I can now get Celeste for free (and inside I guess) and then forget I own them until I get low on disk space and notice I have games in my Epic games folder. Still, free is free.

    One thing I don’t get (as someone thinking of becoming a game dev) is why are people saying Steam’s “anything goes” curation system is bad?

  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Bad Opinion Haver Registered User regular
    I mean, Steam gets all their free value by being the top of the pile.

    Anyone who installs a notable amount of EGS games is helping contribute to that library having similar weight.

    I feel like a lot of your estimations of stuff are thrown off by whether it directly effects steam or not. Which is absurd because Steam is a monopoly that wouldn't be effected if competitors literally mailed you cocaine for every individual purchase.

    cB557MagicalGoats
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    I mean, Steam gets all their free value by being the top of the pile.

    Anyone who installs a notable amount of EGS games is helping contribute to that library having similar weight.

    Sure. I'm saying it's not going to be remotely enough weight to do anything to Steam and I feel it's potentially not enough weight for the EGS to justify its existence once Epic no longer wants to dump money into it.
    I feel like a lot of your estimations of stuff are thrown off by whether it directly effects steam or not. Which is absurd because Steam is a monopoly that wouldn't be effected if competitors literally mailed you cocaine for every individual purchase.

    It's already directly affecting Steam, just not remotely enough to get Valve to do anything about as of yet. Regardless, my estimations are about the longterm viability of the Epic Store itself since, as we've both mentioned, Steam isn't going anywhere, so Epic is going to have to constantly make a case for why you should buy a game from them and not Valve (or EA, or Ubisoft or GoG etc. etc.). Right now that case exclusives and free games, but what is that case going to be in a few years? What is their longterm strategy here?

  • milskimilski UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ Registered User regular
    edited August 28
    Lttlefoot wrote: »
    I’m one of those people with hundreds of games steam backlog and I think this comic is accurate because I didn’t even realise that a lot of these games will be epic exclusive, I probably would have just forgotten that I was interested in them till they showed up on steam.

    However I do grab launchers to get free games. Thanks to this discussion I can now get Celeste for free (and inside I guess) and then forget I own them until I get low on disk space and notice I have games in my Epic games folder. Still, free is free.

    One thing I don’t get (as someone thinking of becoming a game dev) is why are people saying Steam’s “anything goes” curation system is bad?

    Steam's "anything goes" curation system fills the storefront with a pretty significant ocean of crap, asset flips, $1 games played only by bots to sell trading cards to bots that buy cards, achievement farmers, and more. They attempt to address this via the tag, discovery, and recommendation systems, but it mostly serves to put a bandage on an open wound. With the current setup, they've mostly avoided actually recommending those sort of games to people by requiring a baseline level of activity/number of reviews to get recommended, but this leads to the separate problem where games with actual effort put into them are no more advertised by the system than shovelware unless they get above that threshold, so any random game on Steam is basically assumed to be crap unless proven otherwise. It also hurt's Steams ability to provide long-tail sales somewhat, but that's more of a general "there's too much of a backlog" thing.

    Compared to, say, indie games on the Switch, or games on the Epic store, or even Steam from the beginning of the Greenlight period, and there is potential for random games to rise above the pile and a baseline level of confidence in the game itself being at least playable and with something interesting/unique about it. It's worse in that you can't actually get on those platforms unless you have some level of established cred or a polished product, but it's better in that those small-budget, polished products get some amount of structural support when they're on the platform.

    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!!
    cB557DjiemTofystedeth
  • dennisdennis Registered User regular
    Enlong wrote: »
    Wabbit season!

    Duck season!

  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Bad Opinion Haver Registered User regular
    edited August 28
    I mean, Steam gets all their free value by being the top of the pile.

    Anyone who installs a notable amount of EGS games is helping contribute to that library having similar weight.

    Sure. I'm saying it's not going to be remotely enough weight to do anything to Steam and I feel it's potentially not enough weight for the EGS to justify its existence once Epic no longer wants to dump money into it.
    I feel like a lot of your estimations of stuff are thrown off by whether it directly effects steam or not. Which is absurd because Steam is a monopoly that wouldn't be effected if competitors literally mailed you cocaine for every individual purchase.

    It's already directly affecting Steam, just not remotely enough to get Valve to do anything about as of yet. Regardless, my estimations are about the longterm viability of the Epic Store itself since, as we've both mentioned, Steam isn't going anywhere, so Epic is going to have to constantly make a case for why you should buy a game from them and not Valve (or EA, or Ubisoft or GoG etc. etc.). Right now that case exclusives and free games, but what is that case going to be in a few years? What is their longterm strategy here?

    So, and again, Steam is such a huge monopoly that competition's choice is to exist under it like GoG and Itch.IO do or to try and compete with exclusives and spending a bunch of money to grow but achieve nothing (according to you).

    I uh, in that read Epic isn't the bad guy.

    It's the huge monopoly that stifles any competition via sheer weight of existence. About Valve's only saving grace is that they're pretty benign as a monopoly because their last two attempts to screw people for money (paid mods and Artifact) were both dismal failures.

    Albino Bunny on
    cB557MagicalGoats
  • BremenBremen Registered User regular
    I mean, Steam gets all their free value by being the top of the pile.

    Anyone who installs a notable amount of EGS games is helping contribute to that library having similar weight.

    Sure. I'm saying it's not going to be remotely enough weight to do anything to Steam and I feel it's potentially not enough weight for the EGS to justify its existence once Epic no longer wants to dump money into it.
    I feel like a lot of your estimations of stuff are thrown off by whether it directly effects steam or not. Which is absurd because Steam is a monopoly that wouldn't be effected if competitors literally mailed you cocaine for every individual purchase.

    It's already directly affecting Steam, just not remotely enough to get Valve to do anything about as of yet. Regardless, my estimations are about the longterm viability of the Epic Store itself since, as we've both mentioned, Steam isn't going anywhere, so Epic is going to have to constantly make a case for why you should buy a game from them and not Valve (or EA, or Ubisoft or GoG etc. etc.). Right now that case exclusives and free games, but what is that case going to be in a few years? What is their longterm strategy here?

    So, and again, Steam is such a huge monopoly that competition's choice is to exist under it like GoG and Itch.IO do or to try and compete with exclusives and spending a bunch of money to grow but achieve nothing (according to you).

    I uh, in that read Epic isn't the bad guy.

    It's the huge monopoly that stifles any competition via sheer weight of existence. About Valve's only saving grace is that they're pretty benign as a monopoly because their last two attempts to screw people for money (paid mods and Artifact) were both dismal failures.

    If they wanted to step up as a competitor to Steam, they could try offering a different kind of service people would like. For example, I see lots of people saying they wish Steam curated their store and didn't allow every game on board, no matter how bad. Epic could try making a store that's "Steam, but with a curated collection and a focus on quality games" and they might well carve out their own niche that way. Or address a thousand other complaints that Steam gets. Or just do it with the free games and good sales; no one's complaining about those. There's plenty of ways to compete with Steam without exclusives.

    Or, like others have said, they could compete with exclusives while still trying to offer a comparable experience to Steam, at which point people would be much less upset about the exclusives.

  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    I mean, Steam gets all their free value by being the top of the pile.

    Anyone who installs a notable amount of EGS games is helping contribute to that library having similar weight.

    Sure. I'm saying it's not going to be remotely enough weight to do anything to Steam and I feel it's potentially not enough weight for the EGS to justify its existence once Epic no longer wants to dump money into it.
    I feel like a lot of your estimations of stuff are thrown off by whether it directly effects steam or not. Which is absurd because Steam is a monopoly that wouldn't be effected if competitors literally mailed you cocaine for every individual purchase.

    It's already directly affecting Steam, just not remotely enough to get Valve to do anything about as of yet. Regardless, my estimations are about the longterm viability of the Epic Store itself since, as we've both mentioned, Steam isn't going anywhere, so Epic is going to have to constantly make a case for why you should buy a game from them and not Valve (or EA, or Ubisoft or GoG etc. etc.). Right now that case exclusives and free games, but what is that case going to be in a few years? What is their longterm strategy here?

    So, and again, Steam is such a huge monopoly that competition's choice is to exist under it like GoG and Itch.IO do or to try and compete with exclusives and spending a bunch of money to grow but achieve nothing (according to you).

    I uh, in that read Epic isn't the bad guy.

    It's the huge monopoly that stifles any competition via sheer weight of existence. About Valve's only saving grace is that they're pretty benign as a monopoly because their last two attempts to screw people for money (paid mods and Artifact) were both dismal failures.

    I have serious criticisms of Epic and their storefront; that doesn't mean I'm saying they the "bad guy." I'm saying they're doing an inadequate job of being competition, and I have serious doubts that they can justify their long-term existence with their current trajectory.

    Again, I WANT decent competition for Steam; it's why I'm frustrated with how Epic is handling their store. If anyone could have been in position to take Steam down a peg, it's the guys who make the Unreal Engine and have a bank account lined with Fortnite money.

    You're also creating a false dichotomy here; Epic can have both exclusives AND innovation in areas that Steam is deficient in. It's not an either or situation. You attract people in the short term by putting money into exclusives and you keep longterm them by investing in features and QoL they'd like. The point is the former runs the risk of being ineffective in the long run without the latter.

  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Bad Opinion Haver Registered User regular
    Bremen wrote: »
    I mean, Steam gets all their free value by being the top of the pile.

    Anyone who installs a notable amount of EGS games is helping contribute to that library having similar weight.

    Sure. I'm saying it's not going to be remotely enough weight to do anything to Steam and I feel it's potentially not enough weight for the EGS to justify its existence once Epic no longer wants to dump money into it.
    I feel like a lot of your estimations of stuff are thrown off by whether it directly effects steam or not. Which is absurd because Steam is a monopoly that wouldn't be effected if competitors literally mailed you cocaine for every individual purchase.

    It's already directly affecting Steam, just not remotely enough to get Valve to do anything about as of yet. Regardless, my estimations are about the longterm viability of the Epic Store itself since, as we've both mentioned, Steam isn't going anywhere, so Epic is going to have to constantly make a case for why you should buy a game from them and not Valve (or EA, or Ubisoft or GoG etc. etc.). Right now that case exclusives and free games, but what is that case going to be in a few years? What is their longterm strategy here?

    So, and again, Steam is such a huge monopoly that competition's choice is to exist under it like GoG and Itch.IO do or to try and compete with exclusives and spending a bunch of money to grow but achieve nothing (according to you).

    I uh, in that read Epic isn't the bad guy.

    It's the huge monopoly that stifles any competition via sheer weight of existence. About Valve's only saving grace is that they're pretty benign as a monopoly because their last two attempts to screw people for money (paid mods and Artifact) were both dismal failures.

    If they wanted to step up as a competitor to Steam, they could try offering a different kind of service people would like. For example, I see lots of people saying they wish Steam curated their store and didn't allow every game on board, no matter how bad. Epic could try making a store that's "Steam, but with a curated collection and a focus on quality games" and they might well carve out their own niche that way. Or address a thousand other complaints that Steam gets. Or just do it with the free games and good sales; no one's complaining about those. There's plenty of ways to compete with Steam without exclusives.

    Or, like others have said, they could compete with exclusives while still trying to offer a comparable experience to Steam, at which point people would be much less upset about the exclusives.

    Yeah, if only they offered a neat service like no DRM, or a decentralized store page, or high budget exclusives made in house.

    No wait, none of those actually knock Steam in anyway either.

    Gosh darn Discord, a program which literally starts from the base of having a colossal install base of the target market, closed down their store.

    Like you're all just pretending when you say that X feature or Y behaviour will make some service the 'right' competition for Steam. It doesn't have any meaningful ones.

    milskicB557MagicalGoats
  • BremenBremen Registered User regular
    Steam is, consumer facing, effectively the same as DRM free. Yeah, Steam is DRM, but if you're using Steam anyways it's not appreciably different from being DRM free. Also the whole reason games have DRM is to increase sales, so offering DRM free games to compete with Steam is kind of competing with one hand tied behind your back.

    That Discord's install base didn't instantly make them a winner, if anything, just goes to show that having a large install base doesn't make or break a store. People use Steam because it's convenient and easy, not just because they already have Steam installed. People who have both Epic and Steam installed will continue to use Steam, because it's easier than Epic and offers features like workshop support, cloud saves, built in community tools, and all the stuff Epic lacks. People in this thread have consistently tried to explain that to you, and your response seems to basically boil down to "It's hard to compete with Steam, because Steam makes a better product than its competitors, and thus Steam is the bad guy here!"

    Nothing stops Epic from both making a good store and having exclusives, but you seem to keep ignoring that fact.

    zepherin
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Bad Opinion Haver Registered User regular
    edited August 28
    I'm not ignoring it, it's just irrelevant to the point: There are stores with comparable features, there are stores with USP's that steam doesn't have like GoG's lack of DRM, itch.io's unique structure or Origin having literally a whole publisher's worth of exclusives.

    It doesn't matter whether a store competes by trying to out customer service steam or by buying exclusives because Steam is a monopoly.

    Exclusives at least have the effect of forcing people to have libraries and start to build up the same social network clumping that Steam benefits from. Heck that's literally the main benefit of getting Borderlands 3 as an exclusive: It doesn't just force individuals but pushes people to get used to using the infrastructure Epic has for friends and social stuff.

    Which is all that's really being competed for when it comes to establishing your store. Something which has near zero to do with whether there's a shopping cart on the store.

    And also why like, having a competitive market over a service that only really exists to seek rent for having the most popular infrastructure is just pretty consistently bad for consumers.

    Albino Bunny on
    cB557
  • milskimilski UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ Registered User regular
    Bremen wrote: »
    I mean, Steam gets all their free value by being the top of the pile.

    Anyone who installs a notable amount of EGS games is helping contribute to that library having similar weight.

    Sure. I'm saying it's not going to be remotely enough weight to do anything to Steam and I feel it's potentially not enough weight for the EGS to justify its existence once Epic no longer wants to dump money into it.
    I feel like a lot of your estimations of stuff are thrown off by whether it directly effects steam or not. Which is absurd because Steam is a monopoly that wouldn't be effected if competitors literally mailed you cocaine for every individual purchase.

    It's already directly affecting Steam, just not remotely enough to get Valve to do anything about as of yet. Regardless, my estimations are about the longterm viability of the Epic Store itself since, as we've both mentioned, Steam isn't going anywhere, so Epic is going to have to constantly make a case for why you should buy a game from them and not Valve (or EA, or Ubisoft or GoG etc. etc.). Right now that case exclusives and free games, but what is that case going to be in a few years? What is their longterm strategy here?

    So, and again, Steam is such a huge monopoly that competition's choice is to exist under it like GoG and Itch.IO do or to try and compete with exclusives and spending a bunch of money to grow but achieve nothing (according to you).

    I uh, in that read Epic isn't the bad guy.

    It's the huge monopoly that stifles any competition via sheer weight of existence. About Valve's only saving grace is that they're pretty benign as a monopoly because their last two attempts to screw people for money (paid mods and Artifact) were both dismal failures.

    If they wanted to step up as a competitor to Steam, they could try offering a different kind of service people would like. For example, I see lots of people saying they wish Steam curated their store and didn't allow every game on board, no matter how bad. Epic could try making a store that's "Steam, but with a curated collection and a focus on quality games" and they might well carve out their own niche that way. Or address a thousand other complaints that Steam gets. Or just do it with the free games and good sales; no one's complaining about those. There's plenty of ways to compete with Steam without exclusives.

    Or, like others have said, they could compete with exclusives while still trying to offer a comparable experience to Steam, at which point people would be much less upset about the exclusives.

    Epic is literally a curated store full of quality games. They are literally doing exactly what you say they should do to compete.

    You can't write me off like that! You're just a voice, pal! You don't know a DAMN THING ABOUT RACING!!
    Albino BunnyzepherincB557MagicalGoats
  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    I'm fully of the opinion that Valve should just pivot to providing gaming infrastructure and cloud services since that seems to be what they like and are good at* doing these days, and let people who want to actually make games, curate storefronts, and manage communities, build them on top of that.

    *pay no attention to the escalation of privilege vulnerability behind the curtain
    https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019/08/severe-local-0-day-escalation-exploit-found-in-steam-client-services/

    steam_sig.png
    zepherin
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Epic's strategy is expensive. Most game studios are loathe to go with exclusivity unless they get a good chunk of money to do so. For the PS2, Sony kicked a large sum of money to develop and for exclusive publishing rights to gain the market dominance in the console space.

    Epic is attempting something similar, but games are more expensive now, and Epic appears less coordinated than Sony was.

    Like I get it, they want what steam has, but steam has been at this for 15 years. They have a huge first mover advantage, and everyone has their library on steam.

    Customer service is kinda tricky. Having the best customer service won't get you any new customers. Having the worst customer service will lose you customers. You know why Walmart and Costco let's people return pretty much anything, even without a receipt, if only for store credit. Because if you piss on your customers shoes as a matter of policy, customers stop coming. Steam generally resolves issues within a week. Blizzard, actually has surprisingly responsive customer support. I had them resolve an issue within 4 hours of email. I was surprised.

    Epic on the other hand is taking an actively hostile stance towards their customers. Which is weird. They are trying to grow their base not disgust people into not using their service.

  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    milski wrote: »
    Bremen wrote: »
    I mean, Steam gets all their free value by being the top of the pile.

    Anyone who installs a notable amount of EGS games is helping contribute to that library having similar weight.

    Sure. I'm saying it's not going to be remotely enough weight to do anything to Steam and I feel it's potentially not enough weight for the EGS to justify its existence once Epic no longer wants to dump money into it.
    I feel like a lot of your estimations of stuff are thrown off by whether it directly effects steam or not. Which is absurd because Steam is a monopoly that wouldn't be effected if competitors literally mailed you cocaine for every individual purchase.

    It's already directly affecting Steam, just not remotely enough to get Valve to do anything about as of yet. Regardless, my estimations are about the longterm viability of the Epic Store itself since, as we've both mentioned, Steam isn't going anywhere, so Epic is going to have to constantly make a case for why you should buy a game from them and not Valve (or EA, or Ubisoft or GoG etc. etc.). Right now that case exclusives and free games, but what is that case going to be in a few years? What is their longterm strategy here?

    So, and again, Steam is such a huge monopoly that competition's choice is to exist under it like GoG and Itch.IO do or to try and compete with exclusives and spending a bunch of money to grow but achieve nothing (according to you).

    I uh, in that read Epic isn't the bad guy.

    It's the huge monopoly that stifles any competition via sheer weight of existence. About Valve's only saving grace is that they're pretty benign as a monopoly because their last two attempts to screw people for money (paid mods and Artifact) were both dismal failures.

    If they wanted to step up as a competitor to Steam, they could try offering a different kind of service people would like. For example, I see lots of people saying they wish Steam curated their store and didn't allow every game on board, no matter how bad. Epic could try making a store that's "Steam, but with a curated collection and a focus on quality games" and they might well carve out their own niche that way. Or address a thousand other complaints that Steam gets. Or just do it with the free games and good sales; no one's complaining about those. There's plenty of ways to compete with Steam without exclusives.

    Or, like others have said, they could compete with exclusives while still trying to offer a comparable experience to Steam, at which point people would be much less upset about the exclusives.

    Epic is literally a curated store full of quality games. They are literally doing exactly what you say they should do to compete.

    I wish, but Epic has no real curation system. It's just big-name Triple A games backed by large publishes, super well known indies, or indies who are willing to to accept an exclusivity agreement. They aren't accepting a wide berth of content and then curating that, which is what Steam should be doing. You either need to be a known quality or be willing to not release your product on Steam (From what I understand, this is due to backend reasons; Epic literally can't add games to the store fast enough at the moment, so if you're not a big name, you need to be exclusive for Epic to give you the time of day. Hopefully they fix it.)

    It's basically the opposite problem to Steam, and is similar to the system Steam had pre-Greenlight, where it was extremely difficult to get onto the service unless you already had an "in" and thus many, many, many indies were left in the dust, and what prompted Valve to try Greenlight in the first place.

  • BremenBremen Registered User regular
    edited August 28
    I'm not ignoring it, it's just irrelevant to the point: There are stores with comparable features, there are stores with USP's that steam doesn't have like GoG's lack of DRM, itch.io's unique structure or Origin having literally a whole publisher's worth of exclusives.

    It doesn't matter whether a store competes by trying to out customer service steam or by buying exclusives because Steam is a monopoly.

    There are no stores that offer comparable features to Steam. Steam is a monopoly in the sense that if one manufacturer's cars are much better than anyone else's, people will overwhelmingly buy those cars.
    Exclusives at least have the effect of forcing people to have libraries and start to build up the same social network clumping that Steam benefits from. Heck that's literally the main benefit of getting Borderlands 3 as an exclusive: It doesn't just force individuals but pushes people to get used to using the infrastructure Epic has for friends and social stuff.

    Which is all that's really being competed for when it comes to establishing your store. Something which has near zero to do with whether there's a shopping cart on the store.

    And also why like, having a competitive market over a service that only really exists to seek rent for having the most popular infrastructure is just pretty consistently bad for consumers.

    Except, by your own example, this doesn't work. Discord probably had a comparable install base and social network to Steam itself, and it failed. Exclusives will force people to install Epic store to play the exclusive games, but unless they have a reason to want to use Epic over Steam, they will continue to use Steam for actually buying games that aren't exclusive.

    Bremen on
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Bad Opinion Haver Registered User regular
    Bremen wrote: »
    I'm not ignoring it, it's just irrelevant to the point: There are stores with comparable features, there are stores with USP's that steam doesn't have like GoG's lack of DRM, itch.io's unique structure or Origin having literally a whole publisher's worth of exclusives.

    It doesn't matter whether a store competes by trying to out customer service steam or by buying exclusives because Steam is a monopoly.

    There are no stores that offer comparable features to Steam. Steam is a monopoly in the sense that if one manufacturer's cars are much better than anyone else's, people will overwhelmingly buy those cars.
    Exclusives at least have the effect of forcing people to have libraries and start to build up the same social network clumping that Steam benefits from. Heck that's literally the main benefit of getting Borderlands 3 as an exclusive: It doesn't just force individuals but pushes people to get used to using the infrastructure Epic has for friends and social stuff.

    Which is all that's really being competed for when it comes to establishing your store. Something which has near zero to do with whether there's a shopping cart on the store.

    And also why like, having a competitive market over a service that only really exists to seek rent for having the most popular infrastructure is just pretty consistently bad for consumers.

    Except, by your own example, this doesn't work. Discord probably had a comparable install base and social network to Steam itself, and it failed. Exclusives will force people to install Epic store to play the exclusive games, but unless they have a reason to want to use Epic over Steam, they will continue to use Steam for actually buying games that aren't exclusive.

    The idea that steam is some super service that deserves a monopoly is fucking hilarious in the light of them needing political pressure to not list a game named "Rape Day".

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  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    Not to mention, Steam for better or worse has embraced "big titty anime girlfriend simulator" on their platform. Even with parental controls and the fact they hide those games from the main store pages, I'm sure there's parents out there who look at EGS as a slightly more family friendly storefront. So on the one hand, Steam has made great strides in the adult game world, they're also taking a more and more hands-off approach to curation these days.

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  • BremenBremen Registered User regular
    edited August 28
    Bremen wrote: »
    I'm not ignoring it, it's just irrelevant to the point: There are stores with comparable features, there are stores with USP's that steam doesn't have like GoG's lack of DRM, itch.io's unique structure or Origin having literally a whole publisher's worth of exclusives.

    It doesn't matter whether a store competes by trying to out customer service steam or by buying exclusives because Steam is a monopoly.

    There are no stores that offer comparable features to Steam. Steam is a monopoly in the sense that if one manufacturer's cars are much better than anyone else's, people will overwhelmingly buy those cars.
    Exclusives at least have the effect of forcing people to have libraries and start to build up the same social network clumping that Steam benefits from. Heck that's literally the main benefit of getting Borderlands 3 as an exclusive: It doesn't just force individuals but pushes people to get used to using the infrastructure Epic has for friends and social stuff.

    Which is all that's really being competed for when it comes to establishing your store. Something which has near zero to do with whether there's a shopping cart on the store.

    And also why like, having a competitive market over a service that only really exists to seek rent for having the most popular infrastructure is just pretty consistently bad for consumers.

    Except, by your own example, this doesn't work. Discord probably had a comparable install base and social network to Steam itself, and it failed. Exclusives will force people to install Epic store to play the exclusive games, but unless they have a reason to want to use Epic over Steam, they will continue to use Steam for actually buying games that aren't exclusive.

    The idea that steam is some super service that deserves a monopoly is fucking hilarious in the light of them needing political pressure to not list a game named "Rape Day".
    Not to mention, Steam for better or worse has embraced "big titty anime girlfriend simulator" on their platform. Even with parental controls and the fact they hide those games from the main store pages, I'm sure there's parents out there who look at EGS as a slightly more family friendly storefront. So on the one hand, Steam has made great strides in the adult game world, they're also taking a more and more hands-off approach to curation these days.

    And look at both those examples - customers didn't flee Steam because of them. Either they don't care enough (which would, admittedly, be my guess) or there are no other platforms available they consider comparable.

    If customers demand a sales platform where someone can't just go and put questionable content on, Steam will have to change or they will leave Steam for other services that offer that. That's why it's not a monopoly in the sense that people are forced to use Steam - customers can choose to use a different service. If Steam's service is as outrageous as you're saying, then that's an easy route for Epic.

    I'm all in favor of Steam having competition. If Epic made a good store, one that a customer might choose to use it because they want, say, a family friendly storefront, I think that would be great. Hell, I'm not even opposed to that *and* exclusives, because at least then they're not actively trying to make the experience for PC gamers worse than it currently is. But they have apparently given up on even trying.

    Bremen on
  • AlienCowThatMoosAlienCowThatMoos Registered User regular
    When you're taking on the undisputed market leader, it's not enough to just make a better product. You need a better product and the leader needs to fuck up so bad that people will be looking for it. The internet noise seems to say Steam is fucking up so the timing may be right.

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  • MatriasMatrias Registered User regular
    pretty disingenuous comic, given Epic is also paying developers to give away their games for free on the Epic story.

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  • jungleroomxjungleroomx And I said, hol up Registered User regular
    edited August 29
    As someone who recently bought a game on the EGS because of their shitbird exclusivity tactics, I had a horrible fucking time doing so and will never purchase from them again unless things change drastically.

    Their store has nothing on it worth keeping around. They've missed goals and promised feature releases since they put their roadmap up (which is available directly in the store) and still can't figure out how to pre-load a fucking game.

    Let me know when their store isn't shit and maybe I'll look at getting something off of there. It's sad that even Origin is eating their lunch.

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