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Old 08-17-2011, 07:18 PM   #41
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Quote:
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When a service is already excellent, competition does nothing but muddle the marketplace. In the case of a UFC, when one entrant is vastly superior the best scenario is periodic attempts at competition. It keeps the leader honest and, when the start up fails, the winner gobbles up the ips and stabilizes the market.

Monopolies are only bad for the consumer when time allows them to stagnate and entrench. Blizzard's success has lead to some unfortunate practices recently: Cataclysm's dearth of content, Starcraft broken into 3 separate units and an increase in horse armor. The recent down tick in their WoW subscriber base, however slight, should send a message, though. Diablo III has the annoying anti-piracy rules, but I am awaiting its release and reviews to see how said message has been received.

Steam, on the other hand, has maintained a monopoly for a significant amount of time without a noticeable downtrend in standards. The only flaw from Valve, thus far, has been their refusal to finish Ep. 3, which hurts its bottom line and not Steam's customers. I am not sure it requires an outside threat, at this time.
Exactly. It's almost as if EA is trying to appeal to hipsters at this point. It's really quite comical.
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Old 08-17-2011, 07:37 PM   #42
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Obligatory mentions of (1) GFWL's FAIL of a save system and (2) Origin's FAIL of a re-download policy
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Old 08-17-2011, 07:46 PM   #43
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That should just about cover anything...
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Old 08-17-2011, 11:37 PM   #44
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I don't want another program to manage a select group of games, just like I wouldn't want another operating system to run selected programs.

I wish people would stop applying "Competition is always good" to this, when clearly it's not. Would you prefer to have every game publisher have their own game management system? Or would you prefer one system to manage all your games?

For me, I'd prefer to limit the exposure of my credit card number online...
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:43 AM   #45
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Or would you prefer one system to manage all your games?
This is what Microsoft tried to do time and time again, but you irrational MS haters foiled them time and time again because you decided you love Valve. I would have loved GFWL to manage all my PC games, but now I have to settle for Steam... and Impulse.... and Origin.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:47 AM   #46
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Of all the things fanboys fanboy about on this site, we actually have a GFWL fanboy.
Ay dios mio.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:51 AM   #47
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This is what Microsoft tried to do time and time again, but you irrational MS haters foiled them time and time again because you decided you love Valve. I would have loved GFWL to manage all my PC games, but now I have to settle for Steam... and Impulse.... and Origin.
Problem with that logic is that Steam launched four years before GfWL did. Steam was already well established before that came into play, the same problem existed for adopting GfWL (not wanting more than one system) as adopting Origin.
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:21 AM   #48
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What does this even mean? Steam doesn't set prices (with the exception of their extraordinarily low sale prices). Even if they tried to overprice their wares, wouldn't their customers seek physical copies? Seems like a silly point.
Steam is basically like the Apple App store on OS X. Steam doesn't set prices, but they get a cut of the profits -- similiar to Apple's app store. So if Steam becomes the only show in town -- Steam might want a bigger cut of the sales and therefore games might not go on sale as often, etc... Right now Steam has frequent sales because they can really drive the nail in. They are pretty much #1 and need to keep it that way. Once they are #1 with no challengers -- that could change.

As for Physical copies -- on the PC not everything is available via Physical copies -- Indie games, older titles, etc... And I thought Downloads were what everyone wanted? There are plenty of PC titles on Steam that will never be available in Gamestop or at a Best Buy.
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:23 AM   #49
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Problem with that logic is that Steam launched four years before GfWL did. Steam was already well established before that came into play, the same problem existed for adopting GfWL (not wanting more than one system) as adopting Origin.
Steam sucked for several years after it launched. I remember quiting Counter Strike because Steam was so broken for a while. Microsoft had a chance to strike back, but slept at the wheel.

If EA can bring something cool to the table I am all for it. The PC is not my phone and I do want a choice amongst retailers. Just like in the physical world -- Gamestop, Best Buy, etc... compete. I want that on my PC Digital downloads too.
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:56 AM   #50
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It seems woodx has still not played ME.
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:01 AM   #51
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the civil discourse displayed in the interview is oddly refreshing
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:31 AM   #52
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the civil discourse displayed in the interview is oddly refreshing
I agree, this is one of the most rational discussions I've seen on here about these topics. It's quite nice.

What I think would actually be really good, would be if someone were to create a single program/application/insert word of choice that would interface with Impulse, Steam, Origin, and anything else, and just *present* everything in one place for me. The thing I like most about Steam is that 90% of my computer games are all in one place. I don't like a cluttered desktop, so it's nice to have a single icon I can click on to access most of the games I want to play. It actually kindof annoys me that I have to put a separate icon down for all the rest of my games, or hunt through the start menu to get to them.

Impulse had a system that allowed you to run installed games from their launcher. Steam might as well, although I've not found it.

What would be nice though is something to thoroughly interface with the different digital distributors though, so that I can purchase, download, upgrade, etc, all through the "Master" program, and it would go to Steam, or Origin, etc (already installed on my computer but running in the background), and execute the transaction/instructions.

I'd even be willing to pay a moderate one-time fee for such a program, provided Steam/Origin/etc had some sort of guarantee of compatibility. This would require MasterProgram to work with Valve and EA and others though to create it, but I don't think that's too unreasonable, if done in the right way.

Hell, maybe I just came up with an awesome business plan that I should look in to.
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:35 AM   #53
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That's obviously not true. EA has Origen and many willing customers.

I don't care about how many competitors there are, whether one or twenty. I just hope many of you continue to buy games for $50+ so I can get them six to eighteen months later for $20. Thank you.
Look at the market share. If the government was regulating these digital download services like you apparently want they would be looking to break Valve up for dominating the market.

Six to eighteen months later? Haha so when you see a release date of 1/1/12 the Johan release date is 7/1/12 or might be delayed till 7/1/13?
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:41 AM   #54
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I think EA's main problem is that competitors will simply not want to be on their platform driving more users to them.

As great as Valve is, they're still a relatively small company and their primary products (TF2, CS, L4D2, DOTA2) don't really infringe on the territories of their Steam Partners. Effectively, while Valve is a game publisher, they don't directly compete with many of their customers (I guess you could argue that CS and TF2 compete with other shooters but they're so pervasive, I bet it's harder to find a Steam user without those two games).

EA does in a huge way since they are literally all over the map for games and I just don't see the competition getting on-board with driving dollars into EA's pockets.
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:05 AM   #55
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So if Steam becomes the only show in town --
How on earth do you imagine that happening. It had competition before Origin. Probably its biggest competitor is Direct2Drive.

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Right now Steam has frequent sales because they can really drive the nail in. They are pretty much #1 and need to keep it that way. Once they are #1 with no challengers -- that could change.
It's an impossible scenario really. They can't force competitors out of the market, not players to buy from them. This just goes to show yet again, the only possible way to obtain a monopoly is to obtain a legal monopoly, meaning to get government to pass a law saying X company is the only one allowed to exist in that market.

Right now Steam has 70% of the digidown market not because of legislation, but because it's a damn good service. If it had 100% of the market because of damn good service that would be almost unprecedented.

Rather, most markets end up creating market twins--at least two really big competitors. This scenario can be seen in tons of markets, coke/pepsi, intel/amd, nvidia/ati, etc.

Mostly likely EA looked at the digidown games market and realized there's no big-time competitor to Steam yet and felt like they could waltz in and buy instant credibility (like MS did in the console space).

But the nature of a download service seems a bit different to me. It's my favorite social network for gaming by far. Thereby it has built-in reinforcement. It's the only game-overlay I'm going to keep running all the time. I didn't on my old system for memory reasons, but now I do.

And all of this means that Origin is likely too little, too late.
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:22 AM   #56
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I think Valve can create a monopoly by forcing publishers to sign exclusivity deals for X period (this would be somewhat similar to what Microsoft did). I don't see that happening though, Valve is instead just trying its damnest (or so it appears) to just be the best service out there. I mean you can choose to be on multiple platforms for Digital Downloads but unless you want to cut out a significant portion of your potential userbase, you will distribute on Steam.

EA has the pockets to do this, it remains to be seen if they have the clout to execute it. I hope they don't because of their business practices and their general douchiness but I would not mind seeing another good digital storefront established to keep Steam working hard if nothing else.
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:56 AM   #57
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It seems woodx has still not played ME.
I got as far as exploring planets and uninstalled it. Was bored to tears and the combat system blew.
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:59 AM   #58
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I thought it was rather cheezy. Great rental.
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:35 AM   #59
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I got as far as exploring planets and uninstalled it. Was bored to tears and the combat system blew.
Heretic.

Btw, exploring planets is completely optional. I did a speed run on it once and was looking forward to exploring planets, and only ended up driving on like one or two, and not exploring at all. Both led into scripted events.
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:44 AM   #60
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I think Valve can create a monopoly by forcing publishers to sign exclusivity deals for X period (this would be somewhat similar to what Microsoft did).
But that wouldn't be force, that would be free choice. If the publishers think they can maximize return on their investment that way and the sign up for it, then they're making that choice. There's no compulsion there. In any case, limited-time exclusivity deal by MS and Sony likely always have a cash premium attached to them being payed to the publishers.

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I don't see that happening though, Valve is instead just trying its damnest (or so it appears) to just be the best service out there.
This is why the free market works. Because market share has a direct correlation to how well they're serving the market.

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EA has the pockets to do this, it remains to be seen if they have the clout to execute it. I hope they don't because of their business practices and their general douchiness but I would not mind seeing another good digital storefront established to keep Steam working hard if nothing else.
EA is not a tech company, they're a publisher. They're going to approach this business as a publisher. I'm not sure it's going to work. Here Steam was disrupted the market by quietly building a digidown portal when everyone thought they were crazy to do so. But damn, they all jealous now that the future is so very clearly a digidown only world, and the truth about profits has come to light.

The games industry is about to get waaay more profitable as digidown goes mainstream, because no longer will we a publisher be paying CD manufacturers, shippers, various paper and stick printers, box manufacturers, and of course brick and mortar store shelves where they further pay for the best spots on shelves.

What the publishers are deathly afraid of is the trend of indies skipping publishers and going straight to Steam! And they've realized, hey, without a digidown portal of our own we won't be a publisher anymore. We've got to have a presence in that market.

But the truth is, unless they treat Origin with an ALL IN attitude--which almost by definition they cannot--Origin will have little chance at gaining purchase in the market.

Only a visionary chief executive could lead the company into something like that, knowing it's the future, before market forces compel it. By then it will be too late. It's nearly too late already.

And I will enjoy watching EA twist in the wind at every turn. And Activision too when they come out with their sorry excuse for a digidown-portal, which I'm sure we all must realize they're planning now.

And every purchase on Steam will feel like sticking it to the bastard vampire publishers of the world--will make it twice as sweet.
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