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Valve is not your friend


#21

I do too. Basically, it's because there are no games on there that warrant an EA only game platform. Only other one I have is Blizzard.


#22

Steam has kept the games and files relatively easy mode just copy and paste. Even on linux it is easy mode once steam is installed.

Im sure the windows store is running in circle trying to compete but they fail at life unless your forced.

If successi s a problem them take steam down. I have dozens of games that digitally no away if steam goes away. Im not happy about that but they filled the void.


#23

This is why I dislike the digital distribution model. EB still exists? I thought Gamestop put all the other chains out of business and therefore, holds a monopoly on the retail gaming end.

Goes to show you, ruling with an iron fist inside a velvet glove yields better results than ruling with a straight up iron fist.

AMD is a thing, so I'd say Intel is not a monopoly.
OS X is a thing, so I'd say Windows is not a monopoly.
FTFY

Steam may not be a total monopoly, but it's damn near one, and some of its practices probably violate antitrust laws. It's just that no one in government cares about gaming (which is also why loot crates haven't been cracked down on yet). OK, maybe that one congressman that plays League might ...might.

Nah, he probably doesn't give a fuck. If he did, he would've brought something to the floor about loot crates being thinly veiled gambling by now. As an active gamer, I find it hard to believe he's unaware of the plague that is loot crates. Please correct me if I'm wrong.


#24

What practices violate anti-trust laws from valve?


#25

I do not mean monopoly in the sense that Steam is the only place in the world to get games.

I meant it loosely as in they are the 800 pound gorilla in the room that can do anything they want and because of that they have an influence on everyone around them that fears what they might do next. We are just lucky that this particular 800 pound gorilla is well behaved and when it has thrown it's weight ($) around it is usually for the greater good.

I Love Steam, so far.


#26

the are not a 800 pound gorilla.
look at the times theve tried to do stuff like selling steam workshop items.

They felt the feedback of the community and understood their place about the market.


#27

I said "probably." And here's one investigation underway:

And before I'm met with, "this is only one example!" Yes, it is only one example, but that could mean they just haven't been investigated on other practices yet. Look how long Microsoft got away with bundling Internet Explorer with Windows installations. And if they're not monopolistic practices, they are almost certainly unethical.


#28

I mean i have to download other browsers somehow


#29

You stated the case quite strongly for a 'probably'. I did see it by the way but I thought I'd push for a bit more :wink:

This case is about specific cross border competition in the EU and whether charging more or less in specific countries violates EU trade law. The possibility does exist that there could be monopolistic practices but without more information as to why prices and special offers are as such in each country it's pre-mature to say either way. I'm curious to see how that unfolds.

Within the United States, I don't see any case for saying Valve is engaging in monopolistic practices. However, if you think they are, I'd like to hear your thoughts instead of cowering with a line
like this:

Come on breh, I know you're better than that lol.

Yes. The leaders in an industry are like that! However, they can't do ANYTHING they want :wink:

I want to share a story with you that might change your mind a little bit.

A couple years ago, Valve got rid of the flash sale in their steam sales. Instead, they implemented a system where right from the beginning, every game had their best price. I didn't care for that because I really liked the idea of flash sales. I didn't like it only for better deals but because it was interesting and gave me and my bros something to talk about.

A year later, I discovered green man gaming, G2A and cdkeys.com. Usually, you can get games there cheaper than during a Steam sale. It gave me a lot more options. Then I realized, brand new $60 games on steam for 40-30% off when there was no steam sale. Granted many of them were steam keys but I saw similar offers on origin keys too.

Personally, I feel not being able to actually OWN anything is a major issue and is anti-consumer but that's an industry norm and not Valves fault.


#30

Did you miss the very first line of this thread? I do not agree with the article, but I knew that sharing it would be a good topic for debate. How many times to I have to state that I like Steam? Nobuddies purfekt.

Just to be 100% clear, I do not believe that Steam is run by 800 pound apes.
Met-A-Phor: look it up.


#31

Frankly, I think that the concern over the relative merits of GOG, vs. EA, vs. Stem is pretty comical. Both Steam and Microsoft started out in similar circumstances, namely some very smart and talented businessmen identified and then provided a compelling solution to a computing problem. The difference is in the tactics used by these two companies to stay on top and remain dominant in their field.

With the exception of Half-Life3, Steam largely tries to give their customers what they want. And, while we don't particularly want DRM, the reality is that many publishers would not allow their software to be distributed by Steam, without it. But, but their customer service is crap! Well, they have 125 million customers and at any given time, there may be as many as 9 million of them on line. Also, the last I looked, there were 7500 different games in their catalog. Is it really reasonable to expect immediate gratification from someone who is expert in the game that we are playing, on our specific hardware, when most of their customers are utterly incapable of providing any meaningful information about their hardware, software and network environment? I would say that this is an extremely tall order.

Let us contrast this with Microsoft. Did we ask for forced OS upgrades, the loss of control of our PCs, the deletion of our programs that are deemed undesirable, the loss of control over when our PCs reboot, our preferences being routinely reset, the telemetry, the crazy and unintelligible licensing schemes, the coming lock down of the Microsoft store, to name but a few? I think not. Oh, and what about Microsoft's customer service? Well, if you have a problem, they helpfully refer you to your hardware manufacturer. What if I built the machine myself? Quite simply, you are screwed! Let's take a quick look below the surface and have a glance at some of Microsoft's business practice highlights. While we're browsing Microsoft's illustrious history, what about their war on Linux? Where can we see some of those specifics? Now, of course, Microsoft is embracing Linux. But, based on their lengthy history of belligerency, it is difficult to believe that they do not have ulterior motives, which ultimately ends badly for our ability to choose. If they had their way, we would already be locked out of everything but Windows, via Secure Boot.

Instead of reformatting the drives in our Windows boxes, however, we are agonizing over whether to get out Windows games from GOG, EA, or Steam and what's going to happen if, in the future, we must source all of our Windows games from the Windows store. I say f#@k that, f#@k Windows and f#@k Microsoft. So long as Steam continues to support open source and they do not display megalomaniacal and antisocial behaviors, I will continue to run Steam on Linux. And, I'll get my games from GOG, the Humble Bundle, Steam, or anyone else that supports open source and treats their customers well.

Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft was behind the article about Steam. It would suit their purposes to distract our attention from their activities at a time when they, themselves have come under fire for their practices.


#32

I did read the first thread. You however are quite unclear with where you stand. First it's I don't agree, then it's a near monopoly then it's a monopoly.

Never said you didn't like steam.

Gabe could be an 800 lb. ape!

It would seem you feel there is something amiss at the very least. As I said a bit earlier, my biggest beef with Steam (and just about every piece of software) is not being able to own it and call it my own. Granted, I can't recall a time in my life when people owned software. It's just a bum deal in that regard.

lol well put!


#33

Yes, I am quite unclear where I stand.
I often make seemly contradictory statements because I can see that both sides have a good point to make.


#34

Fair enough. I did commit a cardinal sin though. I didn't read the article you posted form Polygon. I swore off that website many moons ago for SJW articles. Was there anything in the article you felt strongly about one way or the other?


#35

Nobody is your friend if there is money involved.


I'm going to type some thoughts on the Polygon article as I read it. Pretty much only putting in half a thought


The world is finally realizing that a hands-off, profit-first, tax-dodging “connection and services platform,” powered by the cheap labor of people who aren't technically employees and have no rights isn't exactly a good idea.
...
Good Guy Valve worked hard to make us believe that willingly installing surveillance and control software onto our computers was a morally benevolent, perhaps even righteous act — and we swallowed it hook, line and sinker.

Not even 10% of the way down and I already know that this article is probably going to be some guy either investing in Alcoa or throwing a bitch-fit. Or both.

As for DRM, Steam is and isn't DRM. It is because it requires one to be online to activate a game, but you also need to be online if you are purchasing a game from Steam and downloading it anyways? Once installed many games work fine if you are offline.


We also didn’t want anything else once we were comfortable with Steam, which is a big problem for anyone who doesn’t want to give Valve a third of every sale.

That's no different than the industry norm. Steam is 30%, GOG 30%, Humble Bundle is 15% (+10% for charity).

One could buy directly from the developer, but how can the developer handle the traffic of the downloads? Either make it more expensive to recoup the cost of the infrastructure, or sell it cheaper and potentially have a wider market through a third party.

If anything publishers are the bane of developers. They can make more profit than the developers! (Second Source)


EA launched its Origin client in 2011, and demanded that we install it if we wanted to play Battlefield 3. Our collective Stockholm Syndrome for Steam kicked in en masse, and we rained hellfire on this “greedy corporation” for its temerity.

I think part of that stems from Origin being closed to outsiders. The only way to get a game onto Origin is to have it published by EA. Which again requires publisher deals as mentioned above. Another part being EA games having a fuckton of DLC that will often cost as much or more than the base game. For example, Battlefield 1 is $60 for the base game or $130 for the "Ultimate Pack". Not really calling them greedy for pulling their games from other distribution platforms, calling them greedy because they charge a lot of money for "extra" content.


We all eventually discovered that our close, personal and entirely fictional relationship with Valve did not entitle us to any kind of refund on our purchases.

Shitty for the consumer, but it saves a lot of hassle for Valve from the "renters". I know people that would go to Walmart or wherever, buy a game, blaze through it for a couple days, and then return it for full price once they were finished. They played the game and got the value from it without having to actually pay anything in the long run.


Players began noting that was Valve was doing was wildly illegal, pointing out quite accurately that under European Union law, consumers were entitled to a refund on all purchases — even for something as simple as changing their mind.

Again, really shitty, but in some regards it wasn't illegal depending on how one looks at it. Under EU law citizens are allowed 14 days to withdraw for a refund under normal circumstances. However, under Article 16(a) of the same law, the right is waived if

service contracts after the service has been fully performed
if the performance has begun with the consumer’s prior express consent, and with the acknowledgement that he will lose his right of withdrawal once the contract has been fully performed by the trader;

So if Valve claims they are a service, which it looks like they did, as soon as somebody agrees to the terms that they waive their right to a return as soon as the contract (sale) is complete. It's an extreme grey area, but it could be argued that Valve is offering a service that initializes and completes instantaneously.

*This section should be taken with a grain of salt since I'm not a lawyer in any way, shape, or form.


We’re colleagues in the sense that Valve gets our money and our labor, a topic we’ll talk more about later. We do our part with the memes, the articles and the social media posts, and our good friend Valve does the rest. The rest meaning taking our money.

Not entirely sure how that's Valve's fault at all? Valve isn't forcing slave labor on the internet as far as I can tell. Don't want to make a shitty Valve mem? Then don't make a shitty Valve meme.


Valve themselves eagerly trumpeted that they had paid more than $57 million to Steam Workshop creators over four years — an enormously impressive figure until you realize that it's only 25 percent of the sale price, which means Valve just made $171 million profit from ... setting up an online form where you can submit finished 3D models.

Again, nobody is forced to do it? Yes, the profit distribution is bad, there's no debating that. But if one wants to maximize their profits the only guaranteed way to get 100% is to do it yourself.

That paid mod fiasco was hilarious in some regards. "Somebody is now charging money for putting in countless hours of their own life? Burn the witch!" Never bought any mods though because I don't like buying anything ever.


TL;DR: Read the very first line of this post.

Also, Valve is a shitty company, but that's not anything new.

Something something vote with your wallet.

Effectively the same reason why G2G and other grey market retailers are still around. There's plenty of documentation about their shitty activities and other nonsense, but a good majority of the market just doesn't care and will still keep using their services.


#36

I really just don't understand the negativity towards Valve. I just don't see the 'shittiness'. This isn't directed toward you, you just most recently wrote it down so you were quoted.

Maybe I'm missing the point of the quote but you can return games up to a certain point.


#37

Shitty as in not looking out for their consumers as much as they could.

I explained some if it in my two sections regarding the returns in my original post, but the gist of it is that Valve could have made returns possible pretty easily, but they chose to avoid them by having shady practices.

For example, they were sued in Australia for not offering refunds to Australian consumers, and one of Valve's defenses was that even though they were selling to Australians, taking their money, and crediting games to the accounts of said Australians, they weren't actually conducting business in Australia. They ended up losing the case.

There's more EU laws supposedly being violated by Valve that aren't the ones relating to refunds.

There's also the alleged anti-competitive practices as mentioned by someone else in this thread.

Everything can be argues either way, but overall Valve seems to be trying their hardest to scrape out as much money as possible. I can't blame them since they are a for-profit after all, but it's still possible to have a good business and not be trying to fly through legal loopholes like a fighter pilot.

For a long while you couldn't. You can now if you've played for less than a certain length of time, but it used to be nigh impossible to get a refund outside of certain situations.


#38

I can see that you're a glass is half empty kind of a guy. Here's the upside, where it comes to Steam: YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO BUSINESS WITH STEAM, IF YOU DON'T WANT TO. NO ONE IS GOING TO FORCE YOU.

While you won't learn this in school, the beauty of free market capitalism (which is now largely extinct - RIP), is that you don't have to enter into any business arrangement, unless both parties benefit. Unlike the government, Steam will not send armed goons to your house, confiscate your property and throw you into jail, if you do not comply with their wishes. If you are looking for something to obsess about, I suggest that you worry about the entity that does, in fact, have control over your very existence.


#39

I'm more of a "it's a half a glass of (insert liquid here)" kind of guy.

And trust me, I know about not doing business with companies I don't like


#40

I hope something better comes along and shitcans valve, because it would mean we, as consumers, win.