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Frustration: Game doesn't even appear in the store unless you search of it

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CoCoNutti, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    Tbh, it's a bit disappointing to me to see a store reject a game that they would accept exclusively because it won't go exclusive. I mean, how much extra trouble would it be to have the game on the store? From a store user's perspective, it's a good thing to have access to good games. I don't really see a good business reason for that decision.

    I think the fundamental question that customers on any game store have is "will my favourite AAA/indie darling game be here". Answering that with "well it would be if they had accepted exclusive" comes off a bit lame.

    I know Epic have a tough fight to dethrone Steam (or even become competitive at all) and they gotta do what they gotta do, but I think it would be wise to be a bit politically savvy or they risk getting a stigma that won't wear out soon.
     
  2. Murgilod

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    The amount of people who actually care about this is not as great as people think.
     
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  3. Billy4184

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    What do they care about in a store?
     
  4. Murgilod

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    Like, honestly? Most people literally just use stores as presented. If the product is easy to buy and available, that's the biggest thing.
     
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  5. Billy4184

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    That's my point.

    All I'm saying is that if they start specifically refusing games that are in demand, people might reconsider whether it's worth making the store their go-to.

    What effect that has on Epic is debatable, but after all they are trying to make a store that people will use.
     
  6. AcidArrow

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    How I understand it, is they're trying to generate "news". So all/most the releases right now are focused on creating buzz for them. Exclusives do that, and big non-exclusive AAA give them validity, so what they said is that they had no place for a non-exclusive indie game right now (because it wouldn't gain them anything right now)

    I'm not crazy about it, but you know, whatever. It's too early, EGS needs more time so that the client can mature and the store operations can be smoothed out, so we can see what kind of policies they end up having.
     
  7. Billy4184

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    Sure, I don't really see what they would lose though. It doesn't come off well imo. Anyway, doesn't bother me I just think it's not a fantastic move.
     
  8. angrypenguin

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    Really? Who uses a store based on what it might have in the future? For me the questions I ask are "do they have a thing I want now?" and "am I willing to do business with them?"

    (The latter is not specifically at Epic, and I have no issues with how they're running their store.)
     
  9. Billy4184

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    Why do you think people are frustrated about epic exclusives? Because they are invested in steam. To get invested in the epic store, people will want to have a clear understanding of what kind of service they can expect, now and in the future.

    I don't have 'issues' with epic either, quite the contrary, I like what they are doing. I'm criticizing a specific move that I don't really see the benefit of.
     
  10. Murgilod

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    The only reason people are invested in Steam is because of the de facto monopoly that Steam has had for over a decade and a half now, though. If you can't go "listen, we've got things they don't and you can either come to us or wait a year" to that, you really don't have any ammunition at all. Exclusivity is the only real weapon you can have against Steam, especially when your network services that are being rolled out are platform agnostic.
     
  11. Billy4184

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    So my point is not that exclusives are bad, but that I don't see the benefit of rejecting a game that is obviously good enough for the store but the dev won't accept exclusivity for whatever reason.

    This isn't a black and white thing, I'm simply questioning whether that is a beneficial move. The only thing I can think of is that many devs wouldn't accept exclusivity if they could go on both stores, but I thought the benefit to them was the insurance policy epic offered, rather than being on the store itself. If I did underestimate that aspect, then it would make practical sense to leverage it to get exclusive deals.

    Overall I think Epic is doing a decent job in a relatively tough situation. I think it makes sense though to show that, to some extent at least, you prioritize what you can offer to users of the store over simply making the most of exclusive deals. It's a situation that calls for a bit of political savvy.
     
  12. Murgilod

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    It's simple. Right now Epic's big thing is exclusives, because it makes people go "if it's on EGS, it must be an exclusive!" which is a big pull. It makes sense for them, in their first year even, to just go "we want nothing but exclusives unless the game is a tested release, in which case there's a good chance you can just get it for free. Making it a focus on just exclusives right now means that people aren't making the choice between EGS and Steam, but having the game or not having it.

    It's low risk and effective marketing to the people who aren't just going "I'll never use EGS because they're going to sell my gamer data to the Chinese government" or whatever.
     
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  13. Antypodish

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    I think potential real weapon is that games are selectively picked and tested, before goes on store front. Opposite to what is on Steam.

    Other than that "exclusivity" seems indeed like buzz word, to create much noise as possible. But I wouldn't call it as selling point. At least in my view.

    From developer perspective, you want access to as big customers base, as possible. I am not sure if current Fortnight user base can sustain that. Specially these players are FPS / Action oriented. Something where Steam has full mix of customers.

    So far for me, they missing huge opportunity.
    Somehow doesn't feel right for me, for such huge available capital. But lets see, what will happen in next one, or two years.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  14. Murgilod

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    Here's the other thing you're discounting though: when you're an EGS exclusive, as a developer?

    Epic's giving you a guaranteed minimum.

    You can take your chance and release on Steam and, sure, that's a thing you can do, but only Epic is out there saying to devs "if you ride with us, you're not going to be looking between a noose and your sales figures six months after launch."

    Like, we're in the thick of the "Steam discoverability is a nightmare due to their inability to adapt to an increased release rate they've had over five years to adapt to" discussion, but most people are very much "buy and forget." Most people don't think about their store choice past "do they have this game?"
     
  15. Martin_H

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    I think a big factor is also the "first impression". For all the people who don't know or care much about EGS, but happen to be looking at it once to see what all the fuss is about, they need to be looking at a wall of exclusive games that they've never seen before. That ideally needs to be a memorable moment of "Cool, I didn't even know those games existed! This all looks really good.". If you let too much non-exclusive stuff onto the store, there is an increased chance that the first time viewer with only the mildest of interest for EGS looks at it, sees only games they know from steam, and then thinks "I've seen all those on steam already, why would I need or want a second store/launcher? Seems inconvenient and pointless". Then they close the website right away again. I wouldn't be surprised if that decision is made in the first 10 seconds or less by a big percentage of first time visitors that aren't actively following "gaming news" etc..
     
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  16. Antypodish

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    Sounds like valid point.
     
  17. Billy4184

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    That does make sense, differentiating yourself as much as possible at this point seems like a good strategy.
     
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  18. Ryiah

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    I wonder how many of the people complaining are only using Steam. Because Steam hasn't been the only launcher for a long time now. Electronics Arts has Origin, Ubisoft has Uplay, Zenimax has the Bethesda Launcher, etc. Last I was aware the first two required their launcher to play their games.
     
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  19. Billy4184

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    @Ryiah, totally misread your post, sorry. I really don't think other launchers have been competitive, simply because of how much people are invested in Steam. It's convenient to have a one stop shop. Also, I had uplay because of splinter cell, and it was a mess, didn't load properly and froze half the time. Steam is a good shop in many respects.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
  20. Antypodish

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    I know I got somewhere origin account. But I used it only for one game, if I recall correctly. I don't even remember what was that. Had some problems with origin, so I ditched it.

    Then had WarGames launcher. I was playin WoT, until it become annoyingly pay2win and boring. Years later I tried WoWs, but same mechanic lead quickly to ditching it out. Not sure however, if that should count at all, since wasnt really store front. :)

    Besides that, I haven't use other. I rather had individual launchers, for particular games.

    And Steam of course.
     
  21. Murgilod

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    I mean, honestly, if Tim Sweeney slid into my DMs and said "I'll give you a 10000 sale minimum guarantee in the first year" I'd jump on that offer in a heartbeat. Even after a massive campaign to get my game out there, with a massive social media presence and load of community engagement can't make that guarantee, no matter what platform I release on.

    As a developer, especially an indie developer? I can't honestly see a situation where I'm saying "no" that doesn't involve me already having promised Steam keys and having taken preorders.
     
  22. Lurking-Ninja

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    The other side of things is that if you're not in financial crisis, the monetary cushion may do you a disservice if you're a fresh indie without real, established fan-base. Because it cushions it. No matter if you sell 1 copy or 10000, you get the money for 10000. You have to be careful to not to botch the release because the guaranteed money can give you false sense of security. Your next release may not be EGS exclusive, so building the fan-base is crucial. (And obviously antagonizing them with a late exclusivity deal may not worth the money in the long run. I can understand Darq developer's choice even if I set aside my personal feelings towards EGS)
    Obviously money is important, especially for an upcoming business, but it's not everything.
     
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  23. Murgilod

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    Right, but, uh

    These are all things you can do on EGS and these are all things you should be doing in the first place. Getting money doesn't mean you have to work any less.
     
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  24. Lurking-Ninja

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    Obviously.

    But as you can see in the case of Ooblets' developer, if you start to antagonize your fans and you blatantly describe your relationship with your potential audience as a business transaction, your community is going down the drain.
    If you're looking at selling your game as a business transaction, trying to "build community" and all those attempts will be insincere at best (there is no community, there is a monetary transaction in exchange for goods). And in some circumstances building a community is more important than the instant money infusion.

    With that said, I don't blame the small developers when they are accepting the money, sometimes it's a life saver for them. I won't buy their game, but they will survive (EPIC already bought my copy from them), but I understand.
     
  25. nobluff67

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    2500+ views, 120+ replies, I want to know why nobody replies to my threads? I feel like I’m in the App Store!

    Joking aside, the OP should get back and be part of the thread.
     
  26. Antypodish

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    I am sure is actively watching.

    We don't dev., we just procrastinate. :)
     
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  27. AcidArrow

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    Somehow I doubt the people that are upset by the Ooblets post were fans of ooblets.

    More like fans of Steam.

    Haven't you heard? People are more fans of middle men than actual developers these days.
     
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  28. Murgilod

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    The Ooblets developer even made a followup post pointing that out and providing context to all the things that had context stripped from them, alongside the revelations that they were never taking preorders on Steam to begin with and never offered game keys as Patreon rewards. It also showed that the response they got was ridiculously disproportionate because of that.

    https://medium.com/@perplamps/regarding-whats-been-happening-3af0f27d863c
     
  29. frosted

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    There's some truth to that, but for things like online game stores de facto monopoly is pretty much the most convenient arrangement. As a user, it's a pain in the ass having a half dozen proprietary launchers, and online game stores need proprietary launchers to run.

    If it wasn't Valve (Steam) it'd be Epic (EGS) or CDPR (GOG) or heaven forbid, the bethesda launcher.

    As a consumer, having one store makes life easier and that's gonna lead to de facto monopoly.

    Everything said and done, and for all my complaints about Steam - I think Valve's store is the best offering and frankly, the healthiest one for gaming at large.
     
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  30. AndersMalmgren

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    I would love to also sell on epic, oculus and vive port, and even PSVR but we have too much dependencies on steamvr and steam networking for it to be feasable right now, and than our code is heavily abstracted. If you have hard-coded dependencies to steam it would be even harder
     
  31. Antypodish

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    I always thought you make you software modular and flexible ...
     
  32. Murgilod

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    There is nothing healthy for gaming when a single entity has that much control over what games are getting released and promoted.
     
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  33. frosted

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    Compare it the App Store or Gamestop or console certification or Xbox Live or Epic Games.

    For all it's flaws, there has never been a major game market that's as healthy as Steam and as friendly to indie developers. Literally never.

    In fact, its probably the most healthy major distribution platform for software across all genres. What's it competing with, iTunes? Adobe Creative Cloud?

    Steam still even promotes indies to a very reasonable extent. It's still possible to make money with zero advertising and no name recognition via mostly built in Steam audience.
     
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  34. BIGTIMEMASTER

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    For the record, somebody in Kazakhstan bought a copy of our game.

    I never thought I would sell anything in Kazakhstan.
     
  35. angrypenguin

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    Are you able to describe, in practical terms, exactly what effect "pain in the ass" has on your life?

    For me I estimate it would be measured in seconds at the start of a gaming session, which would typically last 30+ minutes afterwards.

    Here's what I do when playing a game:
    • Open whichever client I need (Uplay, Origin, Steam, EGS, Blizzard... whatever) [~5 seconds]
    • Open or alt-tab to my password manager when prompted for the password to copy-paste the appropriate one. [5 - 15 seconds]
    • Double click the game from the list. [5 - 10 seconds]
    • Play it. [30+ minutes]
    So the only difference the client makes is which client I open in the first step. In fact... Steam is probably the least convenient of the clients I have, because it so darn regularly makes me wait for a 50+mb update to be installed before I can paste in my password.

    Probably my habits are a bit different to most peoples', but I'm just not seeing the "pain" involved in having multiple clients.
     
  36. Murgilod

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    You mean the App Store, which suffers from extremely real problems? You mean Gamestop, which competes with both big box stores and other game stores? Or console certification, which is about ensuring a product actually works? Or Xbox Live, which competes with PSN? Or Epic Games, which is literally the only competitor Steam has that's making any traction?

    You are arguing against my point by deliberately pointing out things that are either irrelevant or support my point.
     
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  37. BIGTIMEMASTER

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    It's an extra password you gotta forget and then go through the steps to recover.
     
  38. angrypenguin

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    Use a password manager.

    It doesn't have to become their go-to store. It doesn't have to stop people from using competitors. It just has to get customers through the door and buying stuff.

    If we were talking about PlayStation or Xbox stuff then yeah, I'd agree with you, because those channels have a steep buy-in price for users. Nobody's buying Spiderman without having first spent hundreds of dollars on a PS4. But for EGS we're talking about a free download.
     
  39. Billy4184

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    Ultimately I think it does have to be a go-to store of some kind. It's not a minor thing that people have all their games, friend groups, achievements, history etc etc on steam. Steam built a place for people to go and do all sorts of stuff, a place they've been going to for years with all their friends, and having to go somewhere else, especially a place where users feel much less involved like the way the epic store is currently set up, is not an easy ask.

    That's why now I think about it, it makes a lot more sense for Epic to really push exclusives and really cut-price games, because that's the only way they'll shift a significant number of people (besides the Fortnite factor, without which the whole idea would probably be dead in the water). They need to have things Steam does not have, and very attractive things too.

    After they have a foot in the door, then they'll probably start to solidify a slightly more balanced range, rather than just "we'll take you if you don't go on steam".

    All in all, I think game stores (which are not simply stores) do have a zero sum game factor. You are either the place to go, or you'd better be different and have something you can't get anywhere else. It will be interesting to see where Epic end up in terms of brand identity.
     
  40. Ryiah

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    Having a manager that assists you is the right idea but we need to take the concept further than just passwords. Have you ever heard of Roku? It's product tagline is that it's "the simplest way to stream entertainment to your TV" and it achieves this by allowing you to search and play content from all of your streaming services through a single system.

    https://blog.roku.com/roku-search-s...nels-for-movies-tv-shows-actors-and-directors

    What we need isn't just a password manager. We need an app that will handle all of the stores for us allowing us to easily search and play the game we want to play.
     
  41. angrypenguin

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    From a domain-specific perspective, sure. From a broader perspective, personally I'd rather solve the big problem (passwords are both painfun and important to personal security) than a small one (I want to get into my games a bit more quickly).
     
  42. frosted

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    The point is, regardless of the existence of real competitors for Steam or not, it's still the healthiest digital marketplace for software. It is, right now, the healthiest digital software marketplace that has ever existed.

    That's with all of its many, many flaws.

    The fact of the matter is that right now, you or I or anyone else with a decent game can release it on Steam, and make a fair bit of money from pure exposure provided organically by the platform itself.

    You don't need millions of dollars, you don't need publishing connections, you don't need name recognition. You can just launch your game, and Steam will push you users, generate visibility and produce sales.

    Look, I just spent a good amount of time familiarizing myself with all of the really filthy details of Steam's marketplace, the scams, the flaws, the problems. I'm not speaking from ignorance here and I'm not glossing over the issues.

    Even with all of those problems, as imperfect as Steam is, it's still the best digital market for small developers that's ever existed. Full stop.
     
  43. xVergilx

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    Its surprising nobody mentioned greed for the money. Its 30% for the Steam vs 12%.

    That's exactly why most of the large publishers try to either:
    1. Make their own launcher.
    2. Move to a different store.

    I get that at some point in time that was an ok quota (Steam wasn't that large at first).
    But like these years have pased long time ago, and that same percentage never even changed a dime.

    And the discoverability of games on the Steam goes down every year, or even monthly.

    So, I'd say F*** Steam. Its too damn greedy on the devs. Both of these hits indie devs more than anything.

    And even worse that Steam has ruined Valve as a software company.
    Money == everything to them.

    Too bad there's not much else to publish to. Except maybe GoG.
     
  44. frosted

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    IMO, Steam still earns its 30%.

    It may not be the case 2 years from now, and it's certainly not as good as it was 2 years ago, but they still earn their take from small indie perspective.

    Mega studios like Blizzard and Bethesda can afford enough coverage to drive their own traffic, for small indies who aren't spending millions on marketing Steam still earns its 30% by driving eyeballs and providing traffic and visibility.
     
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  45. Lurking-Ninja

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    - Indie developer: I want to publish on your store front
    - Steam: OK, we get 30%, you get 70% of the money we make together, here are the tools we developed for you, everything included
    - EGS: go away.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
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  46. BIGTIMEMASTER

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    boutiques are cool and all and i can see the appeal. its just that, the games epic thinks are cool i think are stupid. So it's kind of lost on me.