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Steam Greenlight is Going Away

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Schneider21, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. nipoco

    nipoco

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    I'm not so sure about that. Most games got greenlit anyways. It just took a bit longer in some cases.

    There was also a lot fraud going on, where people voted "Yes" to get some free keys etc. You had entire Steam groups dedicated to vote boosting.
    So this wasn't really a fair process at all.
     
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  2. Misastra

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    Greenlight would make sense if the new indie games just approve some qualified jury (but an independent...no boys in tie but veterans from development industry )...but what was there...it was a bad reality show:)
    ....maybe Valve should create a Black list of a Crap developers or then it's just about profit and not quality games...and your celebrated Greenlight didn't do anything with a crap games anyway.
    ......ehh..maybe you should open your pink eyes:)
    .....just me thinking a one question..why that crap people buy?
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
  3. MERCURIUSFM

    MERCURIUSFM

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    This is great news!
     
  4. CarterG81

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    Thanks to this thread, I checked out Steam's competition of Itch.io. & Boy has it improved!

    Not only are the games beginning to look quality, but the features have expanded.

    They now have Early Access, Preorders, and banner goals. The last one is especially awesome for me.

    This means I have the opportunity to set two goals, one after another. The first is a very cheap goal to allow me to raise enough funds to work full time on my game. Something I really need. The second goal is a higher one, which can help me hire 1 additional employee or outsource some work to greatly help speed up development.

    Before, I dabbled with the idea of using itch.io insteadol of my own site, but decided against it.

    With Itch.io looking so fantastic, with so many more features? I am very likely to use them exclusively. Why even make my own site? One game on itch.io is easy to setup ^ has so many features...with your choice in what % they take.

    AntiHero, a great looking game from one cool dev, is in limited Early Access on itch.io only.

    Once itch.io scores a few major hits, I can see it easily rise past Steam as the go-to platform for indie devs. If consumers catch wise too, it could get big enough to put a dent in Steam.

    All around, I am really excited. My gamedev this entire year 2017 has been abysmal. Unless I can fix that in the next half of the year, I will need to crowdfund so I can work full time as a gamedev. Unfortunate, bc I dont want ppl to give me any money until I have a full product for them. As a gamer, I am not a fan of Early Access... and I am frightened at the idea of failing a kickstarter if I ever tried one.

    But yea, Itch.io is looking really promising while Steam is looking like it'll have a dysmal future.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
  5. CarterG81

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    Valve blacklisting devs sounds like the worst possible scenario. When a monopoly blacklists you, then you are over. And that is a slippery slope. One day they blacklist scammers. The next, a bitter Valve human blacklists a good dev for some petty emotional reason. I don't like it at all. Although I was fine when Valve blacklisted a really nasty dev who tried to sue Steam consumers who negatively reviewed their game.
     
  6. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Cool story. Just use what you want.
     
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  7. HonoraryBob

    HonoraryBob

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    But how many sales can you get on itch.io, given that most of the customers there are used to downloading free games?
     
  8. CarterG81

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    The same amount I would get selling exclusively on my own website PLUS the itch.io consumers who find my game. It is a win-win for me.

    My main strategy isnt to rely on any distribution platform, but to reach out to consumers & pull them in. I would not mind eventually sharing my source code & showing how I make my games.

    I have this strange idea that if your game is high quality & really enjoyable, it is inevitable that people will eventually discover it. Maybe not all, bc it will just be those who look for it, but enough. And when gamers who love my game find it, I reap that extra %.

    I have no plans to ever release on Steam, unless it is much later in the process or sales are so abysmal I feel it is required for the health of my future games. Unless I charge Steam users an extra 25%, which I very well may do. At the very least, it is so expensive everyone hates me. At the best, ppl either pay anyway or find the game on Steam, goto discussions to cry foul on price, and get pointed to itch.io where the game is permanently 25% off.

    I dont care if Steam gets money. As long as they arent getting MY money and I am being ethical. If it is wrong to charge Steam users a "Valve tax" then I wont do that. Just a thought. I will be honest with my users, for the good or bad. "Steam takes an enormous 30%, so I have to include that as part of the cost to survive & make more & better games."

    I also would like to strive for a certain style as a gamedev. Expensive games, but guaranteeing very high quality gameplay, free major updates with increases in price as value rises, no discounts or sales outside cheaper inital prices & 4pack deals, and a company motive that promises to stick by a code of ethics & make games for the sake of games. By Gamers, For Gamers.

    I think it is important to build that image, maintain those promises, and help protect & care for consumers & industry above profits.

    If I can manage to survive & grow that business, I will be fine limiting my wealth by not exploiting people or watering down the industry. If I fail as an idealist, then oh well. I will just go back to gamedev in my freetime.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
  9. Misastra

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    Yes, blacklisting is too dangerous(human factor)...it's clear:)
    About itch.io ...I love them.....for me there is a indie dev. soul and great community.....for me it's not much about profit but the joy of good work....enjoying art,gameplay,story,etc when making (perhaps:)) playable game.
    I chose15% fee..lowest is 10%...... about Steam...NO THANKS!...i don't say that Steam is bad.
    .....but everyone has their way.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
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  10. Schneider21

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    So first, Steam is not a monopoly. By definition, if Steam were a monopoly, Itch.io would not exist. Neither would GOG, Origin, Green Man Gaming, Humble Bundle, GamersGate, Game Jolt, or Amazon Digital. Steam is incredibly popular, and I believe it's for good reason. While Itch.io and GOG are making great improvements to their systems, they still don't hold a candle to Steam. Thinking only as a consumer, I could care less about what's good for the games industry; I only care about what platform makes it easiest to buy and play great games.

    When discussing Steam, you come across as a scorned lover... It sounds as though you've had a negative experience with them, perhaps with a perceived slight against you, and now have a bit of a crusade going to try and balance out the karma or something. I do believe you're overall a fairly objective person, but that doesn't come across when you've got such clear disdain for something that you can't acknowledge its merits or criticize its alternatives. (Not that you need to in this thread, since everyone's arguing against you and presenting that side just fine... I'm just saying)

    That's awesome, and a perfectly valid way of going! I do hope you succeed, and I hope your game is awesome, and I hope it incentives more consumers to use Itch.io. It seems like a great up and coming platform, and the more options we have, the better!
     
  11. CarterG81

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    It may not be a monopoly by law, to where the legal system can actually fix the problem. However it controls an extremely large majority, to the point where many developers see a "Steam or Die" philosophy. Although with the floodgates open, I guess they already declared it as "Just Die", as it were prior.

    Last time I checked, it was >70% of the PC game marketshare was owned by Steam. I don't know much about US law in regards to legal monopolies, but I would not be surprised if their share was to large that they purposefully tried to keep it from rising, so as to avoid a potential court situation where they are found guilty of being a full monopoly. Since none of us are lawyers who know what needs to be proven in court, I'm not going to argue. Just saying.

    And no one is going to argue against me that Steam is a monopoly, unless they are arguing that it isn't a monopoly according to the US legal system. That terminology, that Steam owns PC gaming, is common-place among both gamedevs & gamers. So I won't argue semantics.

    GoG & Itch.io win in that regard. DRM-Free downloads are the easiest way to buy & play. One of the reasons I hate Steam as a consumer is because of all the issues I have with it. The always-on DRM is very annoying, constant Steam forced updates, a horrible GUI in their app, etc. With GoG, you just click download, click install, and then click Play. I never even have to log in to the website, as it never logs me out. Steam is a slow loading app that always requires a login, an internet connection, etc. And even going into Offline mode doesn't always work as intended.

    No, I just dislike Steam as an application, as a service, and Valve as a company. I have legitimate arguments as to why it is unhealthy for the industry, for consumers, and for developers. IMO, there is really nothing good about it. Having great features or being a slightly better company than other greedy corporations does not mean it is good for the industry. It just means they are good at being a business. Primarily because of their amazing PR & extremely effective strategy to do good in order to control the market. There is a difference however in doing only good that is also good for you (without caring how it is unhealthy for the industry), and doing good for the sake of society (doing the right thing- like avoiding complete control over the market). Valve does not do something unless it benefits themselves. And as such a big influence, they fail to do what is best on a daily basis. The simple fact their decision to finally remove their draconian refund policy was forced upon them is more than enough evidence of this. I won't even go into detail how they perpetuate enormous scams like War Z, which means repeatedly & knowingly marketing & tricking consumers into paying for one of the biggest scams in PC gaming history - all for profit.

    So no, I am not some "Scorned Lover" who was slighted by Steam. I am someone who knows the facts. The War Z scam is well documented, but most know nothing more than the single event which Valve corrected - not the months afterwards where they helped trick consumers & marketed the game consistently on the front page. Including trying to trick people that it is a completely different game. Many were easily fooled into thinking that it was similar to, but not, that War Z scam, as it had a new logo & renamed "Infestation: Survivor Stories".

    It's very similar to US Politics. Most are just too uninformed to even know what is going on. Lacking those details, and they think being in favor of sensible things & not doing evil crap is "radical". The reality is that it is far from "radical" to believe large corporations should not knowingly & willingly screw people over for a few extra bucks. It's not my fault journalism fails to inform people because they are often involved with money too, or are too afraid to go after big corporations. Maybe if there were followups after a single article hits the presses, more people would be "Scorned Lovers". How many game journalists who released articles about the initial War Z Steam page deception, actually followed up in the months afterwards? None of them. If they did, they'd see what Steam did on a weekly basis. They'd question their decision to even have War Z on their page. But honestly? Why would they do real journalism? Woe to the journalist who attacks Valve back then. They hadn't yet lost a lot of their godlike PR.

    I don't emphasize any positives of Steam because...why would I? The endless number of defenders & fanboys do that plenty enough. And as for being a loner? I used to be... but these days people seem much much more apt to agree with me. After the Indiepocalypse, Steam machine failure, and refund lawsuits... things changed pretty drastically. I went from being an outsider loner to seeing many people make the same complaints. I am far from alone these days, and as Valve continues to flood the market with crap games, more people will increasingly feel the same.

    I never claimed Steam is without its benefits. In fact, quite the contrary. I praised Valve for their generousity in allowing developers to give out Steam Keys. They are so generous that you could sell Steam Keys on your website & they would pay for all the bandwidth without seeing any revenue. (Unless those Steam Keys require you to give them 30%, which I do not think is the case.) All the other features are great, and it isn't without its benefits. It's just that the features are absolutely not worth 30% of every unit sale. Other companies believe they are worth 10%. Having a cost three times higher than competitors is typically seen as ridiculous in most markets. But since they hold what is in reality a near-monopoly, even if not a legally defined monopoly, they get away with that extra cost despite equivalent features.

    That good PR goes a long way.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
  12. Schneider21

    Schneider21

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    But that's by consumer choice. As I listed, we have lots of options for where to get our games. Most of us consumers choose Steam because we find it superior to the other options. It's like Wal-Mart... they're not a monopoly, but they drive smaller, less capable companies out of business regardless. And a lot of us shop there because it's convenient and cheap.

    I'll argue it! :p We're not talking about a utility company here that restricts your options. You have options, it's just that none of them are as well-developed. I'm about as anti-big business as they come, and even I wouldn't fault a company for having a successful business model. When devs say "Steam or Die" it's because they recognize that's where the consumers are. They, generally speaking, want to buy their games on Steam. I do! And so you absolutely have the option of selling and distributing your game elsewhere, but to not sell on Steam is cutting yourself off from a huge potential source of income which would equate to financial death for most developer who rely on sales to live.

    I own a few games through GOG. Maybe 10, not counting the free ones they add to your account. I own 200 games on Steam. And the vast majority of those games are available on both.

    I have lots of games that are not up to date. Steam doesn't force me to update them (unless you're talking about multiplayer games, in which case every platform I know forces you to update to play online). Almost every single website I use requires a login (hell, the forums make me log in on my phone every single time I open the browser) so I'm quite used to that nuisance. Steam loads just as fast as any app for me. I always have access to the Internet. The issues you have with the platform are not issues for everyone. It's not as evil as you proclaim.

    30% is standard for publishers. That's what Apple takes. Same for Google and Amazon. That's what the Unity Asset Store takes. The 10% is a business move to try to stay competitive. I guarantee you* that if these other services gain popularity enough, that number will go up.

    * - I make no real guarantee
     
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  13. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Steam is by far the strongest store because it is early to market (it is far older than competing stores in the same space) and does an incredibly good job of serving people with software they can get uncontested refunds for, and download to any of their devices and even share content with friends.

    So if being an actually good service makes you a "monopoly" then sure, sign me up. I'm all for good service. By carter's rant, I guess Unity has a "monopoly" as well. Chiefly because of it's asset store and hobbyist dominance.
     
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  14. CarterG81

    CarterG81

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    Yea, and I also despise Wal-Mart. Did you know they are one THE largest employer of the U.S?
    There is a reason Americans are struggling & participating in the Fight for 15. There is a reason Wal-Mart is at the center of many protests.

    Like I said, I won't disagree. No one thinks Steam is legal monopoly, but everyone understands when people say it's a monopoly, they mean it is a near-monopoly & has too large of a grip on the market.

    Not everyone has issues with it, and I only mentioned mine to show that not everyone thinks it is perfect. Far from it.

    However the evil it does has absolutely nothing to do with its features or the crappiness of the application itself. It has to do with perpetuation of scams, draconian refund policies which require multiple lawsuits around the world to force them to do what is right & what should have been done from the start. It has to do with the health of the industry & how they have an active hand in it (whether they like it or not). It is about the responsibility any company has whenever they become so big as to have such enormous influence. You don't simply get to do whatever you want. When that happens, society is hurt. As society progresses, we acknowledge the responsibilities of companies.

    Apple owns the iPhone. They manufactuer the hardware. They created iOS. They own it.
    Android is Google. They manufacture hardware & work with other manufacturers. They created Android. They own it.
    Xbox was manufactured by Microsoft. They created the hardware. They created & own that platform.
    PlayStation 4 was manufactured by Sony. They created the hardware. They created that platform.

    All of that justifies a 30% cut.
    And if you don't like the 30% cut? You just don't develop on that platform. Which is entirely fair, since they researched, manufactured, and distributed the hardware & O/S themselves.

    Steam? Created by Valve. They do not own the hardware. They do not own the OS. Their store is fully automated, requiring very little work on their behalf after it is setup. Their updates to their app & store are not monolithic, they're incredibly slow & miniscule (which is fine, but let's not pretend they are working their asses off when the majority of every $1 they earn is through pure automation).

    Apple, Google, Microsoft, Sony: All of these work very hard to create, update, maintain, and distribute their hardware.
    Steam works very hard to think of ideas they can implement to improve a single piece of software which distributes software that other people work hard to create. I'm sure the maintenance employees for their download servers work very hard, but that pales in comparison to anything those big 4 do.

    So don't try to convince me that some automated distributor deserves 30% of every cut, when their competitors ask for 10% for the same services & the only companies which ask for more are those who spend hundreds of millions every year on their hardware which they fully own & maintain.

    If Steam sold with Steam Machines & Steam OS, that would be different. But as we all know, that failed. That is over. And they cut that loss really quickly. And worst of all, they didn't even do a good job on it. Hell, they were so greedy they wouldn't even incentivize a lower cut than 30% for Linux developers to encourage & grow their game catalogue. Who wants to develop for something that no one uses, when they take 30%? No wonder it failed (along with a million other reasons, obviously).
     
  15. CarterG81

    CarterG81

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    It should be noted that their refund policy is very new.

    For the majority of its life, Steam
    • Had a draconian refund policy
    • Did not allow sharing
    • Has some of the worst Customer Support in the industry, with a F from the BBB. (Origin is rated significantly better than Steam. No one at Valve wants to do CS, but they wouldn't spend the money needed to hire others or outsource.)
    • Made billions in revenue every year, and did very little relative to that amount. Most who had problems with games or Steam, were completely ignored by Valve.
    And the refund policy came only after multiple successful lawsuits against them from multiple countries. The basis of these lawsuits? Steam was unethical & acted illegally against Consumer Protection Laws. Not some random law, not some tax thing, but had anti-consumer, unethical practices which harmed consumers and as a result were successfully sued.

    And everything you just listed happened after their near-monopoly. But you're correct: They are a near-monopoly because they were early to market & didn't suck at it. And yes, they are great at business. That is very clear. They are even generous when they do not have to be in many regards. However that doesn't simply cancel out unethical behavior or the enormous magnitude of their wealth & lack of responsibility in the industry.

    Refunds should have came many years before they were forced to issue them.

    I find it extremely convenient for defenders of Steam to simply forget most of this. As if they were the same as they are today, in their entirety of life. As if it were their generosity, not the lawsuits, which resulted in a change in refund policy.

    I seem to be against Steam, but I am not. I am neutral. I simply don't conveniently forget the facts and history of what Steam has done. I do not simply forgive them because it's "Industry Standard" and I do indeed hold them to a higher standard as they are a multi-billion dollar corporation with enormous influence over the industry.
     
  16. CarterG81

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    I'm done with this thread.

    I am not Anti-Steam in particular. I am just Pro-IndustryHeath & find myself having to remind people of the history & facts surrounding Steam.

    Please remember, It is not my fault that Steam has its flaws. It is not my fault Steam made always-on DRM the norm. Not my fault Valve perpetuated a scam with WarZ. It is not my fault that Steam had a draconian refund policy for the majority of its life. It is not my fault that it would be healthier for our industry if other competitors had a greater share of the market. It is not my fault they want a third of your hard earned income, just because they were early to market & know how to automate well. I don't get to make any decisions. I just get to point out what has happened in the past and argue that it should not be minimalized. I was initially just here to discuss my hope for the future, not to be pulled into another argument where I became some unreasonable anti-steam villain that needs to be reminded how awesome Valve is. I get it. You love Valve. You don't give a S*** when they hurt people or the industry. No problem.

    I am not here to argue about Steam or to be grossly misrepresented as some"scorned lover" simply because I have knowledge about some of the more unethical practices Valve has participated in. No one is challenging me on the faults they have done, but plenty seem insisted on ignoring them or agreeing & then arguing some irrelevant point. Once again, Valve's decisions, legitimate criticisms, and failures have nothing to do with me.

    I do not disagree that they are great at what they do, I do not disagree that they deserve their good PR, but I also am not willing to pretend they are greater than what they are: a multi-billion dollar corporation which cares about nothing more than profit, even at the expense of consumers, developers, or the industry's health.

    There is nothing more to be said. And if I continue to reply, I will just be painted as some Anti-Steam fanatic going on some crusade, when I am doing nothing more than responding to comments, trying to point out a few facts people seem to forget in their adulation of Steam.

    Pointing out the positives of Steam (as if I forget them) is pointless, because I do not deny most of them. I just have a more accurate view of them as both a generous, intelligent company and a greedy, monolithic leech of the industry. Just because I believe it would be better if they were taken down a peg, doesn't mean I even dislike Valve. It has nothing to do with them. It has to do with the health of the industry.

    My final words:

    Relative to other multi-billion dollar companies, Valve is pretty awesome.
    Relative to what should be, Valve is pretty horrible.
    These can both be true.

    Have a great day, and all hail Itch.io!

    Consumer Protection people are the bitter anti-hero villain, afterall.
    de-1933.png
    Hmm, was suppose to be more villainous. I don't think this joke worked that well... ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
  17. CarterG81

    CarterG81

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  18. Schneider21

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    @CarterG81 I know you said you're done, so I won't try to keep the discussion/argument going. To that end, I won't respond to specifics of your post. With the exception of one thing:
    One could make a strong argument that it's hardware sales that should be covering the cost of producing and improving the hardware. It's interesting that you find 30% acceptable from those providers because they monopolize distribution on the platform they own. Meanwhile, Steam may not own the PC platform, but they might as well as far as I'm concerned. Digital distribution would not be what it is today were it not for Steam.

    I don't think they're perfect from any angle. As a consumer, I'd love to see them solve the industry-wide problem of discovery and promotion of quality content. As a developer, well... I've never tried publishing a PC game, so I have nothing to complain about, really. But would I like to see more than 70% of a sale on any platform? Sure! It's just not the way things work, and it's something I've come to terms with. That 30% cut is buying me access to the largest install base on that platform, and that sounds like a fair deal for me. Maybe it's not for you, and that's why you're correct in not going with Steam, then.

    Steam has room to improve. I don't think anyone denies that (even Steam, as they demonstrated with this latest change in Greenlight and that process). But I'm not going to hold their past failures, either. If I did, I wouldn't be able to drink Coke because they used to have cocoa extract in it. Or wear cotton shirts because the cotton industry in America used to rely so heavily on slavery. I just don't want to go down the path and have to make all my decisions on historical data, when what really matters to me is what they're doing now and whether or not they demonstrate they're working to improve (however slowly and incrementally it may seem, as an outsider).

    We're not going to change each others' minds, or those of anyone reading. I guess my summary is that I don't expect Steam's policies or market share to change drastically anytime soon, and as both a developer and a consumer, I'm okay with that.
     
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  19. Teila

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    I doubt he is done. :) Unfortunately, these 'dog with the bone' and the inability to allow people to disagree posts really ruin the flow of the threads here. While I ignore, I get to see his entire threads posted by others. I wish people would take their one on one arguments elsewhere.

    Other than that, this has been a great thread about Steam and the changes that are coming. Like them or not, it is news for those of us who plan to someday release PC games. I really wish these things would not evolve into bitterness, accusations, and insults. News is news...and it should stay that way. A discussion of how good or bad valve or any other company might be should get it's own thread.

    Schneider, I admire your stamina. lol
     
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  20. Schneider21

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    For the record, I meant it when I said I respect @CarterG81 and his passion. Everyone gets defensive when their viewpoints are challenged, and moreso when it seems like everyone in the room disagrees with you (despite the fact there may very well be people reading that agree that just aren't chiming in).

    I do enjoy a good light-hearted argument just for the sake of conversation, and I don't think Carter's feelings were bitter or anything towards me or others here. No harm, no foul.

    But that said, you're right... the discussion is off-topic and better suited to a private conversation, or at the least another thread. I just don't usually have the privilege of derailing my own threads, so I couldn't pass on the opportunity! :p
     
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  21. QFSW

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    Whilst I do agree the argument got a bit heated, I wouldn't say it was uncivil or personal. It did derail a bit, so maybe start it up on another thread instead of taking it to DMs; I for one find it really interesting even though I haven't spoken. @CarterG81, I do think a lot of what you said and some of your points are definitely valid, but I personally still think steam is worth the 30% cut. If you start another thread I'll happily discuss why :)
     
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  22. Teila

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    I agree. But when it continues on and on and one starts feeling as if it will never end until you agree, then I rather wonder how much respect the poster has for the views of others. I am afraid I am not nearly as good of a person as you and have been on the receiving end of some very nasty insults in the past. Respect is earned, not just from being persistent but from respecting the views of others. Carter is rarely wrong, because it is usually an opinion and I do believe all opinions are valid. Problem is that is not returned in kind. :)

    But this does not belong here either. All I suggest is that maybe those kinds of "two people debates" go elsewhere. I have often offered that to those who might want to continue a disagreement with me. lol Not many take me up on it though.
     
  23. LaneFox

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    work_final.exe
    work_final_2.exe
    work_final_3.exe
    work_finalfinal_2.exe
     
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  24. MarcopoloR

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    I don't think anyone if they had their way would want to give a middleman anything. Unfortunately I think if you want to get sales this is what you have to do unless you spend a ton on marketing yourself or are some kind of SEO genius who has secrets unknown to me or anyone else. Generally places, like Turbosquid or IStockphoto if you are selling stock images, they take the most percentage but also generate the most sales. As an extreme example if you have a product for $20, and on one site you keep 95% of the money and generate one sale, you get $19.00. If you also put it on a site that takes 80% but I sell 100 copies in the same amount of time, I make $400.00 to that $19.00 so business wise it still makes sense even if I think it is a crappy deal which it is. I know this is an extreme example but that is generally how it works out there.
     
  25. Hikiko66

    Hikiko66

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    Steam singlehandedly saved the PC as a gaming platform when everyone else was energetically embracing the idea of a post PC gaming world full of consoles and mobiles..

    That's why Steam were early in the market, because nobody else wanted to invest in a dying market, and that's why they have a near monopoly now.
    Don't expect PC gamers or devs to be hard on steam.
    If you pander to PC gamers, we are happy to shower you with enough money to build a death star.. because doing so incentivizes other companies to pander to us as well, and we like getting pandered to, it's "good for the industry"
     
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  26. CarterG81

    CarterG81

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    Hahahha! My projects definitely look like that too ;)

    I try to get away, and if I manage to do so for more than 30 minutes, I'm safe. But if not, I get pulled right back in. Hard to get out, haha!
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
  27. CarterG81

    CarterG81

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    I'm not sure if this is off-topic or on-topic, but I thoroughly disagree here.

    Online distribution of software was becoming the norm. Steam did not save it. If it was in danger, which I seriously doubt it even was in the first place, then it was Technology (broadband) which saved it. That technology was going to show up in one service or another. Steam was just the first to do it well enough, early enough.

    So your argument that Steam saved PC gaming is both without any legitimate evidence AND something I believe is easily rebutted by the above reality of IT.

    But really, I am a firm believer that PC gaming was never threatened with extinction anyway. It makes little sense IMO, as the PC has the capacity to perform infinitely better than any console. In fact, a lot of consoles perform quite horribly, hardware wise. PC gaming was fine the way it was, not in any threat, and it would have gotten a Steam-like service no matter what.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
  28. CarterG81

    CarterG81

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    That's one thing I respect the most about itch.io. They really seem to embrace that "indie dev soul". Very true to their origins, kind of feel.
     
  29. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Yes, but Valve is indie, and it's origins are very humble after all. I mean, what when the itch grows? Will you scratch it?
     
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  30. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    This is ultimately at the heart of the issue. Despite what we tell ourselves as devs, this market is entirely gamer driven. Given the choice, most gamers will buy a Steam version over a different version. And there are very few companies that have the clout to draw gamers away from Steam in large numbers. I'm no Blizzard.

    As a concrete example, I launched Pond Wars* on GreenLight and Itch.io. Steam generated ten times more views in a week then itch did in its entire lifetime. With numbers like that Steam could charge 70% and still be more profitable then the alternatives.

    Sure alternatives generate more margin (ie dollars per sale). But profit is dependent on margin and volume. You needn't both to run a successful business.

    *Sure it's not the greatest game, but there is no reason to expect the numbers to be different on bigger and better games.
     
  31. Teila

    Teila

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    I think this says it all. When we make decisions on how to distribute our games, we can make an emotional decision because we don't like the company, and that is perfectly fine. Or we can make a business decision, which platform will more gamers see? There is an argument both ways. On a smaller platform, you may stand out. But on a larger platform, more gamers will be visiting every day, more chances for your games to be noticed.

    It really is an individual choice. On the other hand, you really do not have to choose one. You can use Itch.io and Steam and your own website for distribution. As BoredMormon says, he received ten times more views on Steam. That means he had ten times more chances of gamers purchasing his game.

    I guess it all depends on how much you want to sell your game.
     
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  32. RichardKain

    RichardKain

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    That's sarcasm, right? It's much harder to tell in a written context.

    Valve was founded by an ex-Microsoft employee who was already a millionaire before he started the company. Their first big title was published by one of the largest and most established PC publishers at the time. The founded a lot of their early business on free expansions to their popular title that were produced by the community. They've never really been "indie" in the traditional sense.

    And I do sympathize somewhat with Carter. Valve is far from perfect, and certainly doesn't have the game development communities best interests at heart. While we do owe them a debt of gratitude for getting PC digital distribution off the ground, they've been coasting for far too long on a lucrative infrastructure model.

    And while some people shrug and say they have no competition, I'd argue that the competition is steadily growing. Years ago I started shopping on Good Old Games, thanks to a healthy appetite for classic PC titles. With some of CD Projekt Red's latest developments, GOG has become considerably more competitive, with several new features that provide the end user with a much smoother experience. There are an increasing number of options available, and Valve will be forced to address some of the shortcomings of their service soon.

    One thing that distresses me the most about Valve is their hard shift away from content. I actually had a job interview once with them for a web developer position, and one of the big takeaways from that meeting was that they had zero interest in producing ANY content. For them it is all infrastructure. They're fine with the community generating content, but they are all about putting a profitable system in place and letting the dollars roll in. While I have no doubt that this is a successful business strategy, a dearth of content leads to a distinct lack of personality. They won't be able to coast on the success of Portal and Half-Life forever.
     
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  33. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    We need tools and infra structure systems as much as we need actual content. Unity does the same when they build an engine but not games. My local government does the same when it builds roads, but no cars to drive on them. Heck, I do the same in my day job, my company makes paint, but we leave it to other people to actually put it on buildings.

    There is nothing inherently wrong with specializing in a single part of a larger market. Valve will continue to do just fine if they never release a game of their own again.

    They haven't been relying on these titles for a long time. They are coasting on the success of Steam, not the success of some old forgotten games from a decade ago.
     
  34. CarterG81

    CarterG81

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    It is very juvenile to paint people who oppose a company as "emotional". I seriously doubt the majority of developers make any emotional decision when picking their distribution platform. Developers who refuse certain platforms will do so because of business, math, or ethics. None of those have anything to do with emotion. With respect to business, you have to consider longevity & the health of the industry.

    I don't even know how a developer would even use emotion to impact their choice in distribution platform. In what world is that even a thing? As if developers meet GabeN, get insulted, and then vow in some dramatic vendetta to only distribute on GoG? LOL, that would be kindof funny actually.



    And I have read developers who reveal numbers where they got tons of views on Steam, but none which translated into an actual sale. Different platforms can have different rates at which views translate to sales. They do not always result in the same number. This can especially be true of Steam, in which I've read reports where tons of views did NOT translate to sales. Not even meager sales. They could only speculate the reasons why.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017
  35. CarterG81

    CarterG81

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    It looks like Valve is actually pretty unpopular these days. I found yet another article, extremely recent, from Polygon.

    It's pretty blazing.

    https://www.polygon.com/2017/5/16/15622366/valve-gabe-newell-sales-origin-destructive

    This guy is spot on, and provides even more evidence to back up everything I've stated, including how everyone acts like I am overreacting in my distaste for Valve.

    The facts don't lie. In fact, they suggest that Valve is a very greedy, evil company. This has nearly endless facts about horrible stuff Valve has done.

    So stop pretending like they aren't a horrible company. They truly don't care about you & are very toxic to the industry.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017
  36. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    That's also entirely possible.

    Its not really fair to compare my greenlight numbers with the actual sale numbers from other platforms. Once I go on Steam Direct, the comparison will be fairer. But in any case my experience as a hobbyist probably doesn't scale well as games get bigger and better.

    Statistically, my data point is meaningless.
     
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  37. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Just read the article. It paints Steam pretty bad. But it basically paints them in the same light as all of the multinational digital companies. Apple, Google, Microsoft ect. All of them have dug their heels in about paying local taxes, refunds, complying with local law and so forth. Steams just the latest company to get in the lime light for it.
     
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  38. Carve_Online

    Carve_Online

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  39. Socrates

    Socrates

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    About 50% of the human race is middlemen and they don't take kindly to being eliminated. --Malcolm Reynolds
     
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  40. Carve_Online

    Carve_Online

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    I think that last section is a little more important than you think. Some of the really really garbage games were from developers who already had paid the fee, and so were greenlighting stuff for free.

    The other important part of the change is with the trading cards.. again, a lot of the garbage games were using free keys to create a profit by using the trading cards, not actually caring if the game sold well.

    I personally was thinking $500 fee with $5000 in sales to recoup.. Because I just don´t think if you make an honest game that isn´t terribly broken and is at least somewhat fun, you will make $5000 in sales.

    With the $100/$1000 thing they are doing now, you basically have to sell about $150 to break even. Even really garbage games with some misleading marketing can do that.
     
  41. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    If you want to give as little as possible to "the man" I would recommend humble store at 5%. Would not surprise me if Unity offered it's own gaming store some point.

    I'm sure they've considered it and Asset Store is a lot of useful data for them.
     
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  42. Frpmta

    Frpmta

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    I think part of the reason of the Valve fee is that they host AAA games that are at times 50GB+ in size.

    They could reduce the 30% cut for smaller games.
     
  43. CarterG81

    CarterG81

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    I really dont see Humble surviving for long after (if) itch.io rises up. Steam & GoG have their fanbase to sustain them. Humble seems rarely used for some reason. I always wondered why, but at the same time I can kindof see why. For some reason it is just kindof unappealing. Their 5% is very fair, but itch.io's open revenue is far superior. So are their features. I have seen more ppl use it than itch, of course, but I get the feeling that wont be for long.

    With adds like the banner & First access, I wouldnt be surprised if itch.io soon added more methods for crowdfunding too, like a kickstarter. It is already pretty similar. Whoever is running it seems quite intelligent, having great ideas for what feature to add next.

    I wouldnt be surprised if itch.io eventually had its own steam-like app. GoG has Galaxy, afterall. Humble on the other hand doesnt seem to want to improve in the same way.
     
  44. dogzerx2

    dogzerx2

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    That would be so amazing!

    They already sell full game projects via Asset Store don't they? They're just one tiny step away from selling playable games at least for PC, and APK for android.
     
  45. CarterG81

    CarterG81

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    Unity would ask for a 30% cut though, if I'm not mistaken, as that is their asset store cut right?

    For them to be viable, they would have to do much better than that. Steam has gained a lot of heat for their 30% in the last few years. People seem to be waking up to the fact that the words "Industry Standard" is just propaganda for others to take all your money. I was honestly surprised how everyoje seems to have woken up with Steam Direct. Polygon & RPS are not small players in game journalism. And the comment sections have gamers & developers who have been burned by Valve enough to wake up. I never would have thought that in 2017, half of all comments would seem to imply gamers respect EA Origin far more than Good Guy Valve.

    For Unity to compete? Well, let's just say I can see WHY they don't. Just not worth it for them, at a time when Steam is falling & others are rising so fast. They would have to compete in a pretty brutal way to earn any percent, which you know would be ridiculously high.
     
  46. dogzerx2

    dogzerx2

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    Yeah 30% is the Asset Store fee, it's cool. Do it, Unity!
     
  47. CarterG81

    CarterG81

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    6 years ago, and an article like this would end Polygon. The author might have even been beaten up IRL for it, lol. I was honestly surprised that so many people have woke up. I honestly think the Indiepocalypse drama, refunds policy change, & Steam Machine failure hurt valve even more than I initially thought.

    Like, I knew their brand was damaged...but holy crap...I didnt know it would seem like half of everyone would despise them. Maybe Trump woke everyone up or something? lol idk.
     
  48. CarterG81

    CarterG81

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    That is the thing though: It is not cool.
    Surprisingly the biggest complaint on Steam seems to be that they take 30%. I did not expect ppl to make such a big deal of that, but the "industry standard" propaganda seems to be failing to work these days.

    Unity would likely get alot of bad PR if they did the same. In essence they could be seen as charging you twice.

    Once to pay for the engine & another time to release your game. It is likely people would reject the idea because of that reason. Even if not accurate, it wouldnt matter. Perception is everything & in 2017, right or wrong, people are getting increasingly sick & angry at everything corporate.

    In fact, the entire idea sounds horrible for Unity Devs.

    Instead, Unity should be promoting Unity made games for free. Which I think they already do. Allowing them to sell them too does not sound good for developers at all. We could lose all that free exposure from Unity, as they would be incentivized to promote the highest selling games over all others.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017
  49. QFSW

    QFSW

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    They do

    upload_2017-6-8_13-51-23.png
     
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  50. CarterG81

    CarterG81

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    Holy crap. Thx for that.

    I really think itch.io will be the next thing. It is heading that way so fast. All it needs are a few major hits that arent also on Steam, and it can rise up fast. Their open revenue share alone allows prices to beat Steam. One could, in theory, have a permanent 30% off. Steam couldnt compete with that, even with their horrible-for-devs sales events.

    edit: Holy crap, they just introduced a new feature "Devlogs" too. They're really updating with a lot of features. I really do think they plan on beating back Steam.

     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017
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