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Default Rampant Games - Fighting the Good Fight

September 22nd, 2013, 10:16
The Rampant Coyote is back with another post this time asking,"Is releasing a game on PC without being guaranteed on Steam a losing proposition?"

This will probably shock and surprise nobody. But for games that are sold as products (instead of as services, like an MMO), Steam’s pretty much the 800 lb gorilla. If submitting and selling games via Steam was as simple as selling a game via Google Play or the App Store, that’d be one thing. You just do it. So long as your title adheres to some minimal standards, no problem. But instead, there’s the massive high-school student council election popularity contest where your game has to compete with vaporware marvels that promise the world.

But hey, after spending all that time and money generating support to get the Greenlight votes, who has anything left to actually finish a game?

As it currently exists… Steam is simultaneously enabling PC gaming on one hand, and choking the life out of it on the other. If I want to make a PC game, but I can’t guarantee a spot on Steam, it’s getting to the point where I would be very reluctant (as an actual business trying to survive making games) to do anything without some kind of prior blessing from the gods of Steam. This puts us in EXACTLY the same place we were in the bad ol’ days of the publishers dominating the landscape. This is exactly what the indie movement was trying to avoid. We didn’t intend to sacrifice a consortium of overlords for one big (if usually benevolent) overlord.
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September 22nd, 2013, 10:16
Whoa! STEAM being bad for gaming in the long run? Who would've guessed…

blackcanopus:
Steam is out of question. It's not convenient, it's not easy to use, it's not simple and fast. It's terrible.
"Where STEAM fails, the PHOENIX rises"
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September 22nd, 2013, 11:05
Well if GoG also try their hand at the Greenlight thing will they fare any better?

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20…ission-service

only time will tell
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September 22nd, 2013, 11:50
it’s getting to the point where I would be very reluctant (as an actual business trying to survive making games) to do anything without some kind of prior blessing from the gods of Steam. This puts us in EXACTLY the same place we were in the bad ol’ days of the publishers dominating the landscape.
I can agree to that.

Steam grows so much in power that it … that more and more people become dependend from it.

At this point, Steam becomes an "like any other" publisher. Not as strict, but as powerful.

It's already come to the point that retail ( ! ) games are not released anymore without Steam - which makes it totally useless to release a game in retail anyway - since once, long ago, the pro point of retail was to have no DRM.

Now, GOG is in fact the only competor having a similar power like Steam has. There's not much left besides these two - in online distribution, at least.

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September 22nd, 2013, 16:36
I would throw 100% of my support behind GoG if they ever go this route. The one thing I've noticed about Steam is, even with requiring using their own service, often you have to use another online service and/or register with some other domain or bs. If GoG ever does something to compete with Steam in this regard, minus the online and other domain registration crap, I'd delete Steam off my PC the very same day.


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September 22nd, 2013, 18:19
I know several people that won't buy digital games unless they are on Steam, which makes no sense to me, as I would rather have the DRM-free GoG version or buy straight from the developer's web site which gives them a bigger cut.

If you like to launch everything from the Steam client, it's pretty easy to add a Non-Steam game; you just have to manually handle updates yourself for that game and it doesn't track the hours played. If the latter is really important to you, you can always use something like Gameplay Time Tracker or Xfire instead to keep track of hours played.

I am not sure that the Greenlight process is really working. Some titles I see have already been vetted on other platforms such as PSN, yet are still not released on Steam. I am also seeing announcements that a title has been greenlit, yet months will pass before it is available for purchase. Quality yet niche games such as Coyote's own Frayed Knights do not get enough votes, but all kinds of generic Zombie titles do. Greenlight has become a popularity contest, not a quality filter.

While I don't want to see Steam turn into iTunes with a huge trash to treasure ratio, there needs to be a more expedited approval process. From what I understand, under the old system before Greenlight, Valve just told you that your title was rejected, without any explanation of why or what you could change to get it approved.
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September 22nd, 2013, 23:19
An acquaintance whose Steam Greenlight campaign was unsuccessful said it was still worth the effort because just being in the running brought a great increase of traffic to her own website's store - more than enough to recoup the expense of the promotion by quite a bit.
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September 22nd, 2013, 23:25
I tolerate Steam as a last choice. There are some games I won't even purchase if I have to deal with steam. I would much rather kick to a developers website and pay a little more than deal with steam.
Like someone posted above, if GoG tried this route I would be 100% behind them.
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September 23rd, 2013, 02:10
[QUOTE=Xian;1061219331] you just have to manually handle updates yourself for that game /QUOTE]

This, to me, is the most important difference. Old stuff that's already in it's final form, I'll buy on GoG. Anything new that's going to have updates, I'd rather have on Steam. Not only does it auto update (unless I don't want it to), I also get to play the update sooner. A patch sent to Steam is ready in no time. A patch sent to GoG, has to changed into a download & installation file, sometimes resulting in a few days difference in the patch being playable. While normally not a big deal, if you happen to have a game breaking bug, it can be rather annoying. Granted, GoG usually comes with tons of extras, but I've never had any interest in them.

While I'm not a fan of Steam's 30% cut, they do have several easy to use and convenient features that I love (mainly auto update + workshop for small mods).
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September 23rd, 2013, 21:53
Isn't this an actual contradiction?

What other choice is there, without an independent Steam, there would be NO new outlet, only publishers. So in the long run (where we are now), independents are still in the same spot they were, before Steam if they don't get on Greenlight.

The only difference I can see, there is a new level of success that wasn't possible before, it's called Steam success. Could it be I'm seeing the glass half full? I really don't see any 'new' impediments, only new choices for independent developers, to publish.

To be honest I don't see Rampant Coyote having any trouble or a need to spend any extra, unless he want to. Does he want to roll the dice for that extra push, to a higher level of success? Personally I don't see any reason Fray Knights can't reach the level of success of Legend of Grimrock, if it hasn't already.

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September 24th, 2013, 14:43
What a lot of pissing and moaning. Oh no, the Steam Community doesn't like me! I might as well give up! And Steam just keeps getting easier to get on, not harder. If Steam won't carry you, I'll guess you'll just have to distribute someplace else. Or get your game on Steam.

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