Steam - All News
Wednesday - October 21, 2015
Steam - About Those Paid Mods
Kotaku has interviewed Valve's Erik Johnson and Robin Walker about their ideas to start with paid mods again, even after their unsuccesful attempt earlier this year.
“We screwed things up in the details,” Johnson noted. When I suggested that perhaps they could’ve tested the waters with some survey-type forum threads on Steam or Reddit—slowly warmed people up to the idea instead of springing it on them cold—Johnson added, “I agree that we could’ve done it a lot better.”
For Skyrim in particular—with its vast, established modding community, rife with room for drama over attribution, combo mods, etc—Johnson feels like Valve also miscommunicated why they chose to do what they did. “If you look back specifically at the Skyrim situation,” he said, “while it wasn’t our intent, it was really easy to read that as, ‘Remember that thing you love? You pay money for that now.’ That’s an awful plan. That’s a terrible plan.”
“I think the magnitude of the reaction was also like, ‘Did Valve just turn evil on us?’” Johnson continued. “We don’t think we did, but we can see how it got miscommunicated that way. I know Robin will say this too, but it was one of the most awful weekends I’ve had working at Valve. It felt really, really terrible reading through all of that.”
Then we moved on to the elephant in the room: thanks to an unsuccessful first attempt, people who would’ve otherwise been on the fence or slightly opposed to the concept of paid mods are now super opposed. Can Valve make this work in the future with all that baggage trailing behind them? Johnson thinks so.
“You need something that’s like, ‘Here’s the new thing. Somebody spent a couple years on it, and it’s amazing. It’s for sale,’” Johnson explained. “We didn’t really have anything like that [last time], so it came across poorly.”
“I think it’s about being really transparent and offering something that’s cool,” he said. “I think customers are pretty smart. I think they get it.”
Thursday - August 20, 2015
Steam - Your target audience doesn't exist
Your target audience doesn’t exist
Why you shouldn’t talk about “MOBA audience”, “core gamers”, “female gamers” and instead think smaller.
What about “usual” games?
And here is the interesting thing — there is a market and audience for smaller games, otherwise Steam wouldn’t exist. Many people are trying many new games. They don’t spend hundreds of hours in one title, they’re, you know, your average gamers, you used to hear about a lot.
But there is a catch:
There aren’t many of them.
Classic “core gamers” — the ones that play most major hits or jump from indie game to indie game — are relatively rare when compared to overall gaming audience.
In fact, 1% of Steam gamers own 33% of all copies of games on Steam. 20% of Steam gamers own 88% of games. That’s even more than Pareto principle suggests.
So, to be a member of the “1% group” of Steam gamers you have to own 107 games or more. That’s not much considering how Steam is selling games at discount prices and how easy it is to obtain games in bundles.
We’re talking about 1.3M PC gamers that could fall into definition of “core gamer that buys several games per year”. And that’s including discounted games as well.
Of course we could extend it to, I don’t know, “softcore gamers” — the 20% that own 88% games. To be included you’d have to own 4 (FOUR) games or more on Steam — not exactly a huge number, right?
Let me repeat it once more, because it’s really important.
Various studies suggest that there are 700–800 million of PC gamers. It’s probably true, but it doesn’t mean much for your game. Because if you’re developing a downloadable game for Steam you’re not even fighting for 135M of its active users,
you’re fighting for the attention of 1.3 million gamers
that are actually buying lots of games.
The 1% group.
Thursday - June 05, 2014
Steam - Updates FAQ on Early Access Games
Steam has updated their FAQ to make clear that Early Access games might not be released at all and that you should only get involved if you are excited about playing it in its current state. GamesBeat contacted Valve on this and they had this to say:
“The changes to the FAQ are intended to help set customer expectations of what may or may not happen over the course of development of an Early Access game. We frequently iterate on Steam features as we gather feedback and find areas for improvement.
“In this case, it became apparent that further clarification would help customers evaluate their potential purchase of Early Access titles. We think of Steam, Early Access, and game development as services that grow and evolve best with the involvement of customers and the community.”
Saturday - April 19, 2014
ArsTechnica - Steam Sales Figures
Jhwisner sent news about two new articles were ArsTechnica has data on Steam sales. I will post what he sent to save me time. Allow me to say thanks Jhwisner.
ArsTechnica managed to produce some apparently decent estimates of total ownership/sales totals on Steam. A few Devs have confirmed the accuracy with the author - some publicaly so. Imporant takeaways from this are pretty positive for PC gamers in general and PC RPG gamers in general.
Here's some interesting tidbits:
Skyrim - 5,942,000
Fallout: New Vegas - 2,630,232
The Witcher 2 - 1,725,513*
FTL - 1,651,734*
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition - 1,368,606
*Only represents steam sales totals as DRM free versions without Steam integration are on offer on sites such as GoG.
Second article contains an expanded top list - expanded to 100 games (page 2 of article)
Monday - January 06, 2014
Steam - Interview @ Washington Post
The Washington Post has an interesting interview with Gabe Newell about Steam, and what makes Valve tick.
Valve is one of the most successful video game companies in the world. The firm's online game distribution and multi-player platform Steam has 65 million users. At next week's CES conference, the company will announce hardware partners for one of its most ambitious undertakings so far: a line of gaming console alternatives running on the company's linux-based Steam OS.
What makes Valve so successful? In November, I sat down with Valve CEO and co-founder Gabe Newell in the gaming company's Bellevue office for a feature story. Newell argues that attracting and retaining talented programmers and designers is key to the firm's success, and explained the company's strategy for doing that. This interview, the first of a two-part series, has been lightly edited for length.
Saturday - January 04, 2014
Steam - DDoS Attacks by Troll Group
Steam was attacked by a trolling group who keeps DDoSing the service. It seems they are attacking other sites also, and Arstechnica has the news on what's happening.
The servers for Steam, Origin, Battle.net, and League of Legends were brought down temporarily overnight by apparent DDoS attacks that seem to be related to a swatting attack on an individual known for streaming games. All of those services appear to be working normally as of this writing.
A hacker group going by the handle DERP Trolling claimed responsibility for the Origin attack on Twitter, saying it used a "Ion Cannon" DDoS tool it's calling the "Gaben Laser Beam," after Valve founder Gabe Newell. DERP claimed responsibility for similar attacks on Battle.net, League of Legends, World of Tanks, EA.com, and more earlier this week. Meanwhile, a pair of Twitter users are claiming responsibility for last night's attack on Steam.
All of these efforts to take down various games and platforms seem to be related to a swatting attack directed at YouTube user PhantomL0rd. A thread on reddit lays out how those attacks advanced from targeting the games PhantomL0rd was playing (and monetizing through ads) to more personal harassment after his address and details were released online. In a recent stream, PhantomL0rd reported on being handcuffed after having police called to his address.
DERP, for its part, denies being part of these more personal attacks on PhantomL0rd. The group's Twitter includes a phone number where users can apparently call or text in requests for sites to be targeted by these DDoS attacks, suggesting that it may be simply pointing its software at locations suggested by others.
Thank you jhwisner for sending in the link.