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September 20th, 2019, 12:08
Thread about steam related things

https://www.gamepressure.com/newsroo…-eu-law/z21197

According to the judgment of the French court, which invokes European Union directives, resale of games from Steam is perfectly legal. Valve has a month to change the rules and inform users about it.
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September 20th, 2019, 18:25
I like that ruling. Now that so many products are purely electronic, companies all want us to lease everything, to "own" a license for something that they still control in reality. I'm in favor of people actually owning these things, even if it is just a legal distinction.
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September 20th, 2019, 21:07
Great, now can someone please sue them into making Half-Life 3?
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September 21st, 2019, 17:14
I really don't see how that can work with digital items. I can see where people are coming from, but practically speaking I just don't see how it can work.

When you finish a game, you most likely just uninstall it and never run it again. You might want to re-play a few games later on but most games I know have only a quarter of people even finish the game the first time, never mind playing it twice.

These are not physical game discs, these are purely digital, which means a couple of very important things:

1. There's NO degradation. A used console game can be passed around a few times but the disk is eventually going to get scratched, warped, or whatever. A Steam key lasts forever.

2. You can move them around instantly. I don't even have to finish a game before giving up my key! When I'm done for the night, I can hand my key to somebody in Australia, who could then hand it to somebody in Europe, who could then hand it back to me when I'm ready for another evening session.

So what's this going to look like to publishers? Well, used game sales have always hurt them pretty bad. This will be MUCH worse. If you check a game's peak number of players, that's going to be about what they get in TOTAL sales for the entire lifetime of the game. There's absolutely no way they can sustain that.

But this only applies to non-subscription games, of course. Free to play games aren't affected. MMO's aren't affected. Make those kinds of games and you can still make money. All those subscription services that the big publishers have aren't affected. The cloud-gaming solutions aren't affected. Release your games exclusively in that format and you're still good, too.
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September 22nd, 2019, 13:20
The problem is the U.S. definition of "intellectual properties" and "ownership" vs. the European interpretation of both. These are very different from one another.

Here, we say : "The thoughts are free".
In the U.S. , it is said : "Thoughts are not free. They are Intellectual Property, which can be bought and sold like any other wares."
A bit cynically put.
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September 22nd, 2019, 22:04
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
So what's this going to look like to publishers? Well, used game sales have always hurt them pretty bad. This will be MUCH worse. If you check a game's peak number of players, that's going to be about what they get in TOTAL sales for the entire lifetime of the game. There's absolutely no way they can sustain that.
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This is true however why should my heart bleed because a company makes more money than it should? Should I feel sad for car manufacturers because they could make much more money if there was no used market? As far as digital items being traded more easily and without degradation, this is compensated by the fact they have ZERO manufacture cost!
A fair option would be to have purchase (re-sellable) and license (non-res-sellable) keys both available (at different price tiers, obviously) and allow the consumer to decide.
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September 23rd, 2019, 00:47
Originally Posted by Philistine View Post
This is true however why should my heart bleed because a company makes more money than it should?
I'm not saying you should feel sorry for them, I'm saying they are going to look at this market, decide they can't make much money at it, and go elsewhere.

Manufacturing costs are just part of the costs for making something. Right now, AAA games cost many millions of dollars to make.

Naturally, I could easily be wrong. I figured that refunds spelled doom, too, but they managed to pull it off with that 2 hour limit. Maybe something can be managed here, too?

It seems to me that e-books are in a similar boat. They aren't very likely to get read multiple times, either. Are those already being traded as "used books" in France or the EU?
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September 23rd, 2019, 05:13
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
Manufacturing costs are just part of the costs for making something. Right now, AAA games cost many millions of dollars to make.
Development costs and manufacture costs are 2 different things. Development happens once, manufacture costs are per unit sold. A new car costs millions to design too, but then also costs thousands to make. Digital merch costs zero to reproduce.
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September 23rd, 2019, 08:40
Well, there's also the question what this ruling actually means for Steam. Will Steam have to provide the mechanics to resell the games, e.g. the ability to create giftable copies of your games once you want to sell them? Because if not, then I can only see it apply to selling your entire Steam account.

However, if Steam would actually create a marketplace for "used" games, then they could also make money of it by charging a service fee or whatever they want to call it. And publishers/developers would finally have an incentive to deliver complete and bug-free games at release day, so that customers would want to play the games right away and not wait months (or years) until the game is finally patched, is on sale, and has its "director's cut" released.

So in summary, no, I don't really feel pity for Steam or the publishers.
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September 23rd, 2019, 10:16
My guess is they will do one of two things:

Stop selling to french people (via putting a notice up - then it will be the folks who buy who break the law); or try to change terms (rental or something) to by pass the ruling.

Originally Posted by abharsair View Post
Well, there's also the question what this ruling actually means for Steam. Will Steam have to provide the mechanics to resell the games, e.g. the ability to create giftable copies of your games once you want to sell them? Because if not, then I can only see it apply to selling your entire Steam account.
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September 23rd, 2019, 10:35
Originally Posted by you View Post
Stop selling to french people…
Since the French court made its decision based on European Union directives, I wouldn't be surprised if this ruling will eventually apply to all of the EU (assuming people take Valve to court in other countries as well). I doubt Valve would want to miss out on that market.

Originally Posted by you View Post
or try to change terms (rental or something) to by pass the ruling.
That's not so easy, or to quote the article:
Valve knew this very well and for several years the company defended itself against the fact that the games on its platform are not bought at all, but only borrowed for an indefinite period of time as part of a paid subscription. However, the judge quickly noticed that this did not make the slightest sense. The term "subscription" is used for a predetermined period of time and is incorrect in the context given by Valve.
So Valve would have to start charging an actual subscription fee (monthly/yearly), or else no one would really believe that you don't acquire a perpetual license to your software when you buy a game there.
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September 23rd, 2019, 12:14
If this ruling will pass for other counitres also, I guess this will mean games will move to a kind of spotify model. Very good news for Stadia I guess.

Very bad news for small developers.
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September 23rd, 2019, 14:32
I'm not sure it is Valve's decision. The game owner is probably the one who has to make the final decision.
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Originally Posted by abharsair View Post
I doubt Valve would want to miss out on that market.
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September 24th, 2019, 03:52
Originally Posted by Philistine View Post
Development costs and manufacture costs are 2 different things. Development happens once, manufacture costs are per unit sold. A new car costs millions to design too, but then also costs thousands to make. Digital merch costs zero to reproduce.
Well, not 0 - bandwidth and servers aren't free. Definitely comparatively small, though.

But I don't see how manufacture costs really matter? In the end, it costs X to make the game. Y people buy the game and the publisher gets Z dollars out of it. If Y*Z < X, the company loses money, which isn't going to keep happening for long.

Allowing used game sales is going to MASSIVELY reduce Y. Heaven only knows how much but, given that you can hand your key around different time zones and that you can be very certain of cheaper prices showing up not just in six months but probably just a few weeks later, I wouldn't be surprised if they only got one tenth the sales. If a game company wants to keep spending like they are now, they would need to up the price to $600 per game! The first gamers that buy should be able to sell the game back for $560 (assuming they don't dawdle) but jeez.

They could put a lot less money into development but that leaves them to either charge more for a rather inferior game or charging the same amount for a clearly inferior game.

I think getting out of it means getting out of the law. Start charging a subscription and take games away from anyone who can't keep paying. Steam would need to make some big changes for that. GOG… sheesh, there's just no way it could stay GOG. The games-as-a-service places, though, are already set up for it.

(Of course, another way out would be for the law to change, but that's boring. )
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September 24th, 2019, 06:32
The business model you describe (Y*Z<X) is very unsound. Take a look at the movie industry which is very similar. Sure they would love us all to subscribe to their exclusive channel, but we know it's a rip off, so they have to sell dvds/blu-rays, and syndicate, and merchandise the product. They make money on aggregate, not purely on ticket sales. Games publishers can do the same. They can still make money without gaas rip offs.
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September 26th, 2019, 01:02
You can't syndicate a game. There's nothing like selling DVDs, either - people are far more likely to re-watch a movie than a game. Merchandising can make some money for the big games (I just saw a topic where people were totally thrilled with paying a huge sum of cash for Final Fantasy 7's collector's edition at $330) but it's never going to compare to everybody paying $50.

What they could do is have DLC. LOTS of DLC. But that's essentially the same as an MMO subscription model.
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September 26th, 2019, 05:34
Syndication = releasing on multiple platforms/storefronts, dvd release= product key vs gaas key. Merchandising = Astroneer (hardly a AAA game) has Halloween costumes at Party City also have you ever been inside a GameStop?
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September 28th, 2019, 03:31
I was in a GameStop once! Bunch of console games. Best Buy was the place to get PC games.

I don't see how releasing on multiple platforms or stores is syndication!? But you're basically saying that they should go ahead and make the game for PC even though they will make pennies on the dollar compared to, say, a subscription service. I'm telling you they won't do that.

Anyway, seems you can do your own pictures in Steam and have been able to for quite some time now. You can even do animated ones in the new Steam library:
https://www.npr.org/2019/09/27/76496…chment-inquiry
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