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October 8th, 2021, 19:39
GamesIndustry.biz ponders on the potential of Twitch and the platform codenamed 'Vapor' to make Amazon a serious competitor of Valve Corporation.

Amazon could be Valve's only serious challenger | Opinion

With Twitch as its springboard, leaked Steam competitor Vapor could be the biggest disruption to the PC market in decades

It's been a rollercoaster few weeks for Amazon Games.

The launch of its MMORPG title New World looked like its first genuine shot at a hit title, with enormous interest in the game resulting in overloaded servers and long queues for players -- not a great look for the world's leading provider of cloud services, perhaps, but a positive sign for the game's future. That's a big deal for the division, whose previous major efforts haven't even made it to the starting line -- the most recent no-show being Crucible, which was cancelled outright after a poor reaction to its beta launch last year.

For executives in Amazon's gaming arm, however, any sense of jubilation at the strong response to New World has likely been forgotten in the week's subsequent events, as an enormous security breach saw the leak of tens of gigabytes of code and data related to the company's games division and its game streaming subsidiary, Twitch.

[…]

In light of that, the confirmation that Amazon has been working on a digital distribution platform that's designed to compete with Steam -- an objective that's even made perfectly clear by its working codename, "Vapor" -- suddenly brings quite a few things into focus, and suggests a path forward for Amazon's ambitions that could have a pretty big impact on the PC games market overall.

Vapor seems, to all intents and purposes, to be a pretty fully-featured Steam competitor that's deeply integrated with Twitch -- indeed, it wouldn't be surprising if the version of it we finally see officially is called something like the Twitch Games Store. That may not sound like anything groundbreaking, given Steam's continuing dominance of the PC digital distribution space -- but it could well be a far more disruptive move than it appears at first glance.

[…]
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October 8th, 2021, 22:11
Naming the platform "vapor" wouldn't be that wise, imo. Granted that for now it's just a working name, hopefully they'll come up with, well, heck almost ANY name would be an improvement, lol. Vapor with any computer connotations just doesn't strike me as a smart move.
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October 8th, 2021, 22:15
Originally Posted by Carnifex View Post
Naming the platform "vapor" wouldn't be that wise, imo. Granted that for now it's just a working name, hopefully they'll come up with, well, heck almost ANY name would be an improvement, lol. Vapor with any computer connotations just doesn't strike me as a smart move.
Yes, that would be very silly
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October 8th, 2021, 22:22
Battle.net tried and failed.
Origin tried and failed.
uplay tried and failed.
Bethstore tried and failed.
Epic tried, too early to say, but I believe it'll fail.

Steam cannot be killed.
Amazon should stick with streaming movies/shows - unlike numerous competitors thy are geoblocking 90% of the world where netflix geoblocks less than 50% and some others less than 10%.
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October 8th, 2021, 22:29
Well, Steam needs stronger competition, but I'm not sure I want it to be Amazon.
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October 8th, 2021, 22:43
Already declaring a boycott just because Amazon has become very "woke" lately, and I doubt I want to play pc games promoting a certain extreme political agenda or bias in them.

Amazon should not be banning books either, another thing that is very disappointing… (it doesn't matter what the books are, its not Amazon's place to be censoring books, even if they are politically incorrect) IMHO
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October 8th, 2021, 22:45
Originally Posted by Arkadia7 View Post
Already declaring a boycott just because Amazon has become very "woke" lately, and I doubt I want to play pc games promoting a certain extreme political agenda or bias in them.

Amazon should not be banning books either, another thing that is very disappointing… (it doesn't matter what the books are, its not Amazon's place to be censoring books, even if they are politically incorrect) IMHO
Well, whatever it takes to make people loathe Amazon, I guess.
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October 8th, 2021, 23:15
Steam is just too convenient and has actually good policies these days. I still believe there can be platforms that coexist (I for one take good advantage of XBox Pass), but killing Steam is not something that I see happening in any foreseeable future.

There has to be something that changes the rules of the game completely, not just a different platform that does the same but has a different company behind it.
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October 8th, 2021, 23:45
Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
Well, whatever it takes to make people loathe Amazon, I guess.
Don't get me wrong, I don't hate Amazon though, just some of the things they have done lately. I order a ton of stuff from Amazon every month. I do think they are very convenient when it comes to buying stuff, with good prices, good selection, and very good customer service.

When I said I will boycott what I meant is their new game service/platform. Just like I boycott Epic games (for different reasons though)
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October 9th, 2021, 00:17
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
Battle.net tried and failed.
Origin tried and failed.
uplay tried and failed.
Bethstore tried and failed.
Epic tried, too early to say, but I believe it'll fail.
That's kind of the point of the article, they were missing something
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October 9th, 2021, 05:03
Yeah, I've got a lifetime thing with Amazon, got that back when they just did books, it's paying off dividends now. I truly don't like the idea of them banning some titles, I complain loudly every time I see it happening. If they do compete against Steam, they may actually have a chance at at least sustaining the fight.
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October 9th, 2021, 12:28
Amazon is using Steam for their game New World. That's a bit surprising.
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October 9th, 2021, 13:08
I love New World.

It's the living proof of how something can be popular, economically successful, and still be a disposable piece of trash in terms of quality and innovation.
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October 9th, 2021, 13:30
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Well, Steam needs stronger competition, but I'm not sure I want it to be Amazon.
Steam became so strong ONLY through 3 factors :

- Hackers destroyed copy protections of any kind
- Publishers wanted a better copy protection
- Steam combined both - copy protection and the wisj of gamers to have games available anywhere where they wanted them to be.

So, in the end, one must say that Steam because so strong because gamers wanted it to be so. Gamers and hackers.

And still, even today, hackers rather destroy any kind of disc based copy protection - and any without any iscs involved - thus making Steam only stronger and bigger with their deeds.

Hackers indirectly erected the Steam monopoly.
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October 9th, 2021, 14:55
I honestly don't think gamers ever wanted Steam. I remember vividly the time I first heard about it, when my partner back then bought Half Life 2 and I asked her to let me install it in my computer and she was "Well, you can't install it in your computer, it uses a program called Steam and the game's CDkey is locked to my account. You can play by logging into my account though, but then we can't play at the same time. I also doubt we can both have different playthroughs going."

To me that was such an alien and outrageous idea. That I could buy a game and not have the right to allow friends, family, or any loved ones play it too, like if I bought a pair of scissors and nobody else could use them because it was digitally locked to only work with my fingertips.

The only reason it existed was to prevent piracy; in Valve's own understanding it would allow them to increase profits, and if it didn't, at least people wouldn't be able to freeload into their products.

In time, Steam evolved to be more of a game library manager, and developed community aspects, but those were just evolutions. In its concept, Steam was an aberration that did away with a lot of the basic rights anyone should have when purchasing a product, and I feel no customer would ever be in favour of.

Now at least it has a good refund policy, friends and family sharing, and it's a pretty nice, orderly way to keep games and saved games in the cloud for whenever you feel like going back to the game, which is all very convenient. In its creation, it was none of these things.
Last edited by Nereida; October 9th, 2021 at 15:10.
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October 9th, 2021, 15:10
I think Steam got strong because they had a distribution platform (that Valve used for their own games at the beginning), and acquired a massive base of users over the years. Their platform changed from a simple distribution system to an integrated social platform, with forums, news, streaming, and so on.

That's why it would make sense to see Amazon as a potential competitor on the same level.

The protection is orthogonal to that. Usually big titles use that nasty Denuvo system, on Steam or other platforms. Others use the default DRM of the platform, and some are DRM-free.

EDIT: sure, it helps that a DRM is available by default on the platform, like all the other services it provides.
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October 9th, 2021, 17:13
Steam won because you cannot beat digital, something they have been the only ones to do seriously for years.
You see a game, you buy the game, you have the game, and now you can even refund it. All that with a very streamlined interface.

I certainly don't miss the floppy/CD/DVD days.
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October 9th, 2021, 17:25
Originally Posted by Nereida View Post
I honestly don't think gamers ever wanted Steam. I remember vividly the time I first heard about it, when my partner back then bought Half Life 2 and I asked her to let me install it in my computer and she was "Well, you can't install it in your computer, it uses a program called Steam and the game's CDkey is locked to my account. You can play by logging into my account though, but then we can't play at the same time. I also doubt we can both have different playthroughs going."

To me that was such an alien and outrageous idea. That I could buy a game and not have the right to allow friends, family, or any loved ones play it too, like if I bought a pair of scissors and nobody else could use them because it was digitally locked to only work with my fingertips.

The only reason it existed was to prevent piracy; in Valve's own understanding it would allow them to increase profits, and if it didn't, at least people wouldn't be able to freeload into their products.

In time, Steam evolved to be more of a game library manager, and developed community aspects, but those were just evolutions. In its concept, Steam was an aberration that did away with a lot of the basic rights anyone should have when purchasing a product, and I feel no customer would ever be in favour of.

Now at least it has a good refund policy, friends and family sharing, and it's a pretty nice, orderly way to keep games and saved games in the cloud for whenever you feel like going back to the game, which is all very convenient. In its creation, it was none of these things.
That's the problem of evolution and progress it seems. Digital has won and they killed the physical market at least on the PC side. Console side should catch up soon.

Seems gamer's like citizens love to give up their rights for convenience. See I hated steam when it launched, now I can't be bothered to care. We've been assimilated.
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October 9th, 2021, 17:30
Originally Posted by Kos View Post
Steam won because you cannot beat digital, something they have been the only ones to do seriously for years.
You see a game, you buy the game, you have the game, and now you can even refund it. All that with a very streamlined interface.

I certainly don't miss the floppy/CD/DVD days.
Yes but that's not the point here. All these platforms are digital, yet the others mentioned above are nowhere near the same level.

I don't really miss those medias either (especially when Sony was doing black magic with Securom and it wasn't possible for some CD readers to pass the torture test ), except it was possible to give and sell them to someone else back then. Now what you buy isn't even yours anymore.
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October 9th, 2021, 17:58
Personally, even though I can no longer drive or get myself to a brick and mortar store easily, I miss the physical media. Gone are the days when you rushed to the store, getting your sweaty hands on the newest M&M, or gold box game. I much prefer great old games over Steam, yet accept the latter because of the non issue I had when I had to return two games out of sheer disgust. My funds were returned to me no question, and the bad taste alleviated, somewhat. Can Amazon enter this theatre and be competitive? Absolutely, if they are smart and perhaps don't approach this as an effort to compete directly with Valve, simply to provide an alternative to consumers. That path is where a victory can be found, should they have the staying power and a little chutzpah.
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