Steam went from a cool new way to get games to becoming a behemoth that publishers and developers have to bow down to in order to get their games seen.
With the recent revelation that PAID mods will now come under their umbrella, it really should be looked into whether the have become to big to take on.
I have 60 games tied to Steam and have been a member for 10 years, so I'm part of the problem lol and I know the sales are wonderful but sometimes self interests are not for the greater good.
No, I don't think they are. There's plenty of competition and there will be for the foreseeable future. And if you look at the best-selling games of recent years, many aren't even on steam: Diablo 3, Guild Wars 2, Minecraft, Sim City, the WoW expansions, LOL, The Sims, SC2 etc.
It's like Intel for CPUs. They're the best choice right now and got the market and it's very unlikely that they'll lose their dominant position.
I say we've truly entered into The Age of Steam.
unfortunately it looks like we will be using the STEAM locomotives and pumps in future like was used from 1800's to approx 1950's, they were replaced for performance and reliability reasons
Harpo the NON-subscriber
Steam isn't a monopoly, by definition. It's a powerful and influential service, however, with the demonstrated ability to direct the market.
As for mods, I have no problem with modders having the ability to monetize their work, but I would prefer a donation system. The current plan threatens to fragment the mod community, at least in the short term. I hate to see foundational mods like SkyUI getting locked behind a paywall, especially when so many other mods already rely on their functionality. Some mods will have free and paid versions with different functionality, which will be a headache for other mod authors and for users. Mods can be confusing enough for players already, without adding another layer of complexity to the equation.
I have happily donated to mod authors via the donation system at the Nexus, and will continue to do so, but I'm wary of the Workshop monetization model.
Steam is a de facto monopoly.
"De facto monopoly is a system where many suppliers of a product are allowed, but the market is so completely dominated by one that the others might as well not exist."
Origin can't be ignored. GOG is small but serves its customer base well. Green Man Gaming is relevant (thought tied to Steam), Gamer Gate, Microsoft is supposedly making a push to replace GFWL, etc etc.
Not a monopoly. At least not yet.
If Steam has 25% or more of the market share, it is a monopoly. (That's the economic definition. Yes, there can be 4 monopolies in a single market.)
I'd be surprised if Steam had less than 25% of the PC gaming market, there are just so few other competitors.
Not a definition that I'm familiar with, but I will defer to you.
As would I.
I suppose the question of whether or not Steam is a monopoly is less interesting than whether or not Steam is abusing its market position. I think Steam is more inclusive of 3rd parties than other market leaders (or monopoly's, or giraffe's, or whatever you choose to call them) but I'm not sure where to draw the line between use and abuse.
To clarify, I've just looked it up. Turns out that's just the UK definition, and it's to do with having "monopoly power", not being a monopoly, though there are very few differences.
A monopoly could be defined as a "Market situation where one producer (or a group of producers acting in concert) controls supply of a good or service, and where the entry of new producers is prevented or highly restricted. Monopolist firms (in their attempt to maximize profits) keep the price high and restrict the output, and show little or no responsiveness to the needs of their customers." - http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/monopoly.html
I'd say that they COULD abuse their market dominance but as yet have not.
There are over 200 items tied to my main STEAM account (which is only one of a few accounts within the household/family). Yes, I have been proudly supporting STEAM for many many years, long before most of these forums still thought STEAM was the devil.
There hasn't been, and likely won't be (at least without HUGE initial investment) any kind of competition for STEAM. I'm sure over the next many years I will purchase another few hundred items through STEAM and by then they'll have become the government and we'll all be swearing allegiance to Valve Corp. hehe
The way you talk I bet you'd do shadowruns for Gaben pro-bono
Steamworks will be the death-knell if anything is, I'm not the least bit worried about how pervasive they are as a distributor, but being locked into a platform is terrible. If they go dark side, or go tits up, we're all fucked. Too many studios wont have the resources(publishers sure as hell wont foot the bill) to remove their stuff from Steamworks, we'll end up fragmenting on not so legal hack jobs.
GOG would be the most likely destination in such a scenario. They'd be the only ones trusted if Valve went evil.
The AAA publishers that feel like they require DRM would likely retreat to their own versions of Steamwork such as Origin. I'm 99% certain Stardock will go down that same route, and have failsafes planned.
I was referring to the existing library of Steamworks integrated games you'd have that would suddenly become a virtual paperweight, legally speaking. Anyone that does a hack job to get around the demise of Steam would be violating piracy laws in quite a few countries, the US included, thanks to wonderful governments. It would happen anyway of course... but it would still be a pain in the ass, and will become a larger pain in the ass as they continue to evolve the complexity of the integration between games and the platform.
The 'mono' in 'monopoly' means 'one'....not four.
I always thought accountants danced to their own tune...
Monopoly power is what you get between monopoly and perfect competition. In a monopoly you can set prices to profit-maximize to your heart's content. In a perfect competition you have no control over your price. Monopoly power is the ability of the firm to control its own price. To some extent it can be argued that brand loyalty actually provides you with monopoly power, but afaik people prefer the term market power then (although as I understand it they are functionally identical).
Anyway. Steam's prices are often price-matched by their competitors, Amazon, GamersGate etc. Looking only at price, they functionally have no monopoly power from a consumer perspective. Far more interesting would be to look at their 30% cut of any sale through the steam store, and their ability to alter that. Although as I understand it, they have maintained it at 30% for many years and continue to do so, probably as a method of building commitment and trust into their relationship with their partners (publishers, devs etc).
The 'mono' in 'monopoly' means 'one'....not four.I always thought accountants danced to their own tune...
Amusing, but unfair. Pretend they said monopolistic, rather than monopoly. It's like mochi being glutinous, even though it doesn't contain any.
They do! The basic assumptions of accounting are pure fiction.
I can download my older stardock games from stardock website directly. But for newer games like Sins of the Solar Empire Rebellion and beyond, they are steam only due to integration with steam.
I hope Stardock new games will stop marrying themselves with steam.
While in the Cities: Skylines forum, I came across this new Steam "feature"
i love steam, it's convenient, I don't have a bunch of hard copies gather dust in the corner, and for anyone above the age of 18 .. and with a job .. it allows those of us who are time crunched to load up what ever game we need and game with friends easily. I wish all games where on steam it would make life easier.
I just don't see the need to complain about them just because they are turning a profit, sometimes you need to be a behemouth in this world to have the cash to get shit done. Hopes and dreams and wish full thinking doesn't pay for the unimaginable day to day that must go on behind the scenes at steam.
Let me check my PC:
Gamestop (formerly known as Impulse that was developed by Stardock)
Nope, this is not a monopoly. Steam is by far the best at marketting their games but they are not the only one. In fact, I regularly play games bought on GOG.
That's the second time you've used that exact line in response to one of my post. You must have a chip on your shoulder. FYI, I am over 18 and I have a job.
Straw man argument... I never said I was against them making a profit. Nor did I imply it.
Did you read the comments? It's not about making money. It's about charging people extra for full access to a game they already paid for..under the guise of spam prevention.
Steam is a monopsony (probably not the exact word but best i could find). If you are a new game company you MUST use steam or your game very very likely won't be a commercial success. The only companies that can get away with not using steam are the ones that were successful before steam became so big. And that is before you even consider the effect Steamworks has on the market.
While i agree steam is very convenient and nice, i do with they had some real competition, but that's not gonna happen for years to come at least. And consumer protection laws regarding digital goods are sorely lacking too. (just imagine for a moment how screwed you would be if your steam account gets closed for whatever reason, especially reasons not in your control)
Stardock had one of the few 'ankle-biting' competitors to Steam with Impulse, which they sold to Gamestop which killed it (you can no longer buy games on it, and most games you bought on Impulse if you try to download with their legacy app now download in Steam instead :/). There are a couple minor competitors like Gog which specializes (though isn't exclusively) old games (from even the MS-DOS area, like Master of Orion, M.A.X., etc.) with the software like DosBOX to let them run on modern systems and Direct2Drive and there are probably some others, but ... pretty much ... for all intents and purposes, Steam is a monopoly.
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