Bo-Steamia Interactive: Arma III To Be Steam-Exclusive

By Adam Smith on February 21st, 2013 at 8:00 pm.

I wonder if this thing could be related to this other thing? Whatever the case, Bohemia Interactive are putting their next egg into a single basket, and that basket is Steam and the egg is Arma III. Rather than just sending out a press release to tell us, Bohemia have posted a detailed blog entry to make the argument that removal of choice for the consumer is ‘a good thing’. Primarily, it’ll allow Bohemia to concentrate on making the game, ensuring it’s out in 2013 rather than slipping as a result of “two quite serious situations”: the arrest of members of the team and, less specifically, Bohemia’s unhappiness “with how the project was going”.

A great deal of the reasoning is tied to Steam’s position as the market-leader. It’s the biggest and best, so if you’re going to go with one partner, why pick anyone other than Valve? Bohemia argue this is not only because of the store’s reach but because Valve is “a good partner”.

“There may be other platforms that handle certain things in a way we or you would prefer, but they simply do not have the reach, support and status Steam does. Recent upgrades to Steamworks have made it an even more interesting option for us as developer and publisher. These include Delta-patching and more direct administration of our games without a middle-man.”

The latter points feed into the greater incentive, which is to free up development time for actual development, rather than having members of the team tied up with “creating and testing all the master copies” and patches to ensure they work with each distributed version. One store, one version.

“By targeting Steam as our primary distribution, we can take those resources and put them to much better use: making the most splendid game possible.”

Bohemia are also impressed with the possibilities offered by Steamworks. There’s good reason for the Arma developers to be fond of mods after the success of Day Z, which has given Arma II an extraordinary chart-bothering second retail life.

Steamworks offers a library of features which we can fairly quickly hook into Arma 3. Some of them we wanted to develop anyway, but to do it ourselves would again cost valuable resources. External solutions have their own issues, such as the lack of immediate control, but Steamworks saves us needed time. We can take what we want, make adjustments and make sure it all benefits players and mod makers. I am convinced that without this choice, most of the features would not be available at all.

Simplification is key to the move. Simpler patching, simpler support for external utilities and mods, and a simpler development process. The same argument is made regarding DRM, with the varied product-ballast of Arma II now a thing of the past. It’s not entirely clear what piracy-prevention measures will be tacked onto Arma III but Bohemia assure that there will be an offline single player mode while also explaining that they will ‘expand’ upon Steam’s DRM solutions.

…Bohemia Interactive has tried to grow with the evolution of the Internet, rather than to fight it. We have removed intrusive Digital Rights Management (DRM) from our games several months after release, but cannot afford to launch without such technologies. We strongly believe the best anti-piracy comes from offering valuable online services that people are willing to invest in. Supporting that philosophy: we saw we could not deliver in-house solutions on time, but could take Steam’s and expand upon them. It will be possible to run Steam in Offline mode, and still play the game (with the exception of online services obviously, including multiplayer itself).

That playing in single player offline is now a ‘mode’ that developers feel the need to reassure us is included makes me shake my head and mutter English swear words, such as ‘malarkey’, ‘cripes’ and ‘pudding’.

There will be boxed versions of the game, but those boxes will contain either a Steam code or a DVD full of files that will require activation through Steam once they are on your computer. I know very little about the specifics of Bohemia’s troubles with the release of multiple versions of their games, but many smaller development teams release on several digital stores and manage to maintain standards between the releases on each. I don’t consider my PC to be functional if Steam isn’t active, although it’s far from alone on my cluttered taskbar, and I can see the benefits of the Workshop, but store exclusivity is peculiar. If nothing else, this move presumably ties Arma III purchasers to potentially unhelpful regional pricing.

We contacted Bohemia for comment on the possible problems that can arise from exclusivity, and will include a response when we receive one.

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170 Comments »

  1. razgon says:

    That headline is somewhat lacking…

  2. Premium User Badge

    Gundato says:

    Minor typo in the title.

    And makes sense. BiS are known for “heavy” patching, so having a single version to maintain will drastically decrease the time between the weekly (or even daily) patches to make the game playable.

  3. db1331 says:

    Gabe Newell is now on the top of Greece’s Most Wanted list.

    • JFS says:

      I think they’re really after him… he could buy Greece with his pocket money for this month.

  4. birds says:

    I Shall give you the —–> I <——

    • mr.ioes says:

      pipe?

    • Premium User Badge

      Cinek says:

      I won’t give them anything. Screw it. I promised myself not to borrow any games from Steam anymore (according to their new user agreement) so there’s no way Bohemia will see my money. They ignore gamers, I ignore them.

      • Premium User Badge

        PoulWrist says:

        No steam, no borrow?

      • AlphaCentauri says:

        You do realize Steam’s always sold you a license and not a game, right? Ever since the beginning.

      • Arkh says:

        Me too, I bought Arma 2 on GOG but for this game they are not going to see my money. A shame.

  5. lordcooper says:

    I buy almost all of my games through Steam, and this news sucks. Platform exclusives are always a terrible thing, regardless of the quality of a particular platform or game. Go and find me some happy news instead.

    • Jambe says:

      Same here; the vast majority of games I own are on Steam (that is to say, everything but some very old discs and the odd non-Steam game I get through a bundle).

      Still, platform exclusives chap my hide. I’ve said it before, but I really really wish Valve would advertise the DRM-free games they sell which are available post-download as standalone executables (that is all those games Steam delivers which don’t use 3rd-party DRM and which don’t use Steamworks CEG).

      This is a selling point, Valve! This is why people love GOG and GamersGate! It’s trivially easy to advertise and implement and the only thing it does is build goodwill with customers (I suppose there might be grumblings from some big publishing houses, but they can still use their own dumb DRM or Steamworks).

      • animlboogy says:

        They probably gloss over it so as not to highlight the games that do use DRM. I guess they’d rather let people keep saying falsities like “STEAM IS DRM!!!” than have to be grilled by fans and press about why their own games aren’t DRM-free.

        • Jambe says:

          I’d say the notion that “Steam is DRM” is more a half-truth than an outright falsity. See this link, where Valve mealymouths their way around what is and isn’t DRM (account-based content restriction supposedly isn’t DRM, but hardware-based “rights-management” is). Sorry Valve, but tying access to a user account is explicitly and unequivocally DRM.

          One can easily release a game on Steam without DRM, of course (see the link in my first comment). The DRM provided by Valve is a nonessential part of Steamworks (the Custom Executable Generation, or CEG). Even publishers who release a game with CEG can let their customers disable it to run the game without DRM (of course, any associated Steamworks features such leaderboards, progress & settings saves, etc, no longer work in that case, for understandable reasons).

          By my reckoning, the Steam platform can be said to function as DRM for most of the content it delivers. Furthermore, it’s never made obvious that a minority of its content can be run without some form of DRM present. I imagine you’re right; Valve don’t highlight Steam’s non-DRMed games because it would undermine the selling point of their own DRM scheme (see the marketing page I linked to), which they seem quite happy with.

          … and again, I’m not a hard-line Stallman-esque absolutist wrt software. I like Steam and the features it provides and I buy into Steamworks-DRMed titles because I like the benefits said titles provide. I still wish Valve would be less two-faced about the nature of DRM in its marketing material, and I think it could actually gain some of the GOG/GG-type freedom-above-all-else gamers if it marketed select games as “totally DRM free” or whatever (perhaps give an option to “download the bare standalone installer if you don’t want whatever Steamworks features may or may not be present”).

          *shrug*

  6. Hoaxfish says:

    I’m assuming they’re not going to rule out a GOG release later. If not, then I feel this is a bit “obsessive” I guess.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      They probaby are, but if I’m mistaken and they do release it on GOG I suspect it’ll be quite a while after the original release. Perhaps when it hits gold status. Or perhaps a total package type of deal including all dlc as well.

  7. birds says:

    Allmost every PC game i own is stored in my steam account. I can download it on every pc in the world. So why not steam? Good move Bohemia.

  8. x1501 says:

    As long as it’s not a GFWL, Origin, or uPlay exclusive, I can live with it.

    • Premium User Badge

      Cinek says:

      So now Origin is bad and Steam is good? Don’t be hypocrite. It’s exactly same shit.

      • Lemming says:

        No, not ‘so now…’ . That’s always been the case. Nothing hypocritical about it. One is good, one is bad. It’s simplicity itself.

      • Havok9120 says:

        Except one works much better than the other.

      • razorramone says:

        It’s obvious you’ve never used the steaming turds that are origin or uplay.

        • Screamer says:

          Well they have never kept me from playing my games, which could not be said for the other “Steam”-ing turd.

          • Premium User Badge

            PoulWrist says:

            You must hate everything that is not steam. Be a good boy now and remember that.

      • Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

        Well there is a difference. They’re all DRM, sure – if you’re taking a principled stand on that issue then yeah, I don’t think you could justify using Steam and not the others. If you’re willing to use these online stores (which doesn’t preclude you from saying that such DRM is ‘bad’, only that you’re not willing to pass up games to make a point on it) then it’s firstly notable (apparently, I haven’t used either) that uPlay and Origin don’t work as well, but also in my opinion EA and Ubisoft have acted like assholes to their customers for a long time – that could be a convincing reason to differentiate between Steam, uPlay and Origin.

        From my perspective I dislike DRM, and the nature of a title’s DRM does affect my decision to purchase it (although not as a deal-breaking, over-riding concern). As such I am sceptical about online stores but willing to use them. I do, however, trust Valve to attempt to act in my interests as a consumer. Obviously I have no guarantees of this and it’s a risk I’m taking, but my experience with Valve, EA and Ubisoft mean I’m only willing to entrust money to the former (and then only under more consideration than if it was a DRM free purchase).

        So DRM does impact my decisions and I won’t use uPlay or Origin, but for me Steam isn’t “the same shit” as those two because that decision is not solely a principled stand on DRM.

        Important point of note in this case, regarding “will it come out somewhere else, genuinely DRM free, later?” If you are buying an Arma game at launch you are provably mad. Wait a year until people who don’t work at BIS (modders) have had a chance to fix it.

  9. nasenbluten says:

    I like Steam but exclusives are never good, they should release it on GOG drm-free as they did with Arma 2.

  10. gamma says:

    This begs one question:

    Is this Steam exclusivity, strictus sensus, definitive (or duration of publishing rights agreement), or BI may later on, if it whishes so (and has the resources), to self publish Arma3?

    I have bought their previous titles through steam, but had decided to support BI directly this time round.

    • Lemming says:

      This is Steam, we are talking about. Exclusivity is completely in the control and decision of the developer.

      Releasing your game on Steam is self-publishing. Valve taking their slice for store display is like saying the guy who works at Game on the register is publishing the game you just purchased.

      • gamma says:

        I was more like wondering how exacly Steam ceases to be a mere distribution channel (even if exclusive) with this upgraded relation, given Steamworks, and how permanent any limitations relative to previous series publishing, would be imposed by this move.

        Trying to keep optimistic, but I think BI should clarify in detail.

  11. Drake Sigar says:

    They just lost themselves a sale.

    • Mattressi says:

      I was just thinking the same thing. Not just because it’s a Steam exclusive (I don’t own Arma 2 or OA on Steam, but from GamesRocket because it was DRM free), but because they’ve said they will put “intrusive” DRM on it at release. I’m torn between pirating it just because I’m so bloody frustrated, or doing what I normally do and not buying it ever.

      Also, in case someone from BIS reads this – I HAVE PIRATED ARMA 2 AND OA. Also, I own them legally. I pirate them because the download is faster for me and because it means I can do away with any stupid DRM. I torrented OA because GamesRocket gives you a key and a download link which lasts only 6 months. So I pirated OA to redownload it, because the key still works perfectly. I pirated A2 because I bought it on GMG, not realising their client was both terrible (I literally could not download the game using it – it just wouldn’t work) and was also DRM which required you to log back in every so many days in order to keep playing offline. Pirate the game, use the key from GMG, it works online because it’s a legitimate copy, despite being pirated. Maybe some people see this as immoral, but I certainly do not.

  12. killias2 says:

    You know, I understand that exclusivity can be a bad thing and such, but I think I know how this will play out

    1. Developer turns to Steam, provides economic rationale
    2. A small number of highly vocal opponents declares, “Well, I’ll never buy X again”
    3. Developer makes infinite moneys

    I mean, look at Paradox. They went out of their way to provide a GamersGate release of Crusader Kings II. However, from what I gather, the GG release hasn’t even paid for itself. And yet people respond, “Well, I’ll never buy a Paradox game again!,” while Paradox finds itself flush with incredibly more income than ever before.

    I get the concerns, but you’re swimming against the tide. These decisions aren’t made lightly. Steam dominates the market and provides lots of tools to make support, patching, modding, and multiplayer much easier for developers.

    • norfolk says:

      This. Which isn’t to say gamers can’t protest and highlight the negatives, but it seems a bit dense to not buy the product – it’s very unlikely that’ll result in any meaningful change, other than them not being able to play the game.

    • Javier-de-Ass says:

      yeah. if they want to make the trade of people who have followed them since they released the first operation flashpoint and participated in the community all the while for people who will buy their game just because it’s 75% off during a sale and never even install it then good luck to them.

      • Premium User Badge

        wengart says:

        You have no grounds to make that claim.

      • El_Emmental says:

        Hoo, so you spent $300 (OFP + RH + Res, ArmA I + QG, ArmA II + OA) over 12 years *at best*, and expect them to tuck you in bed at night ?

        I also bought all their military shooter/sim since 2001 (even ArmA I, that was too bugged and poorly optimized so I could never play it on my previous rig), and I’m not whining about ArmA III and the 1M people who bought ArmA II only to try Day Z.

        And if you’re really following BIS since OFP, you perfectly know that they’ll need some serious patching before it’s even enjoyable, so if they say Steam will help them do that, so be it.

        Also, it seems bloody obvious that they’ll wrap up a BIS Store release later, same with a GoG release (in 2-3 years) – once the biggest issues are fixed.

        A true fan stays to the end no matter what – if you give up simply because they’re choosing Steam (out of other DRMs) and initially keep it on one digital distribution platform, then you’re no better than the -75% kids who are calling vanilla ArmA II boring or the ACE zealots who think they’re the Gods of Milsim.

        • Premium User Badge

          El_MUERkO says:

          I own all of the above, bought at launch in physical stores, ordered over the internet or purchased from Sprocket (BIS’s web store).

          Given this news a physical copy is still an instant pre-order as my internet is a bit naff.

          Six Updater will run my ACE and other Mod installs and all will be well with the world.

  13. povu says:

    What’s delta patching?

    • Premium User Badge

      Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      It’s when Special Forces kick down your door in the dead of night and point torches and guns in your face while they update your game.

      • sgt. grumbles says:

        Genius! A++. Would LOL again.

      • Rumpel says:

        Lord Custard Smingleigh is what makes me hate rps shoddy comment system. i believe i could spend hours laughing reviewing his history.

    • gamma says:

      Instead of downloading a full replacement of the executable (and other data files), you stricly download the byte difference from the previous iteration, reducing the amount to download.

      Delta > as in (D)ifference

    • x1501 says:

      What gamma said. Instead of downloading and replacing every changed file regardless of its size, the patcher will download only the updated content and inject (merge) it into the older versions of the files. So if a game update only makes 1KB of changes in a 500MB file, the size of the delta patch will be 1KB, not 500MB it would have been with Steam’s earlier patching system.

      • Javier-de-Ass says:

        it’s something that only was a problem with steam in the first place.

        • El_Emmental says:

          The 250+ mb patches for ArmA II beg to differ. Widespread delta patching is recent and Steam didn’t invented non-delta patching, that’s just silly.

          (I think one of the angry men there are Khemm-in-disguise)

  14. Alexrd says:

    Won’t buy it then. I don’t like to pay for a game which is dependable of an internet connection and a third party server to install and play.

    They just lost a consumer.

    • Kadayi says:

      - says man on the internet

      But in all seriousness…offline mode.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        Yes, because we all know that Steam’s offline mode works so well.

        • Kadayi says:

          - says man on the internet

          You eschew mobile phones as a matter of interest Skittler? On the basis that occasionally you might not get a signal? What about email? You not bother with that at all in case your ISP temporarily heads south once in a blue moon? (how did you ever register with wordpress?)Or are you somehow Ok with those occasional lapses in connectivity from key services? Where exactly is your limit on tolerance as regards these things? and perhaps explain why you hold a games company to an impossible standard whilst giving others a pass? Answers on a postcard (naturally).

          • malkav11 says:

            The services you mention absolutely, fundamentally require connectivity and remote servers (or satellites or whatever) in order to exist at all. Videogames don’t, with the exception of MMOs. Even multiplayer-only games could and used to be played on the same device or on physically networked groups of devices. Artificially introducing that requirement is a bad thing, and while I’ve ultimately resigned myself to dealing with Steam and a couple of similar services, I don’t think it’s at all strange that people would draw the line sooner than I have.

          • Kadayi says:

            @malkav11

            You’d have half an argument if it weren’t for the very fact that Arma is principally a Co-op/MP game. The SP campaign stuff is largely there so you can learn the ropes. So internet connection is kind of a requirement, regardless of Steam.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            What? I’m not sure why what I said would indicate to you that I eschew online-enabled tech out of some weird phobic habit. You mentioned offline mode as a viable way of playing a game, I suggested that Steam’s offline mode doesn’t always work the way it’s supposed to.

          • malkav11 says:

            @Kadayi:

            Firstly, it’s not a multiplayer game just because you say it is, or because you couldn’t dream of anyone playing it any other way. There’s plenty of singleplayer to the ARMA franchise.

            Secondly, even if it were multiplayer, there’s plenty of ways to handle multiplayer without requiring internet connection to a proprietary company server.

            (I had a lot more to say on this subject but it got eaten because apparently RPS’s filter absolutely refuses to let me even casually mention another game that’s very relevant to this sort of discussion.)

          • Kadayi says:

            @Mr-Link

            And how do these SP people access this burgeoning swathe of custom single player SP campaigns you claim exist? Would it not perhaps be via the internet? The very internet that you’re on right now and whose necessity is apparently such an affront to your sensibilities? Or are you going to claim some secret SP Arma II cabal exists swapping grubby CDs in the playground and leaving coded messages for each other on the woodshed door?

            This isn’t even a case of always on DRM, this is a case of one off activation at install (steamworks). I’m hard pressed to think of many AAA games these days that don’t require some form of online activation in truth (Even The Witcher 2 required registration). Painting it out to be somehow the ultimate tyranny (OMG I need an internet connection to check my email!!!! You fascists Google!!!) is ….well kind of laughable and largely devoid of any degree of rationality. How often exactly does your internet ever go down in reality? What overall percentage of time are you sans internet a year? Also forget ‘well when I commute’, because the notion that you’re somehow going to breakout Arma III of all games on the back of the school bus with it stopping and starting every few minutes just doesn’t seem particularly probable to my mind.

        • Lemming says:

          Yes, it does. You seem to be getting your info from 2003.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            Why gee, just last week I tried running Steam offline on my laptop and it wouldn’t let me because it needed to update some client files. I ended up having to find a wireless connection in order to update those files before Steam would even bother with offline mode. Seems kind of counterproductive to me.

            Steam’s offline mode may be working as intended, but that doesn’t mean it’s working well.

          • El_Emmental says:

            Well, whenever I move to an Internet-less place, I make sure I’ve got everything I need: mobile phone charger, laptop charger, working and updated softwares (OS, AV, OpenOffice now LibreOffice, media players for movies/music, some games).

            Like you bring some clothes with you when you go somewhere else than your home, you launch Steam once, verify that the games you want are not currently updating (launching them once does the trick), if they have the right language for audio dubbing (if your Steam client isn’t set to English), then you activate the offline mode (with the ‘remember my password’ tickbox checked), see that it works, quit Steam and shutdown the computer.

            I did that every week-end for 3 years (minus holidays, so approximately 100 times) on my notebook, never had any issue. During the week, I booted and shutdown my notebook several times, launching Steam at least once every 2 days: that’s more than 300 successful launches, over several versions of Steam. I also used the offline mode on 3 other desktops from time to time, making the total of transitions from Online to Offline mode closer to 150, with successful launches at approximately 400.

            if the Steam client wanted to update, it either means that:
            - you downloaded a Steam client update the last time you were connected to Steam, and didn’t restarted it to install the update (before exiting Steam).
            - you didn’t previously launched Steam in “Offline mode” and had an access to Internet access when you launched it again (even a weak signal and very low bandwidth), so the Steam client noticed it wasn’t up-to-date and asked to download it. On notebooks, you can always turn off the wireless (wifi or mobile network) when Steam launch, then turn it on again once it’s in Offline Mode.

            To avoid such thing, you need to:
            - always restart Steam (manually if the auto-relaunch doesn’t trigger) after it downloaded an update before going to an Internet-less location. It takes less than 5 minutes, during which you can do something else (drinking orange juice, brushing your teeth, sorting your desk, etc).
            - if Steam wasn’t already in Offline Mode the last time you exited it, you need to make sure you do not have any connection to the Internet when launching it. It’s only when it completely fails to connect that Steam offer you the option to go into Offline Mode (you need to have the ‘remember my password’ setting checked for that, as it stores the latest account login certification locally – only the latest).

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            El_Emmental, I’ll state it again: Steam may be working as intended, but that doesn’t mean it’s working well.

            Forced updating on an offline system is a serious design flaw, and it never should have been implemented. The same can be said for the whole ridiculous “put Steam into offline mode while you’re still online or else offline mode won’t work” process. Also, why the fug should we have to physically unplug our internet cable just to get offline mode to register with Steam? I’m perpetually amazed at the vast number of moronic flaws that have been coded into Steam.

            Steam users have been complaining about the offline mode for years, yet Valve have done nothing to improve its functionality.

          • El_Emmental says:

            “Forced updating on an offline system is a serious design flaw, and it never should have been implemented.”

            As far as I know, the “forced updating” is only done:
            - when you’re connected to the Internet.
            - when you were connected to the Internet and downloaded the update, but did not restarted* Steam when prompted by a popup window [ Restart | Cancel ].

            * On some systems, Steam doesn’t restart automatically and need to be manually launched again to install the update. It is an old bug and should be fixed by Valve.

            The problem here is the way Steam updates its client:

            a) They can’t force a Steam-restart (as they haven’t coded a “restore previous session” function, which is extremely difficult to make with so many dynamic elements, especially between different versions of the same client).

            b) They need to make sure their users are using the latest Steam client version, otherwise they would have hundreds of thousands more bugs/support tickets to deal with (Steam has millions of users), as most people don’t know what is an update and why it is important to update a software.

            See people’s antivirus databases being older than 2 years. Auto-updating is really a gift from the gods for developers.

            c) They need to close the program to update its files and reload the updated version.

            The only improvement they could make regarding the client updating is keeping the login information between client updates (so the Offline Mode would still work after an update), and force the update installing when leaving Steam – however they can’t block a “shutdown computer” order, and most people keep Steam with “launch on startup” and don’t exit it before shutting down the computer.

            “The same can be said for the whole ridiculous “put Steam into offline mode while you’re still online or else offline mode won’t work” process.”
            It is not required if you save your login information (password) the last time you logged in. There is one reason: DRM.

            If you could launch in offline mode without any login information/certification (from your previous Online Mode session), you would be able to copy/paste the Steam directory of anyone and play all these games offline (= easy piracy). Of course, it is possible with a non-standard Steam client. But it’s not legal.

            And if you were not buying these games on Steam, they would still have DRMs: UbiDRM, EA Origins, StarForce, SecuROM, and whatever DRMs they make these days.

            “Also, why the fug should we have to physically unplug our internet cable just to get offline mode to register with Steam?”
            I agree it should be selectable before login in, at least as a setting in the options – it mildly annoyed me too when I wanted to keep my Internet up and directly start in Offline Mode (without having to switch back to it).

            But at the same time, we have to understand that Steam is chosen by publishers (and devs, when they’re independent) because of its online-check DRM “solution” (Steamworks, CEG), and is accepted/used by users (over other type of DRMs) because of its online services (auto-update, frequent sales, community features, etc), they can’t really push the Offline usage without hurting their efforts on the B2B (DDpublishers) and interconnected-services-to-users offers.

            They could do better -much better- indeed (“[Check all games for updates...]“, a list-view with tickboxes to deactivate auto-updating, “[ ] Ask me if I want to start in Offline Mode upon launch”, and a more visible “check for Steam client updates”) ; but at the same time, I don’t think it is fair to not take the context into consideration.

          • Lemming says:

            @SkittleDiddler That’s a neat trick your laptop can pull, allowing Steam to know it needs to update client files without accessing the internet to check that.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            El_Emmental, I appreciate the fact that you’re willing to put time into explaining the technical aspects of Steam’s behavior, but I’m well aware of them already. The fact of the matter is that — as you pointed out — Valve could be doing better. They have a group of talented coders and designers at their fingertips, yet the most basic flaws in their flagship client get ignored for years in favor of hat-making and cross-promotional marketing silliness.

            @ Lemming: the explanation is pretty simple — files were downloaded and applied while the laptop was connected to the internet, but for some reason Steam couldn’t be bothered to verify and finalize those updates after the laptop “entered” offline mode. Neat trick, indeed. Even frickin’ Origin and Impulse have the ability to finalize installation of client files when they’re disconnected from the internet. Maybe Valve should start taking some ideas from the competition?

          • Arkh says:

            >Steam Offline mode,
            >Requires you to be online to be activated.
            >Good.

          • El_Emmental says:

            > Breaking news: Steam features an online-check DRM ‘solution’.

            Seriously, when do people started to think Steam was DRM-less like gog.com ? o_0

            You said “Good”, but you need to understand it’s “Better than all the other online-check DRM”.

            “Good” would be DRM-less – and *breaking news* the vast majority of developers and publishers are too scared for that – blame them and/or blame the pirates (yaar !), but blaming Steam for that is pretty silly (as they even sell DRM-less games that you can launch without Steam).

            Steam features a DRM ‘solution’ (Steamworks CEG), developers are free to use it or not. Only the developers/publishers who use the Steam DRM need Steam to be running to launch the game

            Steam allow you to save a DRM “certification” to use it offline, unlike the vast majority of other DRMs (especially the online-check ones). You either need to be online to activate it, or being online (+ saved password) the last time you launched Steam (it could be months ago).

            Yet, some people still refuse to understand how the Offline Mode works and why it has to be online at least once.

            *sigh*

            As I said earlier in the comments, if you could launch Steam in Offline Mode without being connected once, then:

            1) There wouldn’t be any online-check DRM provided by Steam and 90% of games would have their own online-check DRM (“yay I can launch Steam in Offline Mode without being connected once ! whee I can’t launch any games unless it’s a DRM-less game that doesn’t require Steam to launch anyway !”).

            2) You could just mirror the Steam install of someone with the ~4 000 games available and launch it in “Offline mode”. All the developers and publishers with a devteam of more than 10-15 people wouldn’t put their games on Steam (they would be on Origin & similar instead).

            Want a DRM without online checks ? The only other way is using extremely invasive DRMs, using rootkit methods and working half the time (depending on the quality of your DVD reader and the manufacturing flaws on the DVD).

            Want no DRM in your games ? Tell the developers and publishers it’s a strong selling point for you, in the long run they’ll listen and remove DRMs 6-12 months after launch.

        • El_Emmental says:

          “Yes, because we all know that Steam’s offline mode works so well.”
          Yes, we all know Steam Offline mode works for the vast majority of people and most games (games with their own online-check won’t launch).

          I’ve been using the Offline Mode for years on many different computers and OSs (XP 32 bit, Vista 32 bit, Win7 32 bit, Win7 64 bit), and it worked as intended, completed plenty of games thanks to it.

      • Alexrd says:

        Man on the internet who pays for it’s access. Why should I need to have an internet connection to install and play a game? Not to mention the dependency of a third party server. It just shouldn’t be a requirement.

        • Kadayi says:

          - says man still on the internet

        • Kadayi says:

          I guess you missed the whole ‘Steam: offline mode’ thing. Maybe give it a go sometime.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            You can’t install a Steam-enabled game in offline mode, but I think you know that and are just being snarky at this point.

          • Snargelfargen says:

            Well you do kind of need to be online to download a game anyways.

          • Kadayi says:

            Same way you need to be online to bitch and moan about the need to be online on this very website I’d hazard?

          • NinjaTurdles says:

            Kadayi:

            Not everyone lives in the land of Jolly old England or where ever it is you do actually reside. Most European countries do actually have fairly good Internet access and the same cannot be said about countries in Asia. Hell its taken me all of 15 minutes to load up this page and actually respond to your comments.

            Restricting a game to online digital distribution essentially alienates customers with shoddy ISP choices, metered Internet, or those who live in a country where high speed broadband is not the norm. Living in a country where even a basic 1MB connection with 120kb/s download speeds is ludicrously expensive is nothing close to hell. Just because you have a fantastic Internet connection doesn’t mean everyone else does.

            As for Steam offline mode: yes it is crap. After spending a couple of days downloading Borderlands 2 I was finally able to set Steam into offline mode only for it to complain that it has found patches to the game and refused to let me load it up and play it unpatched. What gives? I don’t care about patches unless they actually fix a broken game! I just want to play a SP game damnit! And this is after I set it to OFFLINE mode. I suspect the only reason they made this insane decision is because as mentioned previously it makes their Day 1 or even Day 0 patches easier to implement. Regardless of the technology used this is unacceptable to me as a consumer of their goods. It sounds like they just want to rush the game out the door. Yes I do keep my Internet on after I download the game because gaming isn’t the only thing that requires the Internet. Loading videos on youtube requires me have the video on buffer in the background, and these are videos being buffered at 360p.

            EA actually does provide a better service for offline mode. Imagine that! Some of us simply do not have the infrastructure to constantly download games all the time. With the current trend of games exceeding 10 GB its will take me WEEKS to download it. I share the Internet with 4 other devices each with the their own bandwidth requirements. My father has to connect via a VPN to his office in Germany to replicate his internal mail, both my brother and I use steam, various online services and Skype and my mother spends her time on Facebook/Skype. Both the company VPN and Steam just take over any available bandwidth reducing the Internet to a crawl. By having media available offline it actually makes the game easier for people like us to obtain said game.

            The decision to restrict it just to Steam is suspect at best. I am upset about this decision as it alienates me as a consumer. They have made a terrible decision. They will probably make truck loads of money but I have lost faith in the company.

            Different strokes for different people.

          • Kadayi says:

            So 2 days to DL Borderlands 2, but now your estimating Arma III is going to take you weeks? Smells like gross exaggeration.

            Oh yeah next gen consoles…it’s Blu ray all the way, so get used to 10 – 30 GB + games as standard.

          • NinjaTurdles says:

            Yes it will take me weeks regardless of what you think is actually going on. I don’t get a constant 120KB/s all day. Nor do I leave my downloads active as I have mentioned before, other people in the house have to use badnwidth heavy programs. I get about 5 – 6 hrs worth of uninterrupted downloads, only if my brother doesn’t have something queued up or has his MMOs on the go. I’d be lucky if I had one days worth of uptime without the internet sporadically dropping off for no apparent reason or getting throttled down to a crawl. Not to mention in 2 months time, I move somewhere where power outages are an issue. They can move to what ever sized media they want. Just give me the option of an offline install with offline media. I don’t mind downloading the difference in patches so long as I do not have to download the bulk of it via the internet.

            Is this really that hard to understand or am I speaking Greek?

          • Snargelfargen says:

            @Kadayi

            I wasn’t replying to you. Rude! >:-(

          • Kadayi says:

            Maybe try leaving your machine on at night? Perfect time for downloading when everyone is asleep. Making out that everything is terrible, when it’s because your mother is effectively boggarting your bandwidth by being on Skype all the time is hardly the fault of the developers.

  15. buzzmong says:

    On one hand I want to gripe about it being steam exclusive due to principles, but I’ve already got lots of steam only games so it’s a case of bolting horses and stables.

    On the other hand the Delta patching, version control and even the Workshop are such massive plus points that’ll really help the game make it a no brainer anyway.

    For anyone who has actually played with Arma II with regards to mods, or hell, even kept up to date with patches manually, Steam will solve lots of headaches.

    For all those people saying they won’t buy it consider the state ARMA II was in at lauch (and arguably, still is in places). If Steam exclusivity will help Bohemia focus on more content and more stringent testing, then you should be all for it, as it means the launch shouldn’t be as bad as the last game.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Eh. I use Steam for a lot of things but I still reserve the right to gripe about Steam as often as I can when I feel it’s necessary. Steam fanboyism helps keep me sane, too.

  16. Theory says:

    I’m not sure why this is such a big story (outside of the BI community). Games have been using Steamworks “exclusively” for ages and this is no different.

    And using Steam in your game doesn’t mean you can’t sell it on other stores, retail or digital.

    • malkav11 says:

      Personally I feel the much bigger and more objectionable news is that despite using Steamworks they also plan to layer more unnecessary and consumer-hostile DRM onto the release. I mean, okay, they’ve always removed it in the past so I’ll just wait until they do that here, but….what’s the point? It’s such a waste of money and goodwill.

  17. gamma says:

    It is 20:54 GMT, RPS have just DoS’ed bistudio.com!

  18. ZIGS says:

    Why is this news, more and more games are jumping into the steamworks bandwagon (pretty much every major publisher game, except Ubisoft and EA for obvious reasons)

  19. SuperNashwanPower says:

    I’ve seen that picture many, many times and have never noticed how insanely hairy that soldiers arms are.

    • Premium User Badge

      slerbal says:

      Now you have pointed it out I cannot unsee it!

    • shishkarobert says:

      My arms are that hairy. Sometimes I twist it up into little braids.

  20. MeestaNob says:

    Steam fanboy or not, anything that helps them easily push out more (needed) patches to their notoriously buggy games is a Good Thing.

  21. Premium User Badge

    slerbal says:

    Arma2 used Gamespy for its multiplayer matchmaking, that option is no longer available (since Glu bought Gamespy and pretty much killed it), and it would take a massive amount of in-house resources to develop the equivalent (or better) than Steamworks. It makes no sense to use anything else, regardless of how I feel towards Steam. Steamworks is really easy to implement, is very well supported, stable and delta patching is a massive bonus.

    Releasing for different platforms is really time consuming and resource intensive and on quite a few of them you will never even recover the cost of doing so in terms of sales.

    For those of you who say they never needed it before I presume you are not some of the many hundreds of folks who complained on the BIS forums each time they released a buggy DLC (Army of the Czech Republic, for instance). Though in an ideal world they would support other options the truth is there are not other realistic options for a game which lives and dies around its multiplayer aspects.

    This announcement seems like a pretty level headed decision in less than ideal circumstances.

  22. Synesthesia says:

    As much as i woud hate these news on any other game, in arma it kind of makes sense.
    The mod community will absolutely thrive in the workshop, no doubt about it. And, if it really is as they say, that this is the way to counter the slips they’ve had last year to make it the game they want it to be, then so be it. I think i believe them!

  23. Paul says:

    Just because it uses steamworks does not mean it is exclusive to steam. It will be sold in all the other places like retail shops, GMG, gamersgate, amazon etc, and from those places Valve will see nothing, despite providing the bandwidth and the framework of the game.
    Steamworks really is a no brainer, it offers very much and for free. And the fact that developers will not have to create 5 different patches for 5 different versions as was the case with Arma 2 is a very good thing.

  24. Masterpwny says:

    This and DayZ will be the only day 1 purchases for me in the foreseeable future, so I suppose it sucks not being able to get the disc online for less than the usually insulting steam price at release. The guys at Bohemia tend to bite off more than they can chew, anything that allows them to focus their efforts can’t be such a bad thing.

    But seriously, Arma3 won’t be great from a MilSim perspective. The near future setting is one where in reality almost all vehicle maneuvers will be done remotely or by artificial intelligence; and yet this will be just another Arma game with futuristic looking designs.

    Arma needs to go back to its roots and MASTER the cold war setting. Playing Wargame: European Escalation has helped me realize how much of an exciting time that was for game design. The early MCLOS and SACLOS guided AT missiles, the evolving meaning of combined arms, the developing Helicopter technology, all this could be fleshed out in a manner it deserved, with a truly involving campaign in the vein of OpFlash.

    • Maniac says:

      Actually, its just shit wording from RPS’ side. The game will require SteamWorks, but will also be sold elsewhere, such as Greenmangaming, possibly Amazon, retail, etcetera. So you’ll still be able to a void the annoying regional pricing as always.
      Also: Boo bad wording, for shame.

    • DXN says:

      Yeah, I agree – Arma to me has always been a refreshing antidote to those games that have to rely on sci-fi flash and dazzle, and a cold war setting does suit it best. Hell, the RPS Arma 2 group (http://www.folkarps.com/), along with Shack Tac, tends to stick to iron-sights rifles, and stripped-down or outdated vehicle loadouts, because that makes things more interesting. The whole direction of A3 seems a bit, “Oh man, we have all these awesome ideas for futuristic weapons scribbled all over our binders, let’s put them in the game!”

      It doesn’t really matter though, because even if realistic/old-fashioned equipment isn’t in the game, it will soon be modded in. Arma has never really been about the stock assets, and in particular, the laughably worthless singleplayer campaigns (except maybe OpFP). It’s the community that will really make Arma 3 what it will be.

  25. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    I totally do not mind that this is Steam only. Would have probably bought it on there anyway.

    Also, please. P***ding. A bit of decorum if you will.

  26. Kamos says:

    Oh what a load of crap. Isn’t it enough that games are designed to work only in a specific OS, now you need to tie it to a STORE too? Game developers are making software that is *broken by design* using piracy and QA as a reason, and getting away with it. Oh boo hoo you incompetent sods. Can’t be bothered to test your own game? Pfff.

    • dmastri says:

      Ever done any kind of QA work? You greatly trivialize something that is a major resource hog in terms of staff, time, and money. I did QA for several years for a point-of-sale software company. Until you get your hands dirty you have no idea the amount of work that goes into something like making software. We were working with relatively simple stuff – running a cash register, tracking inventory – I can’t even begin to get my head around running a QA team for a video game. Unsung heroes.

      • Joshua Northey says:

        Just ignorant children whining because their lollipop wasn’t also unwrapped and covered with whipped cream when they were handed it.

        Around economic/business issues the boards on video game sites are just disgusting. Filled with self-entitled babies with no understanding of work.

        • Kamos says:

          “Self-entitled babies with no understanding of work”

          What I do understand is you think I’m not free to think that a piece of software is crap when it deliberately creates problems for the users because the developer can’t be bothered to do its job. I don’t think I much care for your opinion.

        • Premium User Badge

          Hypocee says:

          That’s either ‘self-righteous’ or ‘entitled’, there. Your Language Working For You. You’re welcome!

          • Premium User Badge

            Harlander says:

            Nope.

            “As a citizen of the UK, you’re entitled to medical care, free at the point of use.”
            “He’s so self-entitled, he thinks the world owes him a living.”

            People are increasingly using ‘entitled’ to mean ‘self-entitled’, but I’m self-entitled enough to think that anyone cares about me correcting them.

      • Premium User Badge

        Hypocee says:

        Yes, but do you think any QA team can make an Arma game not half-broken? It hasn’t seemed to impair them too much so far.

      • Kamos says:

        I happen to make software for a living, and I have worked with software testing in the past. I understand perfectly how costly it is (it is very costly. And boring). However, it is one of those things that you’re supposed to do. You’re supposed to test what you’re going to sell. What I do not understand is, in what universe does it suddenly become acceptable to go from:

        1) Problem: “we need DRM”
        to
        2) Solution: “sell the game through a single store”

        My point is, why do people accept software that deliberately includes a limitation in order to solve a developer’s problem?

        ETA: There is an even better solution for their QA problems – just make it a console-only game! One hardware, one OS, one controller, one everything to test. Problem solved.

        • dmastri says:

          Because its business and business is compromise. I don’t give a shit what outlet it is released on. It is a video game. It is not a fundamental human right. If the developer wants to concentrate on making a better game and forgo release across multiple distribution channels that is their call. And if this helps them get their act together in terms of patching well then god bless.

          • Kamos says:

            You mock the issue saying that it is not a fundamental human right. I never said it was! What I did ask is why would people buy a piece of software that deliberately includes artificial limitations. You answer that *you* don’t give a shit. Well fine. That actually answers my question. Some people don’t give a shit, and will actually buy software designed to be subpar because “it is a videogame”.

          • GreatGreyBeast says:

            The problem, Kamos, is that you’re phrasing your question as if these “artificial limitations” are the only negative in play here. But not imposing those limitations also results in negatives — a more broken, fragmented and possibly much delayed product. That’s the compromise. It’s a choice of evils. A choice between whether the open availability of the product or the quality of the product itself is more important. I think they chose as well as they could.

        • Maniac says:

          You’re dumb. Its not sold through a single store. It requires Steamworks, but its not exclusively sold on Steam.
          Again, you’re dumb, a moron and I call bull on you working in software.
          Bullshit, sir. Bullshit.

          • Kamos says:

            Sigh.

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            LOL I wonder what pushed his button?

            DRM is hilarious. Basically it is something that makes your game less good than the pirated version (which obviously has the DRM removed).
            The DRM is intended to prevent piracy, so pirates have it removed. But it remains in the purchased copies.

            So what’s the point? To suck.

  27. Tams80 says:

    Well, I just lost all interest then. I’m sure it will be a great game, but I have no love for Steam anymore.

  28. Lemming says:

    Surprised at the outrage in the comments, frankly. I had no idea that many people played Arma. I always assumed it was a niche product. Perhaps Bohemia want to guarantee themselves the few sales they were likely to get?

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      Well there is super popular mod for ArmA II, so all eyes are on Arma III now

  29. dethtoll says:

    If it makes multiplayer (especially if Day Z goes the same route) less of a hassle, I’m all for it. My experience with ArmA II, which I only got for Day Z, has been defined by sharp, rolling aches in my posterior.

  30. ShowMeTheMonkey says:

    Love Steam (Going between countries without CDs is great), love ArmA. My thought at the moment is that I really don’t care on the packaging, just want to eat the delicious egg inside.

    • Premium User Badge

      PoulWrist says:

      You mean you don’t immediately rip your game dvds to your harddrive and store them for easy access? O.o

  31. Premium User Badge

    Clavus says:

    Somehow I think there would be less commotion if the news was simply presented as “Arma III uses Steamworks” instead of “Arma III is a Steam exclusive”, even though they mean the same thing.

    • grundus says:

      That’s what I thought. Just Cause 2 was Steamworks, people loved that. Skyrim was Steamworks, people loved that too. Arma III is Steamworks, it’s the work of Satan and must be boycotted. I don’t even think this means you can only buy it on Steam, just that you need Steam to be able to play it. Failing to see the big deal.

      • SuffixTreeMonkey says:

        Skyrim was Steamworks, people loved that too.

        “People” is a very peculiar term. Would you be happy if Steam itself insisted that it’s impossible to buy Skyrim in your area, because the publisher asked for only boxed copies to be available? Which means if any DLC goes digital-only, you cannot get it at all unless someone from a “better” country sends it to you? That’s bonkers.

        And that “Skyrim is hidden in Steam” decision was made in the most of Eastern Europe. RPS is Europe friendly, and we in Europe are tired of the “Netflix/Spotify/Google Music/Google Store for Cheap Phones/This game is not available in your area” bollocks that is inevitably tied to DRM-laden, country-locked stores.

        Oh, and by the way, the country I’m from, one of those where Skyrim was completely hidden and is not available on Steam? Czech Republic, home of BIS.

        EDIT: You could argue that BIS, being from the Czech Republic, won’t do such a frustrating move like Skyrim’s publishers did. While that may be true, I was trying to describe the ways how Steam and other DRM services keep limiting the rest of the world while usually catering mainly to the US customer.

        • -Spooky- says:

          [And that “Skyrim is hidden in Steam” decision was made in the most of Eastern Europe. RPS is Europe friendly, and we in Europe are tired of the “Netflix/Spotify/Google Music/Google Store for Cheap Phones/This game is not available in your area” bollocks that is inevitably tied to DRM-laden, country-locked stores.]

          AMEN to that!

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        People loved it?
        Not sure what people, but I don’t usually see love for any sort of DRM

    • Fatrat says:

      I think you’re absolutely right. Some people are just using this as an excuse to bitch about Steam. For every sale they “lose” from this, i’m sure they’ll gain more. Nobody will miss the self-entitled steam-hating babies. Also, the last time i had a problem with “offline mode” was about 2007.

      There’s plenty of games that have taken this same route (with great success) in the past and many more will in the future. If it’s a toss-up between having a better game/features on Steam, or having less features but with a boxed copy available… i’d have to say i’d rather they go the Steam route. If you hate Steam due to it requiring “internets”, wouldn’t you also hate other everyday things that are based exclusively online in that case? Email? Skype? Online-only news/sites (such as RPS)? Internet-access is a neccessity for MANY things these days.

      Surely everyone who’s on here complaining has an internet connection (or access to one) that’s capable of downloading games/patches? I’ve lived with some piss-poor connections in the past (even in the past 6 months) and still always managed it. It’s not like yesteryear where you had to restart a download every time you lost connection. Steam has a lovely, modern (or now, common) “resume” feature for that!

      • SuffixTreeMonkey says:

        What country are you from? If not the US, it is very likely that there are at least 5-10 games you cannot download through Steam because of the publisher employing Valve’s country-locking mechanism. It’s a bummer that Valve can do a 75%-off on a game next sale and you can’t even see that offer, seeing only “This product is not available in your country”, no?

        Czech Republic got the short end of the stick for Skyrim (it’s not available through Steam here). With BIS, maybe it will be Greece who will not get Arma 3? More digital stores, especially those without DRM, means a good chance that you can get it even in your country digitally.

      • Kamos says:

        “Nobody will miss the self-entitled steam-hating babies.”

        So holding the opinion that a game should be sold and distributed through different channels is being a “self-entitled steam-hating baby”?

  32. DClark says:

    As I read it, it’s not going to be a ‘Steam exclusive’ game, it’s going to be a Steam DRMed game. That’s their choice, but I think it would help if Bohemia released a statement saying something like:

    “Assuming sales of ArmA 3 meet expectations we will have a non-DRM version of Arma 3 ready sometime in 2014″.

    It should help appease some of the opponents to the move, and allow for those who support the company to ‘double-dip’ to support the company (I’ve bought multiple versions of The Witcher, Witcher 2, Mass Effect, KotOR, Mirror’s Edge, Fallout 3, Thief and more to show my support for the games I really enjoy).

  33. VickyGray22 says:

    If you think Patrick`s story is super…, last pay-cheque my mum basically brought in $7284 grafting fourty hours a month in their apartment and they’re neighbor’s mother-in-law`s neighbour done this for 4 months and got a cheque for over $7284 in their spare time at Their laptop. apply the guide from this website, Big44.com

  34. Joshua Northey says:

    I don’t understand the ignorance of the 20 different comments saying “exclusives are bad”. Of course the are bad…for the CUSTOMER.

    Bohemia not the customer, Bohemia has a different set of things which are good and bad for them than their customers. As such they will possibly make decisions which are bad for their customers but good for them (like charging money for their games, or not personally email free copies to anyone who wants one.

    You have to weigh your desire for the product with the plus and minuses of purchasing it. That is how the world works.

    • Kamos says:

      First:
      “I don’t understand the ignorance of the 20 different comments saying “exclusives are bad”.”

      And then:
      “You have to weigh your desire for the product with the plus and minuses of purchasing it. That is how the world works.”

      Sense. You don’t make any.

  35. EvaUnit02 says:

    ” but store exclusivity is peculiar. If nothing else, this move presumably ties Arma III purchasers to potentially unhelpful regional pricing.”

    Why are you thinking that “Steamworks middleware = Steam SHOP exclusivity”? All of the other major digital distribution shops have no trouble selling Steamworks keys, I really doubt that it’ll be any different for ArmA 3.

    • Kamos says:

      From Bohemia’s blog post:

      “One of the steps in this plan has been to select Valve’s Steam as our primary platform. Not only is Arma 3 PC-exclusive, but now we have decided to make it Steam-exclusive as well.”

      • EvaUnit02 says:

        They’re just saying that it will use the Steamworks for every copy. How in God’s name did you interpret that as ArmA 3 being SOLD EXCLUSIVELY through the Steam SHOP?

        Bohemia themselves have an in-house e-tailer, common sense dictates that they’ll sell ArmA 3 Steamworks keys. Also there’s the aforementioned boxed copies that will still be sold.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          The article is causing some confusion I think. It states “Steam store exclusivity”, which leads me (and others here apparently) to believe that Arma 3 is going to be sold only through Steam and as a boxed retail product. The author’s tone throughout the article suggests that this is the case.

          Steamworks controversy aside, I’ve personally got no problem with the Arma devs choosing Steam as a content provider and update manager. What some of us do have a problem with, however, is the implication that Arma 3 is not going to be available through any other digital distributor other than Steam.

          This article needs some serious clarification of the facts.

  36. goettel says:

    I’m officially OK with this.

  37. Poddington says:

    So people are saying they won’t buy the game because it’s on Steam. Reading the article and why it’s being developed to use Steamworks is the only reason I will buy the game. In order to enjoy Arma II and even get Day-Z to work you had to rely on the community and mods to get it workable. Arma II still isn’t worth the price of a AAA title. It’s lack of implemented support was a big turn off and a reason I stopped playing until Day-Z came out.

    Always saw the potential and what the developers tried to do, but they never had the infrastructure to deliver it. Steam gives them that infrastructure so now i’m interested in the title again.

    I’m sure for every person who won’t be buying the game or claim they won’t, but really will – There will be someone else like me who will be buying it or claim they will, but won’t. :)

  38. zoog85 says:

    ARMA 3 will NOT be SOLD EXCLUSIVELY on STEAM:

    If you read their blog update:

    Q: Will I be able to buy a boxed copy of Arma 3?
    A: There will be boxed copies in most regions. These may either be Steam Codes in a retail package, or also contain DVD data (speeding up installation). You will still have to run and update through Steam the first time.

    The game is just tied to steam and steamworks. It has nothing to do with STORE exclusivity!

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      Then why does the entire tone of the article suggest otherwise?

      Also, there is zero mention of Arma 3′s potential availability through other digital distributors, i.e. Steam’s primary competition.

    • Arkh says:

      Yes you will be able to buy it form another place or buy a boxed version but you will need Steam to run it. That’s what people are complaining, they don’t want to use Steam.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        Do you have a source for that, Arkh? Aside from the mention of boxed retail copies, I don’t see “availability outside of Steam” indicated anywhere in the RPS article.

        • zoog85 says:

          It is stated in the original dev blog this article is based on. It will be available on DVD (regions may differ) and via other digital distribution channels like their own online BIS store. Look up the dev blog and check the small FAQ at the bottom of the blog :)

  39. bstard says:

    Bout time the digital ditributors with the ISO come up with an open standard for gaming networks, and guys like EA and Valve stop this lockin bullcrap.

  40. DXN says:

    I’m fine with Steam, and if it helps them release more smoothly (i.e. with the inevitable hilarious mountain of bugs being as small as possible, and/or being quickly fixed through patches), then that’s grand. Arma 3 will be made or broken by the community it can build, and Steam’s great at community stuff. Seems like it also offers the opportunity to greatly simplify the process of installing (and making?) mods, and finding servers, too, which are both essential.

  41. Premium User Badge

    Wisq says:

    […] while also explaining that they will ‘expand’ upon Steam’s DRM solutions.

    We strongly believe the best anti-piracy comes from offering valuable online services that people are willing to invest in. Supporting that philosophy: we saw we could not deliver in-house solutions on time, but could take Steam’s and expand upon them.

    Adam: I think you may have misinterpreted this. It seems to me that they’re not saying they’ll expand on Steam’s DRM (i.e. add more DRM); rather, they’re saying they’ll expand on Steam’s “valuable online services”, i.e. Steamworks.

    And yes, I do think this article would have caused a lot less of a ruckus if it was titled a little less confrontationally, a la “ARMA 3 to use Steamworks”. Glass half full and all that.

    But honestly, it’s kinda funny to see so many people come out of the woodwork just to comment here about how much they hate Steam. Sorry guys, but AFAICT, you don’t represent even a sizeable minority any more. Everyone I know uses it happily, and I’ve avoided more games because they didn’t use Steam than because they did (zero).

    • Kamos says:

      That is a very clever way to dismiss the people you don’t agree with right there – just call anyone who thinks differently a “steam hater” and that is it. They are all “self-entitled babies” and “steam haters”, right?

      Well, you’re wrong. For instance, I use steam and I like steam, but I do not like Steamworks because it has never been clear to me where it begins and where it ends. Why isn’t this “middleware” a transparent, self-contained thing that can be used by games even if they are sold elsewhere? Does it pop open the Steam store? Why does Valve’s DRM solution need to do that, if this is the case?

      I have a hundred games or more in Steam, and I have games elsewhere. I just think it is a dumb move to make it a “Steam exclusive”.

      • malkav11 says:

        For my part, I love Steam and I have a huge Steam library and appreciate being able to add games bought elsewhere to it, which is strongly facilitated by Steamworks. I love the automatic patching, achievements, community features, multiplayer functionality, centralized game library, infinite redownloads, etc. What I don’t love, and what is not at all integral to Steam’s benefits, is the way that it also acts as server-based DRM. I’ve long held that DRM in general is a pointless nuisance at best, deliberate crippling of the game in question at worst, but forcing unnecessary server connections is particularly bad because of the likely impact it will have on the future availability of those games. Now, I’ve made my peace with it as far as Steam goes because their prices are often incredibly low, the benefits great, and patching out Steam (officially or otherwise) not terribly difficult. But I can completely understand and support people not being willing to make that compromise.

  42. Tayh says:

    Well, screw you too, Bohemia.

  43. Delusibeta says:

    It’s strange how much outrage that a “we’re going Steamworks only” announcement has generated in 2013. I’d kinda understand it if it was 2009 and Steamworks was an unknown quantity, but now where pretty much every user in this thread has at least one Steamworks-exclusive game and knows exactly what it does? Boggles the mind.

    I suppose the outraged contingent is also the sort that claims “Steam is PURE EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEVIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”.

    Note also Football Manager 2013, apparently the best selling edition to date despite being Steamworks exclusive.

  44. Shooop says:

    I really don’t like where this is going.

    Yes Steam is not very offensive, but exclusivity is still a very dirty word. And so is DRM, which is what Steamworks primarily is.

  45. Connor Magee says:

    I don’t get where the hate and mistrust for Steam came from. Gabe Newell and Valve, in my experience, are some of the nicest people in the industry. I mean, sure, you can be annoyed about the “I don’t actually own my games” thing all youi like but for online distribution it’s a common practice, and I can assure you you’re getting a damn sight of a better deal than you are on Origin or UPlay. It’s mostly there to ensure that if someone is screwing around with Steam, let’s say scamming people or abusing it somehow, then they can be removed from the service.

    It is not as though Valve has any intention of suddenly taking everyone’s games away just because they can, or because they think they’ll buy them again akin to the WarZ devs. It’s cheap games and excellent customer service with a track record of catering to customers rather than screwing them over. In my opinion, mistrust and hatred for Valve and Steam is entirely unjustified by any kind of evidence or sound reasoning.

    • cptgone says:

      monopolies are always bad for the consumer, in the long run.
      and if Valve ever goes down, most people will prolly lose the games they paid for.
      not to mention the fact that Steam users can be easily banned. good luck getting your account back if it happens to you.

      ultimately, Valve is a corporation. that means that any loyalty they (as a corp) have is to their shareholders (although, like yourself, i’m willing to believe that most Valve employees are nice people who do care for their customers).

      • Connor Magee says:

        Just so you’re aware, Valve is a private company, not a public one. They don’t have shareholders.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      If you were to wander outside of the Steam “environment” for more than a few minutes, you’d see a plethora of complaints about them. Uneven customer service, accusations of false advertising, nonexistent quality assurance, dishonest pricing schemes, and skewed regional practices. A lot of the complaints are entirely unjustified, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find a vein of consumers who have honestly been screwed over by Valve one way or another.

      Just because your experience with Steam is good doesn’t immediately invalidate negative opinions about the service.

      • Connor Magee says:

        I can’t say I’ve gone out of my way to look for criticisms against Steam as a service – But in my time on the internet on a wide variety of gaming websites I’ve yet to find any such outrage. Not to say they don’t happen, after all, all that glitters isn’t gold, but if it was anything other than isolated incidents I’d expect the evidence to be somewhat more prevalent.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          It’s not that difficult to find, but I suppose you need to know what you’re looking for. Like you said, most people are happy with Steam and don’t go out of their way to find the bad stuff.

          It doesn’t help that the hardcore fanbase for Valve is so vocal on the internet that any kind of negative press gets shouted down and quickly forgotten.

  46. Strife212 says:

    “There will be boxed versions of the game, but those boxes will contain either a Steam code or a DVD full of files”

    How awful! Just like that well known disaster, the Orange Box!