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View Full Version : Gearbox are broke. Please buy their DLC!!!



Heister
20-11-2011, 02:35 AM
Gearbox to move HQ to new $61 million building in Frisco, TX http://www.joystiq.com/2011/11/19/gearbox-to-move-hq-to-new-61-million-building-in-frisco-tx/


Randy Pitchford - "Steam helps us as customers, but it’s also a money grab, and Valve is exploiting a lot of people in a way that’s not totally fair." http://www.destructoid.com/randy-pitchford-talks-valve-steam-and-exploitation-151293.phtml


Not a money grab - http://store.steampowered.com/sub/6638/

Estel
20-11-2011, 03:24 AM
Huh? What?

sabrage
20-11-2011, 03:25 AM
I think you're implying that there's a sort of evil implicit in DLC. While I never buy it, I would never blanket all DLC into the "money grab" category. Pitchford also has a vested interest in seeing competing developers fail.

Hensler
20-11-2011, 04:06 AM
A) Gearbox are leasing space in the building with a lot of other offices and apartments, not paying the $61 million for it.

B) Read the full version of that Pitchford interview, not the condensed version. Everything he says is accurate

C) Gearbox was under contract to create the DLC you linked to through an option with Take 2, and those packs are still some of the better done DLC in the industry, especially the latter 2. More importantly, the base game had a great amount of content and no one is ever forced to buy DLC.

buemba
20-11-2011, 04:31 AM
If most games got DLC of a similar level of quality as Borderlands did I imagine a lot less people would complain about paid add-ons.

Mistabashi
20-11-2011, 04:42 AM
His arguments are totally nonsensical. He seems to be saying that 1) Valve has a conflict of interest because the make games themselves, which isn't how I look at it because, as Gabe said himself, it isn't a zero-sum game; buying a Valve game doesn't stop you from buying other developer's games. Then he says Valve take too much of a share, but as far as I'm aware they take 30% which seems to be the standard for digital distribution and is more profitable for developers than selling at brick & mortar retaillers. He then suggests that Microsoft could "solve" the issue if they wanted (presumably they are trying to do just that with the GfWL/Xbox Live integration in Windows 8), but don't Microsoft have the same conflict of interest with the addition of a Monopoly on the OS market? And why would you think Microsoft would take a smaller cut of the sale price?

I'm not sure what his motivations are, but his arguments are stupid.

Danny252
20-11-2011, 04:43 AM
Eh? Somehow "Gearbox are broke" and "Gearbox is moving to a new HQ" don't quite seem the same to me.

Fumarole
20-11-2011, 07:41 AM
That Destructoid article is over two years old.

soldant
20-11-2011, 07:52 AM
But it's fun to take things out of context!

R-F
20-11-2011, 11:38 AM
Judging by heister's other posts, he seems to be some sort of spammer?

Bristoff
20-11-2011, 11:59 AM
It does seem like a bit of an attempted money grab to suddenly (like 5 days ago) release a "Borderlands DLC Pack" at 23.99 when the Borderlands GOTY is on sale at 10 or less at least 2-3 times a year.

Wonder if anyone is going to buy that pack.

hamster
20-11-2011, 02:07 PM
His arguments are totally nonsensical. He seems to be saying that 1) Valve has a conflict of interest because the make games themselves, which isn't how I look at it because, as Gabe said himself, it isn't a zero-sum game; buying a Valve game doesn't stop you from buying other developer's games. Then he says Valve take too much of a share, but as far as I'm aware they take 30% which seems to be the standard for digital distribution and is more profitable for developers than selling at brick & mortar retaillers. He then suggests that Microsoft could "solve" the issue if they wanted (presumably they are trying to do just that with the GfWL/Xbox Live integration in Windows 8), but don't Microsoft have the same conflict of interest with the addition of a Monopoly on the OS market? And why would you think Microsoft would take a smaller cut of the sale price?

I'm not sure what his motivations are, but his arguments are stupid.

Potential conflict of interest in that if Steam becomes the premier digital distribution platform, they may refuse to sell competitors' games or demand unreasonable terms.

Anyway any conflict of interest, real or perceived, is never a good thing, because if it's perceived, you bet your ass some corporate suit has his eyeballs on the opening too. And the more competition, the better for consumers. It's always been that way.

Lukasz
20-11-2011, 02:42 PM
Potential conflict of interest in that if Steam becomes the premier digital distribution platform, they may refuse to sell competitors' games or demand unreasonable terms.

If that happens steam will stop being the premier digital distribution platform. It can only be premier digital distribution platform only if other companies see profit in putting games on steam.
If Valve decides to refuse to sell competitor's games or demand unreasonable terms, distributors will just start selling games on other services or will set up their own digital distribution platforms.

hamster
20-11-2011, 03:30 PM
They can still do that with a high enough market penetration, particularly since other competing services have very small market share.

Lukasz
20-11-2011, 03:34 PM
They can still do that with a high enough market penetration, particularly since other competing services have very small market share.
They can but it would be pointless as people will abandon steam if there is no games there. Steam is vital only if publisher release their games there. If valve decides to ban publisher or take so much profit that it won't be worthy to release games on steam then steam will fall.
People will not stop playing new games just because they played all their games on steam before but now they cannot. they will still buy new games.

hamster
20-11-2011, 04:21 PM
I don't think that's how it works. If all non-competitive monopoly markets auto-correct themselves, we wouldn't need anti-trust laws.

Lukasz
20-11-2011, 04:59 PM
I don't think that's how it works. If all non-competitive monopoly markets auto-correct themselves, we wouldn't need anti-trust laws.

it works like that.
It can change if Valve buys out EA, activision, bethesda and some Russian game makers. Aka has monopoly on game producing and release.
Steam monopoly cant happen as EA, activision any other publisher are independent from Valve. Therefore even if everyone releases on steam, everyone uses steam, publishers still can release their own platform. It is not technically difficult (as we have gog, impulse, gamersgate, d2d, origin, greenmen, and dozen of smaller sites which sell games)
Steam is big only because it has publishers and they see profit in releasing games there. They are not obligated to do so, they can release their own platform or use other ones.
Monopoly happens when a company controls the market and prohibits other from entering. Valve does neither of those things and it would require massive change of the company (billions of dollars in investment in other companies, political lobbying, destruction of competitors for example using patents) before it is possible for steam to be a monopoly.
Therefore any move from Valve prohibiting publishers from releasing games on their system will damage steam as valve has no way of blocking the release of the games via different methods. Even if steam is household item, in every home, on every computer, publisher will still be able to release the game, still be able to sale them in different ways. and the more valve tries to abuse their position the more they will damage themselves.
Steam is powerful only because it is good service for both publishers and users. The moment it stops being either one it will fail.

Althea
20-11-2011, 06:14 PM
Steam is powerful only because big releases use Steamworks DLC, because Valve have a no-Steam no-Play policy for their games and so forth. If Steamworks didn't exist, Steam would not be as big as it is now, or it would at least certainly not have as many consistent users.

Mistabashi
20-11-2011, 07:12 PM
Steam is powerful only because big releases use Steamworks DLC, because Valve have a no-Steam no-Play policy for their games and so forth. If Steamworks didn't exist, Steam would not be as big as it is now, or it would at least certainly not have as many consistent users.

Steam was massive long before Steamworks was being used by big third-party games (Steamworks has only been around since 2008, and uptake was rather slow).

Althea
20-11-2011, 07:25 PM
Steam was massive long before Steamworks was being used by big third-party games (Steamworks has only been around since 2008, and uptake was rather slow).
And that would have had a lot to do with The Orange Box and CS/CS:S.

CuriousOrange
20-11-2011, 08:02 PM
And that would have had a lot to do with The Orange Box and CS/CS:S.

You talk such nonsense about Steam constantly. I get that you dislike it, and there are many valid reasons to. But you could at least have some sensible arguments to back it up.

Althea
20-11-2011, 08:06 PM
You talk such nonsense about Steam constantly. I get that you dislike it, and there are many valid reasons to. But you could at least have some sensible arguments to back it up.
Your opinion is that it's nonsense. I do not dislike Steam all that much, but I don't think it's the saviour of PC gaming. I think it has the potential to be destructive and I believe Valve aren't giving it the technical attention it needs (i.e. offline mode), as well as it being far from perfect in what it allows you to do. It has benefits, it has drawbacks, I just have a more critical view than some others.

QuantaCat
20-11-2011, 08:29 PM
Your opinion is that it's nonsense. I do not dislike Steam all that much, but I don't think it's the saviour of PC gaming. I think it has the potential to be destructive and I believe Valve aren't giving it the technical attention it needs (i.e. offline mode), as well as it being far from perfect in what it allows you to do. It has benefits, it has drawbacks, I just have a more critical view than some others.

May I redirect you to my thread in tech support where I take on the steam offline version? I could use the help, and so far, Ive had great results.

thegooseking
20-11-2011, 08:52 PM
Pretty much every time Gaben opens his mouth these days, he's reciting a howto for competing with Steam. There are two possible interpretations of this.

These are not the actions of a monopolist.
These are the actions of a monopolist secure in the knowledge that his competition aren't going to pay the blindest bit of attention (which they don't), so he finds it amusing to take the piss.

Althea
20-11-2011, 09:31 PM
May I redirect you to my thread in tech support where I take on the steam offline version? I could use the help, and so far, Ive had great results.
I don't really see the point, personally, as it works for some people and doesn't for others. Offline Mode has been notoriously wobbly for years, and unless Valve really push to fix it then it'll stay that way.

archonsod
21-11-2011, 01:13 AM
His arguments are totally nonsensical. He seems to be saying that 1) Valve has a conflict of interest because the make games themselves, which isn't how I look at it because, as Gabe said himself, it isn't a zero-sum game; buying a Valve game doesn't stop you from buying other developer's games.

The conflict of interest would be in the fact that Valve also distribute their games over Steam. Or to put it another way, if you release a game the same day Valve release Half Life 3, what do you think the chances are of you having your game being the main one advertised on the Steam store page?


Then he says Valve take too much of a share, but as far as I'm aware they take 30% which seems to be the standard for digital distribution and is more profitable for developers than selling at brick & mortar retaillers.

Which is irrelevant, the argument is Valve take too high a cut, not that they take a higher cut than anyone else. If that figure is correct Valve are taking a third of the profits despite contributing zero to the actual game. It'd be like me demanding a third of your wages for driving you in to work.


don't Microsoft have the same conflict of interest with the addition of a Monopoly on the OS market?

Not since they closed Microsoft Game Studios, no.

Mistabashi
21-11-2011, 01:45 AM
The conflict of interest would be in the fact that Valve also distribute their games over Steam. Or to put it another way, if you release a game the same day Valve release Half Life 3, what do you think the chances are of you having your game being the main one advertised on the Steam store page?

I don't think that's ever been an issue, when L4D2 and killing Floor were released right next to each other they both got heavily advertised and both did very well. Steam does very well by not focussing on one game, they have that flip-book thing at the top that means they don't have to pick just one game. As I said before, it's not a zero-sum game and Valve realise that.


Which is irrelevant, the argument is Valve take too high a cut, not that they take a higher cut than anyone else. If that figure is correct Valve are taking a third of the profits despite contributing zero to the actual game. It'd be like me demanding a third of your wages for driving you in to work.


Why is 30% too high a cut? And how come it doesn't matter that other digital distributors take a similar cut, given that he's arguing against Steam, not digital distribution in general? In normal retail 30% is a pretty mediocre markup by the way. If you ask one of the small independant developers this guy (from a big publisher-owned developer) is apparently speaking-up for whether they would rather sell their game on Steam (or any other DD site) less 30% of the final price with no distributor or publisher taking a cut, or whether they would rather go the traditional retail route and make much less money you can imagine what their answer always is.

deano2099
21-11-2011, 03:01 AM
It'd be like me demanding a third of your wages for driving you in to work.

And if my only other way of getting to work was on public transport that cost me half my wages, I'd bite your hand off for that sort of offer.

Valve release what? A game a year? So maybe one week out of 52 they might really be pushing their own product at the expense of other people. It barely seems significant. I don't know how the Steam front-page works, how they decide what goes on there and I would be interested. You think they'd sell that space, but given the coverage some small indie games get, it seems unlikely. For that prominence in a store, you'd have to pay for it. Of course, Steam could start providing that space to the highest bidder, and do it transparently, so if they did want to promote their own stuff, they'd just 'pay themselves' (which will cost them as they lose the revenue from the ads). I don't think that would be a better situation though.

Not to mention last time Valve launched a major title, they used the buzz to promote a bunch of indie games. Yes, there is a conflict of interest, but let's face it, there's no conflict of interest in the existing system (retail) and that's working out so well isn't it? What with retailers pushing second-hand over new and publishers attempting to fight it with one-use passes while both seem to be losing money...

JackShandy
21-11-2011, 08:31 AM
Steam gives indies access to a massive audience, and that's worth 30%. It's more like me demanding a third of your wage to give you access to ten times the money you've been earning so far.

hamster
21-11-2011, 09:09 AM
The article was written 2 years ago. I assume that was when the other digital distribution platforms weren't really on the radar (they still aren't).

I think when looking at 30% you have to look at cost from their perspective. Retail distribution includes physical distribution and all the associated logistical concerns. Besides, most publishers fund the developers as well so the numbers are going to be a bit different (usually better due to quasi vertical integration). On the other hand, digital distribution is essentially costless to the distributor. This is when the 30% cut seems dubious. Of course nowadays other DD's (purportedly, though i doubt it) use the same number as well. I guess there's just a tacit acknowledgement to exploit independent artists and compete with each other via other means rather than beat competitors with price (that is to say, taking a more competitive/smaller cut).

hamster
21-11-2011, 09:15 AM
it works like that.
It can change if Valve buys out EA, activision, bethesda and some Russian game makers. Aka has monopoly on game producing and release.
Steam monopoly cant happen as EA, activision any other publisher are independent from Valve. Therefore even if everyone releases on steam, everyone uses steam, publishers still can release their own platform. It is not technically difficult (as we have gog, impulse, gamersgate, d2d, origin, greenmen, and dozen of smaller sites which sell games)
Steam is big only because it has publishers and they see profit in releasing games there. They are not obligated to do so, they can release their own platform or use other ones.
Monopoly happens when a company controls the market and prohibits other from entering. Valve does neither of those things and it would require massive change of the company (billions of dollars in investment in other companies, political lobbying, destruction of competitors for example using patents) before it is possible for steam to be a monopoly.
Therefore any move from Valve prohibiting publishers from releasing games on their system will damage steam as valve has no way of blocking the release of the games via different methods. Even if steam is household item, in every home, on every computer, publisher will still be able to release the game, still be able to sale them in different ways. and the more valve tries to abuse their position the more they will damage themselves.
Steam is powerful only because it is good service for both publishers and users. The moment it stops being either one it will fail.

By limiting market exposure of competing games, or imposing unreasonable (price) terms, you limit the competing developers ability to compete. Doesn't matter if they distribute their games via another platform - they're simply not getting the same sort of exposure. This means less sales/less budget. I'm just being hypothetical here but that's the paradigm when large companies abuse their dominant market power. The thing is you don't actually need 100% market share to exercise monopoly powers.

Althea
21-11-2011, 09:48 AM
Not since they closed Microsoft Game Studios, no.
When did that happen? Fable 3 was released under MGS, and according to Wonkipedia they're still around.

soldant
21-11-2011, 10:07 AM
Pretty much every time Gaben opens his mouth these days, he's reciting a howto for competing with Steam. There are two possible interpretations of this.

These are not the actions of a monopolist.
These are the actions of a monopolist secure in the knowledge that his competition aren't going to pay the blindest bit of attention (which they don't), so he finds it amusing to take the piss.


He knows that whatever they do, there's a legion of fanboys backing Steam until the stars grow cold, so any competing system is immediately hounded into the ground. If GOG manage to really pull off a DRM free service... yeah, that's totally not going to happen now that I think about it. But hypothetically if they did, there'd still be a fanatical devotion to Steam with people claiming it's superior to everything that ever was and ever will be. With that kind of userbase, Gaben can laugh all the way to the bank.

Althea
21-11-2011, 10:08 AM
Gaben can laugh all the way to the bank.
Or the big money-filled swimming pool (http://www.vgcats.com/comics/?strip_id=300).

Lukasz
21-11-2011, 11:12 AM
By limiting market exposure of competing games, or imposing unreasonable (price) terms, you limit the competing developers ability to compete. Doesn't matter if they distribute their games via another platform - they're simply not getting the same sort of exposure. This means less sales/less budget. I'm just being hypothetical here but that's the paradigm when large companies abuse their dominant market power. The thing is you don't actually need 100% market share to exercise monopoly powers.
No you don't need 100% market share but you have to have ability to control 100% directly or indirectly. Even with steam being the platform and everything is a shadow if publishers are banned or see too much of their profit taken by valve they are still able to release their games. There is no reason to believe that customers will stop buying games just because they are not on steam.

Of course it could happen for valve and steam to become a monopoly but like i said it would require removal of current big players from the market, it would require curbstomping any competitor... that scenario is not only far away but highly improbable.

Althea
21-11-2011, 12:42 PM
There is no reason to believe that customers will stop buying games just because they are not on steam.
You've never encountered the No Steam No Sale crowd, have you?

Lukasz
21-11-2011, 03:16 PM
You've never encountered the No Steam No Sale crowd, have you?

I did. more whining than real crowd. There are people of course who won't buy if something is not on steam but they are minority.

His Master's Voice
21-11-2011, 04:10 PM
You've never encountered the No Steam No Sale crowd, have you?

You sound as if it was Valve's doing that people exercise their spending powers the way they do.

Althea
21-11-2011, 04:47 PM
I did. more whining than real crowd. There are people of course who won't buy if something is not on steam but they are minority.
They're a vocal minority.

Lukasz
21-11-2011, 05:17 PM
They're a vocal minority.

And? it all comes to money. not who is vocal.

DWZippy
21-11-2011, 05:17 PM
Yeah, look at the battlefield 3 "Steam or nothing" crowd. I don't even know if they're against origin or obsessively for Steam. but that's another topic entirely.

Theblazeuk
21-11-2011, 05:37 PM
He knows that whatever they do, there's a legion of fanboys backing Steam until the stars grow cold, so any competing system is immediately hounded into the ground.

Brave choice using straw to defend your argument, particularly when you're facing


Pretty much every time Gaben opens his mouth these days, he's reciting a howto for competing with Steam. There are two possible interpretations of this.

These are not the actions of a monopolist.
These are the actions of a monopolist secure in the knowledge that his competition aren't going to pay the blindest bit of attention (which they don't), so he finds it amusing to take the piss.

Which is entirely true. GFL, Origin, all the other proprietary systems have far more problems and obstacles to the user and take far more liberties than I've ever encountered with Steam. It does it's job very well and others do a bad mummery of it rather than try and improve on a tested interface - apart from GOG, which works well and seems to be doing just fine alongside Steam. In part because of its lack of DRM....and IMO because it hasn't let the branding/marketing intrusion get in the way of the games, like Steam it's still very much treating the players as more than a complete-mainstream of consumers like EA/Microsoft are seemingly determined to do. Xbox Live seems to be their model of choice...

I think the real way of looking at this is no matter what they do, there's a minority of critics who will rage against Steam until the stars go cold. I've read some very valid criticisms of their system but falling back on 'fux0r the steam fanboyz' isn't a good one.

Memph
22-11-2011, 09:48 AM
Yeah, look at the battlefield 3 "Steam or nothing" crowd. I don't even know if they're against origin or obsessively for Steam. but that's another topic entirely.

I picked BF3 grudgingly after my BC2 crowd moved over. It's not about fanboi/gurlism, it's that Steam has quite deservedly become my main social network for gaming, essentially my new ICQ/MSN list for communities and friends I play with. I can take screenies with it without having Xfire/Fraps running, talk to folks easily whilst playing and even give them games to play with me. This in addition to the more obvious of it being the hub for almost all of my games these days. Even ones that don't need Steam, i run 'em through it anyway for the overlay.

Noone that I know ever even starts up Origin, except to autologin to Battlelog and even then most leave the default 'invisible' setting on the contact list, because noone gives a stuff, as they all have Origin running through Steam.

Plus Origin hasn't exactly impressed me thus far after offering '30% off next purchase' with BF3, then refusing my using that to pickup the xpack. Fine I went, i'll have me some of that Crysis 2 as it's only 15 squid now... one week later...Crysis 2 50% off. Tossers.