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Thread: Notch and Steam

  1. #1
    Lesser Hivemind Node Kaira-'s Avatar
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    Notch and Steam

    Noticed that Notch had updated his blog. Quite interesting things he says, if you ask me.
    Being on Steam limits a lot of what we’re allowed to do with the game, and how we’re allowed to talk to our users. We (probably?) wouldn’t be able to, say, sell capes or have a map market place on minecraft.net that works with steam customers in a way that keeps Valve happy. It would effectively split the Minecraft community into two parts, where only some of the players can access all of the weird content we want to add to the game.

    We are talking to Valve about this, but I definitely understand their reasons for wanting to control their platform. There’s a certain inherent incompatibility between what we want to do and what they want to do

  2. #2
    Network Hub imirk's Avatar
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    Surprise? no not so much. and Notch has proved that he doesn't need steam.
    Why are you wearing that stupid human suit?

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    I'm just going to copypasta the following awesome comment from its original source on Eurogamer:

    Interesting how similar these two statements are:

    Valve says:
    "Right now, there's a huge amount of updates and free content we've been able to deliver to people who have The Orange Box that we haven't been able to deliver to the Xbox because of the restrictions that have been placed on us on Xbox Live."

    EA says:
    "Unfortunately, Steam has adopted a set of restrictive terms of service which limit how developers interact with customers to deliver patches and other downloadable content. No other download service has adopted these practices."

  4. #4
    Network Hub imirk's Avatar
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    I hear that you have to put out a full fledged expansion pack with a box and everything to distribute a patch via GAME/Gamestop and they take a portion of the proceeds as well!
    Why are you wearing that stupid human suit?

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    I don't know what the general consensus is but Notch really rubs me off the wrong way, the more quotes I see from him the more I believe he's stuck up his own ass thinking that he's a living god.

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    Network Hub Joseph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevo View Post
    I don't know what the general consensus is but Notch really rubs me off the wrong way, the more quotes I see from him the more I believe he's stuck up his own ass thinking that he's a living god.
    I get that quite a bit too. It was the Quake 3 match challenge which started me off

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    Lesser Hivemind Node TillEulenspiegel's Avatar
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    More or less confirms the stories about Apple-style requirements for DLC to be available from their store. That's a crap move by Valve; they don't have a monopoly on the platform, and they're overstepping what they can reasonably ask from developers.

    And yeah, Mojang doesn't need Steam in the slightest.

  8. #8
    Lesser Hivemind Node TillEulenspiegel's Avatar
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    Of all the obnoxious indie developers out there who have made decent games, Markus is surely one of the least annoying.

    FFS, he's not Brad Wardell.

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    Network Hub imirk's Avatar
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    Well Wardell is a publisher, and we know the only good publisher is Fred Wester. Wardell doesn't look so bad next to Kotick
    Why are you wearing that stupid human suit?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TillEulenspiegel View Post
    More or less confirms the stories about Apple-style requirements for DLC to be available from their store. That's a crap move by Valve; they don't have a monopoly on the platform, and they're overstepping what they can reasonably ask from developers.

    And yeah, Mojang doesn't need Steam in the slightest.
    I don't know about that now, I bought SPAZ off Steam and already on the 1.02 feature list is added content which goes against what Valve "supposedly" restrict.

    Tbh my gut feeling is that companies want 100% control of their DLC, for things as low priced as them they wouldn't want to be giving away a cut of any sales.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TillEulenspiegel View Post
    More or less confirms the stories about Apple-style requirements for DLC to be available from their store. That's a crap move by Valve; they don't have a monopoly on the platform, and they're overstepping what they can reasonably ask from developers.
    I disagree. Valve's position here is a reasonable one and generally in the interests of their users. That doesn't mean that all developers will or should find their conditions acceptable, that's their call to make. The problem is that a seemingly significant proportion of Steam's userbase refuses to purchase games other than through Steam. That the PC is an open platform is its greatest strength, and yet a significant proportion of so-called PC gamers would do away with it if they could. The problem isn't Valve or EA or whoever ... it's gamers and their myopia.
    Last edited by Rii; 29-08-2011 at 11:16 PM.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    The problem isn't Valve or EA or whoever ... it's gamers and their myopia.
    Exactly. I have to laugh a little when people deride the closed console platforms while simultaneously championing a Steam monopoly for digital distribution on the PC. I think people forget that Valve are a business and are out to make a profit. Also, EA once started off as a nice company. Then they got bigger. Seems to me like a lot of the resistance here is simply because one company is EA and the other is Valve, as if Valve are immune to criticism or scrutiny.

    About Notch, he doesn't need Steam. Minecraft did perfectly well on its own. I can't see why you'd want to bundle it up with Steam.

  13. #13
    Lesser Hivemind Node TillEulenspiegel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    The problem is that a seemingly significant proportion of Steam's userbase refuses to purchase games other than through Steam.
    That's gonna change pretty goddamn quickly when a couple more big-name publishers jump ship.

    Valve needs them so much more than they need Valve. They want to provide a marginally better user experience at the cost of losing partners who didn't agree to those terms in the beginning, and won't agree to them now. That's a bad, bad decision. Quite possibly a suicidal one.

  14. #14
    Activated Node J Arcane's Avatar
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    I'd be happy to spread my love around to other digital sources if they weren't mostly shit.

    I have bought a handful of things from D2D but I hate their set up, Impulse is a broken disaster to this day, and many of the other guys are so tiny I don't even trust them with my credit card nor do I trust them not to go tits up in a month. There's also a diminishing number of seperate bloody clients I want running on my machine.

    I do however buy stuff from GOG.com, because I think their site is fab, the prices are great, and there's stuff there I can't get anywhere else. I've bought stuff from GFW Marketplace too, when it was on sale, because I find their client is actually pretty unobtrusive and isn't even required to run the game. They also have certain MS and GFW releases that no one else does, like Shadowrun.

    I have nothing against competition in the digital marketplace, it's just that most of what's out there really can't compete, so I buy where my best option is, and 9 times out of 10, that's Steam.

  15. #15
    Network Hub Ash_firelord's Avatar
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    There's also the matter of organization. Right now I have digital copies of games spread between eight (eight!) digital distribution services. Granted, the ones in Desura, Origin and most of Gamergate, I have physical copies and steamworks copies, but still. That's eight lists of games to keep track of, eight password/username combos, a bunch of clients... it's just a mess.

    And despite being the big one, Steam is still the one that offers the best deals. Impulse deals are shit, and when there's actually a half decent one, surprise, not available in Europe.

    Variety of offer is no inconvenient physically, because no matter where I buy my games, I get home and stick them on the shelf. But digitally? I wouldn't like a monopoly, but I'd sure be glad if everyone consolidated under three or four banners.
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  16. #16
    Moderator Anthile's Avatar
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    The only proper Steam rival is Gamersgate right now. Impulse refuses to sell most of their inventory to non-Americans. D2D is becoming better but not quite there. GOG is too niche.
    I think people here are quick to forget that Steam does a lot for indie developers. Marketing is usually the weak spot of indie devs and being featured on Steam helps a lot to make people aware of your game.
    Ultimately, it's all about money.
    to wound the autumnal city.

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Althea's Avatar
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    Direct2Drive, for all its market presence, has a very small selection of games. I think it's also one of the more expensive vendors around, especially with pre-orders. I've only bought from them if they've had an excellent deal on. Their 5-items-per-24-hours limit is very, very, very frustrating though, and meant I missed out on some sale items during their recent big sale.

    GamersGate is one I quite like at the moment, but I think their site is filled with a lot of crap. The new changes, in my opinion, aren't as good as the old site was, and I've found them a little on the slow side to update. GamersGate is good in that you get a percentage of your purchase back in blue coins, and I've found them useful for buying cheap games I'm not willing to take a monetary risk on.

    Steam might be beneficial to indie developers, but it's geared towards major releases. Pre-loads, 'exclusive' pre-order bonuses, big sale weekends - It's there to lure in the big publishers, but I think it's just bitten them in the arse. With all the 'power' they've got, they've attracted problems in the UK. There's the lack of Bethesda games (bar RAGE, oddly) on Steam UK over the course of this year. There's been Space Marine recently. Steam has gotten so big that it's scaring the UK retail chain, and their restrictive terms have partially pushed one of the biggest publishers away.

    I think Steam is clouded by fanboys, and if you take a step back and look at it, you'll not like it so much. It can be slow to distribute patches, its sales aren't always that great (Hunted: The Demon's Forge for £22.50? I paid £14 retail during that sale) and whether it's the fault of the publishers or not, the store can be very expensive or slow to reflect price changes. It's almost non-competitive!


  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Grizzly's Avatar
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    GamersGate is one I quite like at the moment, but I think their site is filled with a lot of crap. The new changes, in my opinion, aren't as good as the old site was, and I've found them a little on the slow side to update. GamersGate is good in that you get a percentage of your purchase back in blue coins, and I've found them useful for buying cheap games I'm not willing to take a monetary risk on.
    Heh, its the other way around for me. I use steam for those who I do not want a monetary risk on, because of the DRM, whilst I use gamersgate for games I am really looking forward to.

  19. #19
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    Fascinating that when EA do this, it's all about how evil EA are and why can't they follow Steams terms like every other developer manages and like they were perfectly happy to do until a few months ago and how they're ruining it for PC gamers. Then Notch does exactly the same thing and Steam are the naughty ones and why do they have such restrictive terms and why shouldn't Notch sell Minecraft via his own distribution system instead of using Steam.

    I'm not passing comment either way as I think there are merits to both sides of the argument, but it's interesting nonetheless.

  20. #20
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    Presumably Valve's new DLC restrictions exist to stop publishers releasing (for example) Battlefield 4, a 10Gb download, on Steam for £5 but making the guns only available as DLC on Origin for £30. Obviously that's an extreme example but I guess Valve will want to protect themselves from the possibility.

    Personally, I don't really care if EA want to only sell their DLC on Origin - it's their game and they can do what they want with it - but I wish they'd at least come out and say it rather than carry on with this nonsense about managing relationships and wanting to patch games themselves.

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