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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Sort of. That is a factor because Valve have done an outstanding job of playing up the "We made Half Life! We made TF2! We made hats a thing!" side of their company and using that to entrench Steam even further. People seem to forget that Valve are a business and are out to make money. If another company (let's say EA for example) were pushing with their distribution system like Valve run Steam, there would be at least nervous glances or possibly angry rejection. Valve might betray their customers, but I doubt it (at least for the foreseeable future) but it's a lot of power whichever way you look at it. "Betrayal" in the gaming world is remarkably easy to do though, if the Steam forums are anything to go by...
    There is a slight and by slight I mean fundamental difference between Valve and EA, yes Valve is a business it needs to make money (oh no how dare they) however they are privately held, whilst EA is beholden to their shareholders. This quite substantially shifts their motivations, EA must make money to please there shareholders whose sole purpose is to make money. Valve as we have seen so far, is driven very much by its employees.

    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Exactly, there's no competition, and no competitor will reach the critical mass required to challenge Steam, no matter how much more they offer. People are already heavily invested in Steam, and Valve know that. They're going to use that to leverage their own OS and lock you into their world. Sadly, we're going to go willingly.
    Yet more pointless wild speculation from soldant, I remember the arguments about Windows 8 where you in fact argued Microsoft wouldn't do anything evil, whilst now your arguing Valve would, hmm odd.

    Also I do not see the issue you have with Valve offering a more accessible level to PC gaming, it doesn't suddenly mean you can't play your PC games any more without a "SteamBox." A SteamBox would just be another entry into PC gaming, it competes more with consoles than the PC.


    Also an aside do not use the word monopoly you evidently do not have a clue what it means, also an almost monopoly doesn't exist, a monopoly is an absolute, a company cannot be almost a monopoly.
    Last edited by byteCrunch; 10-12-2012 at 10:43 AM.

  2. #42
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RakeShark View Post
    I'd like to note that when Valve started Steam, they didn't have a lot of games to sell on their own. You gotta start somewhere. If exclusive games aren't your hook, then stellar service better be.
    That's a fair point (IIRC Steam sold nothing when it first came out, it was just a launcher/DRM thing for Valve games? Can't remember back that far to 2003!) but to counter that if you've got hardly any games, why would anyone use the service? Niche titles can sell direct to the customer.

    Quote Originally Posted by byteCrunch View Post
    I think the relevant EA IS BAD tiff that people had back then was EA yanking games that had been made available on Steam and the back-and-forth wordmongering between Valve and EA about control and DLC.
    But they're EA's games so that's a valid response. The "EA IS BAD" thing has been going on for ages, at least since the mid to late 2000s, well before Origin started.

    Quote Originally Posted by byteCrunch View Post
    I refuse to hand-hold a service that doesn't live up to my now-higher expectations of service, catalog appeal, and flexibility
    And I refuse to buy an AMD CPU if they can't compete with Intel, but I was shouted down for it. I'm not suggesting that anyone should use an inferior service, but I'm highlighting that any competing service has a major mark against it simply because it isn't Steam, so the people suggesting that a competitor has to be "just plain better" than Steam are over-simplifying things. We're all massively invested in Steam. We don't want to consider a second service because we've got hundreds of dollars on our Steam account and we want to stick with what we've got. You can't fight that.

    Quote Originally Posted by byteCrunch View Post
    There is a slight and by slight I mean fundamental difference between Valve and EA
    I've already acknowledged that.

    Quote Originally Posted by byteCrunch View Post
    ...whilst now your arguing Valve would, hmm odd.
    Rubbish, I've said no such thing, stop with this strawman crap.
    EDIT: To make it even more clear, I've never suggested Valve has any evil intent, just that they want Steam to be the number one (and probably only) choice for PC gaming digital distribution. That in itself is not malicious, and far and away from what people were claiming Microsoft were going to do with x86 apps.

    Quote Originally Posted by byteCrunch View Post
    Also I do not see the issue you have with Valve offering a more accessible level to PC gaming
    I'm just highlighting how ironic it is that PC gamers in general push against walled gardens or any perception of one company gaining too much power, while simultaneously hoping for the day when Valve consume the entire PC gaming market. I'm also amused by GabeN bitching about Windows 8 having a store while pushing for a Steam OS which includes Steam as a store.

    Quote Originally Posted by byteCrunch View Post
    ...a company cannot be almost a monopoly.
    I guess a glass cannot be "almost full" then? Nor can your petrol tank be "almost empty" or a patient "almost dead"? It's perfectly valid to state that something may be approaching a particular state. I never said Valve have a monopoly, nor are they likely to attain that in the near future. But they are definitely on track for it and I have no doubt that it's GabeN's plan to control digital distribution for PC gaming. It's working.


    To clarify I've never suggested that Valve are going to go apeshit and force us to work in the sugar mines to play our games. I just find it curious that people in general don't like it when tech companies control too much of anything, and are opposed to stores like Origin, and yet march happily into Valve's kingdom while welcoming their all-consuming tendrils. The goal is the same in either case, but because it's Valve people are happy to accept it. Also it makes GabeN look ridiculous to criticise Microsoft for putting in the Windows Store to Windows 8 while simultaneously wanting his own store on his own OS.
    Last edited by soldant; 10-12-2012 at 12:29 PM.

  3. #43
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post

    To clarify I've never suggested that Valve are going to go apeshit and force us to work in the sugar mines to play our games. I just find it curious that people in general don't like it when tech companies control too much of anything, and are opposed to stores like Origin, and yet march happily into Valve's kingdom while welcoming their all-consuming tendrils. The goal is the same in either case, but because it's Valve people are happy to accept it. Also it makes GabeN look ridiculous to criticise Microsoft for putting in the Windows Store to Windows 8 while simultaneously wanting his own store on his own OS.
    Literally all I can think of as an answer to this is "because the internet". I understand what you are saying. I think some people actually think the guys over at Valve are a great bunch of lads altogether who couldn't possibly be in it for the money.

    In regards to the monopoly thing, companies have to follow a path to obtain one. The CEO doesn't just wake up one day to discover his company is now a monopoly. He and his company most likely worked towards it, either by buying out the competition, offering better services than the competition or any number of other methods. Even if you buy all your games on green man gaming or gamersgate, how many of those are just steam keys? Answers on a postcard.
    Last edited by Jesus_Phish; 10-12-2012 at 12:43 PM.

  4. #44
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    I think some people actually think the guys over at Valve are a great bunch of lads altogether who couldn't possibly be in it for the money.
    Some of them definitely aren't in it for the money, and I'd say the creative teams aren't. They make the games that they want to make... to a point, because I think they're sliding into pleasing the fan base these days and are still going to look at what sells well. But so far as Steam is concerned it definitely is about money. Money has to factor into Valve as a whole somewhere, because without it there's nothing to keep them in the game.

  5. #45
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Some of them definitely aren't in it for the money, and I'd say the creative teams aren't. They make the games that they want to make... to a point, because I think they're sliding into pleasing the fan base these days and are still going to look at what sells well. But so far as Steam is concerned it definitely is about money. Money has to factor into Valve as a whole somewhere, because without it there's nothing to keep them in the game.
    Who knows, maybe if Steam wasn't so successful, we'd have Half Life 5 by now.

  6. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    A walled garden is one where an entity (like Apple, or Amazon, or Valve) control what applications or content or whatnot are provided over their platform.
    Steam is a vendor that decides what it wants to sell on a market owned by another person (Microsoft as of now). Apple and Amazon are market owners. It's not comparable.

    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    You think people are going to screw around with other sources when Steam can do it all for them? No way.
    And that's bad? As long as they provide service people are happy with, they'll continue to do well. The moment they stop, there's literally nothing preventing customers and publishers from dropping Steam. An important part of any monopoly is that it locks down competition out of the market. Steam cannot do that.

  7. #47
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    Just a note, you might want to fix the quotes, you have listed my username for stuff Rakeshark mentioned.

    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Rubbish, I've said no such thing, stop with this strawman crap.
    Not in this thread, but in other when the matter of Windows 8 and it's store has been brought up. Also A) I wasn't making an argument merely an observation that seems contrary to your current stance. B) Please look up what strawman actually means.

    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    I'm just highlighting how ironic it is that PC gamers in general push against walled gardens or any perception of one company gaining too much power, while simultaneously hoping for the day when Valve consume the entire PC gaming market. I'm also amused by GabeN bitching about Windows 8 having a store while pushing for a Steam OS which includes Steam as a store.
    Yes of course that is why you never see PC gamers complaining about Steam, ever, nope, doesn't happen. We barely even know how Valve is going to handle this new platform, so crying monopoly is ridiculous.

    Steam OS, which we in fact have no clue of its existence, more conjecture, based on little more than Steam is coming to Linux, therefore Valve must be making their own distro amiright? Rather than the more logical scenario of a SteamBox just running Ubuntu.

    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    I guess a glass cannot be "almost full" then? Nor can your petrol tank be "almost empty" or a patient "almost dead"? It's perfectly valid to state that something may be approaching a particular state. I never said Valve have a monopoly, nor are they likely to attain that in the near future. But they are definitely on track for it and I have no doubt that it's GabeN's plan to control digital distribution for PC gaming. It's working.
    Yet again, a monopoly is an absolute, here is a definition (I highlighted the keyword):

    exclusive ownership through legal privilege, command of supply, or concerted action.
    There are other phrases you could use, like large market share.
    Last edited by byteCrunch; 10-12-2012 at 06:19 PM.

  8. #48
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    soldant:

    Here is what it boils down to. Right now, Steam is the big dog. They have a huge catalog and a damned fine client. You argue that nobody can ever compete.

    But they can, and they have:

    GoG. They started out as "Good Old Games" and focused on older titles (Filling the hole left vacant by most old games sold on Steam not working :p) and are currently branching out. They aren't as huge as Steam, but they are working on it. Also, they use marketing and PR to make their drawbacks and weaknesses into strengths.

    Gamersgate and Green Man Gaming: They both compete directly with Steam, but have carved out sizeable market shares by having a crapton of good deals. Gamersgate not so much these days, but they still have quite a few users.

    Origin: Provide a service on par with Steam (much weaker community, but I find the in-game browser crashes less frequently) and use big name titles to force people to give it a shot. If they start having sales that exist outside of the UK, they can be a contender.
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  9. #49
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus alms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by byteCrunch View Post
    There is a slight and by slight I mean fundamental difference between Valve and EA, yes Valve is a business it needs to make money (oh no how dare they) however they are privately held, whilst EA is beholden to their shareholders. This quite substantially shifts their motivations, EA must make money to please there shareholders whose sole purpose is to make money. Valve as we have seen so far, is driven very much by its employees.
    Valve is also a small company and that allows for a very different and specific corporate culture. Problems with Valve will start cropping up when they go from being a bunch of geeks doing what they love to behaving like a standard company.
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  10. #50
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    soldant:

    Here is what it boils down to. Right now, Steam is the big dog. They have a huge catalog and a damned fine client. You argue that nobody can ever compete.

    But they can, and they have:

    GoG. They started out as "Good Old Games" and focused on older titles (Filling the hole left vacant by most old games sold on Steam not working :p) and are currently branching out. They aren't as huge as Steam, but they are working on it. Also, they use marketing and PR to make their drawbacks and weaknesses into strengths.

    Gamersgate and Green Man Gaming: They both compete directly with Steam, but have carved out sizeable market shares by having a crapton of good deals. Gamersgate not so much these days, but they still have quite a few users.

    Origin: Provide a service on par with Steam (much weaker community, but I find the in-game browser crashes less frequently) and use big name titles to force people to give it a shot. If they start having sales that exist outside of the UK, they can be a contender.
    GoG - I don't know if it's just me, but GoG have been nothing but boring recently. Once I bought up the games I wanted from them, they've failed to put anything on their platform that interests me. Their sales seem to the be a rotating collection of the offers over and over. GoG really need to start getting more games and newer games on their platform. I know I don't speak for everyone of course, but for me GoG are just boring now. It also didn't help that they started selling games without them having properly tested them, which ruined their "we sell you old games updated to work on windows 7" persona - see Dungeon Keeper 2.

    Gamersgate and Green Man Gaming - as I said earlier in the thread, how many times do you buy a game from either of these guys only to be sent your Steam key which you then open up Steam with and activate your key? Which just puts you right back in Steam, where Steam will remind you of it's deals every day. Not all games are cheaper on those sites and you can't beat someone just by being cheaper. Even if they attempted to do so, Steam could and probably would just lower their prices to beat both GG and GMG.

    Origin - Like Steam, they manage to force you to use their service in order to play some games. Unlike Steam they don't have a back catalogue and don't have amazing sales. When do people open up Origin? To play Battlefield, Mass Effect 3 or The Sims I guess. When do people open Steam? To play everything else or to see what the daily deal is, the weekly deal is or it's christmas time.

    All of these companies still have a long way to go to even get close to Steam. And with 2 of the 4 selling games that require activation on Steam, they're for the most part just sightly undercutting Steam, but still being forced to send customers their way.

    It'd be like going to McDonalds to buy a voucher for $5 that entitled you to a $6 Whopper from Burger King.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    GoG - I don't know if it's just me, but GoG have been nothing but boring recently. Once I bought up the games I wanted from them, they've failed to put anything on their platform that interests me. Their sales seem to the be a rotating collection of the offers over and over. GoG really need to start getting more games and newer games on their platform. I know I don't speak for everyone of course, but for me GoG are just boring now. It also didn't help that they started selling games without them having properly tested them, which ruined their "we sell you old games updated to work on windows 7" persona - see Dungeon Keeper 2.

    Gamersgate and Green Man Gaming - as I said earlier in the thread, how many times do you buy a game from either of these guys only to be sent your Steam key which you then open up Steam with and activate your key? Which just puts you right back in Steam, where Steam will remind you of it's deals every day. Not all games are cheaper on those sites and you can't beat someone just by being cheaper. Even if they attempted to do so, Steam could and probably would just lower their prices to beat both GG and GMG.

    Origin - Like Steam, they manage to force you to use their service in order to play some games. Unlike Steam they don't have a back catalogue and don't have amazing sales. When do people open up Origin? To play Battlefield, Mass Effect 3 or The Sims I guess. When do people open Steam? To play everything else or to see what the daily deal is, the weekly deal is or it's christmas time.

    All of these companies still have a long way to go to even get close to Steam. And with 2 of the 4 selling games that require activation on Steam, they're for the most part just sightly undercutting Steam, but still being forced to send customers their way.

    It'd be like going to McDonalds to buy a voucher for $5 that entitled you to a $6 Whopper from Burger King.
    You're missing humble bundle and indie royale, which seem to do a fair bit of business and almost always have a steam alternative.

  12. #52
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Internet View Post
    You're missing humble bundle and indie royale, which seem to do a fair bit of business and almost always have a steam alternative.
    They're not full time vendors. They're pop up shops. I can't go back and buy a sale item on Green Man Gaming but I can still buy the item at full price. I can't go back and buy the Humble Bundle 2 at all. And most of the Humble Bundle deals have a steam alternative, but maybe only one or two of them have not given people the option of steam keys. Every bundle I bought from them anyway gave me steam keys and the latest one requires it.

    You also, with the exception of the newest Humble Bundle, don't get any AAA games. You get a load of indies, sometimes not even full games, but beta keys with the full game whenever it's done.
    Last edited by Jesus_Phish; 10-12-2012 at 05:57 PM.

  13. #53
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    As I feel this argument has been constantly on going for a decade now about Steam being evil or not I'm going to skip most of it.

    Anyway this seems like a fun idea to me. A cheap game playing computer on my TV where I can stream movies better than my Xbox/PS3 and use the same games as I play on my current PC (presumably exactly the same builds even.) Just sounds quite handy and a fairly small move. It'll be nice to fire up Lego batman on my TV and play co-op.

    From Gabe's vague statements. It sounds like it'll be like a Dell, upgrading it voids the warranty but it's not a closed system or custom chips or any thing. It's still a PC, running the same builds of games that run on my desktop PC. It's just a tiny addition to Steam not a massive apocalyptic game changer. Knickers are in an awful twist over it.

  14. #54
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus alms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    I can't go back and buy the Humble Bundle 2 at all.
    Not as a bundle, but you can buy the same games off the Humble Store. Just sayin'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    You get a load of indies, sometimes not even full games, but beta keys
    Will have to disagree here, games in beta are a negligible fraction of all titles that have been bundled, incomplete games are usually thrown in as a bonus.
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  15. #55
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus LTK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alms View Post
    Not as a bundle, but you can buy the same games off the Humble Store. Just sayin'.
    I think that's only the case if the developers choose to keep using the Humble Store as a distributor, since there's no way of browsing the games distributed by the Humble Store directly. For example, Sword & Sworcery and Psychonauts do not offer the option to purchase through the Humble Store, but Bastion and Braid do, despite not being sold there originally.

  16. #56
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus alms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LTK View Post
    I think that's only the case if the developers choose to keep using the Humble Store as a distributor, since there's no way of browsing the games distributed by the Humble Store directly. For example, Sword & Sworcery and Psychonauts do not offer the option to purchase through the Humble Store, but Bastion and Braid do, despite not being sold there originally.
    Most seem to be there though. Not every game is on Steam either, and those which are can get pulled from it. Also, the Humble Store hardly has the cheapest prices around, but I guess it's more about giving the user a choice rather than attracting massive sales.
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  17. #57
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by His Master's Voice View Post
    Steam is a vendor that decides what it wants to sell on a market owned by another person (Microsoft as of now). Apple and Amazon are market owners. It's not comparable.
    The term applies, you don't get to redefine it just to suit your argument, sorry.

    Quote Originally Posted by His Master's Voice View Post
    The moment they stop, there's literally nothing preventing customers and publishers from dropping Steam.
    Except that you're heavily invested it in and most of your games are there, so dropping it isn't an option really.

    Quote Originally Posted by byteCrunch View Post
    Just a note, you might want to fix the quotes, you have listed my username for stuff Rakeshark mentioned.
    Apologies.

    Quote Originally Posted by byteCrunch View Post
    Not in this thread, but in other when the matter of Windows 8 and it's store has been brought up. Also A) I wasn't making an argument merely an observation that seems contrary to your current stance.
    I never claimed Valve are evil. I did state that MS won't lock the x86 market and I've always maintained that stance. There is no contradiction here, you've literally just invented it.

    Quote Originally Posted by byteCrunch View Post
    Steam OS, which we in fact have no clue of its existence, more conjecture, based on little more than Steam is coming to Linux, therefore Valve must be making their own distro amiright? Rather than the more logical scenario of a SteamBox just running Ubuntu.
    You honestly believe that Valve don't want their own SteamOS? Especially with some of the things coming out of GabeN's mouth? Really?

    Quote Originally Posted by byteCrunch View Post
    Yet again, a monopoly is an absolute, here is a definition (I highlighted the keyword):
    I never said they have a monopoly.

    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    But they can, and they have:
    GoG are in a niche, and they're not going to be able to take over Steam. Gamersgate and GMG seem fairly region specific and still nowhere near Valve size. Origin is the next best thing, I agree, but it's EA and people aren't willing to accept things from EA just because it's EA and EA are bad. Really the only true competitor is Origin, and it still isn't approaching Steam's popularity.

  18. #58
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    GoG are in a niche, and they're not going to be able to take over Steam. Gamersgate and GMG seem fairly region specific and still nowhere near Valve size. Origin is the next best thing, I agree, but it's EA and people aren't willing to accept things from EA just because it's EA and EA are bad. Really the only true competitor is Origin, and it still isn't approaching Steam's popularity.
    That's the problem. You seem to only view "compete" as "provide the exact same service". That isn't the case. Odds are high that Steam is going to be the "DRM, community, and store all-in-one" solution for some time to come. Just like Windows has been THE OS solution for the past 2 decades or so.

    But just like with Windows, alternatives will pop up. Maybe they'll be server oriented/old-game-oriented (the smart use of Linux :p / GoG for the most part). Maybe they'll cater to people who "want more control" (linux the way most of us use it / Gamersgate and other "DRM free" services that focus on new titles). Maybe they'll just be shiny and hip (Mac and GfWL come to mind). But there will be alternatives.

    And if/when Steam starts becoming a potentially bad thing (sort of like how people have their panties in a twist over Win8), that will be the push for one of the alternatives to overtake it. And then I am sure people will be bitching that THAT service "has a monopoly" or whatever.
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  19. #59
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    But there will be alternatives.
    How can it be an alternative if it isn't offering the same thing? GoG and Steam only really compete in the indie sector... otherwise GoG sits in a niche with its old games updated for modern systems, while Steam sells... well, pretty much everything else.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    How can it be an alternative if it isn't offering the same thing? GoG and Steam only really compete in the indie sector... otherwise GoG sits in a niche with its old games updated for modern systems, while Steam sells... well, pretty much everything else.
    The same way any alternative works? Tradeoffs. GoG is "DRM Free" and almost guaranteed to run on your computer (outside of one or two games), but has a much smaller catalog and no community features. And so forth.
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