Posts Tagged ‘Steam’

Sales, Statistics & Secrecy: Wadjet Respond To SteamSpy

By Alice O'Connor on April 8th, 2015.

Numbers.

People do seem to like numbers, don’t they? Scores, sales, profits, records, comparisons, biscuits eaten, angels on the head of a pin, and other statistics I find a curious part of gaming fandom. The holy grail for numberfans is, as far as I can see, Steam sales figures.

The latest site trying to guess at Steam numbers by extrapolating from what little data we can see is SteamSpy, and not everyone’s happy with it. In response to folks poking at SteamSpy statistics and asking personal questions, adventure game house Wadjet Eye Games have talked a bit about the reliability and uses of data and their unease about sharing numbers.

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Steam Discovery Has Increased Sales For Smaller Games

By Graham Smith on March 30th, 2015.

Steam added curators and personalised recommendations to Steam in last September’s Discovery update, in an attempt to make it easier for people to find lesser known games amid the flood of daily new releases. In a post over on Reddit, taken from the private SteamworksDev group, there’s an update from Valve on how the Discovery update is performing – including interesting information about its impact on sales.

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What I’d Like To See Happen With Virtual Reality

By Graham Smith on March 19th, 2015.

Using Valve and HTC’s Vive headset was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had with entertainment in any form, but that’s not to say that it’s perfect. There are obvious limitations in the hardware, obvious ways in which it will inevitably be improved in the years to come, and plenty of potential not yet realised in any of the prototypes I’ve played.

So I’ve been thinking. Here’s five (wholly serious) things I’d like to see Valve, HTC, Oculus or really anyone do with virtual reality.

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Hack The Planet: Steam Cyberpunk Sale

By Alice O'Connor on March 18th, 2015.

On it.

Allow me to establish my cyberpunk credentials: I live in a dystopian megacity block, have blue hair, own two pairs of mirror shades, romanticise being a wreck, and work on the ‘net. Trust me when I say Steam’s cyberpunk sale is pretty great (though not wholly cyberpunk).

30-odd games brimming with hacking, cybernetic implants, megacities, conspiracies, dystopias, neon lighting, and The Man are going cheap. You’ll find, for example, classics like System Shock 2 and Deus Ex for pocket change, and good prices on newer cyber ‘em ups like Gemini Rue, Jazzpunk, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, and Transistor.

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Valve: ‘We Have To Do Better’ With Customer Service

By Alice O'Connor on March 16th, 2015.

I can’t even remember when I last bought a game in a box from a shop, but I do miss sometimes the customer service offered by real people with real faces. I do wish Valve, the digital daddy, had customer support half as useful as underpaid teenagers in Electronics Boutique.

The Better Business Bureau, a US-focused nonprofit (not a government body) which rates businesses, has drawn a long list of complaints against Valve and Steam from broken games to refused refunds, and currently awards them the rubbish grade of ‘F’. All of which prompted Valve last week to say that improving customer service support will be “a big focus” for them this year.

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Video: Take A Short Peek At Valve’s Portal 2 VR Prototype

By Graham Smith on March 12th, 2015.

Industrious internet users at Reddit have dug up brief footage of Valve’s Portal 2 VR demo, the one which was playable at GDC last week and which made me so giddy.

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Hands On With Valve’s Hardware Bonanza

By John Walker on March 5th, 2015.

Sitting down with Valve’s Eric Johnson this morning, one thing seemed to become increasingly clear. Valve, a studio that has arguably been pretty quiet of late (not least with the failure to ship Steam Machines in 2014), is coming to life again. With a slew of announcements at this year’s GDC, the HTC-tech-incorporating VR Vive, a proper announcement of Source 2, in-home streaming tech in Link, available builds of Steam OS, and a final build for their much anticipated controller, you could almost forget that none of them is a game. While Graham was being pulled into a virtual world, I had a play with the controller on games running on a couple of Steam Machines, on some rather enormous televisions.

So the first thing you want to know: is the controller any good?

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Valve’s Vive VR Prototype Is Better Than The Oculus Rift’s

By Graham Smith on March 5th, 2015.

I’ve used the Oculus Rift DK1, HD and DK2 for hours and hours and enjoyed my time with each of them immensely, but on each occasion, I’d feel some sense of relief upon taking the headset off. Relief that my head could cool down, relief my eyes could relax, relief that I hadn’t thrown up.

When my twenty minutes with Valve and HTC’s Vive came to an end, I felt no relief. Instead, I only felt disappointed that I couldn’t continue exploring the 3D painting demo or playing with the specially-designed Portal 2 vignette.

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Source 2 Is Actually Free, Like, For Free

By John Walker on March 4th, 2015.

Admittedly this is not a picture of Source 2.

Valve’s sudden entry into the engine race, with an official announcement of Source 2, seems to have put them right up front alongside frenzied rivals Unity and Unreal. (Poor old Crytek, eh?) Meeting with studio bigwig Erik Johnson today, I learned that when they say Source 2 is “free”, they mean it. Unlike Unity’s (much lowered) subscription rates (for larger teams), and Epic’s revenue cut of successful projects, Valve won’t be asking for any money at all. Well, sort of… They just require that the game be launched on Steam, along with anywhere else you might want to sell it.

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Valve Announce Source 2, Because Why Not

By John Walker on March 4th, 2015.

Because they can’t do anything normally, after a day of daft conspiratorial rumours about an announcement at 3pm on the 3rd of the 3rd, Valve have finally and properly announced the existence of Source 2 via email at 15.54. The Source 2 they definitely weren’t making for all those years, and then sort of appeared in DOTA 2 code. And they’re aiming to make it amateur friendly. And free! Oh, and Steam Link too. Read the rest of this entry »

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What If Steam Never Existed?

By Graham Smith on February 27th, 2015.

Ten years ago, you’d struggle to find fifteen retail PC games released in any given month – and fourteen of them would launch with bugs, never be patched, and sink without trace. Compare and contrast with today, where Brewsters’ Millions could be spent in the time it took to load the Steam store. The existence of Steam isn’t entirely the cause for our videogame abundance, but it’s certainly a large factor – along with an influence, for good and ill, on almost every other part of PC games culture.

But what if it had never existed? You be Jimmy Stewart-playing-Gabe Newell and I’ll be Clarence, your guardian angel and guide to this alternate reality.

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Valve Showing Unannounced SteamVR Hardware At GDC

By Graham Smith on February 23rd, 2015.

Good news for people who like strapping things to their faces: Valve are bringing a new piece of virtual reality hardware to GDC next week.

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Dota 2 Tops 1 Million Players At The Same Time

By Philippa Warr on February 16th, 2015.

Fetch! Sit! Stay! Auto-disconnect!

This past weekend was the first time a game on Steam has had over 1 million concurrent players, according to SteamDB. It was Dota 2 [official site] in case you hadn’t worked that out.

SteamDB isn’t an official Valve site but it tracks player numbers and other information based on data which Steam makes publicly available. According to their tracking Dota 2 was the first Steam game to tip over the 1 million mark and that happened on Valentine’s Day.

Looking at the peak concurrent user graph for the last 12 months, Dota’s been nudging towards the million mark each weekend since the end of last year (965,572 on November 22, 2014, for example) but what I suspect might have pushed it over this particular weekend is the Year Beast event.

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