Posts Tagged ‘Steam’

Valve Drop Steam Paid Mods For Now

Valve are known for their odd experiments, from Team Fortress 2 hats to – heck! – Steam itself, but they tend to roll with them no matter what the reception, polishing these oddities up with force of will and years of refinement. Their plan to support selling mods through Steam, however, has gone back to the drawing board.

They launched a pilot scheme last week with Skyrim, and had planned to start letting other devs enable paid mods for their own games if they wished. Instead, they’ve removed paid mods from Skyrim, refunded everyone who bought mods, and confessed that “it’s clear we didn’t understand exactly what we were doing.”

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Gabe Newell, Garry Newman Defend Steam’s Paid Mods

Last week, Valve launched support for paid mods within Steam, beginning with a select number of Skyrim creations. Alec deftly summarised the details, pros and cons over here. Since then, the discussion has continued via blog posts, forum threads, protest mods and with game creators, mod creators and Gabe Newell getting involved. On the off-chance you didn’t spend the weekend reading this stuff while hunched over your computer like I did, I’ve gathered the most pertinent Internet Opinions below.

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Steam Charging For Mods: For And Against

Would you pay 33p for this?

It used to be that the only way to make money from a mod was a) make a standalone sequel or remake b) use it as a portfolio to get hired by a studio or c) back in the pre-broadband days, shovel it onto a dodgy CD-ROM (and even then, it almost certainly wasn’t the devs who profited). As of last night, that changed. Mod-makers can now charge for their work, via Steam.

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$5 Minimum To Graduate From Steam Limited Account Now

In their ongoing attempts to crack down on scammers and spammers using throwaway accounts on Steam, Valve have further tightened the restrictions on who can and can’t message folks. For years, new Steam accounts have been unable to add friends, open group chat, vote on Greenlight or the Steam Workshop, write reviews, leave comments, and whatnot until they owned a game. Seems that wasn’t enough, as now Steam accounts are limited until the owner spends $5 US.

“And why should I care?” you may ask, rolling your eyes as if you think I won’t hit you. Well, on one hand: huzzah! Hopefully we’ll have fewer spammers around Steam. On the other, it’s a bit of a bummer for folks who live cheaply on Steam with free-to-play games, gifts, and activated bundles.

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Sales, Statistics & Secrecy: Wadjet Respond To SteamSpy


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

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

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

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

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

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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