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The Death of PC Gaming

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January 16, 2010 7:29:00 PM

Here is a recent article Tom's ran in their news section, about PC gaming becoming all digital.

An international PC game publisher claims that retail stores are pushing the industry into going digital.

International PC games publisher 1C--or at least its publishing director Darryl Still--claims that retail outlets are forcing game publishers to go digital thanks to lackluster support for boxed versions. Many outlets refuse to stock certain PC games, and many push titles to the back of the store to make room for console games.

With that said, it's expected that most PC gaming titles will go all digital in 2011, landing on platforms such as Valve's Steam, Direct2Drive, and more. There's still demand for boxed version according to Still, however retail isn't meeting those demands by offering a limited selection at the back of the store.

"You just have to head into a games store and look for their PC titles, and you’ll see there is no focus, listings or promotions for them," he told MCV. "It is extra strange because there is a much better margin on PC games. The industry should be embracing PC more enthusiastically. Digital proves there is a consumer waiting for it. But these consumers are now more than happy to click the download button."

He also said that despite predictions that more than 50-percent of revenues will be earned digitally, he estimates that Q1 2011 will be when PC games go completely digital. The drawback is that there are many digital platforms on the Internet--publishers are having to choose the right ones carefully, as some may succeed where others won't. Still, it doesn't seem that publishers have any choice.

"If the PC games market has to wait until 2013 then we are all in trouble," he said

I am posting this Discussion in response to it.

IF we continue to allow Steam, and software download entities like it to donimate the PC gaming Market we are risking the future of PC gaming. No more retail stores selling PC games means no more customer support for your purchase, no place to return and exchange if you get a defective product, ( and yes there are broken and defective downloads, just research it on forums all over the net complaining about steam!! No more walking in and buying the games you want and having hard copies of those games on your shelf, and installing them in 5- to 10 minutes. Now we will all be cursed with 30-40 hour download times, and if something happens to your machine, guess what? You have to download them all over again. :ouch:  And install them all over again. :pfff: 

3 weeks ago I tried to install Left 4 Dead (the original) and I couldnt get Steam to allow me to install it from my hard disk copy even though I had purchased the game when it first came out at BestBuy.Steam kept trying to install through Steam, and started downloading the game at 130kbps, So since its a 5-6 Gb game steam said I had a 30 hour download time. I have a 10 Mbps download speed!! but cant get anymore bandwidth than 130 kbps from STEAM!!

Another problem with Steam is the lack of customer support for purchased products, once you have purchased the game there are no refunds of any kind, and there is no technical support if you have issues with your download. You are on your own. If you read online about complaints about Steam you see there are people all over the world who have gotten broken downloads, disconnected from the download server, or Steam just fails in someway, and there money is lost or the time taken to finally get their game is extended beyond belief. Also some Steam versions of games cannot be modded in anyway as most game modders do not release their MODs for the Steam version. And if you do apply any patches(not through Steam) or MODs to your game it will stop working, Just go to ModDB website and read up on that issue.

Lets not also forget your paying the same price for games downloaded on steam as you were when you bought them in stores, so you are actually getting screwed because your not getting a CD, A BOX, and AN Instruction Manual, yet they are still charging you the Same price. Sounds to me like the games developer and publisher just put a crap load more money into their pockets because they dont have to provide you the gamer and customer with things that have been a part of your gaming experience for the last 20 or so years!! So you get less and pay more, hmmmm doesnt sound like a deal to me...

Now yes steam does offer certain discounts on certain games at different times throughout the year, but those are games that are totally sucking in the downloads roster, that you wouldnt pay the $10.00 for anyway, and it will still be a 20-30 hours download time.

Steams friendship online status, and monitoring of your every move ingame and out is another reason why I cant stand steam, I dont need to see everytime someone logs in and dont care to, I dont need to see who's been playing what for the last 80+ hours and I definitely shouldnt have to go through steams stupidly designed menus
to go shut off or click off all the options which I hate or dont use anyway.

Valve is a great company, who has released some of the best games the world has ever seen, but what they dont realize is they are pushing away many gamers in the market place because many of us like having a physical copy of what we just bought in our hands, and many of us like to play solo offline, and many of us like the experience of shopping for our favorite titles in the retail market place. And many of us like a human face in our transactions, so that when something does go wrong we have someone to talk to about it and possibly get it resolved. Until the PC games makers, and the retail markets, and steam start realizing what they are doing to the hand that feeds them, The PC games market will be on a downward spiral into it's grave, and Im very sad to see it go. :( 

More about : death gaming

January 17, 2010 1:31:02 AM

In theory I find digital downloads a much better soloution. I can purchase a game in the comfort of my own home without the need for another disk on my already packed out shelf. As long as they dont go down the itunes route of making you pay for your whole library again if you happen to have a hdd failure and didnt back up.

However despite a massive reduction in costs to the retailer in shipping, boxing, staff and rent of premises, I have found steam to be more expensive for many games than my local retailer (aside from discount weekend promos etc). The reason for this is there is a distinct lack of competition in the field and the early adopters are taking advantage of this. While this trend remains I will for the most part be sticking with my local game store.
January 17, 2010 2:10:14 AM

i like steam, and other download providers, but do find it to be overpriced.

given how vastly cheaper it is for them to get the game to you, it makes no sense that the games be priced as they are.

its inevitable that stores stop selling PC games. they make 95 percent of their profits from trade-ins, so they dont give a crap about PC games. they make a minuscule ammount of money from that compared to the repeated purchase and re-sale of console games.


the problem is mainly with the overpriced Digital distribution services. i dont think many people would mourn the PC games on disk, if they cost half the price, could be downloaded at full speed (relative to a persons own Internet connection) and had no DRM restricting you from re-downloading it and moving it to other PCs.

but of course, people keep buying so steam (and others) keep selling. its supply and demand, and as long as people keep purchasing from them, they wont stop inflating prices.
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January 17, 2010 1:23:00 PM

Games going digital has nothing to do with the death of PC gaming. Thats like saying...iTunes...the death of music. Your topic is horrible and has enraged me.

This is however, the death of selling used PC games which isn't too bad for the developers if you think about it.

Eh...your cost rant has also enraged me. Steam runs some pretty crazy deals every now and then that are far cheaper than what Best Buy would price at.

Also...the manual...damn kid, STFU. If you have steam, some games you can right click and view the manual. Others...just find them online and save the PDF file. Is that so hard?

And for disks...how many people lose their FN key and can't ever play it again? (a lot) There is no CD key loss with Steam...you don't have to keep the stupid empty boxes that clutter up your desk...

Also...don't get PO at Steam for not allowing mods. That is the developers choice. My L4D mods work perfectly with Steam...you know why? Because Valve is awesome.

You just hate Steam so you are highlighting all of the negatives that you can find about it.
January 18, 2010 12:52:22 PM

I agree with SpinachEater that the title of this thread is horrible. The article has nothing to do with the death of PC gaming. The second part (dragoncyber's comments) are obviously just another anti-Steam/digital distribution rant. That topic has been beat to death and each issue listed in this thread has been thoroughly thrashed and torn apart in many other threads.

The one interesting part of this article that I'll comment on is the idea that retail stores are forcing PC games to go digital. Regardless of the reasons why I do find it interesting to think that the retail industry may be playing a [very large] role in it's own imminent demise. PC gaming has long played the role of trailblazer for all gaming platforms. With PC game publishers (many of whom are also console publishers) having great success with digital distribution it's only a matter of time before console gaming starts to shift away from retail stores as well.

10 years from now I would be surprised if there are any game stores left. Maybe Wal-Mart or Best Buy will still sell them but I doubt there will be any dedicated game stores left. Just look at what has happened to record stores in the last 10 years. Game stores are going to fall even faster because the product they sell is more technical and their customer base is more tech savvy meaning there won't be as many hangers-on as there is with music (lot's of older music fans who will only buy physical media as opposed to mostly younger gamers who are more likely to change and adapt).

This is just a reality that people have to accept; information is not a tangible commodity. Artificially attaching it to a physical yet needless item is ultimately detrimental to the actual value/usefulness of what the product really is. Hanging on to the "old ways" is simply for a comfort factor and will only last so long. It's only a matter of time before all information is free from physical mediums.
January 18, 2010 1:32:50 PM

The only reason PC gaming appears to be dead is because they ONLY publish the sales of boxed games.

I think if you look at digital purchases from such places like Steam, Good Ol Games and Direct2Drive, you'll find that PC game sales are MUCH better than you think.
January 18, 2010 1:43:31 PM

I would much rather buy it a store. I cannot stand Steam, it is one of the worst programs i have had to deal with. I only put up with it so i can play HL2 and Portal. I would like to buy a game, so if something goes wrong with my computer, i just reinstall it.
January 18, 2010 3:36:16 PM

With steam, you can just download the program again and install it again. It's not tied to your machine. It's tied to your account. If you're logged into your account on one machine, it won't work on an other machines until you log out.

As it is, I have my steam program installed on my D drive. I've reinstalled Vista and Windows 7 a couple of times over the past two years and never had to reinstall Steam or the games. I just ran Steam from the D drive and all my games worked without downloading them and reinstalling them.

So, I'm not sure what the love-hate relationship is with Steam. I understand when it first came out that a LOT of people had issues with it when trying to play HL2, especially since even the boxed version required you logging into Steam.

Since then, Steam has become VERY easy to use and a lot of the issues that occurred when HL2 was released have been cleaned up.
January 18, 2010 3:41:34 PM

I still hate steam with a passion.
January 18, 2010 4:00:21 PM

Criticism of Steam:
JDV28 said:
I would much rather buy it a store. I cannot stand Steam, it is one of the worst programs i have had to deal with. I only put up with it so i can play HL2 and Portal. I would like to buy a game, so if something goes wrong with my computer, i just reinstall it.


Excellent retort of said criticism:
isamuelson said:
With steam, you can just download the program again and install it again. It's not tied to your machine. It's tied to your account. If you're logged into your account on one machine, it won't work on an other machines until you log out.

As it is, I have my steam program installed on my D drive. I've reinstalled Vista and Windows 7 a couple of times over the past two years and never had to reinstall Steam or the games. I just ran Steam from the D drive and all my games worked without downloading them and reinstalling them.

So, I'm not sure what the love-hate relationship is with Steam. I understand when it first came out that a LOT of people had issues with it when trying to play HL2, especially since even the boxed version required you logging into Steam.

Since then, Steam has become VERY easy to use and a lot of the issues that occurred when HL2 was released have been cleaned up.


Leads to this response:
JDV28 said:
I still hate steam with a passion.

Excellent reasoning JDV28. This is why it's pointless to rehash these topics over and over again. It's just easier to accept the inevitability of progress as well as the fact that some will always resist progress even for no other reason than they just don't like progress.
January 18, 2010 4:06:26 PM

Dont like progress? Hehe this is funny. I just hate using the program. I dont like to have to deal with a program like that when i just want to play a game. 90% of the games i play, I just double click and it runs, no background program, no waiting for it to start up and connect, NOTHING. I just click and play. So it isnt the program, its how inconvenient it is. If you are too lazy to get up and into a car to buy a game or just get out of the house, i feel bad for you.
January 18, 2010 4:35:48 PM

Nothing to connect with Steam unless it's an online game. You can even have Steam play offline for those games that allow it. No need to connect. The only time you need to connect is when you initially purchase the game to download and possibly activate it. A lot of games these days require some sort of online activation, so you still have to connect on the initial install. Heck, even some require you to be online every time you want to play it.

I have plenty of games I purchased through Steam (Quake I, Quake II, Quake III, Jade Empire, Mass Effect 1, Star Wars KOTOR, Gun) that work just fine and I only had to be online to download them.

In any case, I like having it this way because if I ever need to reinstall, then I don't have to hunt for a disc or worse, find out it's no longer usable because my kids decided to use it as a Frisbee for the dog! ;)  I also like being able to get the game at any time of the day and play it once it's downloaded rather than having to go to the store. And, as has been stated, Steam has some great deals that allow you to get the game cheaper than what you would get at Best Buy or Walmart. And, just about every game comes with the manual, so you don't have to worry about losing it as it's always available with the game on your hard drive.

But, each to his own. I will respectfully agree to disagree.
January 18, 2010 4:49:29 PM

JDV28 said:
Dont like progress? Hehe this is funny. I just hate using the program. I dont like to have to deal with a program like that when i just want to play a game. 90% of the games i play, I just double click and it runs, no background program, no waiting for it to start up and connect, NOTHING. I just click and play. So it isnt the program, its how inconvenient it is. If you are too lazy to get up and into a car to buy a game or just get out of the house, i feel bad for you.

If it's about hating having to use a third party program then just say that. Don't make up demonstrably false excuses about not being able to reinstall games via Steam. The progress towards digital distribution is not all about Steam either and there are DD services which allow you to play games without connecting to or running a 3rd party app. Even some games purchased through Steam can be run without running Steam. The ideal is to not have to run an additional app but it's really just personal preference as to whether it's worth it or not.

As for your pathetic attempt to justify the "virtues" of driving to a store to buy a game, it's a lame attempt to attach value to an otherwise meaningless effort over other options that may be preferable to some. It's similar to a manual laborer who tries to overstate the value of their work simply because it's physically harder than say being a computer programmer.

Personally I'm hardly "too lazy" to drive to the store to buy a game. I just value my time too much to spend needless hours in a car or a shopping mall. I'd much rather make my purchase on Steam click download and then go running or biking for the time it takes to download rather than spend that time in my car.
January 18, 2010 4:56:24 PM

?? Way to ruin a good debate... and yes, i hate having a third party program running, especially one like steam that just pisses me off when i try to simply run a game. I guess being able to purchase a game from you chair at home is convenient. But i dont trust it as much as having a physical disk and cd key in my hand...
January 18, 2010 5:08:39 PM

JDV28 said:
?? Way to ruin a good debate... and yes, i hate having a third party program running, especially one like steam that just pisses me off when i try to simply run a game. I guess being able to purchase a game from you chair at home is convenient. But i dont trust it as much as having a physical disk and cd key in my hand...

That's generally what happens when you try to bring an issue down to a personal level, especially with insults.
i.e. "If you are too lazy to get up and into a car to buy a game or just get out of the house, i feel bad for you."

But it really wasn't a very good debate anyways since all of the pros and cons of Steam have been done over and over again for almost 10 years. There are good reasons to not use Steam and I wouldn't criticize anybody for avoiding it for one of those good reasons. But inevitably ever time this topic gets rehashed the same old worn out bad arguments also get rehashed (can't reinstall, no support, have to be online, might lose your games, etc). It makes any such debate tedious since somebody always has to once again explain things such as how easy it is to reinstall or do multiple installs via Steam.

The only real debate I'm interested in is why would somebody be against digital distribution in general (not just limited to Steam or any current service)? Having to attach information to a physical product is a relic of the industrial age and a drag on the progress of the information age. The only good reason not to use digital distribution of games is lack of technical capabilities. Anything that is just an artificial limitation being placed on the real product (the game) is ultimately going to have a net negative impact.
January 18, 2010 5:12:48 PM

I just dont want to spend money on games via a program that i do not trust or like, then rely on that program to remember what games i have and let me reinstall them. the thing with a physical game is that there are no IFs of variables. It is THERE and it will work. no matter what happens to your computer, you just throw the disc in there and it works. I like that there isnt a chance, im not taking a chance with spending my money. And that is a perfect reason on why i do not like steam.
January 18, 2010 5:20:34 PM

JDV28 said:
I just dont want to spend money on games via a program that i do not trust or like, then rely on that program to remember what games i have and let me reinstall them. the thing with a physical game is that there are no IFs of variables. It is THERE and it will work. no matter what happens to your computer, you just throw the disc in there and it works. I like that there isnt a chance, im not taking a chance with spending my money. And that is a perfect reason on why i do not like steam.


That's an answer specific to Steam. (BTW the program does not remember your games. It's the Steam service which remembers which games you've bought which is essentially the same as any game with server side DRM).

But I'm talking about digital distribution in general. EADM is an example of a service that allows you to essentially download the retail version minus the encryption/protection scheme that usually comes on a factory disc. You can buy the game from EA, download, save the install files and save it to whatever format you desire (CD, DVD, external HDD, flash drive, etc). You get the CD key as well and you end up with exactly the same thing as the retail version except you aren't restricted to that single disc or having to insert the disc to play the game. It's an entirely better option.
January 18, 2010 5:23:17 PM

The general digital distribution idea is good. but im saying that i will never buy from steam, Its just THAT program that i despise.
January 18, 2010 5:27:50 PM

This was supposed to be an edit to my last post but I'll just create a new post for it since it may have been missed.

**edit**
I also just want to throw out there that your argument for "just throwing the disc in and it works" relies heavily on nothing happening to that disc. One downside of retail copies, as I eluded to above, is that they are usually restricted to a single copy and not easily backed up. If something happens to the disc you are SOL. Digital copies tend to be more friendly to backups because they are not tied to any physical media and it's expected that users will want to back it up.
January 18, 2010 5:28:05 PM

JDV28 said:
The general digital distribution idea is good. but im saying that i will never buy from steam, Its just THAT program that i despise.


But why? I haven't seen any reason as to why you don't trust it. It's been around for 10 years and it's going strong, so it must be doing something right.

I'm just curious as to what the beef is with it. I've heard "I don't like it", "I don't trust it", "You have to be online" (which is wrong), etc, but I haven't seen any evidence to back up those feelings other than personal feelings that seem to stem from when Steam first launched with HL2 and ticked a lot of people off. Since then, it has improved and works pretty darn well.
January 18, 2010 5:41:29 PM

@isamuelson

I think the general reason for distrust is that someday Steam users will wake up to find all their games gone or inaccessible. A legitimate concern if Steam didn't have the history and reputation it now does. But there is enough info out there to realize that such concern should be minimal. I would at least put it as being less likely than something happening where all of your hard copies of games are lost (fire, theft, etc).

One misconception that JDV28 may have (based on his statements about reinstalling and the program keeping track of games owned) is that the actual software installed on individual PCs is where all of your important data is stored and that it could be easily lost. In reality all of that data is stored on Steam servers which are much more secure and reliable than most individuals keeping of physical copies. The only real concern is what if Steam goes out of business. Once again a legit concern especially when it first started but by now it's a fairly safe bet that a. they will be around for a while and b. there is a contingency plan for the possibility of their going out of business.

The worries are really unfounded and basically come down to "I trust myself more than I trust them" even when in reality most are better off trusting them over themselves.
January 18, 2010 6:13:46 PM

purplerat said:
@isamuelson
The worries are really unfounded and basically come down to "I trust myself more than I trust them" even when in reality most are better off trusting them over themselves.


I was initially that way, especially when Steam had it's issue at the launch of HL2. But, since then, they've definitely gotten the kinks worked out and I like Steam.

I have been bitten by digital downloaded games, but that was through someone else that is no longer around (Escape from Butcher Bay, Psychonauts were the games I purchased from a company I can no longer remember their name) as well as Gears of War, which I purchased through Microsoft's digital locker. However, once I contacted Microsoft, they sent me a new DVD to install the game which was pretty cool.

Otherwise, Steam has been around for 10 years and is going strong. Same with Direct2Drive (through IGN), so either one of those are fine by me, but I prefer Steam the most.

Good Ol Games (to get old games) is great as well AND they don't require you to be online to install or play nor do they require you install a front-end program to download. That's how I got the Duke Nuken Atomic pack for $5! And, they provide a configured DosBox to run the program! Pretty cool!

So, I have no problems with digital downloads. Now, when it comes to special editions of games that give you other cool extras, that's when I might purchase the boxed edition. Otherwise, digital is fine for me!
January 18, 2010 6:23:27 PM

purplerat said:
@isamuelson

One misconception that JDV28 may have (based on his statements about reinstalling and the program keeping track of games owned) is that the actual software installed on individual PCs is where all of your important data is stored and that it could be easily lost. In reality all of that data is stored on Steam servers which are much more secure and reliable than most individuals keeping of physical copies. The only real concern is what if Steam goes out of business. Once again a legit concern especially when it first started but by now it's a fairly safe bet that a. they will be around for a while and b. there is a contingency plan for the possibility of their going out of business.


I just have to say that OBVIOUSLY its not stored on the program. I understand that. i am NOT new to computers or current technology
January 18, 2010 6:33:40 PM

JDV28 said:
I just have to say that OBVIOUSLY its not stored on the program. I understand that. i am NOT new to computers or current technology

My apologies. You just made a couple of statements which made it sound like you might be under that impression, which is not uncommon or unheard of. I won't make the mistake of further assuming what you may know or understand. What I can tell you, as somebody who works at a company in which data is our business and like Steam keeping our data safe is absolutely critical to our business, is that chances are the measures taken to protect information in a company like that are far greater than what 99.99% of consumers even have the capability of doing. The risk to your games is far greater when owning only physical copies (ie retail) than through service like Steam. Early you mentioned all of the variables that could go wrong with Steam and impact your access to your games, but you should also consider the risks involved with owning a retail copy as well. In most cases Steam is actually going to win out in terms of security than your owning a retail copy. Every time you put the game in your system you are at significantly higher risk of damaging the disc than the chances of anything happening with Steam.
January 18, 2010 6:40:34 PM

I understand that there is a very minute chance of losing a game that you bought from them. But when you download a game from steam or whoever, is there a single file/directory on that computer that the game goes to that you can put onto a cd or another harddrive to ensure that you have a backup copy of it? like an ISO file i guess.
January 18, 2010 6:53:21 PM

JDV28 said:
I understand that there is a very minute chance of losing a game that you bought from them. But when you download a game from steam or whoever, is there a single file/directory on that computer that the game goes to that you can put onto a cd or another harddrive to ensure that you have a backup copy of it? like an ISO file i guess.

Steam has a really cool backup feature that I have to admit I wasn't even really aware of or used until a couple of months ago. It allows you to backup games individually or in groups (or every game in one file) so they can be reinstalled later. It does require you to use Steam to reinstall for activation/verification of ownership - basically just like any game which requires online activation. For example I have 3 PCs I play my games on. So rather than downloading each game 3 times I download it once, back it up and install it on the other two. If you need to reformat your system you can create a single backup file of every game and do a one time reinstall of all your games at once after you get your system back up. Not only a lot better than downloading them all again but a lot easier than installing them all individually from discs.
January 18, 2010 7:23:48 PM

See, now that is something that really changed my view of Steam, thank you very much. that is what I am looking for. I like the idea of not going to the store, but i didnt like the chance of losing something i paid for (without it being from my own stupidity).
January 18, 2010 7:33:37 PM

JDV28 said:
See, now that is something that really changed my view of Steam, thank you very much. that is what I am looking for. I like the idea of not going to the store, but i didnt like the chance of losing something i paid for (without it being from my own stupidity).

You're like the third person I've seen have their view of Steam changed just because of that one feature. Ironically/unfortunately it's one that Steam really doesn't advertise or tell people about. I knew it existed before using it but had to Google how to do it because it wasn't clearly mentioned on the Steam site and it's not blatantly obvious on the app itself but once you figure it out it's a "duh" type of thing. The same goes for the ability to backup games from EADM. It's even more so hidden - so much so that I wonder if EA actually intended for it - but once you figure it out it's simple. It's actually like having a pirated version, but completely legit which is probably why EA isn't very open about it.
January 18, 2010 8:02:49 PM

purplerat said:
You're like the third person I've seen have their view of Steam changed just because of that one feature. Ironically/unfortunately it's one that Steam really doesn't advertise or tell people about. I knew it existed before using it but had to Google how to do it because it wasn't clearly mentioned on the Steam site and it's not blatantly obvious on the app itself but once you figure it out it's a "duh" type of thing. The same goes for the ability to backup games from EADM. It's even more so hidden - so much so that I wonder if EA actually intended for it - but once you figure it out it's simple. It's actually like having a pirated version, but completely legit which is probably why EA isn't very open about it.

:bounce: 

Great job, PurpleRat!

I was wondering if it was something as easy as this. JDV28, welcome to the world of Steam, if you have a better understanding of it. That's why I wanted to see what exactly it was about Steam you didn't like because everything that I had reservations about (not being able to back up the games, can I reinstall it if I delete it from my hard drive, etc) were all answered when I started asking questions.




January 18, 2010 8:30:25 PM

Hahaha, yea, well I'm still not sure about buying games on it, but if theres a good deal i will.
January 18, 2010 9:08:04 PM

The only real problem I see with Steam and all the other digital distributors that will come and go over the next several years is what happens if\when Steam decides to shut down or they go bankrupt - their servers go offline and all of the content that they ever sold no longer works because the program can no longer reach the server for verification so it thinks the game is not a legal copy. I've seen to many game distribution channels come and go to trust that any one of them will be around for ever and once I pay for a product I expect to be able to use it in the way I want.
January 18, 2010 10:00:35 PM

With any company in the world, at any given time there is worry of "what will happen if they go out of business?"
January 18, 2010 10:08:22 PM

JDV28 said:
With any company in the world, at any given time there is worry of "what will happen if they go out of business?"


Yes but with a retail purchase of the disk you don't care if the retailer disappears once you have made your purchase !!
January 18, 2010 10:13:40 PM

...I wasnt talking about just video games. and the game is still on your computer. and whats $50? I would be mad but its not the game would disappear off of your computer.
January 18, 2010 10:18:04 PM

JDV28 said:
...I wasnt talking about just video games. and the game is still on your computer. and whats $50? I would be mad but its not the game would disappear off of your computer.


The game is on your computer but most of the .exe files to launch the games are adapted so if it can not contact Steam's server it will not run.
January 18, 2010 10:24:57 PM

Well then, and PREPARE yourself for this, you are going to have to rebuy the games.
January 18, 2010 10:44:43 PM

while i do like steam, one valid point is that of how permanent it is.

does anyone remember Videogoogle's initial service. where you could purchase videos in much the same way as steam works?

when googlevideo went bust, the service went down. and all the money people had put into the videos was gone, and the videos were no longer useable, as without the service they could not be viewed.

a similar thing could happen to steam. its less likely, but what happens if steam go bust and shut down their servers. best case scenario, Valve could say that they will remove DRM from the games so any valve games you have from steam can still be played after the steam service goes down.

but what about all the non-valve games? you think the other publishers will let all the steam users have DRM free copies of their games? i think not.

i dont see this happening, but its possible. and its one of the only things i worry about with steam.

aside from the high prices, i think steam is a great service. though i think impulse and D2d are better.
January 19, 2010 4:05:58 AM

JDFan said:
Yes but with a retail purchase of the disk you don't care if the retailer disappears once you have made your purchase !!

That has nothing to do with retail vs digital. Any software that has DRM which requires server side activation is at risk of that. That includes Windows and a lot of retail purchased games. It has nothing to do with the distribution platform but solely with the protection scheme. That is an entirely different topic.
January 19, 2010 12:36:49 PM

I love using steam and it is my preferred method of purchasing games. I don't why all the hate is there for it from certain members of TH. The app itself is not a resource hog and is quite handy as I don't have to worry about finding and downloading patches all the time. I also like the fact that I can hit shift-tab to have ingame chats with friends or to invite them to play with me.

I always wait to buy games on steam as they usually go on sale not long after they are released. I bought sooooo many games over the holidays as they were really good deals. I am not too lazy to go to a store and pick the game up, but I hate walking to the tiny little section of pc games that most stores have to try and find a copy that may or may not be there. Not to mention the boxes of games cases that I have just taking up space in my house. I don't like game keys, I don't like boxes, and I don't like dirty looks from employees at gamestop when I inquire about pc games. Digital download FTW!
January 19, 2010 1:31:49 PM

cappster said:


I always wait to buy games on steam as they usually go on sale not long after they are released. I bought sooooo many games over the holidays as they were really good deals. I am not too lazy to go to a store and pick the game up, but I hate walking to the tiny little section of pc games that most stores have to try and find a copy that may or may not be there. Not to mention the boxes of games cases that I have just taking up space in my house. I don't like game keys, I don't like boxes, and I don't like dirty looks from employees at gamestop when I inquire about pc games. Digital download FTW!


Yea, it is sad to see how small of sections stores are giving to PC games...
January 19, 2010 2:29:59 PM

JDV28 said:
Yea, it is sad to see how small of sections stores are giving to PC games...

I really think it's going to end up biting them (the game stores) in the ass. The profits from these digital distributed PC games have to be huge. With so much cross over between PC and consoles both in terms of publishers and the console manufactures (both Microsoft and Sony have huge stakes in PC gaming) it's only a matter of time both start expanding digital distribution of console games. Once that happens these game stores are screwed. Nintendo, hardware and accessories are not going to keep them afloat because it will just be easier and cheaper to go to Wal-Mart. Digital distribution of console games will be a double deathblow to game stores because it will simultaneously kill their new sales and dry up the pre-owned market which is basically what is keeping them alive right now. It will be somewhat poetic that these stores which mostly started as predominately PC game retailers, then shunned PC gaming (unnecessarily in my opinion) will finally be killed by PC gaming once again leading a revolution in the gaming industry that the consoles will follow.

Yes it does bring a big :D  to my face especially after being in Gamestop a couple of weeks ago and listening to an employee there tell a customer that PC gaming was all but dead and it was pointless to buy PC games anymore. I was tempted to point out that his business was much more likely to die anytime soon than PC gaming was. I held my tongue, it's more enjoyable to now and not say anything.
January 19, 2010 2:36:23 PM

Haha that is right. They dont realize how much they would be making from PC games. the topic of PC gaming has become "no one plays pc games anymore 360 FTW" which is funny to anyone who plays pc, because we know that alot of gamers play pc. and there are MANY reasons why, but I'm not going to go into that.
January 19, 2010 2:51:24 PM

JDV28 said:
Haha that is right. They dont realize how much they would be making from PC games. the topic of PC gaming has become "no one plays pc games anymore 360 FTW" which is funny to anyone who plays pc, because we know that alot of gamers play pc. and there are MANY reasons why, but I'm not going to go into that.

It's not just that they lost PC game sales. I give these businesses the benefit of the doubt that they were fiscally correct in assessing that shelf space for PC games is not as profitable as shelf space for console games. Where I think they screwed up is in not realizing that a lot of people who buy PC games are also console gamers and those people tend to be the ones who spend the most on gaming.

Maybe they weren't making a ton of money on PC games but by all but getting rid of them they essentially cut the value (in terms of customer interest) in half for the most valuable section of their customer base. Especially now that big box stores have identical if not better selections of console games. If game stores had decent sections of both PC and consoles somebody like myself would be much more interested in going in there to look around regardless of what I actually buy. But why go in there if I can swing buy the electronics department while I'm in Wal-Mart or go to Best Buy to get a better selection? I still often wander into these stores, at least the mall locations, but usually ending up leaving after I ask myself "what am I even doing here?".

The only thing they had going for them for a while was the used games but that is slipping fast. Publishers are definitely looking to kill that market and what they don't kill I think will be sucked up by online sales, especially user to user like ebay, which dominates in the area of pricing compared to these stores.
January 19, 2010 2:55:36 PM

Actually instead of it going fully digital what I'd like to see is a digital distribution center set up in retail outlets (kind of like the Red Box Movie rental boxes) - that could burn the game to a disk on demand so that you didn't have to worry about stock - the machine could have digital versions of the games either stored on a local storage medium or have a fast direct link to a central Hub with the content and then the end user could just select the game he wanted and the machine would burn the content to disk or a USB thumbdrive along with a .pdf version of the manual. That way you would know the store always would have the game you wanted and the store wouldn't need shelf space to carry multiple copies of every game and yet the end consumer would get a physical copy of their game so wouldn't need to contact some server to verify the game was authentic.

January 19, 2010 2:59:59 PM

JDFan said:
Actually instead of it going fully digital what I'd like to see is a digital distribution center set up in retail outlets (kind of like the Red Box Movie rental boxes) - that could burn the game to a disk on demand so that you didn't have to worry about stock - the machine could have digital versions of the games either stored on a local storage medium or have a fast direct link to a central Hub with the content and then the end user could just select the game he wanted and the machine would burn the content to disk or a USB thumbdrive along with a .pdf version of the manual. That way you would know the store always would have the game you wanted and the store wouldn't need shelf space to carry multiple copies of every game and yet the end consumer would get a physical copy of their game so wouldn't need to contact some server to verify the game was authentic.

I've actually thought of the same myself. Personally I'm fine with fully online digital distribution but I understand that it may be preferable or even necessary to have such a service for many people. I don't see such a system boding very well for game stores though.
January 19, 2010 3:00:35 PM

JDFan said:
Actually instead of it going fully digital what I'd like to see is a digital distribution center set up in retail outlets (kind of like the Red Box Movie rental boxes) - that could burn the game to a disk on demand so that you didn't have to worry about stock - the machine could have digital versions of the games either stored on a local storage medium or have a fast direct link to a central Hub with the content and then the end user could just select the game he wanted and the machine would burn the content to disk or a USB thumbdrive along with a .pdf version of the manual. That way you would know the store always would have the game you wanted and the store wouldn't need shelf space to carry multiple copies of every game and yet the end consumer would get a physical copy of their game so wouldn't need to contact some server to verify the game was authentic.


That's not a bad idea, but then you could run into an issue like they did when Prey was being sold on Steam for a steal - they ran out of install keys!!! :cry: 

So, you could still run out of "stock", but still, it's one way to do something.

January 19, 2010 3:15:00 PM

purplerat said:
I've actually thought of the same myself. Personally I'm fine with fully online digital distribution but I understand that it may be preferable or even necessary to have such a service for many people. I don't see such a system boding very well for game stores though.


At least if they had them in the gamestore they would still be getting the foot traffic in the door where maybe they could sell them some console game, hardware, hint guide, etc. - another plus for the gamestore would be no need to markdown old stock that they had ordered too much of and couldn't sell and they could just pay for the Units sold instead of having to have some minimum wage worker deciding how many units of each game to order - plus it would save the game companies alot of money on the manufacturing side not to mention cut the release time for games since they wouldn't have to have some company printing and packaging and then shipping all of those packages for a new game release.
January 21, 2010 2:27:52 AM

SpinachEater said:
Games going digital has nothing to do with the death of PC gaming. Thats like saying...iTunes...the death of music. Your topic is horrible and has enraged me.

This is however, the death of selling used PC games which isn't too bad for the developers if you think about it.

Eh...your cost rant has also enraged me. Steam runs some pretty crazy deals every now and then that are far cheaper than what Best Buy would price at.

Also...the manual...damn kid, STFU. If you have steam, some games you can right click and view the manual. Others...just find them online and save the PDF file. Is that so hard?

And for disks...how many people lose their FN key and can't ever play it again? (a lot) There is no CD key loss with Steam...you don't have to keep the stupid empty boxes that clutter up your desk...

Also...don't get PO at Steam for not allowing mods. That is the developers choice. My L4D mods work perfectly with Steam...you know why? Because Valve is awesome.

You just hate Steam so you are highlighting all of the negatives that you can find about it.


First Let me say spinach eater, I'm glad I "enraged" you....Twice. Your so easy to enrage, and it's so fun doing it. As a matter of fact its been the highlight of my enitre week thus far. Second, has anyone ever told you your picture looks like a caveman with a stick hanging out of its mouth. Its most likely quite accurate, so I will not comment on that further, except that it does shed some light on your completely ridiculous "Enraged" attack, youv'e made against my original post.

This post was put up to find out what others thought about the lack of PC gaming being basically removed from the retail market. IT was not an attack against Valve as I stated in my own post that I love "their" games. I was even trying to install "their" game when I ran into "their' ISSUES.

All of your points made still does not cover the slow download times, ( 130kbps= 30+ hours) compared to a 5-10 minutes install with my CD. They still dont cover the fact that now Steam and the game developers are making more money and providing you with less "tangible" materials in your hand after you drop that 50.00 bill on the table. It also doesnt cover up the fact that steam is removing an entire demographic of people who would like to play PC games but do not have the knowlege or the know-how to navigate their online menus, functions and transactions. Or how to back up there games for that matter.

And again nothing you've stated covers up the horrible in your face fact, that if something does go wrong with someones computer(hard drive crash, motherboard failure, virus making the system unusable) they would then have to redownload and reinstall every game they ever purchased from steam, and lets just say for Shiits and giggles that number of games exceeds one, there in for a very long process of downloading and reinstalling, and probably wont get to play those games for 2-3 days. Thats not convenience, thats stupidity.

My comments about steam were of course in relation to the fact that it is the most popular download entity for gaming, and as the only real comparison , it had to be included. And since in my opinion it doesnt compare to a retail store bought copy of a PC game, it got the disgruntled end of my argument. I do not hate steam, I dislike many of its features and believe them to be subpar to the experience of buying a new game opening the box and it just installs and works. Until they make the experience better, and streamline the process for the average consumer, and I can get hardcopies of the game mailed to my house, after I pay 50.00 dollars for it ( that means its mine) then I will not buy from steam.

Again, I hope I've enraged you Spinach....that means its been a good day in my book.

January 21, 2010 9:46:09 AM

dragoncyber said:

All of your points made still does not cover the slow download times, ( 130kbps= 30+ hours) compared to a 5-10 minutes install with my CD. They still dont cover the fact that now Steam and the game developers are making more money and providing you with less "tangible" materials in your hand after you drop that 50.00 bill on the table. It also doesnt cover up the fact that steam is removing an entire demographic of people who would like to play PC games but do not have the knowlege or the know-how to navigate their online menus, functions and transactions. Or how to back up there games for that matter.

And again nothing you've stated covers up the horrible in your face fact, that if something does go wrong with someones computer(hard drive crash, motherboard failure, virus making the system unusable) they would then have to redownload and reinstall every game they ever purchased from steam, and lets just say for Shiits and giggles that number of games exceeds one, there in for a very long process of downloading and reinstalling, and probably wont get to play those games for 2-3 days. Thats not convenience, thats stupidity.



And it's been stated that once you do the initial download, Steam provides you a utility to backup the install image to CD/DVD so that you DON'T have to download the program to install it. In fact, you could just backup the entire Steam directory directly to DVD (you'll probably have to span if you have a ton of games like me) and then just copy that back to your drive.

In any case, your argument about having to download it again is not fair since Steam allows backing up the install image.

As for "tangible" items, you get a PDF manual with the games. As I've stated, if there are "tangible" items (such as what comes with "Collectors Editions"), then I'll purchase that from the store. Otherwise, I could care less about a physical manual.

January 22, 2010 11:58:01 PM

dragoncyber said:
Second, has anyone ever told you your picture looks like a caveman with a stick hanging out of its mouth. Its most likely quite accurate, so I will not comment on that further, except that it does shed some light on your completely ridiculous "Enraged" attack, youv'e made against my original post.


Hey now, lets not bring my purty face into this.
!