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Game Stores View Valve's Steam as the Devil

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 230 comments

Many of you like Steam, but the game shops do not.

You may love Steam and games publishers may love Steam, but games retailers are certainly having no love for the premier digital distribution channel for PC games.

According to MCV, certain game retailers in the UK are upset enough by Steam to threaten that they will not carry any product that carry any Steam integration. Retailers feel that Steam integration will just drive customers to the Steam service, thereby killing the retail model.

This is particularly important to retailers who have a digital channel of their own.

“If we have a digital service, then I don’t want to start selling a rival in-store,” said the digital boss at one of the biggest UK games retailers, according to MCV. “Publishers are creating a monster ­– we are telling suppliers to stop using Steam in their games.”

Of course, this plan to boycott any game with Steam could backfire, as gamers who want that game will be forced to skip the retailer entirely and go through Valve's service.

Do you think Steam has a frighteningly strong grip on the PC games market?

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Top Comments
  • 32 Hide
    siliconchampion , November 15, 2010 2:51 AM
    Steam Rocks. It is the model other businesses should look up to.
  • 31 Hide
    bystander , November 15, 2010 2:52 AM
    The reason I first used Steam was the retail stores didn't carry the games I wanted to buy. If they stop carrying games with any Steam integration, other people like myself will be forced to go to Steam. Making their problems bigger.
  • 29 Hide
    _Cubase_ , November 15, 2010 2:58 AM
    It's either use Steam or deal with botched pre-orders, missing stock, no stock, rude staff, bratty kids, or bargain bin ferals fighting over the last pre-owned and heavily soiled copy of some long forgotten relic of poorly spent youth. Tough choice...
Other Comments
    Display all 230 comments.
  • -4 Hide
    kewlx , November 15, 2010 2:43 AM
    nah steam is the best. I mean that and blizzard.
  • 32 Hide
    siliconchampion , November 15, 2010 2:51 AM
    Steam Rocks. It is the model other businesses should look up to.
  • 31 Hide
    bystander , November 15, 2010 2:52 AM
    The reason I first used Steam was the retail stores didn't carry the games I wanted to buy. If they stop carrying games with any Steam integration, other people like myself will be forced to go to Steam. Making their problems bigger.
  • 13 Hide
    osxsier , November 15, 2010 2:54 AM
    Well, I think Steam is great, its instant gratification. However, saying that I prefer to have the game with box. I have all my PC games lined up and its nice to see what I have and what I want to play. Also kinda cool to have your friends see what games you have.

    There will always be those I believe that actually like going into the store like myself and having the box art, game, and hopefully some other goodies as well.

    Steam is great, but not everyone wants their games on the hard drive only.
  • 0 Hide
    tical2399 , November 15, 2010 2:57 AM
    I never really been a fan of steam. I only have it cause a free game came with my gpu and i had to get steam to play it. I prefer just buying from GS (yes I like GS even though its popular not to).

    If steam is down you can't log in which means you can't play. I they ban you for some reason then you can lo longer play the game you paid for. While steam has alot of games for sale, there are still alot you can't get there.

    For my money i'll always go to a store to get my games.
  • 29 Hide
    _Cubase_ , November 15, 2010 2:58 AM
    It's either use Steam or deal with botched pre-orders, missing stock, no stock, rude staff, bratty kids, or bargain bin ferals fighting over the last pre-owned and heavily soiled copy of some long forgotten relic of poorly spent youth. Tough choice...
  • 1 Hide
    joytech22 , November 15, 2010 2:59 AM
    If game stores stopped selling steam games in store, i'd just buy them from the steam store.

    I mean sure it's convenient having the game in a shop that you can buy and go install, but my internet's not the fastest when it comes to downloading my own purchases.

    (Although i just upgraded my internet to Unlimited 24/7 adsl2+, so we'll see what's better.. when my service is activated)
  • 6 Hide
    vegettonox , November 15, 2010 3:01 AM
    its called supply and demand not to mention the future. Digital distribution is the future and it massively boosts the availability for smaller developers to reach a large audience and gain more sales via steam specials. Steam also has one of the best protections out there and eliminates all that extra copy protection crap like assassins creed 2 having to be online all the time. Personally i think steam should look into movie and software distribution as well and really kick it. It would be amazing if you could play a game while downloading a movie to watch after.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , November 15, 2010 3:01 AM
    So retailers don't like Steam? Stiff S**t.
  • -8 Hide
    tical2399 , November 15, 2010 3:08 AM
    @_Cubase_

    What stores are YOU going to? I've been buying games at GS/EB for years and before that toy-r-us back in the day and I never seen any of what you talkin about even during holiday shopping.

    And even if that was the case (which its not) i'd rather deal with all that than to have a game that I can't play cause the server is undergoing maintenance.
  • 4 Hide
    reprotected , November 15, 2010 3:11 AM
    Many people do not like to punch in their credit cards into the Internet, which is usually why they buy at retails. What's there to fear?
  • 16 Hide
    Albyint , November 15, 2010 3:14 AM
    Some people will use steam and some wont. It isnt hard to see that. I personally dislike some steam things, particually when I bought Empire total war and at that point in time had no internet. I had to lug my computer all the way to my dad's house so i could plug it up so Steam could verify my game.......

    Other than that Steam is the way to go IMO. I also like things like Good Old Games, love that site to death.
  • 2 Hide
    nukemaster , November 15, 2010 3:15 AM
    Too bad ain't it. Steam is here to stay. So you don't carry games with steam integration. I guess I will shop elsewhere(I buy many games at retail that I can install and use in steam.) or just buy it on steam.
  • 1 Hide
    jskilnyk , November 15, 2010 3:26 AM
    Of course they don't like it. It takes business away from them. However the fact remains that large portion of their sales are from console games not PC. IMO they can't get angry all they want because, if I want to buy a PC game i'll do it online and if I want to buy a console i'll do it through them.
  • 7 Hide
    d0gr0ck , November 15, 2010 3:29 AM
    When I walk into a Walmart or Gamestop here is honestly seems like they've stopped trying to be a competitive vendor for PC games. My local Gamestop PC game shelf is only about 4 boxes wide. They simply do not allow for the delivery of a game in a timely manner the way Steam, Direct2Drive or Good Old Games does.
  • 3 Hide
    Trueno07 , November 15, 2010 3:31 AM
    I must be a satanist then...
  • 21 Hide
    thechief73 , November 15, 2010 3:32 AM
    Sounds like someone is afraid of thier competition, aint that a beach.

    The only reason Steam is doing so well and is as popular as they are is because they are doing almost every little thing right, tons of features, good interface, software just works, unbeatable deals.

    If the have a "frighteningly strong grip on the PC games market", its because they worked hard to do so and deserve it 100%.

    Long Live Steam.
  • 6 Hide
    killbits , November 15, 2010 3:39 AM
    I love steam!

    All of my games in one place, *on any computer* and with all the sales they have it's much cheaper than retail stores!

    plus games get automatically updated. Ive always hated having to manually install patches and shit for slightly older games that don't have auto-updaters.

    Steam has basically dropped the number of games I download illegally via bittorrent by about 75% since I started using it regularly a few years ago.

    Also I love toms hardware! I mean i get almost all my tech news from tom's!
    however, pc gamer reported this story like 4 days ago!

    http://www.pcgamer.com/2010/11/11/retailers-say-steam-is-killing-the-pc-market-threaten-steam-ban/
  • 6 Hide
    geniusreddy , November 15, 2010 3:50 AM
    tical2399I never really been a fan of steam. I only have it cause a free game came with my gpu and i had to get steam to play it. I prefer just buying from GS (yes I like GS even though its popular not to).If steam is down you can't log in which means you can't play. I they ban you for some reason then you can lo longer play the game you paid for. While steam has alot of games for sale, there are still alot you can't get there. For my money i'll always go to a store to get my games.


    If steam is down (which pretty much never), you can still login to offline mode and play your games. Of course you can't do online multiplayer, but honestly Steam I think has been down 1 time in the four years I have been using it.
  • 0 Hide
    duk3 , November 15, 2010 3:54 AM
    Steam is great.
    I think that if game stores can't adapt, in a few years once you can get everything off of steam/other online stores then they will be headed the way of Hollywood video.
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