Game Stores View Valve's Steam as the Devil

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?

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • kewlx
    nah steam is the best. I mean that and blizzard.
  • siliconchampion
    Steam Rocks. It is the model other businesses should look up to.
  • bystander
    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.
  • osxsier
    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.
  • tical2399
    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.
  • _Cubase_
    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...
  • joytech22
    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)
  • vegettonox
    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.
  • So retailers don't like Steam? Stiff S**t.
  • tical2399

    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.