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Sessler's Soapbox: EA vs. Valve

Posted: July 12, 2011
Sessler's Soapbox: EA vs. Valve
http://www.g4tv.com/videos/54123/sesslers-soapbox-ea-vs-valve/
http://images.g4tv.com/ImageDb3/277421_LGST/soapbox-7-12-11.jpg
Video_54123
Adam discusses the controversy about EA removing some games from Steam after announcing their own digital distribution platform.

Comments are Closed

  • BR4CR

    Thanks for finally acknowledging that the future may NOT be discless. I've been harping on you like a nebbish mother about that theory for some months now...

    Posted: September 6, 2011 8:02 AM
    BR4CR
  • Maiyn

    Am i the only Crazy one that still buys physical copies of games? I until recently didnt have access to any form of highspeed so I'm still running with the mentality have a copy on hand easier then trying to download it. Not to say i havent used Steam or Direct2Drive and now Origin probably GameFlys version too. Only thing I do wish there was some unifying factor here so i didn't have to have multiple programs running to play and find games. But i do like to shop around for deals. and I am still waiting for a cut in prices on new stuff seeings they aren't sending out the boxes with Digital sales...

    Posted: August 9, 2011 2:10 PM
    Maiyn
  • reagan_smash

    I understand why EA would want their own digital distribution service: no Valve or other middle-men cutting in on their profits. But if they keep doing what they're doing, they're only going to hurt themselves. There's a reason why Steam (or any retailer, for that matter) exists in the first place: People don't want to regularly visit 20 different stores just to shop/browse. Steam used to only be used with Valve's own games, but what made it such a success (aside from the awesome prices and huge weekly sales) was the inclusion of tons of games from various other companies. Meanwhile, all Origin offers is EA games, and that's why it won't beat Steam.

    Posted: August 2, 2011 8:11 PM
    reagan_smash
  • reagan_smash

    I understand why EA would want their own digital distribution service: no Valve or other middle-men cutting in on their profits. But if they keep doing what they're doing, they're only going to hurt themselves. There's a reason why Steam (or any retailer, for that matter) exists in the first place: People don't want to regularly visit 20 different stores just to shop/browse. Steam used to only be used with Valve's own games, but what made it such a success (aside from the awesome prices and huge weekly sales) was the inclusion of tons of games from various other companies. Meanwhile, all Origin offers is EA games, and that's why it won't beat Steam.

    Posted: August 2, 2011 6:12 PM
    reagan_smash
  • nfonseca

    If EA continues with this Steam boycott they will only be hurting themselves. They are doing this for one reason $$MONEY$$. EA is a publicly traded company, and therefor it's focus will always be to make more money for EA stock holders.

    Valve's loyalty has always been to their customers, and their customers are just as loyal in return. If I can't buy BF3 using steam. I won't buy it. There are a lot of games coming out in the next few months. I think i'll take the money i was going to buy BF3 with, and preorder Saints Row: The Third instead.

    The only game EA can block steam from selling that i would care about is Mass Effect 3.

    Posted: July 25, 2011 1:08 PM
  • P.I.JohnnyWadd

    Alright, I get all the points mentioned by The' Zess and you guys, but... this is how gamers perceive STEAM to be:

    Facebook meets Skype meets Personal Cloud Storage = STEAM

    Now!, do you think EA will be brave enough to take on the MONSTER of game digital distribution?...(steam) Right!, like others mentioned, even Microsoft failed at it, but of course EA can learn from that as well, I just don't see them bringing a better service than Steam period.

    The other Elephant on the room that everyone here forgot to mention is: ON-LIVE

    On-LIVE is not for everyone, I know!, you need to have an expensive and good connection to use it which = $$$ lots of $$$ so it's restricted to US base gamers (limited profit) at least until other countries catch up on bandwidth costs and Interwebs speeds (that's my case with on-live).

    On-LIVE sure packs a punch wen it comes to the API and the beauty of an ALL VIDEO APPLICATION, it's so robust and powerful that you can even store your avatar picture with motion or a video clip as an avatar, and that's just one of the profile features, you have to stand in awe of even the browsing of games in the main lobby, simply amazing looking, like being able to watch/spectate someone play an entire game from start to finish(in fullscreen), and also help you make up your mind whether you like the game or not.

    On-LIVE is the one they should worried about, not STEAM!, On-LIVE in the future would be a good contender to STEAM.

    Bottom line: EA needs a lot of $$$ and a lot of smart thinking to make an API as powerful to compete with On-LIVE and Steam in order to become another digital distribution for partners/developers, if their intention is to distribute their own content ONLY, then their fine doing it cuz everyone will just use it to play Battlefield for a wile and then shut it down and continue to play on STEAM...lol

    Posted: July 19, 2011 12:14 PM
    P.I.JohnnyWadd
  • DSMac27

    I have boxes of books in storage because I always wanted to stock an impressive set of bookshelves. 400+ Vinyl albums, and nearly that many CDs. Several hundred DVDs, and, of course, boxes of computer games. Somewhere along the line I transitioned from "pride of ownership" to "content that takes up too much damned space". I no longer want the "thing" - I just want the content.

    So it should be with games. And really - do I even need to have my own copy? Sure - keep a working local copy around while I'm playing thru that single player campaign for a few months, but when I move on, I should be able to free up that space - and if I get nostalgic a year later, I should be able to pull it down again.

    What i really don't understand is the current notion of Cloud storage - Amazon wants to sell me space in the cloud by the GB. No denigration of that plan intended - it seems a perfectly valid business model.

    But, if you and I buy the same 5MB mp3, do we actually need our own physical copies of it taking up space somewhere? No - we both just need access to Amazon's copy. My "space" in the cloud should be a tiny little file that grants me access to that copy - The "access pass" to a game or DVD would also be tiny.

    Now - the infrastructure to host Multi-player and other social aspects of gaming? Sure - bill us or feed us ads. But this notion of a $60 buy-in just to play the latest hot title? It made sense when that was the available technology, but I get the feeling we're evolving away from that... I believe nearly all physical content (books, disks, etc) will go the way of the newspaper industry.

    Having said all that, i do kinda miss curling up in bed with a thick user's guide from a game I just bought...

    Posted: July 18, 2011 9:00 PM
    DSMac27
  • HAMMERCLAW

    Oh wow; I didn't know Steam had fanboys, too.

    Posted: July 18, 2011 4:11 PM
    HAMMERCLAW
  • CombaticusCarl

    This is something i noticed a long time ago not with the whole steam thing but with Microsoft and normal retailers. People can buy digital copies of games on Xbox live, but it has no benefit they are priced the same as in the store and you only have a digital copy of the game. Its seems like the manufacturing cost of a digital copy is somewhere close to zero so why is the price the same? Microsoft could cut gamestop out of the loop and make more money by offering the digital download just $5 cheaper. Its seems like common sence to me

    Posted: July 17, 2011 5:47 PM
  • bish777

    I am now worried that every company will have their own program needed to play their games and my PC will be swamped with 15 different programs running in the background at all times. I really like Steam and would just like it to be the single PC gaming platform. The companies regulate the prices so you would not have to worry about a monopoly forming or Valve gouging on prices since they are a third party (except for their own games of course).

    Just give me my BF3 on Steam please EA and I will be happy.


    (And the Steam summer sale was awesome once again, another reason to love Steam)

    Posted: July 17, 2011 11:28 AM
    bish777
  • stilllife

    But will any of these distribution services be better than steam? I mean, steam already has an ENORMOUS presence among gamers, and so far all efforts to make a service similar to it have failed because those other services come with massive headaches (Games for Windows Live anyone?).

    No one is going to use Origin if it works like crap, just like how now almost no one uses Games for Windows Live willingly.

    Posted: July 17, 2011 11:20 AM
    stilllife
  • gerardokosonoy07

    competition is good
    makes company produce better products so more people will be subject to buying them
    example:

    Apple vs microsoft
    facebook vs myspace
    ask.com vs google.com

    I for one welcome the fact that EA is finally putting it's foot down especially when most of their games don't even work on steam.

    Posted: July 17, 2011 6:55 AM
    gerardokosonoy07
  • BR4CR

    Adam: Now I get to say "I told you so." I've been posting that you'd reverse your adamant stance that discs will disappear completely. I like you, you're a smart and well-read guy.

    Posted: July 15, 2011 9:17 AM
    BR4CR
  • silverten

    Removing media from the equation is not a new thought. It was in discussions well over two years ago in some circles... Personally, I like having all of the physical "clutter" as you always have a copy of the media (until -- of course -- it degrades or is destroyed). I am a bit leery to allow any company to completely host what I've bought...

    Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I like the tactile feel of the media -- plus all of the material generally "delivered" with the purchased copy (or original in this case). Far too many games now or other digital, downloaded media is just the media -- nothing on the booklet or the feel of it (which is impossible in the electronic world). It will be a sad day when all of that goes away don't you think?

    Posted: July 14, 2011 9:14 PM
    silverten
  • RedRum425

    I don t mind having a physical copy of a game cuz I know I m going to eventually sell it. However digital distribution is not something that will go away it will only slowly take over the market. And what Adam meant by I wonder how it will turn out he meant for consoles. With all these cloud services who knows in 10 years the consoles will not have disc drives just huge hard drives for video game and other entertainment purposes and truly blur the line between pc and console.

    Posted: July 14, 2011 6:11 AM
    RedRum425
  • OG1-KENOBI

    Im a gamer from the 80's and I dont like digital distribution I want game boxes and manuals and actually OWN a product i pay cash for. I can see reasons why people like DL games but I can also see that the prices WONT go down if digital distribution takes hold and we as gamers will be charged the same for recieving less. No box etc should be a minimum of %40 OFF THE RRP of a boxed copy.

    Posted: July 13, 2011 6:55 PM
    OG1-KENOBI
  • OG1-KENOBI

    Im a gamer from the 80's and I dont like digital distribution I want game boxes and manuals and actually OWN a product i pay cash for. I can see reasons why people like DL games but I can also see that the prices WONT go down if digital distribution tales hold and we as gamers will be charged the same for recieving less. No box etc should be a minimum of %40 OFF THE RRP of a boxed copy.

    Posted: July 13, 2011 6:54 PM
    OG1-KENOBI
  • B_Hagen

    We have to think this is going to be a steady trend among all big name publishers. Valve proved its worth and has been making money off every other publisher who cannot offer the service. We don't know the agreements Valve has with other publishers but its safe to assume they are making money off others game sales and happy to keep their mouth shut on the controversy.
    EA had the money and resources to pump into developing said service attempting to compete. And while we want to say they are the bad guy making things difficult on us consumers, at the end of the day its about maximizing profit.
    I think it's fair to say all the other developers are rooting for EA, because after EA rides out the initial blow back of the gaming community the other developers can begin to establish the same distribution standards having avoided the resistance they couldn't afford...

    Face it, each of them controlling there own distribution is like growing a money tree in the office, it will save them money, negotiations, and time associated with 3rd party distribution... It's going to happen.

    Posted: July 13, 2011 1:52 PM
    B_Hagen
  • Trent44

    The problem with Digital Distribution is the higher game prices, download times of large files, dependency on both the distributor's servers and ISP, ISP data caps, lack of consumer's ability to get a refund, trade a game, or sell their old stuff, etc.

    The average price over time for a Digital Download is significantly higher than a physical product counter part, and digital content that has no physical counter part are usually fixed in price for a very very long duration.

    People often cite Steam's sales because it is the exception, not the rule. And often physical games can still be found cheaper.

    Any platform with a single digital store and no physical or digital competitors will have higher prices because it would be a monopoly of that platform.

    Posted: July 13, 2011 10:36 AM
    Trent44
  • lustinius

    I would switch to digital sales if the prices were lower, but there's just something special about being able to look over at the shelf by the tv with all the boxes. If game distribution does become a only-digital thing, then I hope someone makes a company that designs and sells boxes like what games would have been in.

    Posted: July 13, 2011 9:37 AM
    lustinius
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