Sessler's Soapbox: EA vs. Valve

Posted: July 12, 2011
Sessler's Soapbox: EA vs. Valve
Adam discusses the controversy about EA removing some games from Steam after announcing their own digital distribution platform.

Comments are Closed

  • CamperHunter1

    As I said in one of the other posts about this, this seems like EA is outright backstabbing Valve whom they had partnered with thru Steam with this Origin service.

    Trying to own their distribution channels and keep more as profit is one thing. But they are going directly against quite possibly the biggest DD platform out there right now for games that they were on good terms with (as far as I know) to do so.

    Not only are they gambling on their customers being extremely loyal to them (which many were already shaky BEFORE the announcement to pull some of their games), they are also betting that these games will be one of the primary reasons that draw people in to their new service and lets not forget the new expenses marketing and maintaining this new service as well.

    Playing those odds, this seems like a sucker bet.

    Posted: July 12, 2011 7:15 PM
  • bolo73

    Saving money is already happening Adam. I price check games on sale on Steam, Impluse, and now Amazon digital downloads compaired to buying a disc from local stores, online stores and ebay. The games sales from digital downloads are a lot lower. Digital downloads allows for sales at at given time and the publishers can and have made more on games well after the game has been released because of digital sales according to gabe newell.
    Also not all services require online connection play there games. I can play valve games without an internet connection.

    Posted: July 12, 2011 7:14 PM
  • Mashpotaters

    The thing is that Steam has known how to sell games by putting them on sale, and giving gamers great deals before EA Origin was there. I mean when a company can give you great deals without needing another company to compete against it, you know that the company is your go to place. I know publishers want a cut of the pie, but I don't think taking games of Steam is the way to go. It's like the kid with the good ball getting angry and going home, and taking his ball home with him.

    Posted: July 12, 2011 7:06 PM
  • tplarkin7

    Having no discs is a good thing. You don't need physical space, and you can select the game remotely, like choosing a TV channel.

    Posted: July 12, 2011 7:02 PM
  • tamacula

    Please don't ever put Portal 2 in the background on a 'Soapbox' again...I was transfixed, and missed everything you said! ;)

    Posted: July 12, 2011 6:46 PM
  • filchingfeline

    Ses, your sarcasm is almost in view of my own, /golfclapapplause.

    Posted: July 12, 2011 6:43 PM
  • Luck702

    Valve saw the future in 2004. They had a feeling digital was the way to go, and secured themselves a future with steam. EA and the other companies being late to the party, think they can just create a service similar to steam and make money. In the end, I'm more willing to give the good people at Valve my money, rather than the money hungry heads at EA.

    Posted: July 12, 2011 6:43 PM
  • Palor

    For me this little quarrel between EA and Valve has less to do with where I purchase the game and more about where I go to play it once I have purchased it. I don't like having Origins installed on my system just for EA games but I can deal with that. What I want is after I purchase my EA game let me put the CD key into steam and use Steam for updates and so on.

    The best part of Steam is not the fact I am getting the game from Valve but the fact that it has all my games, all my cd keys, more and more of my saves (cloud saves) and, all my friends in 1 place. I can go to any computer with an internet connection and gain access to my entire digital library. Steam isn't just selling me software, they are putting my entire PC gaming experience in one convenient place.

    Posted: July 12, 2011 6:27 PM
  • Cavityking23

    I honestly don't think anyone can keep up with Steam sales. I mean I been saving so much money from buying DD games from Steam. Either pay 60$ at a retailer or wait till Steam puts it on sale for half the price, sometimes even cheaper than that. But I can say I do like going to the store and buying my console games, just something about it. But for PC games I will forever stick to Steam, I respect Valve a whole freaking lot, and I hope they remain a successful company.

    Posted: July 12, 2011 6:09 PM
  • oSAVA6Eo

    I don't think digital downloading will shrink the price of the now $60 entry fee to play a game. Look at the PSN with the PSP GO. The system was all about digital downloading and they charged full price for games. For example a copy of Metal Gear Solid was charged at $30 the last time I checked, January 5th 2010, while at Best Buy I could pick up the copy for $7. Digital Downloading will not be the future because it's a monopoly, one stop one shop for your games. We need multiple distributors to buy games so we the consumer will save the most money. Those distributors like Gamestop, Bestbuy, and Toys 'R' Us have a certain revenue that comes from videogames and will not lose that money to digital downloading. Digital Downloading is more for iTunes where I'm spending $1 for songs, more like impulse buys rather than a full $30 or $60 investment. Also I can't bring my Digital Downloads to friends houses.

    Posted: July 12, 2011 6:05 PM
  • Shuklar

    GameStop's already trying to get into the DD market; Impulse & Spawn Labs acquisition earlier this year. In the end, they're still a middleman since they're not offering anything that they put any creative effort in. Sort of sounds like publishers, yeah?

    I can't wait until developers stop relying on publishers where we get arrogant f-tards like Bobby Kotex taking pride in being nothing more than a bank that provides loans.

    The coders of Minecraft are wealthier than any coders working on a AAA title. Why? They bypassed the publisher and the traditional store.

    Posted: July 12, 2011 5:12 PM
  • Vuman

    Having been a gamer for the past decade or so, i will always cherish my game collections but as the world is changing now and everyone is moving to the "internets" we must embrace the new options available even if it becomes the only choice, the only way the DD systems will get better is if consumers as a whole realise the fact that games are also moving from being sold at retailers to being sold directly to your home pc.

    This is excellently demonstrated by valve's steam with it's hugely successful distributions of CS and HL. But there are two major factors to consider when games are being distributed; one is of course the consumer, as a consumer we must feel satisfied with the product that we are being offered; whether it be the feeling of physically owning the product or as close as we can get with DD, and of course pricing. When considering pricing the logic follows that if a service is more convenient and of higher quality then is must of course cost more, when considering a DD on paper it means we get a service delivered practically into our seat from when we purchase it therefore it would be worth it to pay more but this is opposite due to the fact that the relationship between the distributer and the consumer is a fairly weak one.

    Look at the pspGO for example, it was designed to receive and store games exclusively via the PSN store, when we look at this business model, it should in theory produce a great amount of sales, because of the availability of the internet and of course the discounted prices of games sold online. The opposite is the case because people who do not care for DD or just don't feel satisfied with a DD game.

    Back to my original point, I believe DD games have a real prospect and practical use for the future, as a service not only for games but many other services. What we need to consider as the consumer and as a the distributors themselves is the satisfaction in sales and also the satisfaction of the consumers. To consider this we must also look at a whole lot of other factors that regard the safety of our private information and also the safety of the product themselves; i.e loss of games or information and retrieval.

    To sum up everybody has already or is currently moving their products to online retailers and distributors and the most logical way of moving forward is embracing the reign of DD but also be considerate to the fact that "most" distributors are looking towards consumer satisfaction. This of course doesn't mean i will be getting rid of my physical games in lieu of my digital ones but i believe that in a generation that is advancing rapidly with technology in either IP or gaming hardware this is the most responsible way to keep gaming streamlined.

    Posted: July 12, 2011 5:08 PM
  • teac77

    Those of us with hoarding tendencies want to own the physical copy of the game. Having the whole game on a HDD without requiring an internet connection also works. The constant-internet-connection thing is not as appealing to me.

    I think EA is losing market share, and they're running out of ideas.

    Posted: July 12, 2011 4:37 PM
  • Dillon T

    mention best buy every so often. you know their gaming is becoming big

    Posted: July 12, 2011 4:34 PM
  • slimmer

    Between GFWL and Steam I refuse to install any other "download engine/manager" , I'm impressed that Adam talked about a PC only issue because Sony,Nintindo and M$ would never allow any other download service on their toys.
    I say let em go at it, Steam has been putting up tons of two dollar games so good luck to everyone else.

    Posted: July 12, 2011 4:09 PM
  • BoydofZINJ

    I have been a gamer since the 1980s. You want me to keep all the discs from the 80s until now? I lost games and re-bought a few. Some games are no longer playable (since they are so old that they are not even DISKS but 5.25" floppies {not even the 3.5"}). Let us think for a moment. Why would you want a PC game disc that you NEED to be online to play with. Most PC modern PC Games require internet access and require a 3rd party vendor (i.e. STEAM) active to play.

    I remember people putting thumbs down on games that require steam on principal. SOME PEOPLE STILL DO THAT! We live in a virtual world now. I have accepted this and dont care. However, when the plug falls I will not be able to play some of my old favorites anymore. Dragon Age, Fallout 4, Witcher, Dawn of War 2, and several MMOs are unplayable with no internet. Think about that.

    Posted: July 12, 2011 3:52 PM
  • xemnic273

    although digital downloads are on the rise, they arent for everyone. I'd rather have a hard copy of the game because if my computer crashes or console breaks, i'd have to repay for the media. (i had to do this with my music and oblivion DLCs when my hard drive got corrupted). also, in some cases (and i think this will increase as games become larger files), downloading takes longer then driving to a store and buying it. prime example, i downloaded oblivon GOTY edition off of steam and it took like 10 hours. and none of this is to mention a small detail in the buisness world: video game retailers! if all games go digital download, tons more people will lose jobs.

    Posted: July 12, 2011 3:47 PM
  • Ohsneezeme

    I don't want my cc info all over the internet, thats why I only go with Valve, plus I trust valve because they haven't screwed me over... yet (I'm just not willing to trust EA)

    Posted: July 12, 2011 3:38 PM
  • xMetalxHead

    forget EA, valve is known to be very very very nice to there costemers unlike EA, charging for an online pass that comes in the box, what about the people that rent games, that DONT want to pay $10 for a feature that comes free if you buy the game new.

    Posted: July 12, 2011 2:19 PM
  • Wozman23

    I'm one of the guys who is in no rush for DD to become the norm. I still prefer physical media of all forms. For it to be successful, and for me to even consider it, we do need a big 3rd party to step up to the plate.

    As much as I hate Apple and iTunes they are a juggernaut. Whether its a multiplatinum artist or a small unsigned band, I can get their music in one simple place. But even with them, you are forced to download Quicktime and encouraged to use Safari. They have their own agenda independent of just selling you music and their i[whatever their latest thing is called]. Updating iTunes becomes an inconvenience and annoys the crap out of me.

    With a independent third party, their main motive is to turn a profit, so you get rid of a lot of the politics that we are seeing with the current services. Only then will we be provided with a simplistic solution that offers much less of a bias.

    Posted: July 12, 2011 2:19 PM