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[Discussion] - Epic Games Store Vs Valve (Steam)

Started By:
aceman67, Wed 12 Jun, 2019 9:38 AM
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    #1
    It was just revealed that one of the most anticipated Kickstarter Games, Shenmue 3, is going to be a 1 year timed exclusive on Epic Games Store.

    This undoubtedly caused quite a kerfuffle, with claims of 'bait and switch' and 'false advertising', all of which when put under scrutiny prove to be unfounded.

    I went and checked the game's Kickstarter page via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine: https://web.archive.org/web/20150815...snet/shenmue-3

    I checked pages randomly from the 4 years that page has been active and never found any mention of what platform the PC version was going to be released on or any mention of exclusivity deals (or lack thereof).

    No Bait and Switch. No False Advertising. For either of those to occur, statements have to be made that say one thing, but the investor receives something else, or lies would have to be told. Ys Net and Deep Silver never once said that that the game was going to be released on steam (although in the Epic Game Store announcement, it was stated that there were internal plans to release it on Steam but they decided to go another way).

    Furthermore, people are treating Kickstarter like some kind of Pre-Order. It's not. It's an investment platform. Any time you invest in something, you accept the fact that you are risking your investment. You might not get what you paid for, or you could lose your investment entirely. Ignorance of that fact is not an excuse. The only exception to this is if any illegality has occurred. This isn't the case here, hell, Kickstarter's TOS hasn't even been violated.

    Moving on to the real topic of this discussion: Epic vs Valve.

    Quite frankly, I'm a little sick of people getting angry over this. Valve has done nothing to deserve the kind of dogged, tribalistic and dogmatic support that it's getting from its most ardent supporters. They allow games on their storefront that are absolute ♥♥♥♥, functionally broken or downright offensive (Mass Shooter Simulators and the like) with no moderation or curation of their catalogue.

    They routinely screw over indy developers by giving the most beneficial revenue split to the highest grossing games, which discourages indy developers by making it almost impossible to make money from their work.

    Enter Epic. Yes, their entrance onto the scene is controversial. Their backing from Tencent aside, Epic is the only platform that has actually threatened Valve in its defacto monopoly on the Digital Distribution Market, and exclusives are how they're doing it.

    Epic has even said that they would stop getting exclusives if Valve matches their revenue split, and Valve to date has refused to call their bluff.

    As for Epic supposedly 'stealing' user information, every time that comes up I never hear anyone mention that Valve was negligent by not securing it in the first place. The fact that user information was open for the taking was known for years and many sites even took advantage of it (SteamDB for example).

    People should realise that Game Developers and Publishers are not your friends. They're businesses. They exist to make money. You're not always going to like how they're doing it, but that's life.

    If you don't like it, vote with your wallet.

    Meanwhile, I'm going to continue to decide how to buy games the way that I always have: By answering this simple question; "Does it look fun?"

    What platform it's on doesn't factor into it.
    Aceman67
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    #2
    It'll pass. All this flak Epic are getting, it was exactly the same when Steam first appeared and became dominant.
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    #3
    I want to like the Epic Games Store, but they aren't selling to me in AUD yet, which makes me sad because AUD > USD is like .6 to .7 on the dollar, so I'd almost be paying double for anything there =(
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    #4
    I just hate exclusives.
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    #5
    I just hate exclusives.
    oh and this as well, this so much.

    even more so with the fact they're all "oh we're only doing it to stick it to Valve for taking so much from developers and to try and make them take less"
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    #6
    I vote with my wallet all the time. Still haven't bought The Division 2 mainly on principle alone.

    It's ok, though- because by the time it becomes available on Steam, it will be heavily discounted and maybe even have a GOTY edition/Season Pass included for a lot less than I could have bought it originally.

    The name of the game is patience... and I'm an extremely patient person with a lot of backlogged games already.

    I know what my purchasing power buys, and what it doesn't- and these days companies treat everyone like a generic number so it's really all you have.
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    #7
    I just hate exclusives.
    I agree with you, I don't want to have more than one launcher on my computer, but in the end, if I get to play the game I want to play, it's not that big of a deal to me.

    Epic has given Valve a way out of that, but they've failed to call them on it.
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    #8
    I agree with you, I don't want to have more than one launcher on my computer, but in the end, if I get to play the game I want to play, it's not that big of a deal to me.

    Epic has given Valve a way out of that, but they've failed to call them on it.
    I don't think Epic gave Valve a way out, Epic just wanted to be another Steam Killer™ and it's all very anti-consumer, the only people sticking up for the consumer are GOG, DRM free with optional launcher.
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    #9
    An excerpt from this article by Shamus Young:

    Back in March, Valve employees gave a talk at GDC where they revealed some details about the Steam infrastructure. Apparently Valve Software has a presence in 30 major cities around the world, and they have their own direct connections between these locations that are independent of the public internet. It’s like a backup internet running on top of the public net. This network handles content delivery and gameplay data. The advantage of this setup is that it insulates Steam users from internet congestion. The example the developers gave at the talk is the release of an episode of Game of Thrones, when millions of people all begin streaming HD video at the same time. Gamers might still experience delays due to local congestion thanks to lousy internet providers, but Valve’s backup internet gives everyone the best chance to enjoy speedy downloads and lag-free multiplayer games.

    Last year, the Valve network handled two exabytes of data. That exceeds the entire global internet traffic load of 2003. If some node of this network were to fail, or if someone were to attack it, the system is designed to seamlessly reroute Steam’s traffic over to the regular internet until the problem is resolved. Valve has built a network with a global presence, multiple layers of redundancy, and staggering throughput. This network is available and free to use for any game that releases on Steam, regardless of where that game was sold. This means that if you release a game on Steam and also on GoG, copies sold on GoG still can enjoy the multiplayer benefits of Valve’s content delivery system. This is pretty generous considering how easy it is to get a game on Steam these days. It means almost any starry-eyed developer has free access to this massive system for their game.
    Epic can go wee up a tree. Their selling point is nothing more than a questionable ideological argument, their platform lacks the features of their competitors, and they're trying to convince consumers to switch with one of the the worst things from consoles (exclusivity).

    If they took a 20% cut from devs and gave a perpetual discount of 10%, they'd have people switch anyway. Outside of the cult of Apple, customers are more loyal to their wallets than a brand. Instead we get a holier-than-thou ideological argument - that again is questionable economics - and we're supposed to support their business plan while they hold our games hostage for a few months.

    No thanks. Plus with the recent trends, it'll just be like an enforced "don't play this yet, wait for patches" period that I normally have difficulty overcoming for the most anticipated releases.
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    #10
    There is far more to steam than their revenue split. Valve offers developers access to their vast steamworks.

    You start seeing why Valve takes a 30% cut when you start taking into consideration the Steam store with all its features and servers all over the world. Maintaining Steam costs them a lot of money. Which will also cost Epic if they're really serious about competing with valve.

    Epic has even said that they would stop getting exclusives if Valve matches their revenue split, and Valve to date has refused to call their bluff.
    You state that "Game Developers and Publishers are not your friends.", but do you really take their words for it? Valve is actually calling their bluff by not doing anything. They know what Epic is doing is untenable. What is Epic going to do, spend millions upon millions for exclusive deals until the end of time? What if Fortnite dies out (No king rules forever), are they still going to do exclusive deals then? What Epic needs to do for real competition is actually be better than Steam. They need their own and better community features like customisable profiles, forums, review system, trading cards; their games library is also pretty lack luster.

    So far the only real competitor to steam is GoG. They're offering consumers a consumer friendly option, whilst still having community features that can be seen on steam.

    I do find it a bit humorous that you ended your OP with "If you don't like it, vote with your wallet." Yet you're the one who started the thread to rant about steam.
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    #11
    Ok, here I go.

    When I first because aware of Steam I was still in high school, probably about 2006-ish. I really hated the idea of having to be online to play games because our internet kept dropping out every evening. At that time, discs were more convenient for me, even though I had to type product keys it didn't seem like a hardship back then.

    One of my first games on Steam was Dawn of War 2 back around 2009 when I purchased it. I'd relented that I had to get it to play with my friends. The store was ok, it let me search for games and purchase them on my under-18's bank card. Joining friends was easy through if it a bit unreliable. The Steam servers would go down. But compared to things like Games for Windows Live, it was an improvement.

    Over the years Steam has got better. They've added reviews, more games, regular sales, refunds, forums, voice chat.... A lot of good features. I have over 1000 games on Steam now so I'm heavily invested in the platform.

    Along comes UPlay. Ubisoft force this even for games on Steam. This launcher was buggy as all hell at first, requiring regular re-installs, password resets, re-installation of games, and messages to support when games wouldn't activate from Steam on UPlay. So I boycotted it for years until it got better. Now it's got its own store and is much more stable.
    Origin was similar to UPlay and is still the buggiest of the lot from my experiences. I also have to maintain a separate friends list on each of these which can be a pain when someone has different usernames across them all.

    Now here's Epic Games' Store. This is lacking what I now consider to be basic features like the ability to search for games, and I know a couple of our members (as well as evidence-backed anecdotes on Reddit and other forums) have had hack attempts against their accounts. I would also be looking for a way to import my friends from Steam automatically and keep them linked & updated, but I doubt this will happen soon. Why should I care that developers/publishers get more money from my purchase, when the platform is a pain for me to use? I'm after convenience and I don't see the discount myself - I still pay full price.

    Maybe in a couple of years I'll take another look at Epic Games' Store. But for now, I'm patient enough to let it evolve and hopefully get enough features to actually compete on merit.
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    #12
    Epic can go wee up a tree. Their selling point is nothing more than a questionable ideological argument, their platform lacks the features of their competitors, and they're trying to convince consumers to switch with one of the the worst things from consoles (exclusivity).

    If they took a 20% cut from devs and gave a perpetual discount of 10%, they'd have people switch anyway. Outside of the cult of Apple, customers are more loyal to their wallets than a brand. Instead we get a holier-than-thou ideological argument - that again is questionable economics - and we're supposed to support their business plan while they hold our games hostage for a few months.

    No thanks. Plus with the recent trends, it'll just be like an enforced "don't play this yet, wait for patches" period that I normally have difficulty overcoming for the most anticipated releases.
    Do you know what lacked the features of Steam when it first launched? Steam; and it was a buggy hot mess when it launched. Most of the features that people tout didn't exist for the first 8 or 9 years of Steams existence and most of them are rarely used by the majority of players because they've been supplanted by better 3rd party Apps like Discord.

    I can't remember the last time I went onto the Steam Community forums for anything other than looking for a fix/workaround for a game bug. I haven't used Steam's chat system for over 2 years, and with one or two exceptions to play Civ with my brother, I haven't used Steam's matchmaking in over 3 years.

    Epic Games Store doesn't have the features that Steam has because it's not trying to be Steam (Although It should implement a Shopping Cart, that one's a head-scratcher). Epic knows that most people use Apps like Discord to communicate and newer games don't rely on Steams matchmaking anymore for multiplayer because not every game is released on Steam, so why implement features like that? They're not trying to compete with Steam on that level.

    I should also point out that using an article from The Escapist as an example/source isn't a good one. They used to be owned by the likes of ZeniMax Media and Defy Media (who ran it into the ground until it was relaunched last year). Throughout the years, their journalistic integrity was called into question, especially it's own contribution to the Gamersgate Controversy.

    When you see an Article praising a given game, but then see a disclaimer stating that one of the sites CEO's is a board member of that game's publishers while the entire website is plastered with full website ads for said game, you start to wonder about the sites Integrity.

    I only go to The Escapist to read Critical Miss webcomic, and what I've seen of its articles post-relaunch doesn't impress me as a lot of their articles are Click-baity as hell, like the one you took that quote from.
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    #13
    Personally, I think Origin is the best game store. Epic is a hot mess, and Steam just has too many games. Like, when am I going to play all these games? And it's way too stable. I need something that randomly crashes once in a while, just to give me a break.

    Noram
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  9. Special Forces Commander

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    #14
    I'm never going to use the Epic Game Store in current state. I've seen plenty of reports of the issues plaguing it, for example the lack of a shopping cart and people getting blocked/banned when they tried to buy a large number of games. Not to mention the lacklustre security of epic games, plenty of stories and evidence of people signing up for the store and falling victim to attempted hacking attempts.

    I'm very pro choice and I hate exclusives, I believe that platform shouldn't matter and the only thing that matters is "Do you enjoy x game?". Games should release on as many platforms as possible to give consumers choice, Epic have been engaging in very shady business practices and very anti-consumer practices by taking our right to choose where we play our games.

    Personally I'm waiting for GOG Galaxy 2.0 and Cyberpunk 2077.
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    #15
    Each platform has its own quirks, its own ups and downs. Keep in mind that everyone here will have a different view from you, so saying that something is outright wrong is a bit arrogant.

    Personally, I prefer using Steam for everything. I don't particularly like Origin or Epic for the simple matter of them lacking what it takes to be what they want to be.

    I would just suggest that, next time a thread like this is started, you should try and be a bit less toxic and bias and try being a bit more objective on the topic. It doesn't bode very well when you smear one thing and raise your own on a pedestal. We might have a better discussion then Smile