Everspace 2

Pedro

Admiral
The only practice you've mentioned that is "agressive" is having exclusive content, and exclusive products is the definition of competition between stores.

Putting your objections to that fundamental of practices to one side your argument only makes sense if it makes the product unappealing at the price.
If that’s the case then fair enough, it doesn’t sound that way though.
 
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L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
Putting your objections to that fundamental of practices to one side your argument only makes sense if it makes the product nonviable or unappealing for the price. Tell me with a straight face that this is true here, that those advantages of both steam and gog (as you have no issue buying from a store not in direct competition with steam) would hinder your enjoyment of RGO and I'll concede the point.
Otherwise accept that this is not normal consumerism and has more in common with console allegiance and we can all move on.
Considering that we've already been through the false narrative of console allegiance since, as you acknowledge, I've got no issue with going to GOG as well as Steam, this is a non-argument on your part. The point is, I disagree with the practices of Epic and I act consistently with that opinion.

You might disagree, try to shoehorn me into a console tribalism mindset, but the fact of the matter remains that you seem to refuse to consider that customers do have a voice in the process. Sure, you as a dev' might make a few more bucks for a sale on EGS, but in the end, that's not the motivation for people to buy or not the game. You might choose to pretend this isn't the case, but that won't get you more sales. Nor would claiming that 'less is more' and that the skeletal service offered to gamers by EGS is somehow better than the comprehensive and effective one that comes with other stores.

The problem isn't you, or non-Steam. It's Epic. They won't get my money as long as they pull these exclusivity tactics. Free market FTW.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
The problem isn't you, or non-Steam. It's Epic. They won't get my money as long as they pull these exclusivity tactics. Free market FTW.
Look, I get the irritation. But you need to admit - at least to yourself - it's a purely emotional reaction without any logic behind it. You have no objection to Steam - and yet, this was exactly how Steam was able to capture a large market share, by exclusivity. Surely, you still remember the end of the last decade, when people were saying the exact same thing about Steam as you are saying now. In fact, it was worse then, because Steam was also the first such service to require an application to be installed. Remember how people used to call Steam malware?

My first Steam game was Skyrim. I bought the game boxed. I installed it… and then it tells me Steam is required. Was I irritated by Valve's "exclusivity tactics"? Yes, I was. I even searched, unsuccessfully, for a decent no-Steam hack. But objectively, installing Steam did not harm me in any way. If it was an inconvenience, it certainly wasn't a big one.

Today, my major concern about Steam actually mirrors your arguments about the free market. Steam became such a strong platform, at one point it was practically a monopoly. Their choke-hold on the market was broken a little bit by GOG, a little bit more by Origin, and now Epic is trying to open things up even further. They're doing so using about the only tactic available to upstart underdogs in the publishing market - by paying lots of money for temporary exclusive rights.

Is this an inconvenience? Maybe not a big one, but sure, it is (particularly since Epic's store interface and launcher client is utter, utter crap!). And sure, it feels nasty. But free market FTW? This *is* the free market in action. Some developers will work with Epic. Others will stick with Steam. All will benefit, because Steam will be forced to adjust their terms to stop them going to Epic. In a few years, you'll wonder what the big deal was.
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
Look, I get the irritation. But you need to admit - at least to yourself - it's a purely emotional reaction without any logic behind it. You have no objection to Steam - and yet, this was exactly how Steam was able to capture a large market share, by exclusivity. Surely, you still remember the end of the last decade, when people were saying the exact same thing about Steam as you are saying now. In fact, it was worse then, because Steam was also the first such service to require an application to be installed. Remember how people used to call Steam malware?

My first Steam game was Skyrim. I bought the game boxed. I installed it… and then it tells me Steam is required. Was I irritated by Valve's "exclusivity tactics"? Yes, I was. I even searched, unsuccessfully, for a decent no-Steam hack. But objectively, installing Steam did not harm me in any way. If it was an inconvenience, it certainly wasn't a big one.

Today, my major concern about Steam actually mirrors your arguments about the free market. Steam became such a strong platform, at one point it was practically a monopoly. Their choke-hold on the market was broken a little bit by GOG, a little bit more by Origin, and now Epic is trying to open things up even further. They're doing so using about the only tactic available to upstart underdogs in the publishing market - by paying lots of money for temporary exclusive rights.

Is this an inconvenience? Maybe not a big one, but sure, it is (particularly since Epic's store interface and launcher client is utter, utter crap!). And sure, it feels nasty. But free market FTW? This *is* the free market in action. Some developers will work with Epic. Others will stick with Steam. All will benefit, because Steam will be forced to adjust their terms to stop them going to Epic. In a few years, you'll wonder what the big deal was.
If you consider arbitrarly blocking all alternatives to be 'the free market', then I suppose I'll just have to file this line of reasoning in the same place as 'less service is better' and 'Steam doesn't do much work to provide its service'. I understand that you're protecting your paycheck, but don't ask me to back aggressive and predatory practices as being the normal thing. Or to rewrite history, since one of the main appeals of Steam was their capacity to provide a DRM solution that satisfied both sides of the equation. I still remember the dark days of Starforce, and the nightmare it caused for players. With Steam, there was a reliable DRM system - not perfect, no DRM is, but good enough to convince producers that piracy wouldn't harm them too much - that didn't nuke the players' computers; quite a different story than the tale of aggressive exclusive poaching, right?

Steam got where it is by offering a better service. Epic doesn't. But I'll be glad to buy your game as soon as it gets released on GOG. I'll support you, not Epic. :)
 

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
Part of the free market is the ability to have exclusive rights to something. You find that in every corner of the free market when you go shopping, be it digital or analoge goods. Thats why you won't find everything in every shop.
Not every drugstore has every product, not every supermarket has every product. That is the reality of the free market.
A company makes a contract or several with reseller(s) and some are exclusive some are more open and others don't care.

Beside that I agree with Quarto, Steam wasn't allways what it is today. It had also a pretty bad start and it also came with its own problems. That is something people seam to forget.

Does that make Epics launcher a good one? No. Its service, interface, etc are bad. Seriously with the amount of money they have one should aspect a full realised launcher from the start.

The problem that I see here, for me at least, is that some companies broke the trust of their costumers by offering a product in one place then switching to another. While that is totaly legal and understandable from a companies view, breaking the trust of your costumers is never, ever a good thing to do. I wouldn't had a problem with games that said stright from the beginning we go Epic exclusive. I remember a time where I went from store to store in search of games because they where not sold in every store.

Long story short, Steam wasn't allways good, Epics methodes and launcher could have been done better but when in the end the result is that there comes some motion and development back into the market then I am for it.
Steam finaly got back to rework its libary, GOG is working on GOG 2.0, Epic is constantly upgrading its launcher, EA is selling on Steam again, the share for Devs starts to change.....

I would say lets see where this ride goes.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
If you consider arbitrarly blocking all alternatives to be 'the free market', then I suppose I'll just have to file this line of reasoning in the same place as 'less service is better' and 'Steam doesn't do much work to provide its service'. I understand that you're protecting your paycheck, but don't ask me to back aggressive and predatory practices as being the normal thing. Or to rewrite history, since one of the main appeals of Steam was their capacity to provide a DRM solution that satisfied both sides of the equation. I still remember the dark days of Starforce, and the nightmare it caused for players. With Steam, there was a reliable DRM system - not perfect, no DRM is, but good enough to convince producers that piracy wouldn't harm them too much - that didn't nuke the players' computers; quite a different story than the tale of aggressive exclusive poaching, right?

Steam got where it is by offering a better service. Epic doesn't. But I'll be glad to buy your game as soon as it gets released on GOG. I'll support you, not Epic. :)
Welp, it's a funny thing you assume my game is being sold on Epic, since I never said no such thing :). Oddly enough, it's actually true - the game I've most recently been working on, Bee Simulator, is indeed one of the titles that "sold out" to Epic. As an external consultant on the project, I must say I've no idea what the terms were, and frankly I'm a bit sceptical as to the outcome. It seems a dangerous thing to do with a children's game, because parents and kids are going to be the very last group to transition to Epic. But... well, it's not my decision, I assume they know what they're doing.

All that being said, I'm neither trying to protect my paycheck, nor am I trying to rewrite history. I'm absolutely not discounting Steam's innovation and value, nor am I trying to conceal the fact that... well, Epic is offering no innovation whatsoever. Heck, I'm willing to admit (in fact, I believe I already did in the previous post :) ) that Epic's store is a step backwards in many ways. Its social connectivity is almost non-existent (screenshot posting? Forum discussions? Anything?), its storefront is barely-categorised list of games (like, seriously - don't they get what people's #1 complaint about finding games on Steam is these days?), and its library doesn't even allow me to sort games into groups.

Nonetheless, fact remains that whatever innovation Steam offered (particularly vis-a-vis those old copy protection systems), the system was met with distrust. That's a historical fact, you could even dig through older discussions at this forum to find people talking about Steam being "pure evil" and all that. And the fact remains also that Epic is doing what newcomers do entering a market - trying to acquire market share any way they can. Yes, I'd rather see Epic come flying in with an amazing, infinitely superior service to what Steam is offering (and really, it wouldn't be hard). But bribing developers with hush money is just as typical of the free market as offering better services is. I'm certainly not saying you should approve of their tactics. I sure don't. I'm also not saying you should buy games there. I so far haven't. I'm simply saying your rhetoric about this somehow being against the free market is… you know, completely irrational :).
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
It seems a dangerous thing to do with a children's game, because parents and kids are going to be the very last group to transition to Epic. But... well, it's not my decision, I assume they know what they're doing.
I think this is the rare case where the opposite is true; they captured the kids first by building it on top of the very young Fortnite audience that doesn't care at all about Steam (which is probably where some of the anger from 'gamers' comes from... the next generation that's driving Epic's success doesn't care about the digital storefront Half Life 2 made them adopt before they were born.)
 

Pedro

Admiral
Considering that we've already been through the false narrative of console allegiance since, as you acknowledge, I've got no issue with going to GOG as well as Steam, this is a non-argument on your part. The point is, I disagree with the practices of Epic and I act consistently with that opinion.

The problem isn't you, or non-Steam. It's Epic. They won't get my money as long as they pull these exclusivity tactics. Free market FTW.
You're saying free market ftw whilst taking an active stand against any attempt to create a free market. Any developer that dares back an alternative to your one ruling monopoly and you will shun them for it. All stores compete on products, not restroom facilities; and one of the things that allows stores to get exclusive products (be it better quality food, a specific designer label, etc) is offering to pay the developers more than the competition.
Whilst the choice of store can make a huge difference to developers it makes zero difference to consumers. Once you get your t-shirts home it doesn’t matter where you bought them.

GoG isn't in competition with steam (and it also lacks many of the features you claim are the reason why you use steam). It's old, classic games - a smattering of new titles but it's primary mission is DOS box titles. If you'd have said origin for example that would have been evidence that you were open to completion.

And you can argue, with a developer about whether steam does enough to justify 30% of sales. You can ridicule the claim they don’t do enough to justify that kind of cut; but it remains an absurd standpoint. They don’t, if you think they do you massively underestimate how much money that is, how much other work goes into making games and overestimate to an extreme degree the work they do per title.
 
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Quarto

Unknown Enemy
You're saying free market ftw whilst taking an active stand against any attempt to create a free market. Any developer that dares back an alternative to your one ruling monopoly and you will shun them for it. All stores compete on products, not restroom facilities; and one of the things that allows stores to get exclusive products (be it better quality food, a specific designer label, etc) is offering to pay the developers more than the competition.
Whilst the choice of store can make a huge difference to developers it makes zero difference to consumers. Once you get your t-shirts home it doesn’t matter where you bought them.
To be fair, I *think* L.I.F.'s view is that the Epic Store isn't providing a good alternative, and making up for it in strong-arm tactics. While I agree with you that Epic is simply exercising their right to compete in the free market any way they can, and while I also don't think that exclusives are strong-arm tactics at all, I also agree with L.I.F. that the Epic Store is a lousy alternative, for all the reasons I've listed. I do think consumers are justified in their negative reaction to the Epic Store, because it's lousy compared to Steam - and there's no justification for it. I do agree with L.I.F. that Epic should have made the effort to actually compete against Steam's feature set, rather than simply using money to effectively bribe developers to transition to an inferior service.
 

Pedro

Admiral
To be fair, I *think* L.I.F.'s view is that the Epic Store isn't providing a good alternative, and making up for it in strong-arm tactics. While I agree with you that Epic is simply exercising their right to compete in the free market any way they can, and while I also don't think that exclusives are strong-arm tactics at all, I also agree with L.I.F. that the Epic Store is a lousy alternative, for all the reasons I've listed. I do think consumers are justified in their negative reaction to the Epic Store, because it's lousy compared to Steam - and there's no justification for it. I do agree with L.I.F. that Epic should have made the effort to actually compete against Steam's feature set, rather than simply using money to effectively bribe developers to transition to an inferior service.
Again, I don't get this. It's a store, not a service. Once you hit purchase the experience is identical.
But even if it was true the result should be that they lose out on sales of non-exclusives; that's a free market. They won't be making much money on their exclusive titles. If you are right then they should be attracting people with their exclusives and then never making a dime on a game they haven't invested in; they'd soon go out of bushiness if they didn't improve their store.

Personally I far prefer the epic store; it's more attractive - less noise and a lot of games I am interested in, no review bombing etc but that isn't a line of the argument I wish to go down. Each to their own. If people want to choose steam over epic when a product is on both then good for them - that is competition at work.
 
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