'Dangerous' for Steam to dominate digital PC market - Minecraft cre


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Muhammad Farrukh

Markus Persson praises Valve's digital distribution hub, but says only one major platform is "scary," and EA's Origin hub "does a couple things badly."

Valve's digital delivery hub Steam has 40 million users and is a juggernaut in the broadband PC gaming market. But there's reason to be wary of such dominance, according to Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson

Speaking to GameSpy, Persson explained that he is a supporter of Steam but finds the idea of one platform to be "scary."

"I think it's a bit dangerous to only have one digital distribution platform like Steam," he said. "I love Valve, but out of principle, I find the idea of one platform a bit scary."

Persson added that competing services like EA's Origin, as well as Desura and Impulse are good for the market.

Speaking directly about Origin--which now has 11 million registered users--Notch said he was surprised by the implementation of some of the portal's services.

"Origin does a couple things badly compared to Steam, which is impressive since they had eight years to study Steam," he said. "They should definitely have a chance to do their thing, but they might want to move away from titles that make people use it and show people why they should use it."

A recent report stated PC gaming surged in 2011, claiming the global market took in $18.6 billion last year and predicting a valuation of $25.5 billion by 2015.

Gamespot

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compl3x

Monopolies are rarely a good thing for consumers.

Competition stimulates innovation and competitive pricing, but I see a problem with Origin simply because, as Notch said, Origin forces you to use it because it has specific titles only available on it. That is using it out of necessity, not choice. Having consumer choice your platform over another is an important thing, it creates loyalty and trust. you might make some money in the sort term but long term users will abandon you.

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Miuku.

Steam has specific titles available only to it so that point is completely moot.

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compl3x

Steam has specific titles available only to it so that point is completely moot.

If Origin doesn't expand its library, and expanding it significantly, I can't see it surviving like Steam has. There is already significant criticisms of Origin. Certainly not the right foot to get off on.

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Miuku.

Origin will "survive" with nothing but EA titles in it. People will bitch and moan but still buy the games from there or at least from a brick and mortar store and then tie them into Origin when installing/updating.

It may never become the success that Steam has been but I doubt it will be going anywhere in the near future.

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Yusuf M.

I would have agreed with him entirely a couple of years ago, but Valve has done a lot of good things for PC gamers and developers. The recent Steam sales helped indie developers because Valve brought it to the attention of its customers. And it's not just indie developers. Other developers have done considerably better because of the Steam sales. For example, 80% of The Witcher 2's digital sales were made on Steam.

Origin has room for improvement but as MiukuMac mentioned, it won't die off. EA has exclusive titles that force customers to use Origin. Some gamers don't agree with that tactic but I imagine it would have a lot less users if that wasn't the case.

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Anthonyd

On the other hand, having many plateform just "dumb down" the services they provide.

For example, steamworks game has achivement. If a game is meant be released on both steam & Origin, then it's most likely that it won't provide achievement support for both plateform. (still there are few cases where it happens, but it's just a given example).

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fmanchu

Steam just has "je ne sais quoi". I don't know, it just works, it's easy and I like it. Almost like Nintendo for PC gaming.

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Vice

Although I think Notch is a complete idiot. I do have to agree with his views about Steam.

I love steam, I use it every day I enjoy the convenience of it and it works fantastic. But I agree having only one digital distribution system is bad for the market. Steam already has high prices often much much higher than physical retail copies and their monopoly allows them to do it. I also think they are unwilling to undercut other digital stores like Origin and Impulse. The holiday sales they do are great but they only last a little while.

My situation as a consumer is that I don't want to run multiple online game services. I don't want to install Origin, Steam, Impulse, Onlive etc I just want one service with all my games in it. I've chosen Steam, but I do agree there needs to be more competition.

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compl3x

Origin will "survive" with nothing but EA titles in it. People will bitch and moan but still buy the games from there or at least from a brick and mortar store and then tie them into Origin when installing/updating.

It may never become the success that Steam has been but I doubt it will be going anywhere in the near future.

The problem is Origin wants to match Steam's success by adding achievements, and auto patching etc. They've stated it themselves. If they don't even sort-of rival steam then all they've done is create an inconvenient piece of software for end users. Another thing you have to install when you buy a game in a brick and mortar store.

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+LostCat

The problem is Origin wants to match Steam's success by adding achievements, and auto patching etc. They've stated it themselves. If they don't even sort-of rival steam then all they've done is create an inconvenient piece of software for end users. Another thing you have to install when you buy a game in a brick and mortar store.

Steam has a very robust featureset, it'd be hard to one up it. I'm sure they'll be adding plenty more features as time goes on.

I have had plenty of trouble with downloading titles (on the new content delivery system) and cloud saves messing up on Steam...none of that so far on Origin. At this point if it wasn't for the lack of selection I'd prefer to use Origin.

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SierraSonic

The problem with origin is that it is not Steam, I do not want to split my games, and I am willing to not purchase them if they aren't on steam.

The only thing I want from developers is to keep their ad engines away from me, I see Valve is doing a great job at advertising other developers games fairly, and to put there games on every service so choice is an option. None of this exclusive crap, we don't need console/digitalservice wars on the PC!

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SongHyeonDeok

Although I think Notch is a complete idiot. I do have to agree with his views about Steam.

I love steam, I use it every day I enjoy the convenience of it and it works fantastic. But I agree having only one digital distribution system is bad for the market. Steam already has high prices often much much higher than physical retail copies and their monopoly allows them to do it. I also think they are unwilling to undercut other digital stores like Origin and Impulse. The holiday sales they do are great but they only last a little while.

My situation as a consumer is that I don't want to run multiple online game services. I don't want to install Origin, Steam, Impulse, Onlive etc I just want one service with all my games in it. I've chosen Steam, but I do agree there needs to be more competition.

How can there be more competition if you're not willing to use other digial distribution providers?

I just want one service with all my games in it.

So really you can't complain when a monopoly takes place, as your actions caused to create it.

There needs to be more competition?

You can't have your cake and eat it.

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Vice

How can there be more competition if you're not willing to use other digial distribution providers?

I just want one service with all my games in it.

So really you can't complain when a monopoly takes place, as your actions caused to create it.

There needs to be more competition?

You can't have your cake and eat it.

Ya there needs to be more competition. There are other consumers apart from just me ya know. I always shop at the same super market but it is their competitors that drive them to keep low prices.

And if you haven't noticed the competitors to Steam aren't any cheaper. If they were I'd switch.

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SierraSonic

How can there be more competition if you're not willing to use other digial distribution providers?

I just want one service with all my games in it.

So really you can't complain when a monopoly takes place, as your actions caused to create it.

There needs to be more competition?

You can't have your cake and eat it.

The problem is exclusives, people should be able to choose what platform they get their games from, not be forced to install one from every developer.
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SongHyeonDeok

Ya there needs to be more competition. There are other consumers apart from just me ya know. I always shop at the same super market but it is their competitors that drive them to keep low prices.

And if you haven't noticed the competitors to Steam aren't any cheaper. If they were I'd switch.

How can a service like Origin force Steam to be competitive when people like you aren't willing to throw some money their way.

Maybe if more people were to open up and buy from mulitple providers, we'd see a sort of competition, but at the moment, there's no way Origin can force Steam to do anything because to many people share the same view as you.

Plus I don't really see how you can compare the wholesale supermarket competiton which has a number of massive players, to the digital distribution world which is dominated really only by Steam.

The problem is exclusives, people should be able to choose what platform they get their games from, not be forced to install one from every developer.

The whole point of EA pulling exculsives from Steam was because they saw just how big Steam were acutally becoming, and this was their shot of trying to enter a market dominated solely by one giant.

I'd rather have four or five clients installed and live in a competitive environment, than have one installed and watch them charge unfair prices.

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SierraSonic

How can a service like Origin force Steam to be competitive when people like you aren't willing to throw some money their way.

Maybe if more people were to open up and buy from mulitple providers, we'd see a sort of competition, but at the moment, there's no way Origin can force Steam to do anything because to many people share the same view as you.

Plus I don't really see how you can compare the wholesale supermarket competiton which has a number of massive players, to the digital distribution world which is dominated really only by Steam.

The whole point of EA pulling exculsives from Steam was because they saw just how big Steam were acutally becoming, and this was their shot of trying to enter a market dominated solely by one giant.

I'd rather have four or five clients installed and live in a competitive environment, than have one installed and watch them charge unfair prices.

Steam has lowered the amount I pay for games considerably, in fact the changed my pirating habits to near zero.

I'm saying that having exclusives hurts everyone, if anything I wish all games came with a mini client (such as the way gfwl works) that way they can be distributed through whatever client the CUSTOMER chooses to buy from.

All ea did by pulling their games from Steam, is lose me as a customer for one(already not buying bf3 after was willing to pay full pre-order price), and losing many others customer which may or may not pirate their games.

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MightyJordan

I remember reading this yesterday on Eurogamer. This quote really stood out for me:

I find the idea of one platform a bit scary.

Sounds like he didn't do any research, because there was more than one platform before Origin came along. You've also got Games for Windows Live, Desura, Green Man Gaming (they do sell some games that are redeemed on Steam, but they also sell a lot of games that you download directly from them), Direct2Drive, Gamersgate, GOG, DotEmu, and that's just off the top of my head; there's probably loads more out there.

So yeah, there's no need to worry about ending up with just one platform. The only concern is games exclusive to one platform, like EA's new games being exclusive to Origin, or certain games being exclusive to Steam or Desura, etc.

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shakey

Usually, Monopolies are horrible, because most people with power like that, tend to abuse it. With Valve... Gabe has shown to be a pretty class act character. If anyone could have a monopoly and treat the customers fair, it's Valve.

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SongHyeonDeok
Steam has lowered the amount I pay for games considerably, in fact the changed my pirating habits to near zero. I'm saying that having exclusives hurts everyone, if anything I wish all games came with a mini client (such as the way gfwl works) that way they can be distributed through whatever client the CUSTOMER chooses to buy from. All ea did by pulling their games from Steam, is lose me as a customer for one(already not buying bf3 after was willing to pay full pre-order price), and losing many others customer which may or may not pirate their games.

Don't you see why Origin needs its exclusives, because otherwise people would proceed to blindly purchase from Steam, not giving two ***** about whether or not a monopoly was occurring.

And with your mini-client idea, without exclusives, again people would only continue to choose Steam, there's no reason for them to pick a competitor.

If what EA did caused you to never purchase from their platform, then you don't really get their point-of-view at all. To be honest it sounds like you were never going to purchase from Origin even if they made BF3 available on Steam.

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MightyJordan

Usually, Monopolies are horrible, because most people with power like that, tend to abuse it. With Valve... Gabe has shown to be a pretty class act character. If anyone could have a monopoly and treat the customers fair, it's Valve.

Well-said. (Y) They definitely do digital distribution the right way with all their deals. Hell, looking at today's deal, I'd say they're being too generous...

post-151617-0-58931500-1332007428.png

:rofl:

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Vice

How can a service like Origin force Steam to be competitive when people like you aren't willing to throw some money their way.

Maybe if more people were to open up and buy from mulitple providers, we'd see a sort of competition, but at the moment, there's no way Origin can force Steam to do anything because to many people share the same view as you.

Plus I don't really see how you can compare the wholesale supermarket competiton which has a number of massive players, to the digital distribution world which is dominated really only by Steam.

The whole point of EA pulling exculsives from Steam was because they saw just how big Steam were acutally becoming, and this was their shot of trying to enter a market dominated solely by one giant.

I'd rather have four or five clients installed and live in a competitive environment, than have one installed and watch them charge unfair prices.

Origin sucks, the games are more expensive. I had one choice to buy BF3 online: Origin. Price? ?39.99 Where did I buy it from? Tesco Direct for ?28.50 - I buy from wherever is cheapest if Origin isn't cheaper I'm not going to buy from them. And Origin doesn't need me to use it to be more competitive it's created by the biggest games company in the world: EA. They have more than enough money to sell games cheaper than steam. Hell they publish most games they'd just be negotiating with themselves!

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MightyJordan

Where did I buy it from? Tesco Direct for ?28.50

I just looked on Cheap Arse Gamer for the current lowest price, and surprisingly, it's ?27.85 at ShopTo, so it's barely dropped (although looking at the graph, it was ?24.99 for a little while last month). Even more surprising is that it's currently on sale in Origin for ?19.99. :o

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SongHyeonDeok

Origin sucks, the games are more expensive. I had one choice to buy BF3 online: Origin. Price? ?39.99 Where did I buy it from? Tesco Direct for ?28.50 - I buy from wherever is cheapest if Origin isn't cheaper I'm not going to buy from them. And Origin doesn't need me to use it to be more competitive it's created by the biggest games company in the world: EA. They have more than enough money to sell games cheaper than steam. Hell they publish most games they'd just be negotiating with themselves!

Okay but we're talking about digital distribution here, not supermarkets. Nearly every game I've ever purchased has been cheaper on the high-street.

I'm sure you're also well aware of our economic climate, and believe it or, even companies like EA can struggle to compete. Why would they bother lowing their prices when they don't really have anywhere near the loyal fanbase Steam has.

You could argue that if they did lower their prices they'd gain a loyal fanbase, but I don't think that'd be true. They want people who are willing to invest in their service so then when they have a nice fanbase, they can give back as a thanks. But at the moment, the market just doesn't allow for it.

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Vice

Okay but we're talking about digital distribution here, not supermarkets. Nearly every game I've ever purchased has been cheaper on the high-street.

I'm sure you're also well aware of our economic climate, and believe it or, even companies like EA can struggle to compete. Why would they bother lowing their prices when they don't really have anywhere near the loyal fanbase Steam has.

You could argue that if they did lower their prices they'd gain a loyal fanbase, but I don't think that'd be true. They want people who are willing to invest in their service so then when they have a nice fanbase, they can give back as a thanks. But at the moment, the market just doesn't allow for it.

The market would allow for it if they lowered the prices. At the moment the only game I open origin to play is BF3. If origins prices were better for some other games I'd buy them on there. I have bought a few games in the past 6 months and I compared prices between Steam and Origin, Steam was always either the same price or cheaper. The only reason I'd ever buy a game on Origin is that it would be the cheapest option.

And I think it is a bit silly not to compare high street prices because I often buy games in the high street over steam but I still add them in to steam either via serial code if it supports steamworks or by adding it as a 3rd party app which is another feature Steam offers. I will always buy whatever service has it cheapest regardless of the service it is being offered from.

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