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Steam Should Be a Seperate Company?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the accepting-applications-via-pneumatic-tube dept.

Businesses 73

simoniker writes "As part of a larger in-depth interview over at Gamasutra, 3D Realms' Scott Miller has called for Valve's Steam digital distribution service to spin off as a separate company, suggesting: 'I would rather there emerge a leader in the market that isn't associated with a game company.' He further adds: 'I'm not a big fan of using Steam, because I'm not a fan of a strong competitor of ours having access to our download stats and revenue totals. I'd rather keep that private. Not only that, but we're lining their pockets as well.'"

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73 comments

Well... (2, Funny)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038096)

the solution is simple: release Duke Nukem Forever with its own game download service!

Re:Well... (2, Funny)

rwven (663186) | more than 7 years ago | (#17040174)

Well, the first step in that process would be to release Duke Nukem Forever. :-P

Also, with as delayed as it's been, is it really wise to start building a distribution architecture this late in the game?

And....do we really want another steam? Yeah it works fine now but does anyone remember the hades that people had with it in its early days?

Then he should fund a startup (2, Insightful)

jfclavette (961511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038112)

What is this guy arguing for ? "Our competitors offer a service we don't. We could 'license it', but then they profit from it." Well, duh.

Re:Then he should fund a startup (2, Insightful)

notthe9 (800486) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038378)

From the summary, it seems the argument made is not about Valve getting their money, but rather Valve getting their information.

Re:Then he should fund a startup (4, Interesting)

Nos. (179609) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038492)

While that's true, he does make a valid point. If Steam doesn't separate from Valve, they may not see as many publishing opportunities. If users like the distribution method (and I think most do ... I certainly do), then there is a need for it. As he said, other startups are working on similar products, Steam could become the loser in all of this, if an independent, but similar product is available from a third party, instead of a competitor.

Re:Then he should fund a startup (1)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 7 years ago | (#17039388)

Steam could become the loser in all of this, if an independent, but similar product is available from a third party, instead of a competitor.

I'm not sure that's really a problem, though, except maybe for Valve. Steam going independent might make Steam win, but competition in the market would mean that I would win.

Which company creates the best product is irrelevant -- I've had good experiences with Steam, but if someone else can produce something better, something that encourages more innovation from independent developers while also providing better service for players, then I want that someone else to succeed. I don't want Steam to become a de-facto monopoly that no startup can challenge.

Re:Then he should fund a startup (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 7 years ago | (#17039724)

That's exactly my point. If Steam wants to succeed, sticking with Valve is probably the wrong thing to do. However, since Valve currently owns Steam, the question is, what does Valve want to do. If they really want Steam to succeed, it should be split off. It may continue to succeed anyways, but I think this is unlikely in the long run.

Re:Then he should fund a startup (2, Interesting)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038570)

I remember there also being a online distribution system that had the possibility of buying Prey online (I think it was even offered at closing of the demo of Prey), with a service which name eludes me now: Since the name was new, I wouldn't be too surprised if 3DRealms had their own system set up, failed miserably, and are now a bit sour about it.

I agree that lining the pockets of your competitor isn't the smartest thing to do, but nor is -not- being able to properly distribute your content online.

There are a lot of independent developers that don't give a rat's ass at this stage as Steam offers them an excellent platform, and why wouldn't you want to reward the company who is doing it succesfully ?

And if Steam actually becomes 'another' company: Why wouldn't its success -not- be beneficial for Valve too? It's not as if it isn't allowed to throw money in between companies.

Re:Then he should fund a startup (1)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038978)

I remember there also being a online distribution system that had the possibility of buying Prey online (I think it was even offered at closing of the demo of Prey), with a service which name eludes me now:

Yep - it was called Triton, and it recently went belly-up in a spectacular manner [steamreview.org].

Re:Then he should fund a startup (1)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 7 years ago | (#17039702)

Ahyes, thanks for that: Doesn't seems so strange now I couldn't find any reference to it anymore on any of the developer's sites :)

And then to think I considered to buy it through Triton as Steam really did a topnotch job (imo), and I was curious if any of the competitors were able to match/beat it... I am now taking a little time to hug my hardcopy if you don't mind ;-)

From the article it seems that 3DRealms didn't have any direct stakes in it (the company responsible for Triton), so my assertion of that was wrong: Still I think my 'being sour' is quite on the spot: They obviously picked the wrong company and with the exposure of Steam they would have gotten a lot more sold games, one fact I am sure of.

Off topic: Are you still working on Minerva at the moment, or any new projects you're working on?

Re:Then he should fund a startup (1)

Rifter13 (773076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17040958)

One cool part about digital copies, is that you don't have to have the CD, to play. THAT is amazingly convienent. :) Though, Stardock has something similiar, as well.

Re:Then he should fund a startup (1)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17040212)

I'm still not entirely convinced that Valve is their competitor. These are games. A business might decide they only need one accounting software package, that they will only use one office suite, or that a single OS will be supported. There are lots of applications that you would only want one of. Games don't follow that model (for the most part) because they are entertainment.

I didn't consider Spider-Man, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings competition. I considered them all to be entertaining movies. I don't consider the Beatles and the Beach Boys to be competition. They both created good music to listen to. Just like I don't consider Doom 3 and Half-Life 2 to be competitors. They are both fun games and I play both.

Now if they aren't making fun games and nobody wants to play it then that's their own fault. So I suppose in a way they do have to be at least as fun as the next game in order to compete, but that's their own darn fault if they can't do that, and having Steam be separate from Valve isn't going to amount to a hill of beans if that is their problem.

Re:Then he should fund a startup (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 7 years ago | (#17046574)

Hmm I can afford a video game, which one shall I buy

Doom 2 looks good, hmm but so does HL2

competition, see?

sepArate (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17038132)

SepArate not sepErate, numbnuts!

QQ More n00b. (1)

Rockinsockindune (956375) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038188)

Really, if you don't like it, provide your own solution.

Re:QQ More n00b. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17038328)

QQ? What the fuck is that supposed to mean? I'm guessing it's another one of those pre-pubescent, emo-fag, counter-strike acronyms because today's teenage generation isn't capable of typing properly.

Re:QQ More n00b. (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17039156)

Actually it means "cry more, nub"

See it? Look at the two q's, see the lines?

Those are tears.

They did provide their own (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17040308)

It was called triton. It died. RIP

In other news 3Dreals has just announce their own next gen solution called Screwed Forever.

Would it really matter? (1, Insightful)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038192)

Even if Steam is spun-off, which is just a rubber stamp matter, it's still going to be run by the same people at Valve. Valve would be crazy to sell off Steam at such an early stage just to appease other development companies.

Re:Would it really matter? (1)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | more than 7 years ago | (#17039448)

I don't really care if steam is spun off. All I want is a comprehensive download service that will let me legally obtain any game I want. Granted I'm being unreasonable, but why shouldn't I dream?

Re:Would it really matter? (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17049754)

Steam would benefit from being spun off, because companies like 3D Realms, that want a download solution, but don't want Valve execs having that data, would pay Steam money to use it.

Valve being paid money because they own a share of Steam is one concern, but it's the data he really sounds worried about.

Re:Would it really matter? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17050124)

I don't think 3d Realms would care if Steam was a wholly owned subsidiary of Valve as long as they didn't freely exchange more data with Valve than they do with other companies offering games on the service so Valve cannot see the stats for e.g. Prey's downloads or the feedback from a feedback system they might use in a future game (like Valve did with HL2Ep1).

Seems like an exercise in stupid (1)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038244)

What would be the point? I am sure Valve would stay as the primary holder of this new company, so while you wouldn't be writing a check to Valve at the end of the month, they will still be getting all your money.

Re:Seems like an exercise in stupid (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17038792)

But control would be separate, so the spin off would do things in its own interest and not valves(else law suits would ensue).

Re:Seems like an exercise in stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17039120)

Since Valve would own the spin-off, who would be suing them? Valve is not a public company, and a Steam spin-off would be private as well. The owners of both would probably be the same people, unless some of the investors in Valve were interested in selling off their percentages in the Steam service. That doesn't seem especially likely. If the investors in Valve didn't think that spinning Steam off would result in a greater return for them (which I'm sure they don't) they would never agree to it in the first place.

Re:Seems like an exercise in stupid (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17050174)

Since Valve would own the spin-off, who would be suing them?

Other companies who offer games through Steam and would prefer if Steam was impartial towards the games offered on the service and Valve couldn't make Steam e.g. degrade the connection speeds for a rival game in order to promote their own games.

Re:Seems like an exercise in stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17039602)

Since when does anyone pay a check to Valve for Steam? Last time I checked, Steam was free. What are you all _talking_ about...? Were you expecting CS:S to be free?

It could be better.. (4, Insightful)

technos (73414) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038260)

Think about it.. As the gentleman said, the reason they don't use Steam is that it is run by a competitor. Lots of other companies probably feel the same way.

By spinning Steam, Valve opens up the revenue stream that is their competition. The new company can be a lot more profitable that way. If more companies jump on Steam, it could easily go from 'a leader in digital distribution' in marketing literature to 'Hunh? You don't have Steam? Noob, what the hell is wrong with you?' to the public.

Re:It could be better.. (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038460)

Problem is, this would seem to be contrary to Valve's methodology. Opening it up means probably bringing on many new clients, with who knows what attached.

The way Steam is now, it does exactly what Valve wants it to do and no one else is breathing down their neck. Valve seems to be pretty self contained, make their own schedules, and release a product when it's done (as evident by the requisite one year delay for every release...). I doubt they'd want to be involved with anyone that would compromise their freedom.

Sometimes companies don't put profits first, but once they do there's no going back.

Re:It could be better.. (1)

mconeone (765767) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038760)

Unless someone wants to buy steam for a insane boatload of cash, it doesn't seem reasonable that Valve should sell steam.

First, spinning Steam onto a subsidiary isn't going to garner any more cash from other developers/distributors. The money still ends up in the same pockets, and Valve's games would still get preferential treatment.

Second, if they sold Steam they would probably have to pay the costs their clients are paying to have their games on it.

Third, if they sold Steam and it gains popularity by bringing on more games, Valve's games take up a smaller share of the library and be a smaller piece of the pie. They would lose that preferential treatment. If they don't get enough customers by creating HL2, the best FPS ever, the additional revenue they will garner will be marginal.

Re:It could be better.. (3, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 7 years ago | (#17041794)

I don't think you get it. If they sold or spun off Steam, they wouldn't get preferential treatment because they no longer would own it. Steam/Valve is already going the extra mile to attract new biz, as it seems they are more interested in becoming a gaming platform that just selling their own games. (PopCap games for instance)

Second, yes they would pay the same costs as others to be on Steam, which is still much less than printing up boxes and disks. It allows them to create lower volume games, and take more risks. Your first and second reasons also contridict each other.

Your third point contradicts your first point and misses the point. If they spun off Steam, then Valve itself could focus on nothing but the games, would be 1/3rd the size, and would still be profitable. Of course you are cutting the profits in half, you are dividing the company in half. But the end result could be more profit for Steam because it would no longer be limited to just Valve games.

The main point you are missing is that Steam would become the defacto standard for distribution, something they would have earned. (hell, I would buy stock if they went public) Most of the games I have purchased over the last two years have been on Steam because I like the platform, the ease of install and maintenance, the PRICE, and their version of "DRM" is not draconian. Yes, you can pirate it, but not multiplayer, and I have no issue with them making money. Making money means more good games and Steam makes it easier (and cheaper) to do so.

I can play on multiple computers, just not at the same time (similar to a "book license".) I no longer have to go to GamePlanet to get updates (holy shit, I always hated that). Cheating is minimized, I can play demos, download trailers, etc. all from a single interface. The only ads are for other Steam products, which I am actually interested in.

Steam works because it isn't a monthly fee and you get a lot for your money. It isn't perfect, but it is reasonable, works 99% of the time, is easy to use and has good games. Now, if they fuck it up and start making the rules hard to get along with, or their service gets bad or the games suck, then someone else will come up with something different. Until then, I am pretty happy as a customer and don't mind the small compromises.

Re:It could be better.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17038880)

Valve accomplishes nothing by spinning off a different business, because they are still the competitors. Valve would still own Steam, even if it operated independently. It's not like they would sell it off, or the profits it saw wouldn't go into the same pockets. This is remarkably stupid coming from someone at Apogee, who made a business out of developing software, publishing other people's software, and licensing technology. If anything they could negotiate a deal with Valve regarding the distribution of granular statistics to anyone at Valve, and rely on ethics and legal agreements that no one at Valve is keeping tabs on whether it's three or four people that still thinks 3D Realms is going to release a title it developed itself (Max Payne and Prey being the result of other studios). The only thing Valve competes with Apogee with is potentially releasing other people's games. Apogee might as well just make its own Steam-like distribution system and commit to not making any games itself, but then they would actually have to develop some software themselves.

Re:It could be better.. (2, Informative)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038980)

Is that really good for valve though?

Steam was a huge risk, and had a rocky start. Valve basically leveraged the power of its Half Life franchise to semi-force market adoption of steam. A lesser title just plain couldn't have accomplished that. Now that all the risk as paid off you've got other publishers, that didn't have to risk anything, crying that they aren't getting the benefits.

Valve is 3D Realms competitor...but that goes the other way too. They're Valve's competitor as well. Why *should* they turn over the keys to the castle they built? They might end up locking themselves out!

In the last few years the number of big publishers has dwindled and most publishers only want the 'safe' titles. There's lots of small shops that are chomping at the bit to get what steam is offering. It seems they're doing pretty well and have already started to amass a pretty solid selection of different titles from different smaller developers.

Regardless, I think the calls for a divestiture are pretty premature given how young Steam and even valve itself are.

On a related note... GMod 10 is out (1)

nicolastheadept (930317) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038436)

At last, Garry's Mod 10 is out on Steam for $10 (what's 1 cent when the exchange rate is so heavily in favour of Pounds Stirling. Great Britain FTW!)

Re:On a related note... GMod 10 is out (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038726)

On a compleatly offtopic note:
Are peopel THAT attached to GMod?

I know you can do some nifty thigns with it (and aparently that list of nifty things has increased ALOT since I last used it), but $10 for a playground?

I would rather pay $10 for sometihng that had some amount of game in it (now if you combined source forts and GMod, I would be a happy camper, and probably shell out alot more then $10)

Re:On a related note... GMod 10 is out (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#17039844)

I know GMod 9(which is still free) is pretty neat, and if I wanted to make a game with the Source engine I'd probably use GMod 10 as a "launching pad" due to its massive scriptability, although as is I don't have a need for GMod 10.

Nice idea, but it will not work. (3, Insightful)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038444)

The reason why Steam is popular is because it is tied in with a few KEY products (CS, and to a lesser extent HL2) that get people to regularly use the service, and be comfterable with it.

There ARE other companies out there that will sell you digital copies of games (Direct2Drive from IGN, Gamestop sells them, XBoxLive Arcade, and gametap is sorta in there). However they don't have a service that gives you a plat form for a way of accessign your content, a chat interface, and a server browser exept for XBLA (well, I dono, does gametap?).

I don't expect to see that many A Line games showing up as first runs on Steam because it is feedign the "competitor", however we are seeing alot of "indy" games like Darwinia showing up on Steam at (or shortly after) launch.

Re:Nice idea, but it will not work. (1)

tsotha (720379) | more than 7 years ago | (#17039158)

I don't expect to see that many A Line games showing up as first runs on Steam because it is feedign the "competitor"...

I dunno. Call of Duty 2 is on there now, and that's a pretty big game. I suppose that's not exactly first run now, but it's getting a lot closer. They've been expanding their "stable" of games at a pretty good clip recently.

Re:Nice idea, but it will not work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17040168)

comfterable: (adj.) 1. Having the ability to comfter. 2. Of or from something that comfters.

comfter: (verb.) 1. To refuse the use of spell-checking software. 2. (archaic) To misspell.

ZOMG! (1)

GrBear (63712) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038508)

You mean they have no choice but to use Steam? Seriously, this is laughable.. and hardly "News".

Pre-emptive Strike Time (3, Funny)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038700)

Duke Nukem Forever must actually be getting close to release for real this time. He's already starting making excuses for its impending failure!

steam (1)

robpoe (578975) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038844)

Like it or not, I'd wager that we'll be seeing more companies using technology that will either be like Steam, or will be Steam or a variant/offshoot of.. Right now it's a game deployment platform, but why would M$ not salivate over being able to offer Office xx - on a platform THEY control, you run it WHEN they want you to run it, and they can ship updates to you as they see fit. DRM. Anti-piracy.

Free-download and they can to technology previews, or even offer 30 day limited free-trials that expire, and do so as instructed (instead some stupid registry hack).

Then they wouldn't need Genuine Advantage. Free stuff is, well, free. And stuff that isn't free can be tried out, then expires. It would sure kill a lot of the M$ piracy...

Re:steam (1)

Elshar (232380) | more than 7 years ago | (#17097320)

I know noone will ever read this. But maybe you will if you happen to look in your profile.. But Microsoft DOES do preview/demo versions of their software that is time-limited. I think most of it is limited to 180 days, but I could've swore I saw something on there for longer (Like a year, iirc).

I don't think they've been doing it for too long now. I know for the past year, but not sure how much before that.

This guy is awesome. (1)

hrrY (954980) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038860)

He's absolutely right about episodic content and competitor-owned content delivery. Steam serves its purpose, granted; but if you were a professional athlete and you had a shoe, should the shoe manufacturer collect a royalty from the team you play for everytime you sink a basket or hit a home-run?

On episodic content, if the industry hasn't even matured to the point of being able to have some standardization of how games are developed, polished, and delivered(think MLA format)then I can't see episodic content as being feasible business-wise unless you have some deep pocket publisher/distribution channel; or consumer-friendly due to the bloated cost of the product(s) by its EOL ,and the possibly questionable quality of the product(s) in any stage of its transition, be it gameplay, story, performance, or otherwise. Why should these companies have the latitude to deliver a sub-par experience so they can then charge for episode 2 fixing or feature-adding what should have been in episode 1...at some point I think trade groups should be created that deal in games specifically and really take a critical look at the quality of what is being delivered. In this regard I tip my hat to 3dR, as Prey, while not my favorite game, was a true example of how a game should ship.

Re:This guy is awesome. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17042464)

Just noting that when Prey shipped on Triton, Triton abruptly went belly-up in October 2006, and didn't tell anyone - someone from 3dRealms had to look into it before consumers were informed. Although I guess that was more Tritons' fault, not 3dRealms.

Still, if you don't want to give your competitors money, don't use their products. Don't call for them to explode into several smaller companies.

What's in it for Valve (1)

tsotha (720379) | more than 7 years ago | (#17039412)

I'm sure 3D Realms would love to see Steam hived off into another company, but what's in it for Valve? Also, I don't see much difference between lining Valve's pockets or doing the same for any other distributor. Is giving money to VU or EA that much better, even supposing they move to online distribution? Especially since they're gonna take a bigger bite than Valve.

Personally, I think Steam will soon be in a position similar to iTunes, and this is what worries 3D Realms. Companies will have to start coming to Valve in order to get full distribution of their products, and Valve will have a lot of clout regarding information and pricing. There's a network effect here: Nobody wants to sign up for ten different services, so if you pick one you want to pick the one with the best selection. So it all gets reinforced over time.

As for me, I love Steam. I haven't had any problems with it, and I like getting updates automatically. I also like the idea of having all my games available on a new computer without having to hunt down a piece of plastic and then going on the web to find updates.

Stockholder value (1)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 7 years ago | (#17040508)

> what's in it for Valve?

Stockholder value, as an independent Stem would get more customers, increasing the total profit. Not for Valve, but for Valves stockholders.

Steam should be.. (1, Interesting)

matt me (850665) | more than 7 years ago | (#17039442)

1. Less sluggish
2. Not spam you with adverts for games
3. Consume less disk space
4. Allow you to trade games / sell your account
5. not be a prequisite to playing a game
6. not hog memory
7. be less ugly -eg blend in to native widgets
8. be ported to *nix
9. not use internet explorer
10. not download so much shit

Re:Steam should be.. (3, Insightful)

bealzabobs_youruncle (971430) | more than 7 years ago | (#17039990)

1. Less sluggish

Agreed to a point, but how much bandwidth can they really dedicate to each new release.

2. Not spam you with adverts for games

You can turn this off in options.

3. Consume less disk space

STEAM itself isn't that big, the games are.

4. Allow you to trade games / sell your account

Why? Most games have a license that precludes this, STEAM just has an enforcement mechanism built in.

5. not be a prequisite to playing a game

Kind of the whole point of STEAM.

6. not hog memory

Come on now, how much memory does STEAM really eat?

7. be less ugly -eg blend in to native widgets

Agreed.

8. be ported to *nix

Why? Porting is expensive, requires support and *nix doesn't have the marketshare to make it worth while. I'd love some Half Life2 under OS X, but I understand why they don't bother.

9. not use internet explorer

Who cares?

10. not download so much shit

Doesn't download anything you don't request.

Have you actually used STEAM or are you just repeating stuff you have read elsewhere?

Re:Steam should be.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17040766)

I'd love some Half Life2 under OS X...
No, no, no... to *nix! Not shitnix.

Steam is still the same pile of shit as when it was first released though. Don't support this crap.

Re:Steam should be.. (1)

Tim Browse (9263) | more than 7 years ago | (#17041100)

10. not download so much shit

Doesn't download anything you don't request.

Have you actually used STEAM or are you just repeating stuff you have read elsewhere?

Now then. I play HL2 etc occasionally, and the only thing that really bugs me about Steam is that it seems like whenever I play HL2, Steam has to 'update' my game, which involves 10 minutes of waiting/dicking around while it downloads some more stuff.

It worked fine the last time I played, so why can't I just play the damn game? I for one would like a "don't download any more crap, I just want to play the game" button.

Re:Steam should be.. (1)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 7 years ago | (#17041578)

I for one would like a "don't download any more crap, I just want to play the game" button.

I'm not in Windows right now, but right-click on Half-Life 2 and select 'do not automatically update game', or something like that? ;-)

Re:Steam should be.. (1)

Tim Browse (9263) | more than 7 years ago | (#17045560)

I for one would like a "don't download any more crap, I just want to play the game" button.

I'm not in Windows right now, but right-click on Half-Life 2 and select 'do not automatically update game', or something like that? ;-)

I got all excited then, and went to try it. But currently I'm waiting for the 'Updating Steam platform' dialog to go away before I can try it out...43% complete so far :-(

Re:Steam should be.. (1)

Mike_ya (911105) | more than 7 years ago | (#17041742)

Why cant you sell your account?

Individual gives you cash, you change the account email address to his and give him the login.

Not being able to trade games is a disadvantage to steam, but IMHO it is outweighed by the advantages.

Re:Steam should be.. (1)

Kattspya (994189) | more than 7 years ago | (#17041920)

The only reason I can think of for not enabling games to be swapped between accounts is the cost. There is bound to be a lot of frauds that will eat up customer service hours. I haven't heard anyone getting banned for buying an account from someone and using it. The bad thing is you have to buy games on different accounts if you plan to sell them one by one.

I quite like Steam and would consider it the best online distribution system for noobs. The best one is of course pirated FTP's or Torrent's. I've only ever managed to use about half my download bandwidth (400KB) and that was just recently. It's usually slower than that but you can back up your steam account easily if that's a problem.

Re:Steam should be.. (1)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17047744)

Steam is far from perfect and still has plenty of room for improvement. But a lot of issues with it I just don't see.

1) I'll agree it could probably be a bit faster, but I never thought about it being slow until now. It doesn't really seem that bad.

2) As has been mentioned, that can be turned off. And the off switch actually works for this one.

3) I'm not sure what you mean on disk space. My wife's machine has a 40GB, the smallest one can buy new these days, and steam + office + windows + other games still only get about 50% full.

4) I'm split on this one. I can see very good reasons why they wouldn't want to allow this. Its tough to support, opens up opportunities for fraud and ultimately ends up undermining their own sales anyay. Regardless, I have bought a steam account from some one without issue.

5) This just isn't feasible for at least the multiplayer content. It would be also be a nightmare juggling two versions of the game from a logistical standpoint. Not to mention it would undermine the adoption of the steam platform, which seems to be one of valves goals.

6) I've heard this complaint, but just haven't really noticed it myself. I just turn steam off when I'm not playing games anyway though.

7) Agreed. I prefered the initial releases rather blasse layout and wish it was at least still an option.

8) Agreed. I would like to see this as well. Have people had any luck running it under cedega?

9) As long as they don't start requiring IE7 or the .NET framework I won't complain here.

10) Steam is download happy. Its offline mode never seems to have worked right. But the real problem is that valve often breaks stuff with their automatically downloaded updates. If they're going to make it so hard to avoid the automatic downloading they could at least make sure the updates were better tested. But, most of the problems seem to be corrected quickly and we are talking about games here...not software that monitors a nuclear reactor.

Easy Answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17040066)

Steam Should Be a Seperate Company?

No, maybe it should be a SEPARATE company.

The new Firefox has spell checker, you should try it.

You mean, like Nintendo? (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 7 years ago | (#17040130)

Nintendo is both a game delivery system (they make the consoles), and a game manufacturer (78 varieties of Mario, to start with). It hasn't hurt them at all, and game companies like Sega, Activision, Ubisoft, and EA are lining up to write and sell games for Nintendo consoles.

Personally I think that Steam is a stroke of genius, much like iTunes - you can shop for and buy games online, and start playing them immediately, without having to go to the store and buy a physical CD.

Steam will be going away. (1)

Viewsonic (584922) | more than 7 years ago | (#17040344)

Microsoft is bringing Live to the Windows platform shortly. It will be an all inclusive download service for games, HD TV Shows, music, and everything else out there. Games will hopefully have a lot of the same elements that their 360 counterparts will have. Achievements, episodic content, multiplayer invites through a standardized friends list, etc. Steam was the start of things to come, but it will be replaced by Live which will most likely come packaged with future versions of Windows. Valve is also working with Microsoft to distribute their games on the 360 over Live, so it would be safe to assume Steam will gracefully bow out of the download service in the future. This is all speculation, but Live really is a streamlines masterpiece. I just hope Microsoft can keep up with the bandwidth demands. Steam went through the same thing.

Re:Steam will be going away. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17040634)

The day Windows becomes more like the 360 is the day I finally bite the bullet and convert to Communix.

It certainly isn't part of Vista as that's on it's way to stores now and has nothing of the sort included.

Xbox Live is not the model PCs should adopt as it's an idea designed entirely around simplified console users.

Title should be changed (1)

LuxMaker (996734) | more than 7 years ago | (#17041260)

Seperate should be Separate.

Interesting that the main body of the article gets this right.

For what it was originally intended for... (1)

tapehands (943962) | more than 7 years ago | (#17041846)

Steam is doing pretty damn well. It wasn't until later on in Steam's life that Valve decided to open up to other developers/games for content distribution. So, while spinning off Steam as a complete business sounds like a good idea, it doesn't factor in the issue of "What if Steam goes belly-up?", or "How would Valve replace the revenue stream from Steam?"

I suppose it's just Valve's decision on if they want to take the chance on having Steam tank, or if they can at least make the same amount of profit that they're making now.

Why it won't go away, unless Microsoft takes over (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#17042408)

It's so much fun when you have your foot on the other guy's air hose.

Zonk: it's sepArate (2, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 7 years ago | (#17043732)

Zonk, it would reduce embarrassment if you spellchecked your work, especially the headlines.

Moo (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#17045708)

seperate

Shouldn't someone add a spellchecker to slashdot?

Re:Moo (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 7 years ago | (#17045756)

Shouldn't someone add a spellchecker to slashdot?

There is, in the editing interface. I've used it on another site based on Slashcode. They just don't give a fuck.

What the fuck is wrong with you? (1)

Kirth (183) | more than 7 years ago | (#17046506)

"Well, this Digital Restriction Management System should not be held by that company, but by a different one".

Well, sure, other game companies stupid enough to buy into that would profit from it, but the end result would be the same: Customer fucked.
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