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The future of EA games on Steam

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Red Hawk

Diamond Member
Jan 1, 2011
3,266
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The more people game on PCs the more PC games developers can sell. Games are like music or movies in that they tend to make the bulk of their money in the first few months of release. The more people that have the ability to play games on a tablet or PC the better. If you can sell a billion copies at a dollar a piece, make more money then selling 100 million at a higher price, and drive the competition under its a no-brainer.
Ok...still, how is this an advantage of tablets over PCs?

Proprietary system like consoles and handhelds exist solely because the technology is immature and they are affordable. Not because the public has an insatiable appetite for games or the latest technology. People can afford a lot of things like digital audio tapes, but the overwhelming majority settle for the significantly inferior mp3 players because they are dirt cheap, portable, hold an incredible library, and mp3 is sound is good enough for the average Joe just like cheap beer.
There is still a constant push forward for more advanced graphics. That's only sustainable because people buy platforms with more graphics instead of the older, weaker platforms.

I'm already hearing hard core PC gamers complain there are no new games coming out that can touch their rigs and the games that are coming out are heavily consolized and just plain crap. They blame consoles, but the trend is really towards cheap generic everything. Consoles are merely another step along the road towards standardization and will eventually go the way of the Betamax and other proprietary systems that just couldn't compete in the long run.
Such PC gamers would be wrong. The Witcher 2. Metro games. Battlefield 3. Stalker games. There are still a good amount of games that push the limits of technology. Consoles have not yet put an end to PC gaming, and they will not put an end to PC gaming. Neither will tablets. PCs offer something consoles and tablets don't. Sure, some people want cheap generic everything. Heck, a lot of people want cheap generic everything. That doesn't mean everyone wants cheap generic everything, and PCs will always have that market that doesn't want cheap generic everything.
 

wuliheron

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2011
3,536
0
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Ok...still, how is this an advantage of tablets over PCs?
Its not an advantage of tablets over desktops, its an advantage of PC gaming expanding into new markets that were previously unavailable.

There is still a constant push forward for more advanced graphics. That's only sustainable because people buy platforms with more graphics instead of the older, weaker platforms.
Its like the mp3 player. Eventually the graphics will be good enough to satisfy most people and they won't be willing to spend a lot more for better graphics.

Such PC gamers would be wrong. The Witcher 2. Metro games. Battlefield 3. Stalker games. There are still a good amount of games that push the limits of technology. Consoles have not yet put an end to PC gaming, and they will not put an end to PC gaming. Neither will tablets. PCs offer something consoles and tablets don't. Sure, some people want cheap generic everything. Heck, a lot of people want cheap generic everything. That doesn't mean everyone wants cheap generic everything, and PCs will always have that market that doesn't want cheap generic everything.
When Crysis first came out just 4 years ago many reviewers commented that it was a great game, but you needed a $10,000.oo rig to run it. These days I can build a $1,500.oo rig that will run Metro 2033, the most demanding game on the market today, at max settings and there isn't a more demanding game coming out any time soon. You can argue its just a temporary situation, but many PC gamers have seen the writing on the wall for some time now.

First the consoles sold like hotcakes and dominated the market, and next we can expect portables. Developers struggled to make their games compatible with both consoles and PCs, and now they're coming out with games like Rage that can look good on anything from a PC to an iPhone. They are putting more effort into expanding their markets and less into improving the graphics so that more people will buy their games. Hence the "consolization" of games is really an ongoing effort to make them more cross compatible with any platform. Its certainly not the end of PC gaming, but its a trend that will continue until the desktop PC becomes as obsolete and rare as Betamax.
 
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Red Hawk

Diamond Member
Jan 1, 2011
3,266
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Graphics =/= music. There are still realms of 3d gaming and maybe even virtual reality that we haven't even scratched yet. Improvements on the graphics side has not reached its limit and will not in the forseeable future.

The comparison to Betamax is fundamentally invalid. VHS and Betamax offered identical services -- watching a video. PCs offer a different user experience than tablets. Different controls, better graphics, cheaper, customizable. There are users who want all that and tablets just can't offer that.
 

wuliheron

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2011
3,536
0
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Graphics =/= music. There are still realms of 3d gaming and maybe even virtual reality that we haven't even scratched yet. Improvements on the graphics side has not reached its limit and will not in the forseeable future.

The comparison to Betamax is fundamentally invalid. VHS and Betamax offered identical services -- watching a video. PCs offer a different user experience than tablets. Different controls, better graphics, cheaper, customizable. There are users who want all that and tablets just can't offer that.

No, Betamax provided a superior picture quality, but the tapes were shorter so it was not identical with VHS. As for what tablets can offer, that changes every year and like I said there is no reason a tablet cannot be used with a keyboard and mouse and full sized monitor. In case you missed it, here is the latest AnandTech article on the Samsung "central station".

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4446/samsung-central-station-future-of-laptop-docking

As for the realms of 3D graphics to come, I've lived long enough to see the first TVs become popular. Within ten years AMD estimates a home computer will be capable of ten teraflops which is enough for real time ray tracing. There really is only so much the human eye can distinguish and only so much people are usually willing to pay big bucks for if the alternatives are good enough.
 

Golgatha

Lifer
Jul 18, 2003
12,004
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Are you insane? Almost everyone whined and bitched about Valve rolling out Steam when HL2 Launched; I agree people are over-reacting to this (so Crysis 2 won't be profitable for EA and they'll lose huge amounts of $$ in the process, big whoop) but EA has had a history where the bottom dollar comes first and foremost at the expense of both its employees and consumers.

Like I said in my past post, a lot of it may be the general trends of gaming and EA may be an easy target, but looking at its track record I can't say I'm surprised that people are saying EA is evil and blaming them for this.
I for one bitched about Steam, much less HL2 being a Steam exclusive, when Steam was first released. It's still not as bad or invasive as say Starforce or SecuROM (when it not just CD-Key only), but I'll stand by my statement that Steam is still a DRM turd floating in a sea of feces and I deal with it because I'm forced to.
 

Golgatha

Lifer
Jul 18, 2003
12,004
268
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on ve3D I read that it was Steams choice to pull Crysis 2, not EA.
I've been reading about this too. The rumor is EA's Origin legal speak went counter to the TOS of having games on Steam, which caused Valve to remove Crysis 2. As long as Origin exists, I wonder if any more EA games will be on Steam? It will be interesting to see how loyal the gaming community is to Steam. I'm pretty sure BF3 and ME3 will sell like hotcakes and the majority of gamers don't care about all this stuff we're discussing. Not trying to be pessimistic, but I think it's the reality of the situation.
 

Red Storm

Lifer
Oct 2, 2005
14,207
216
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I've been reading about this too. The rumor is EA's Origin legal speak went counter to the TOS of having games on Steam, which caused Valve to remove Crysis 2. As long as Origin exists, I wonder if any more EA games will be on Steam? It will be interesting to see how loyal the gaming community is to Steam. I'm pretty sure BF3 and ME3 will sell like hotcakes and the majority of gamers don't care about all this stuff we're discussing. Not trying to be pessimistic, but I think it's the reality of the situation.
I don't see it stopping anybody from using Steam. If they want EA games they'll just get them however they can, and continue using Steam and GOG for everything else.
 

skace

Lifer
Jan 23, 2001
14,488
7
81
i like painting
also theres nothing hard about putting in a DVD and hitting OK a few times
Hard? No. But it certainly isn't as easy as not putting a DVD in and not hitting OK a few times.

I would love to hear more about why Valve pulled C2 because of Origin's EULA. That is very interesting. What was the offending text?
 
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paperfist

Diamond Member
Nov 30, 2000
6,504
275
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www.the-teh.com
I've been reading about this too. The rumor is EA's Origin legal speak went counter to the TOS of having games on Steam, which caused Valve to remove Crysis 2. As long as Origin exists, I wonder if any more EA games will be on Steam? It will be interesting to see how loyal the gaming community is to Steam. I'm pretty sure BF3 and ME3 will sell like hotcakes and the majority of gamers don't care about all this stuff we're discussing. Not trying to be pessimistic, but I think it's the reality of the situation.
EA has always had a download service and still sold their games on Steam.

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“It’s unfortunate that Steam has removed Crysis 2 from their service,” the EA rep told GameFront. “This was not an EA decision or the result of any action by EA.

“Steam has imposed a set of business terms for developers hoping to sell content on that service – many of which are not imposed by other online game services. Unfortunately, Crytek has an agreement with another download service which violates the new rules from Steam and resulted in its expulsion of Crysis 2 from Steam.

“Crysis 2 continues to be available on several other download services including GameStop, Amazon, Origin.com and more.”

http://www.vg247.com/2011/06/15/crysis-2-now-only-on-origin-d2d-impulse-more/
 

SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
13,337
3,002
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It will be interesting to see how loyal the gaming community is to Steam. I'm pretty sure BF3 and ME3 will sell like hotcakes and the majority of gamers don't care about all this stuff we're discussing. Not trying to be pessimistic, but I think it's the reality of the situation.
I don't think that the gaming community is loyal to Steam at all. Steam is just the current best of the downloadable game services, arguably the first one to really do it right.
I don’t mind EA having their own ‘Steam like’ download service, what frightens me, and I think many other gamers, is that if EA is successful then every company is going to want in the game, in no time at all we will have to have 12 different Steam like clients running on our systems. Each are going to want to update every other day, pop up advertising randomly, and give you second by second updates of what all your friends are doing. The will be poorly coded, and take up way to much memory and CPU time, have leaks and crash bugs, and generally not play well with each other. Each are going to compete to be more flashy (and by extension bloated) and continue to add new ‘features’ some of which are going to (intentionally?) interfere with other companies ‘features’. Then, as customers get pissed off with all this stupid and abandon the worst offenders the companies are going to close these download services, and with it all the games you have bought from them, leaving gamers out in the cold.
In the end there is not much room for more then one Steam like service. Steam needs to be a digital distribution platform that is publisher agnostic. So far Valve has done well at this goal, and that is why it has worked. Start adding in lots of competition to Steam itself, and then it is going to all go downhill. It could even be the death of digital distribution of games.
 

Fox5

Diamond Member
Jan 31, 2005
5,957
7
81
Ok, I see...
Steam is doing what Impulse and Direct2Drive did when games started shipping with Steam required to play them. They pulled them from the stores. Since then they've given up (I guess they got the message that they weren't doing anything but losing sales with that decision), and now Steam is doing the same since Crysis 2 includes EA's digital delivery system.

Well first off:
A game should just be a game. I shouldn't need 20 different random auto updating background apps to play it. Especially if said app is nothing more than a digital store and auto update program, I can get that functionality from anywhere.

On a counter point:
Steam is acceptably for de facto inclusion into software (imo) because it's the closest thing the PC has to an Xbox Live. Integrated friends list, in game web browser, can add external games to it to manage, handles player matching, etc etc. It's really what Direct2Drive + Gamespy should have been able to do with their headstart on the market, or Microsoft should have made a viable copy of by now.

Secondly:
I don't agree with Steam pulling the game, what happens to people who bought it? However, Steam may be big enough to get away with it.

Third:
EA, do you really need a download service integrated into your games as well? I'm fine with you having a download service, just don't integrate it into the freaking game.
 

SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
13,337
3,002
136
Steam is acceptably for de facto inclusion into software (imo) because it's the closest thing the PC has to an Xbox Live. Integrated friends list, in game web browser, can add external games to it to manage, handles player matching, etc etc. It's really what Direct2Drive + Gamespy should have been able to do with their headstart on the market, or Microsoft should have made a viable copy of by now.
I agree, Microsoft certainly should have had a viable competition to Steam long ago. The reason they (and no one else) does is because they are more worried about pushing their own product rather then being an impartial service. Steam makes money off of every purchase, and has realized that it makes way more selling other peoples games fairly then if it tried to cheat and use the service to give its games a competitive edge.

EA, do you really need a download service integrated into your games as well? I'm fine with you having a download service, just don't integrate it into the freaking game.
It is all about install base. They believe that if they can get enough people to install the service and keep it running (which is why it will be required to be running to play the game, even if you buy it from some other source) they can push advertising at you.
 

wuliheron

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2011
3,536
0
0
Yeah, Microsoft is the culprit here but its not just the xbox getting in the way. All MS ever did well was operating systems, office programs, and the xbox. PC gaming was never a serious money maker for them and they invested just enough in directx to sell their latest operating systems, to stay ahead of opengl, and keep their foot in the door.

However, the latest polls suggest 80% of tablet owners play games on their tablets and some 90% of people want a tablet. With the new fusion chips coming out 3D PC gaming is quickly becoming cheap and here to stay and MS will either step up to plate or get shut out.
 

irishScott

Lifer
Oct 10, 2006
21,568
2
0
Surely you all didn't think that Steam was going to be the sole major player forever? Everyone wants a piece of that action. It's only a matter of time until all major companies have their own mandatory clients that do pretty much what Steam does. Welcome to the digital age. And while you all will complain about it, you will do it, because they control you.
No I think I'll just stick with Steam and *gasp* not buy any EA games! (unless they come up with something truly great, unlikely) How will I ever survive?! :rolleyes:
 

Nebor

Lifer
Jun 24, 2003
29,582
11
76
No I think I'll just stick with Steam and *gasp* not buy any EA games! (unless they come up with something truly great, unlikely) How will I ever survive?! :rolleyes:
Same here. Except they could come out with the next Half-life and I still wouldn't buy it if it weren't on Steam. Just like I haven't bought any CoD games after MW1 because they're too expensive for what you get.

People act like they're selling insulin instead of video games. They can sell them in the venue I want to buy them at a price I want to pay, or they can keep them. No hard feelings if they choose to keep them.
 

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