Can Valve no longer afford to not retaliate?

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Posted by NoodleFighter (10254 posts) 13 days, 8 hours ago

Poll: Can Valve no longer afford to not retaliate? (43 votes)

Yes 26%
No 21%
Whatever gets me Half Life 3 40%
anti-consumerist with schadenfreude 14%

The PC Gamer Show this year became an eye opener of how far Epic is taking these exclusivity deals. Almost everything there was an Epic Store exclusive, might as well call it the Epic Store Show. The amount of Epic Store exclusives is becoming too big to ignore and this is just the ones shown at E3, we know damn well that more Epic Store exclusives will be announced throughout the rest of the year. Epic doesn't care how far they go with obtaining exclusives as they've already obtained at least 3 crowdfunded games that were promised launch releases on Steam and GOG.

This also goes to show that not only publishers but developers are also willing to sell out. Steam's larger userbase and vastly superior quality of service means nothing as long as Epic gives them a bag of money to not only take their game off Steam but extra guaranteed money for lost sales of not being on Steam during its timed exclusivity period. Epic are also giving the mega game publishers like Ubisoft an excuse to take their games off Steam and sell them through their own stores almost exclusively.

Sure Epic have screwed up in someways such as starting that sale without telling any developers/publishers which as a result got them angry and could have gotten them in some very serious legal trouble but they have money to throw around to them quiet. At the rate Epic is obtaining exclusives every game is a potential Epic Store exclusive the day before it's suppose to release on Steam seeing as how Epic have nabbed exclusivity for games that were within a few weeks of launching.

While some people like to say Valve has its own "exclusives" of things such as the Master Chief Collection and Doom: Eternal it's still smaller in comparison the amount of games Epic is nabbing and there is the possibility of megatons like Red Dead Redemption 2 becoming Epic Store exclusive. While we all say we'll just play our backlog there are still tons of people that want to play the newest game while it's fresh and simply just can't wait a year. Imagine if the Epic Store had exclusivity of at least half of the year's most anticipated games, that's something that simply can't be brushed off.

Aside from Epic there is also Microsoft. While Microsoft themselves even admit that Steam is superior and are putting their games on Steam they still pose somewhat of a threat because they're aren't targeted as much by Epic when it comes to exclusivity as some of their supposed Epic Store exclusives are also available on the Microsoft Store. Xbox Game Pass for PC is an incredible deal and a great alternative to those that don't want to support the bad practices of Epic and devs/pubs that go along with it. Xbox Game Pass for PC is $5 a month with the first month currently being $1. Games that PC gamers were looking forward to such as Metro Exodus and The Outer Worlds can be played that way. This also means Valve lose out on potential sales since those of us that wanted to play these games but couldn't wait went with Microsoft and even if we do want to own these games later on we'll wait till their dirt cheap which would be years after release.

So what is it Valve should do? Some say that Valve should drop their cut to 12% which I think is unrealistic considering all the stuff Steam offers with one of the more hefty things primarily covering the transaction fees used in many countries especially in Asia where the overwhelming majority of transactions are not done with the big 5 major standards. At best they could make their standard cut 20% or 25%. As a lot of the AAAs and trending indies are likely to reach the amount of sales that grant them those tiers anyway.

And of course a lot of people want the old Valve back that make games we want. With the massive flop that is Artifact hopefully that will get them to make games people want and not just games designed as money printers. All the writers behind Half Life left so unless Valve rehires them a new Half Life would likely do more harm than good. They could add new major content to Team Fortress 2 or make Team Fortress 3 as the story in the Team Fortress comics is one issue away from ending. We know Valve is working on 3 VR games but if they're any good they should allow them to be playable without a VR headset.

You guys got any other suggestions?

Avatar image for uninspiredcup
#1 Edited by uninspiredcup (33426 posts) -

I definitely think they shouldn't copy them.

The best thing they could do is release some killer feature or better yet, a game.

It's interesting seeing how tepid the legacy media are in criticizing Epic. In some cases you'll find Kotaku goons defending them on Twitter deeming consumers not liking bullshit as "toxic masculinity", absolute bell-ends.

The cut is less a case of "need" and rather "greed". So, screw them? If they're willing to shit on the consumer i'm bemused as to why I should give a shit back.

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#2 Posted by Ant_17 (12462 posts) -

At this point, it's childish to hate on a launcher when every company has it.

Avatar image for R4gn4r0k
#3 Posted by R4gn4r0k (31020 posts) -

I thought Epic exclusives would be a thing of 2019, but nah, they are taking this into 2020 as well.

On one hand I like what Valve is doing: they still have the best place to buy games, they have the steam workshop, they don't spend silly money on buying up exclusives.

On the other hand I hate Valve for not creating games anymore.

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#4 Posted by lamprey263 (36116 posts) -

Retaliate how, pay for exclusives? How about they just release a new Half Life if they're worried, and stop releasing junk.

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#5 Posted by DaVillain- (36572 posts) -

I'm neutral to both Steam & Epic and I take no sides of the matter. I go where the games are and that's it.

Valve does not really need to do anything huge. They just need to continue working on features and they need to cut down 30% cause it sure is hurting publishers or so they claimed. Epic is using an unsustainable tactic to artificially pad their launcher. Eventually, the cost of buying temporary exclusivity will overrun earnings from revenue share, and they will either need to start cutting costs somewhere else to sustain, end the practice and hope their lower revenue share is enough to entice developers to a storefront with significantly lower market share, or actually develop a community to compete with Steam. An actual response from Valve would likely harm Steam more than it would help.

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#6 Posted by sakaiXx (5504 posts) -

I think its great we (5 people who voted so far) all agreed Half Life 3 is more important.

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#7 Posted by enzyme36 (4198 posts) -

Valve is staying the course. Plenty of new AAA releases still on Steam.

Really only talking about a few franchises getting a timed exclusives because of signing bonuses. These games will be free agents soon enough.

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#8 Posted by NoodleFighter (10254 posts) -
@uninspiredcup said:

I definitely think they shouldn't copy them.

The best thing they could do is release some killer feature or better yet, a game.

It's interesting seeing how tepid the legacy media are in criticizing Epic. In some cases you'll find Kotaku goons defending them on Twitter deeming consumers not liking bullshit as "toxic masculinity", absolute bell-ends.

The cut is less a case of "need" and rather "greed". So, screw them? If they're willing to shit on the consumer i'm bemused as to why I should give a shit back.

Yeah I've noticed that most game journalist are defensive of the Epic Store no matter how bad they mess up or screw gamers over. The PC Gamer Show being sponsored by Epic Games makes any comment PC Gamer have about the Epic Store to be taken with a grain of salt because we know now that they're in Epic's pockets.

What possible killer feature could they have for Steam? It seems like it does almost everything these days, it even has a built in Windows emulator so Linux users can play games through it.

@Ant_17 said:

At this point, it's childish to hate on a launcher when every company has it.

Except this launcher is far worse than the rest and lacks some basic stuff crucial to anyone that actually wants to have a successful store. This is a launcher that doesn't even have cloud saves. In fact forget that, it lacks basic things like a shopping cart and email verification. Lack of email verification has lead to very poor security and the lack of a shopping cart has even resulted in someone's account getting banned because they thought it was fraud due to them making multiple orders in a short amount of time which would have been avoided if they just made a damn shopping cart already.

@davillain- said:

I'm neutral to both Steam & Epic and I take no sides of the matter. I go where the games are and that's it.

Valve does not really need to do anything huge. They just need to continue working on features and they need to cut down 30% cause it sure is hurting publishers or so they claimed. Epic is using an unsustainable tactic to artificially pad their launcher. Eventually, the cost of buying temporary exclusivity will overrun earnings from revenue share, and they will either need to start cutting costs somewhere else to sustain, end the practice and hope their lower revenue share is enough to entice developers to a storefront with significantly lower market share, or actually develop a community to compete with Steam. An actual response from Valve would likely harm Steam more than it would help.

I'm really wondering how much money they have to throw around because they're not only giving out money for exclusivity deals but giving out money with no strings attached regardless of whether those unreal engine projects will be highly profitable or not with the Epic Mega Grant. The Epic Mega Grant is said to be giving out $100 million this round so unless they're going to stretch that over at least a decade that is even more money being drained. But considering Fortnite made $2.5 billion in profit last year they likely aren't sweating it. Fortnite is gonna have to significantly drop in popularity for that to happen and by the time they run out of Fortnite money it may be too late. Then again I'm sure Epic is offering AAA-AA publishers at least 8 figures checks just to go exclusive since a few hundred thousand or 1 to 2 million ain't enough for them to jump off Steam like the indies.

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#9 Posted by VagrantSnow (320 posts) -

Only thing I'd like to see Valve do is secure contracts with publishers that won't allow them to go exclusive after their game is up on the Steam store whether the game is available to buy or pre-purchase or not. As it is now, Steam is being used by publishers like Deep Silver and 2K as cheap advertising for their products on a competing store and I can't imagine Valve are particularly happy about that.

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#10 Posted by Ant_17 (12462 posts) -

@NoodleFighter: Then take it up with Epic to fix the issues.

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#11 Posted by djoffer (1323 posts) -

Mehh arguably the greatest exclusive they have bought so fare is metro, that game got 60% off last months like 2(?) months after its release... and are now coming to a 5$ game pass, that should probably tell you something about how much it hurts their sale not to be on steam..

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#12 Posted by Calvincfb (1297 posts) -

Oh look, it's the hermits that claim PC gaming is not complicated and now are crying because of a launcher LMAO

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#13 Posted by Jacanuk (18493 posts) -

Yawn......

Considering that Epic has already lost Metro Exodus and going to lose more every day to come, I don´t think Valve is concerned with the failed attempt from Epic to be hip with the crowd.

Also with Epic still 6 months away from adding something as simple as a basket with multiple orders, And when cyberpunk 2077 is going to be on steam and GOG, well enough said.

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#14 Edited by firedrakes (1950 posts) -

nope. epic shooting themselves in the foot with out any help

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#15 Posted by xhawk27 (11290 posts) -

@Ant_17 said:

At this point, it's childish to hate on a launcher when every company has it.

And yet you hate on a Console, a piece of plastic.

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#16 Posted by XVision84 (16044 posts) -

They've been quiet for a very long time but they're still on top by far. Epic is in some ways shooting themselves in the foot since they're being regarded very negatively by PC gamers.

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#17 Posted by Ant_17 (12462 posts) -

@xhawk27 said:
@Ant_17 said:

At this point, it's childish to hate on a launcher when every company has it.

And yet you hate on a Console, a piece of plastic.

When Ubi, EA, Bethesda and the rest make consoles, then i'll lay off on the Bone.

Till then, Bone gets hate.

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#18 Posted by PC_Rocks (2316 posts) -

Nope, Valve should sit this one out. The model Epic has is not sustainable.

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#19 Posted by Bread_or_Decide (29011 posts) -

@Ant_17 said:

At this point, it's childish to hate on a launcher when every company has it.

Launcher Wars.

Avatar image for Bread_or_Decide
#20 Posted by Bread_or_Decide (29011 posts) -

@pc_rocks said:

Nope, Valve should sit this one out. The model Epic has is not sustainable.

Fortnite money, bro. Fortnite money.

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#21 Edited by KungfuKitten (26563 posts) -

@Bread_or_Decide said:
@pc_rocks said:

Nope, Valve should sit this one out. The model Epic has is not sustainable.

Fortnite money, bro. Fortnite money.

I agree with Rocks though. Epic Store only offers something good for developers/publishers, and only bad things for the end user. So long as that doesn't change, and they keep burning good will by closing down the open nature of PC gaming, Steam doesn't really need to respond. They may want to prepare in case Epic gets their act together. But considering Epic's current mentality and investors, that could take a while. It would be smart for Steam to keep developing their software and presentation to stay ahead, but that would be smart regardless of Epic.

@vagrantsnow said:

Only thing I'd like to see Valve do is secure contracts with publishers that won't allow them to go exclusive after their game is up on the Steam store whether the game is available to buy or pre-purchase or not. As it is now, Steam is being used by publishers like Deep Silver and 2K as cheap advertising for their products on a competing store and I can't imagine Valve are particularly happy about that.

Yeah. I can see that happen.

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#22 Posted by PC_Rocks (2316 posts) -

@Bread_or_Decide said:
@pc_rocks said:

Nope, Valve should sit this one out. The model Epic has is not sustainable.

Fortnite money, bro. Fortnite money.

I know that's why I said that. They bleed money when they buy those exclusives deals and the very reason they are doing it because they want to have the an alternate revenue stream. Fortnite is a masssive money maker for them and have been for sometime but they also realize Fortnite is just as easily can be replaced by other phenomenon. The model they have is not sustainable long term unless they are also relying on Tencent's deep pockets. They are also letting go of their UE4 royalties in order for games to be on Epic Store.

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#23 Posted by UnrealGunner (1040 posts) -

The PC Gamer Show is misleading when it comes to PC Gaming it only shows a small portion and most of the top upcoming PC games were not even at that show. Steam is still the place to buy games and most game publishers understand this. Look at Mordhau it sold over 1 million copies on PC on Steam if it was on Epic it would never have even got close to that. Most of the publishers are going to Epic because their games are not selling well. I highly doubt RDR2 won't be on Steam and even if it isn't it will still be available through the Rockstar Social Club.

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#24 Posted by DarthBuzzard (154 posts) -

@R4gn4r0k said:

I thought Epic exclusives would be a thing of 2019, but nah, they are taking this into 2020 as well.

On one hand I like what Valve is doing: they still have the best place to buy games, they have the steam workshop, they don't spend silly money on buying up exclusives.

On the other hand I hate Valve for not creating games anymore.

Except they are making games. Infact, they are nearing release to a new Half Life game releasing this year.

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#25 Posted by R4gn4r0k (31020 posts) -

@darthbuzzard said:

Except they are making games. Infact, they are nearing release to a new Half Life game releasing this year.

A new half life but without showing any trailers or screenshots?

Plus all the writers left so Valve won't make anymore singleplayer games.

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#26 Edited by DarthBuzzard (154 posts) -

@R4gn4r0k said:
@darthbuzzard said:

Except they are making games. Infact, they are nearing release to a new Half Life game releasing this year.

A new half life but without showing any trailers or screenshots?

Plus all the writers left so Valve won't make anymore singleplayer games.

It's happening, and it will be revealed at The International 2019 in late August. Set your calendar. And no, some of the writers returned a while back.

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#27 Edited by Ten_Pints (3799 posts) -

Valve need to just double down on being pro consumer.

Having a race to the bottom with a Chinese company is not what they are about.

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#28 Edited by jeezers (2870 posts) -

Steam killed valve, they dont care about making games, they care about selling other peoples games, steam getting praise for being pro consumer is bs. Anyone who grew up with CS 1.6, just look at the buisness practices in CS GO. Knife skins being sold for 200$ spray paints are now pre rendered micro transactions with a limited amount of sprays where you used to be able to use any jpeg off you pc and just tag whenever. Gone are the glory days of steam and valve. Gaben is as much of a greedy pig as tencent if not more. Screw gaben.

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#29 Edited by uninspiredcup (33426 posts) -

@jeezers said:

Steam killed valve, they dont care about making games, they care about selling other peoples games, steam getting praise for being pro consumer is bs. Anyone who grew up with CS 1.6, just look at the buisness practices in CS GO. Knife skins being sold for 200$ spray paints are now pre rendered micro transactions with a limited amount of sprays where you used to be able to use any jpeg off you pc and just tag whenever. Gone are the glory days of steam and valve. Gaben is as much of a greedy pig as tencent if not more. Screw gaben.

I agree completely about the whole economy they essentially lifted from EA, turning gambling into a game. Valve gets a free pass for that while others do not, it's a double standard.

But to say that are anti-consumer is straight up false. There entire business model has been based around improving the consumer experience. Steam itself originally envisioned to deliver content patches faster at a time when downloading a patch from a website was the norm.

Even stuff like their hardware such as the Steam Controller is designed around getting around major issues inherent to pc gaming. You can literally play any game on a console pad now even if it doesn't support it in the first place. It's saved me so much headaches with older video games, back when shitty porting was the norm, with the touch-pad, while not quite on the level of a mouse, a much better stand in for FPS/TP than the Xbox360 pad.

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#30 Edited by jeezers (2870 posts) -

@uninspiredcup: id say that copying the EA buisness model is anti consumer.

They have destroyed thier own IPs with this kind of buisness, dota 2, cs go, tf2, they are riddled to the brim with micro transactions.

The spray tags in cs go are the best example, I remember how awesome it would be to see the crazy sprays in CS, they were just jpegs but it gave the community some life. (I'm guessing it was a move to censor graphic jpegs? But not sure, i remember sometimes people would spray porn) but to then sell sprays and then make it so you can only use these pre made sprays a certain amount of times untill it runs out was lame, just a way for more micro transactions. Day of defeat/ CS diddnt have micro transactions. Tf2 originally diddnt have micro transactions, now look at all the goofy crap they sell in that game. Then they put out a card game artifact, the ultimate template to squueze out micro transactions. Luckily it bombed, with the amount of micro transactions in that game it should have been f2p, but no steam wants you to buy in for 30 bucks to be able to buy more micro transactions lol

I'm glad you got some use out of the steam controller, but imo it doesnt make steam pro consumer, its just a product they sell to make money. I'm glad you made the EA comparison. Most people act dumb when i bring it up, but its 100% true. I hate EA, I've not liked them for years and ive started to get that way with steam /valve.

Ive used steam my whole life but it was really because of valves games, thats why i had steam, idgaf that steam has some extra features. I still would have never downloaded the client if it wasnt for valves games back in the day. Valves games was the reason i supported steam. But those days are over.

Why should I support steam now? I dont get it. My consumer experiance with steam has progressively gotten worse over the last decade.

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#31 Edited by BassMan (10208 posts) -

Valve can afford to do whatever the **** they want. They are filthy rich. They are privately owned and don't have to answer to public shareholders. They could not make another penny and still walk away laughing.

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#32 Posted by jeezers (2870 posts) -

@BassMan: true

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#33 Posted by mojito1988 (3617 posts) -

The Epic game store has very few games on it. Steam has about a million. They still currently have nothing to worry about.

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#34 Posted by AJStyles (836 posts) -

@BassMan:

That is exactly what I wanted to say. I am too lazy to google their value/how much they have, but isn’t it billions sitting in the bank?

They have so much money saved up, it’s why they are so damn lazy and don’t make games anymore.

Why make games when you can just sit there and count cash all day?