Pitchford Steam may be a dying store in 5 to 10 years

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#1 Posted by gtx021 (344 posts) -


Earlier this month, Gearbox drew some ire from Steam-loving Borderlands fans by announcing the next game in the series, due in September, would be exclusive to the Epic Games Store on PC. In a massive tweet thread earlier this week, though (helpfully collated in this reddit post), Gearbox founder and CEO Randy Pitchford defends that decision and highlights what he sees as the long-term positives that Epic's competition with Steam will bring to the industry.

While acknowledging that Epic's platform currently lacks many quality-of-life features available on Steam, Pitchford pointed to Epic's public road map for adding many of those features before September's Borderlands 3 launch. In fact, Pitchford sees the game's impending release as a "forcing function... that will, in turn, make all those features available on a faster timeline than otherwise possible... If I were to bet on this... Epic will inevitably surpass Valve on features and quality of service."

Pitchford acknowledges that publisher 2K and developer Gearbox could have hedged their bets by releasing on both Steam and Epic. But he added that he feels the entire industry will be better served in the long run if Borderlands 3's exclusivity can help make the Epic Games Store competitive with Steam. (The sizable investment Epic has made in paying to get exclusive content on its store probably didn't hurt, either)

Before Epic came into the platform picture, Pitchford says, "a huge amount of the value that Valve has generated [through Steam] has been used to enrich the handful of people who own and manage the company... They’ve been able to do this because they haven’t had to worry about it. There has been no viable competitor to Steam. They have had no external force sufficient to challenge their revenue share and no external force sufficient to motivate a sufficient reinvestment of revenue."

Pitchford sees Epic as "the only guys who can really come along to disrupt Steam’s monopoly and help all this get fixed... From a track record point of view, my expectation is that Epic’s investment in technology will outpace Valve’s substantially. When we look back at Steam in five or ten years, it may look like a dying store and other, competitive stores, will be the place to be."

Pitchford points to the way Steam has already upped its revenue sharing for popular games as evidence of how seriously it is taking the new competition. "Holy shit! That’s a miracle," he added. "I think the folks at Valve are really smart and really great and they are also, probably, starting to redirect investment into their store."

Further Reading

Valve changes developer terms to try to retain top games

By way of summary, Pitchford suggests that Epic's competition means that "Steam will have no choice but to either give up, lose, or to get better faster than ever before [and] because Valve is pretty damn good with some awesome talent, I do not expect them to give up or to lose.

"At the end of the day when we look back at this moment we’ll realize that this was the moment where the digital stores on PC became unmonopolized," he continued. "And we’re all going to look back and see how change happened and how costs for developers and publishers to be on stores went down and how that value was passed on to the customers."

Pitchford's lengthy thoughts on the issue are well worth reading in full for anyone interested in a major developer's direct, involved opinion on the expanding PC game store wars.

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#2 Posted by gtx021 (344 posts) -

buy every steam´s game at full price to save up steam

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#3 Edited by uninspiredcup (34421 posts) -

and how costs for developers and publishers to be on stores went down and how that value was passed on to the customers."

Because that's the driving force and forefront of their mind. They certainly won't continue to use new and innovative predatory practices as has been the case for decades now.

Let's just accept Mr.USB, possible thief, Aliens Colonial Marine-Forevers vague use of magical hope!

Get a grip on reality you fucking pleb.

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#4 Posted by nintendoboy16 (36482 posts) -

Hey, uh, Randy...

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#5 Posted by Howmakewood (5955 posts) -

Randy is a trustworthy guy.

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#6 Posted by tenaka2 (17201 posts) -

Borderlands 3 looks like a mod. It's going to flop.

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#7 Posted by getyeryayasout (12407 posts) -

The Smut Wizard must've consulted his crystal balls.

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#8 Posted by Metallic_Blade (533 posts) -

Guys, there's nothing to worry about. Valve just needs to make us Half-Life 3, Left 4 Dead 3, and Portal 3.

Oh, wait... they can't even count to three. No-one has ever taught them to do so.

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#9 Posted by Ghosts4ever (10312 posts) -

when was a last time he made something good?

well its 2005 brothers in arms road to hill 30. after that. everything has been bad. he is same guy who made duke nukem forever and aliens colonial marines.

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#10 Posted by Ten_Pints (3880 posts) -

The Aliens Colonial Marines guy?

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#11 Edited by uninspiredcup (34421 posts) -

@ten_pints said:

The Aliens Colonial Marines guy?

The Duke Nukem Forever guy.

The oops USB porn guy.

The potential "I'm giving myself a bonus without telling my employees" guy.

I notice none of the spineless interviewers ever bring that up.

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#12 Edited by robert_sparkes (3241 posts) -

Crazy statement but nothing surprises me where pitchford is concerned.

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#13 Posted by foxhound_fox (98015 posts) -

And I'll keep buying games on Steam and GOG and filling my EGS library with all the free stuff they are giving away and not spend a cent in the store (like I did with Origin).

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#14 Posted by AJStyles (1030 posts) -

Steam is running out of steam.

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#15 Posted by XVision84 (16332 posts) -

He's been infatuated with Epic Games, praising them well beyond their actual performance. Its awfully suspicious.

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#16 Edited by zacbear (94 posts) -


Watch from 5:04

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#17 Posted by Gaming-Planet (20010 posts) -

Fortnite Store will be dead in 5-10 years.

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#18 Posted by xantufrog (11625 posts) -

Of course he did

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#19 Edited by lundy86_4 (53653 posts) -

Pitchford is a literal moron. I'm not even exaggerating. The dude is a fucking idiot.

Edit: Yeah, this thread delivers. How is this guy still around?

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#20 Posted by SaltSlasher (1244 posts) -

I can't remember the last time he said anything that made any sense.

I just gave up on him when he was saying no one has 4K TVs...Like yeah not as many people do, but he was acting like they were unattainable when all stores almost exclusively stock 4K, and they are cheaper than TVs were when I had 1080. Yet back then, it was mostly upgrading cause smaller and flat screen, was still 1080. People have a ton of reasons to get 4K.

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#21 Posted by uninspiredcup (34421 posts) -

@lundy86_4 said:

Pitchford is a literal moron. I'm not even exaggerating. The dude is a fucking idiot.

Good musician though.

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#22 Posted by lundy86_4 (53653 posts) -

@uninspiredcup: I have no response. WTF was that?

I am genuinely confused how this guy is even in the spotlight... How is he not in a ditch?

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#23 Posted by schu (10055 posts) -

more like Borderlands will be a dead series

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#24 Posted by AnthonyAutumns (1687 posts) -

Err? Don't this guy know that DotA 2 exists? or at least Counter Strike Global Offensive? Even now, TF2 still is relevant. The game has around 40-70k players per month.

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#25 Posted by Ant_17 (12749 posts) -

Lol, randy, epic won't pay you more, chill out.

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#26 Posted by lebanese_boy (15104 posts) -

@Ant_17 said:

Lol, randy, epic won't pay you more, chill out.

You never know, they are throwing money left and right.

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#27 Posted by X_CAPCOM_X (8660 posts) -

@ajstyles said:

Steam is running out of steam.

No. It isn't.

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#28 Posted by Raining51 (1144 posts) -

Pitchford? Pitchford Steam is that aname?

OH I see it's a person saying this other thing... confused is all.

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#29 Posted by freedomfreak (51243 posts) -

Randy is a hack. Only reason he went with epic is because they pay upfront. Useless man.