Is Steam Killing the Retail Biz?

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DoctorX

why the frakk do you have more than one steam account? Do you hack?  Their TOS says you can have only one account.

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Sparx10

He probably has more than one account because he got it from a friend, or traded for it, like I did. I had a BC2 account with EA, got bored of it, so I arranged a trade with a guy; He'd give me his MW2 steam account, and I'd give him the BC2 account. Then I had to accounts, which they won't let you merge.

Anyway yea, their ToS say you can only have one, but I got banned from CS:S for using macros, complained about it to them. They told me to go make another account, so I told them you can't have more than one account because their ToS say you can't.

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Morete

These retailers get what they deserve.  Go into Gamestop and all they sell are X-Box, Playstation 3, Gamecube, Wii and other console games with the the exception of a few PC games which are on the furthest tiny rack hidden in the farthest corner of the store.   Walmart, Target and the rest hate selling PC games because when the corporate buyers crunch the numbers they see that console games sell more than PC games do.  So now they want to force-feed us console games so that we will give up on PC gaming as to follow suit and go with the popular majority.  In my area, Frys Electronics and Best Buy are the only two retail stores that still care about PC gamers. 

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k11k

Had some hardrive crashes and found that waiting for a 9gb game to download from stream was like eternity (Not just one but 6 games, damn you "Mass Effect2"). Yes I do know about the various backup from stream. Only problem was I had them all stored on the harddrive. Only thing that saved me was a few of them I had hard copy that I bought from retail store.

Many of you may have T1 or better, but most of us still have basic DSL ($25). Until I can afford T1 or better speed, I will still rather buy from Retail, I do have to say that the prices from Stream is great (alot special every week). If there is game I know I going to get at launch date, I get from retail. If it's a wait and see title, I buy from Stream cause it will be at a lower cost.

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lunchbox73

Psst. T1 connections are only 1.5 Mbits, cost hundreds of $ a month, and are almost exclusively used by businesses for phone and data.

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rimael

A T1 line is a leased line from a phone company for corporate purposes.  It does come in at only 1.5 MegaBITS per second, or Mbps.  DSL is a commercially available product that is primarily aimed at the home market.  They can range from 1.5-20 or more Mbps, depending on your service area and who you have.  25 bucks for a DSL connection is really cheap.  Check what your speed is and then check with your local cable companies to see if they can offer you something that is competitively priced but offers more speed.  Standard cable rates that I have seen are 6 Mbps for $40 and 8 Mbps for $50.

Hope this helps clear things up.

Rimael

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praetor_alpha

When I went to buy Fallout NV at Walmart a week after launch, it seemed that the PC section had vanished. So I went home and got it on Steam, let it load overnight.

I guess many retailers got wind of all this "PC gaming is dying" BS, and reduced inventory/shelf space. Good riddance I say!

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Chicken_Little_deuce

If game manufacturers choose not to support Steam, I will choose not to support them. Steam has revolutionized the PC gaming market, making it quick, easy and efficient to buy, backup, play, and update games. I say pity the man who wants consumers to put forth more effort to use their product!!!

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ShadowDragoonFTW

Manufacturer's got nothin' to do with it. This is all retail sellers. They're bitching at the manufacturers, but nothing's ever going to come out of it.

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Bluntknife

The only time I go to Gamestop of something is to get limited editions of games with all their boxed goodies.

 

Most of my games money gets spent only during steam sales.

Steam is just way more convenient.

Having to put a disk in the drive to play a game kind of pisses me off.

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thinsoldier

ditto

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ScytheNoire

Steam came about because it's what customers wanted. It's just good business. Steam has helped PC gaming. It's the retailers who were trying to kill PC gaming. Companies like GameStop, who don't even stock PC games any more and fill their stores will used console games. To hell with the retailers, they are getting what they deserve and it's about time to do away with them. All publishers can do it online these days, boxed games are dinosaurs.

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PCLinuxguy

Big freaking hairy deal. Do those complainers realize that Steam does charge money in order to buy something? Granted the costs vary (not talking about freebies or demos here).  I mean to buy the orange box off of steam does cost money, the same money retailers could have but don't, yet the money still goes to the companies/developers as it would via a brick and mortor store..  One of the reasons for doing it digitally is that it's easier to not go out and travel to the store (like if you live in the middle of freaking nowhere).  the UK retairs need to stop their whining, they already bullied Microsoft to offer a browser choice upon installation of their OS because certain ones were too dumb to figure out how to get them afterward.  (not all UKers and such are idiots,  never said that. just some.. much like Americans or any other peoples from other counties.. we all have our morons and then we all have our good normal people)

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Jer Stryker

Steam saved PC gaming.  It gave us a vast library, convenient access, great sales, great support, achievements, etc.  This was all AFTER the brick and mortar stores reduced their PC gaming sections to a tiny out-of-the way shelf-cart, and stopped selling used PC games.  If it weren't for Steam, there might be even fewer PC titles on shelves than there are now, since the stores have been trying to kill off PC gaming for years.

They also by no means have a monopoly.  Though I still buy most of my games through Steam, for various reasons I also use Direct2Drive (another digital service), GoGamer.com (a mail order retailer), and I even bought Lock On Platinum at Target a couple months ago because it was cheaper there than online, and even games that use Steamworks don't need to be bought through steam, so you can't complain there.

These companies are just whining because they ignored PC gaming, didn't put in the effort to innovate when everyone new digital distribution was going to be the next big thing, and now they are casting off the blame from themselves when someone was able to innovate.  If Steam weren't around, these companies wouldn't be any better off, and probably worse.

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thinsoldier

The number of games I've purchased via steam, battle.net and 2 other services in the last 3 years now greater than the number of games I pirated between 1999 and 2007.

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thinsoldier

And another thing.

I just saw a 1 terabyte drive for $48. IF the next generation of consoles still _force_ people to go to the store to purchase blockbuster games I predict an unexpected rise in the PC gaming market.

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Enozo73

Get over it already!!!! If retailers would sell PC games again there would be no issue but since all they do is taget the consoles they need to f*^k off! STEAM is the best thing since sliced bread for teh PC gammer in my opinion. If retailers want to make more $$ then they should offer a better selection of PC content, end of story!

 

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DoctorX

AMEN!

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ReySys

Always someone want to put a border and start charging the client additionals cost.

Steal is excellent (24x7, no parking cots, no inventories, good prices, and accept any credit card!!)

Retails stores are bad for games, slow, few titles.

Playstation, Xbox 360 and Wii are more popular and have more floor.

So leave the service as it is!!!

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DoctorX

Quick... someone roll the Wahhhhhhhhhhmbulance!  Give me a break. What retail presence? There hasnt been more than a dozen games at gamestop, best buy, walmart, etc for years now.  Steam is the best thing out there.  I freaking hate DRM with a passion.  However saying that, I can live with Steam's DRM.  All the DRM is on Steam is a login.  Granted there are some pitfalls, but i have fell in very few of them.  I have actually rebought games on steam that i had disks for just for the fact that reinstalls are painless.  It takes me an hour to reload 800GB of games on steam.  Restore my backup of steam dir, reinstall the client over the top, make sure the auto update turned on.  done.  It takes me weeks to reload that.

How about a counter proposal, I will buy your game, only if it appears on Steam.  Purchasing disks and off of other sites banned at my house.  If it isnt on Steam, it dont exist. 

L4D2 for the win!

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Keith E. Whisman

After more than a year of inactivity, I just decided to download and log into my Steam Account. My Steam account was still there after more than a year and all my games are still there too. This is a pretty good setup. 

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Biceps

Ok, if I go into the Gamestop in downtown San Francisco, there are MAYBE 30 PC games.  All the rest of the games are console and handheld games.

I vastly prefer to have a disc in-hand so that I always have my copy.  I also like having the paper-bound manuals, maps and other extras that come with the games. So, if the supply were there, I would buy. The stores simply don't stock enough PC games because they have tilted their business models to focus on consoles. That is fine - but if you have changed your business model because you suck at selling PC games, don't come back and blame Steam for providing a VASTLY better service and distribution channel.

The message here to brick and mortar retailers: 'Make up your mind'.  Either get out of the PC game business, or commit to it 100% and do it right; but don't f*ck it up for everyone else just because you don't know how to succeed in the market without blackmail.

One more comment: Steam is ALSO a retailer, they are just an ONLINE retailer. I don't think I ever paid wholesale for a game on Steam.

 

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van_helblaze

There are 2 GameStop's in my area, one doesn't carry PC at all, the other one only stocks maybe 2 or 3 copies of maybe 10 games (and yes it's in the back corner of the store).  My local Bestbuy after their remodel at least moved the PC games to the front of the store.

I agree Steam saved PC gaming, I haven't even purchased a retail copy of a PC game for myself in years, and the last retail game I purchased (birthday gift for younger brother) was able to be activated through Steam (Civ5).

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davidflory

Brick and mortar retailer to wake up to reality.  As more and more people go online, items like software, books, music, and videos will be sold and distributed online because it is cheaper to distribute.  No inventory to count, no store clerks, no store leases, no shipping, etc.  Just website(s), servers, and those who maintain them.  Brick and mortar retailers banning Steam games will only push them to Steam and other retailers to gain access to their customers.  Retailers are going to have to do more to attract customers to their stores by offering more than just a place to buy things.

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Libbman

I think they should be worried.  I would be if all of my customers realized that there is an easier way to acquire games than to drive to the store.  The prices are the same and the selection beats out every brick and mortar store that I know of.  I think they need to adapt to the changing world, not just complain about the changes.

As a side note, The big draw for me to use steam is that I keep my friends list.  I can see who is playing what and easily launch the game if I want to.  I also love the fact that if something is recommended to me and I like it, I can be playing it before I would have been able to make it back from the store!

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GeoX

PC games are already becoming hard to find at retail in London. Only the largest branches of HMV stock them now, and they seem to be selling off stock as I got Mass Effect 2 for £7 there. Game has a much reduced selection. My nearest branch has a tiny selection in a corner. Supermarkets either have the latest games only, priced as loss leaders or at full retail, or games I've never heard of. But who needs them as long as Steam has sales?

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thinsoldier

There isn't anywhere in my country to buy PC games. There may be 2 stores on my island that have a handful of copies of Starcraft II and World of Warcraft but that's it. And they're 135% more expensive than if I bought them in the U.S. Even if I flew to the U.S. to buy them I'd have to rip the disk data to my hard-drive and leave the box and manual, etc behind to avoid being charged by customs when I flew home.

On top of there being almost nowhere to buy them and a lack of titles I'm POOR. I can't afford Arkham Asylum for $59! But steam had it on sale for $12! 

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flo21

This is kind of like saying they'll refuse to sell cds also because those might be ripped and used in iTunes, I never actually buy anything from iTuens and use it for management.

That being said Steam is a great service, and whenever there's a sale I buy old games from my physical library so that I can then chuck them out, the future's in the cloud baby.

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savagehart

I pre-ordered Fallout New Vegas from a Brick-and-Morter Big Box store in JUNE. At the time they promised release date delivery. 3 weeks before the release date, I was checking the order and noticed that the "new" delivery date was a week (yes 7 DAYS) after the release date. I called the CS line and they promised that the site was wrong and I'd get it on time. Day before the release date, I get an email that the supplier had put a hold on the ordwer so it was going to be late and no, it was too late to cancel the order.  I jumped on Steam, ordered, downloaded and unlocked the game @12:03 AM on the release date.

B&M Store :0

Steam: 1

Got the same pre-order bonus, to boot.  Oh and the original order was delivered 12 days after release.....So will I use the store next time or a service that actually does what it sayes it will do?

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JDHatman

I love the service the Steam brings, and I agree with all of the positive comments made previously.  However, the only thing that I'm concerned with is this.  If Steam ever does go under, which at this point is very unlikely ever to occur, but if they ever do you'd lose all of your games that you paid alot of money for.  You won't have any hard discs to fall back on.  While Steam is up and running, they will be King of PC gaming.

 

That is all.

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Phantom-e

Steam has made a commitment to make all purchases permanently available if it were to go under. The details are vague on how they would accomplish this, but I remember they would make them playable offline.  This was 6 years ago when I installed Half Life 2.  But, like others have noted, I doubt they'll be going under anytime soon.

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someuid

Go back and read Steam's faqs.  They clearly state that if Steam ever goes under, their last hoora will be to unlock everyone's games.

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concernedITpro

Does anyone out there seriously think that if Steam were in the process of going under, then they'd expend the resources necessary to "unlock" all those games? How naive.

 

Maybe if some rogue employee of Steam with the means to pull it off were to get wind of an impending closing up of shop, then he/she would pull off such a heroic move. Putting him/herself at risk for criminal prosecution for such a stunt may put a damper on that notion, though.

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Obsidian

Steam is the best thing to happen for gamers in a long time. Retail stores don’t offer anything additional when it comes to games. It could be argued that they actually offer less.

  • I don’t have to drive to the store for a game.
  • I can load a game on multiple systems and log onto Steam and play it.
  • I don’t have to keep track of retail boxes and discs.
  • No more CD Keys printed on paper with fading ink or easily lost pieces of paper.
  • Download it as many times as you want.
  • The ability for cloud game saves keeping game state in some titles when you upgrade your computer or suffer a catastrophic failure.
  • See what your friends are playing, and in some cases join them. Online community is useful for many.
  • Steam achievements mean things to some gamers.
  • Everything Windows Live Gaming could have been had M$ actually given consumers what they wanted instead of dictating to us how to use the best gaming platform of all time, the PC.
  • It’s more environmentally conscious due to not having printing costs, boxes, and distribution of physical product.
  • Small game companies can leverage the Steam system right away.
  • Sales and deals on Steam frequently for titles all across the gaming spectrum.
  • I encourage game companies to use every avenue to sell their product. They need our money to keep turning out things we consume. What a better way to do that than a secure purchase, download and distribution environment that’s entirely digital? This moves more products without the logistical issues of physical boxes.
  • Since you have to be logged into Steam to use some games, the DRM restrictions forced onto your computer are LESS obtrusive than if you purchased the physical media.
  • There are some down sides to Steam but the positives far outweigh the negatives.

I don’t think Steam has gone far enough but it’s an incredible start.

Retailers telling game companies where and how they can sell their product aren’t going to sit well with those actually producing the products. This could backlash if it actually held any weight. As if Game Stop can refuse to sell the next Call of Duty title because you can pre-order it on Steam, not likely.

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bingojubes

also to be noted   Pre-loading > Waiting in line  but that probably goes with not having to drive to the store. athat and no sales tax, as far as i know, which makes gamestore prices insane on 60$ titles, if they carried them at all.

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Obsidian

You're totally correct about that point.

Yet another huge benefit of Steam; pre-orders are sometimes available at midnight the day of their release. You don't have to wait at the store when it opens. Take time out of your day/work to make a trip to the exact place you ordered the title from.

As others have pointed out, PC games are a very small fraction of Gamestop's inventory; PC hardware even smaller. If you want to buy a controller for your PC, even the XBox 360 controller for Windows, and they won't have it.

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someuid

Steam rocks.  It is the best way to buy a game.  I haven't bought a box copy in a loooong time and I honestly hope I never have to.

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thinsoldier

I haven't bought a boxed copy of a game since Castlevania III

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Norf

What I want to know is where these retail stores are that still stock PC games?

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lunchbox73

That crap. It's the same old Walmart vs. Mom 'n Pop stores routine. Steam offers a great service to consumers, people love it, people use it. That's not a bad thing. Brick and mortor stores losing busines to Steam is too bad so sad for them. Progress marches on.

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ddimick

Unless the brick-and-mortar retailers offer something more than you can get with online delivery, they are doomed. Threats won't work. They should be thinking about what they could offer that an on-line delivery method can't. Free troubleshooting? Installation services? Discounted peripheral bundles? A generous return policy? The publishers have been making some attempts with "premium" physical packaging, but I don't know how successful that's been.

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majorsuave

I like Steam, I like the way it allows developers to cook games in a most efficient way. 

I hate to see retailers whining and afraid to lose money, customers gain functionality, that is the only important factor to me.

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FunkySquirrel

Now if we could just get people to stop bitching about Steam, we'd be good to go.

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imemmittsmith

Steam has been the best and easiest way to get my games, especially if you rebuild your PC or are on a remote PC.  Talk about HATE, try Games for Windows that Fallout 3 DLC used, it was terrible and would always put it in the wrong directory.  Yeah, his problem definitely his computer.  When it worked great and then stopped working, you need to HATE your computer.

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mothrpe

A monopoly implies that there are no alternatives to the service, steam is simply doing it better than other companies and they won't admit that.

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Southern Chirop...

I want to say I hate Steam. I have not had a problem with steam until the Nov 4, 2010 update. After the update I have not been able to connect to steam using their client software, even after I have done everything in the FAQ and forum recommendation. When I start the steam software is says connecting to steam network then a few seconds later it will go to not responding.  Has anyone else had this problem and if so did you ever receive any customer service.  It is frustrating when you can't get any customer service.  Now I have games I paid good money for, money that took my time and effort to earn now I can’t even use them as I wish.

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Biceps

You need to go into the Steam Directory and delete the .blog files.  That usually fixes it.  If the problem is with a specific game, and not Steam:

1-Uninstall the game

2-THEN go to the individual directory for the game and delete ALL of it. (Yes, it may still be there even though you un-installed it, so manually delete it)

3- Re-Download the game.

Good Luck!  I also recommend going to Steam.com and submitting a ticket for support.  They will get back to you and walk you through a solution.

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davidflory

I would blame Steam for your problem if there were thousands online having the same issue...but they are not...  So hate your PC and not Steam.  A quick solution...uninstall Steam, download run CCleaner, re-boot PC, then re-install Steam.  Also, check your firewall settings, you may have blocked out Steam there.  If that does not work, your PC is really messed up and soon you will be having many more problems other than just Steam not connecting.

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Southern Chirop...

I have done all of that and then some.  Never had a problem till the update on Nov 4.

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Biceps

I had the same issue, and it was also on Nov. 4th.  You need to contact Steam support and work with them on it, if none of the fixes have worked for you.  I'm assuming you have uninstalled and re-installed the entire client and games, btw, that is a common fix found online.  Again, you need to manually delete the directory after uninstall, or it may not 'take'.

Steam tech support is generally excellent, and they will not leave you hanging if you file a ticket with them.  Good luck, and post when you get a fix!

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