• randy@lemmy.ca
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    3 months ago

    If you want a preview of an uncaring and anti-consumer Valve, look no further than the company’s efforts on Mac.

    Valve never updated any of its earlier games to run in 64-bit mode… Apple dropped support for 32-bit applications in 2019

    Funny enough, the only platform with a 64-bit Steam client is Mac.

    I don’t disagree with concerns about monopoly, but the author’s key example is Macs. And from the example, it sounds to me like Apple disregards backwards compatibility (dropping 32-bit support, moving to ARM chips) and Valve isn’t investing to keep up. Meanwhile, Windows has a heavy backwards-compatibility focus, and Linux isn’t too bad either, so no wonder they still get Valve’s attention. So who is being “anti-consumer” in this example, Valve or Apple?

    • DdCno1@beehaw.org
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      3 months ago

      Agreed. This is a superficial history lesson masquerading as an article. While nothing lasts forever and Steam has its issues, the examples being cited are not supporting the not outrageous prediction that Steam might get worse in the future. It’s just not very insightful.

      Anyone who, unlike the author, actually had to deal with early versions of Steam can attest to the fact that in most ways, the platform has dramatically improved.

    • Farias@lemmynsfw.com
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      3 months ago

      To be clear there’s only been a single generation (2006) of x86 based Macs that weren’t 64bit. They’ve been telling everyone since 2007 (well actually earlier even, the final PPC generation was 64bit), that the 32bit was going to go away.

      I hate to defend Apple arbitrarily but all us developers had plenty of notice, and had to specifically reconfigure the default settings on their projects to only be 32bit. If developers ignore deprecation notices for over a decade, then is it really the fault of the other side?

      • IronTwo@beehaw.org
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        3 months ago

        I am not a developer and honestly curious about this. What’s Apple’s reason for ditching 32 bit programs? Isn’t backwards compatibility a net positive for both developers and consumers?

    • GenderNeutralBro@lemmy.sdf.org
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      3 months ago

      I wouldn’t say Apple disregards backwards compatibility, but they certainly don’t prioritize it to the degree Microsoft does, or that the general open-source community does. For Microsoft, backwards compatibility is their bread and butter. Enterprise customers have all sorts of unsupported legacy shit, and it dictates purchasing decisions and upgrade schedules.

      Apple gave devs and users a ton of lead time before dropping 32-bit support. The last 32-bit Mac hardware was in 2006 (the first gen of Intel Macs); it wasn’t until Catalina’s release in 2019 that 32-bit apps stopped running, and Apple continued releasing security updates for older OSes that could run 32-bit apps for a couple years after that. So that was basically 15 years of notice for devs to release 64-bit apps.

      That was much more time than they gave Classic Mac apps under OS X, or PowerPC apps on Intel. I was much more annoyed when PowerPC support was axed. Only a matter of time until Intel apps stop running on Apple Silicon, too. That’s gonna be the end of the world for Steam games. Ironically, it’s already easier to run legacy Windows and Linux games on Mac than it is to run legacy Mac games.

    • teawrecks@sopuli.xyz
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      3 months ago

      Yeah, totally agree that we shouldn’t go all in on trusting valve, but apple is definitely the anti-consumer one here. I don’t think valve would support DX if they could get away with it. Apple deprecating everything but metal without making it an open spec basically said, “we don’t want anyone gaming on our platform”.

    • corbin@infosec.pubOP
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      3 months ago

      It’s a little bit of column A and a little bit of column B. Apple very obviously doesn’t want the Mac gaming ecosystem to exist in the same capacity as Windows and Linux, but Valve also has an obligation to its customers using Macs to keep the service running well.

      • YaBoyMax@programming.dev
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        3 months ago

        macOS 10.14 has been EOL for more than 2 years now and basically every Mac released since 2012 is compatible with 10.15. Valve also didn’t actively flip a switch and disable functionality; they’re just no longer providing updates. I don’t think Valve shoulders any blame in this specific case - it’s unreasonable to expect any company to indefinitely support platforms that are effectively obsolete.

        • corbin@infosec.pubOP
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          3 months ago

          I meant more that the Steam client needs to be fully functional on modern macOS. Dropping older operating systems is more justifiable, but does still add to the picture of Valve not treating Mac owners all that well.

        • metaStatic@kbin.social
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          3 months ago

          I got my first mac a few years back off the side of the road, a 2009 imac that didn’t work. I went to a lot of trouble to find and install the most up to date mac os I could get on it for the challenge and because I’d never used a intel mac before.

          Believe me, they absolutely did just flick a switch. everything about steam worked fine until the day it didn’t even load up. removing support is one thing, actively bricking your product is a total scum fuck move that is just common practice in gaming now.

            • beepnoise@piefed.social
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              3 months ago

              On Intel Macs, it is fairly trivial.

              On the modern ARM based Macs (the M1/2/3/X processors), it isn’t an option. The only real solution is to use desktop virtualisation software like Parallels to install Windows (ARM based) and try to get Steam going. There are cheaper alternatives to Parallels, but they are often a faff.

              • DJDarren@thelemmy.club
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                3 months ago

                I have an M2 Air which can run the Windows version of Steam via Whisky. Its ability can be patchy, but the fact it runs any games at all is little short of a miracle. I’ve been playing The Talos Principle II that way, and while my wife thinks the glitchy graphics are hilarious, I’m not too fussed because the gameplay is still there.

                Of course, it’s not perfect, and while I can get Fallout 4 to run, it looks like shit even on the lowest settings. However, in the context of the gripes in this thread, it means I can play Portal 2 and its various mod packs on my Mac. And they look great.

                • beepnoise@piefed.social
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                  3 months ago

                  I completely forgot about Whiskey. Managed to get GTA V running at 120FPS on it, which was (and still is, IMHO) absolutely mindblowing.

      • verdare [he/him]@beehaw.org
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        Yeah, Valve has put a lot of effort into bridging the compatibility gap for Linux. Most of that work could also be ported to macOS, but they just don’t care.

        It’s a shame, because getting 32-bit to 64-bit compatibility working would help Linux as well. I don’t know how much longer distros want to keep supporting 32-bit libraries, and some distros have already dropped them.

        That said, macOS compatibility seems like a non-sequitur for an article calling Steam a “time bomb.” DRM is definitely the bigger issue here.

        • CalcProgrammer1@lemmy.ml
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          3 months ago

          It’s not just 32 on 64 bit, new Macs use ARM64 processors so x86/x86_64 code is effectively obsolete on Mac. I would love to see Valve pour resources into a cross platform x86 on ARM64 emulation layer though, it would benefit Linux as well.

          • verdare [he/him]@beehaw.org
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            3 months ago

            The ARM translation may be less of a problem on macOS because of Rosetta. That said, integrating something like Box64 would absolutely benefit both Mac and Linux.

  • mox@lemmy.sdf.org
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    I have my criticisms of Steam, but I see no sign of it marching toward some kind of big anti-customer explosion as suggested in this article. Unlike most others, it’s run by a privately owned company, so it doesn’t have investors pressuring toward enshittification. We can see the result by looking back at the past decade or so: Steam has been operating more or less the same.

    Meanwhile, the author offers for contrast Epic Games, a major source of platform exclusives and surveillance software (file-snooping store app, client-side anti-cheat, Epic Online Services “telemetry”), all of which are very much anti-customer.

    AFAIK, only one of the other stores listed is actually better for customers in any significant way: GOG. (For the record, I mostly like GOG.) But it was mentioned so briefly that it feels like the author only did so in hopes of influencing GOG fans.

    Overall, this post looks a lot like astroturfing. I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out to be sponsored by Epic or Microsoft.


    Edit: I forgot something that has changed in the past decade:

    Valve has spent the past five years investing in open platforms: At first by funding key parts (often the most difficult ones) of the open-source software stack that now makes gaming great on linux, and more recently by developing remarkably good and fairly open PC hardware for mobile gaming. No vendor lock-in. No subscription fees. No artificially crippled features. This has already freed many gamers from Microsoft’s stranglehold, and more of us are reaping the benefits every day.

    This is the polar opposite of what the author would have us fear.

    • TwilightVulpine@kbin.social
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      3 months ago

      I get the risks of putting all eggs in one basket, but whenever people argue for competition using Epic as an example, a company that is demonstrably more anti-competitive and anti-consumer, it shows that they just think of the matter of theoretical ideals of evenness as opposed to benefits to the customers. I don’t see any good coming from Epic having as much or more marketshare than Steam.

      Unlike GOG which only offers DRM-free games, a substantial advantage compared to any other store.

      • stardust@lemmy.ca
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        3 months ago

        Makes me think of a Walmart opening up in a town and people arguing that the residents should buy from there because it’s competition. Company just existing doesn’t make it good.

    • Corgana@startrek.website
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      3 months ago

      Well said, private companies are incentivized to make their customers happy. Corporations are incentivized to make their shareholders happy. Sometimes those goals align, but they are not the same.

  • Kostyeah@lemmy.ca
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    3 months ago

    What a garbage article lol. The only two arguments I can pick out are 1. Old steam games haven’t been updated to work on macOS and 2. Some games require 3rd party launchers. I think the author was just angry that his mac dropped support for a 20 year old game.

    • PotatoesFall
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      3 months ago

      Agreed, shitty read. The 30% cut is crazy high though, and IMO the best point the article has. Steam DOES have a monopoly and that’s inherently bad

      • Nath@aussie.zone
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        3 months ago

        It isn’t a monopoly though. Even ignoring the Blizzards, Epics and GOGs of the web, any developer can host their game on their own Web site and market it completely independently of Steam and keep 100% of their takings.

        The monopoly on storefront argument holds water in mobile land where side-loading a game is not possible/easy. In the world of computers though, I don’t think the same standard applies.

        • PotatoesFall
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          That’s still a monopoly. The article says it too, if you don’t put your game on steam, your sales suffer. It’s similar to how spotify has a monopoly on the music streaming market.

          • ShepherdPie@midwest.social
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            How are either of those a monopoly? A monopoly generally means you only have one option and that option is taking advantage of their outrageous market share by jacking up prices.

            Where I live the only broadband internet is Comcast which is why I pay 2-3x more for my service than comparable services in areas where they don’t have a monopoly (or areas with sane regulations).

            Saying that you’ll not earn as much money if you don’t put your game on steam doesn’t mean steam has a monopoly, it just means you’re not getting as much reach as you could. Being popular doesn’t equate to being a monopoly.

          • stardust@lemmy.ca
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            3 months ago

            Citing this article that is upset about lack of Apple support but is silent on lack of Linux support from other launchers while probably using an iPhone that locks out everything compared to Android is funny.

          • Appoxo@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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            3 months ago

            If you market your game better it can “survive” outside of steam as well. I didn’t hear about Ready or Not having funding issues. They didn’t even announce a Steam release when they started their funding campaign.
            It may result in less sales because users have to download and update the game manually. Can’t deny that assumption but it’s not a mandatory thing to publish on steam…

      • Kid_Thunder@kbin.social
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        3 months ago

        A 30% cut for steam games sold on steam and a 0% cut for steam keys sold by the publisher wherever they want with the caveat that they must give steam users the same sales at around the same time. They get their games hosted on Steam’s industry best CDN, a page with support for images and videos, an API with features users like, workshop API for mod hosting and delivery, and other SteamWorks API stuff for stuff like multiplayer, patch management without charging a fee for it, forum hosting to hit the highlights. Pretty much all of that drives engagement and is mostly turn-key though you do have to programmatically interact with their API when it makes sense.

        Steam provides a lot of benefit for a 30% cut of what is sold on their store front and a lot more benefit for getting all of the above for a 0% cut if they sell steam keys outside of steam.

        • PotatoesFall
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          3 months ago

          I’m not saying Steam is the worst thing out there right now. I’m saying monopoly is inherently bad, and 30% is a crazy high cut even including the features you mentioned.

        • stardust@lemmy.ca
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          And even then the same sales around the same time seems very lax with games often going on sale for pre-orders for a steam key that Steam games never get at launch. Most my Steam games are purchased from other storefronts than steam with more frequent sales and faster price drops.

      • exanime@lemmy.today
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        Steam DOES have a monopoly and that’s inherently bad

        Being popular does not make steam a monopoly… My son plays 80% steam games but has Epic launcher installed and plays rocket League regularly

        There is nothing in Steam preventing or even making it hard for you to run PC games in any other way

        • PotatoesFall
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          3 months ago

          having a market share like that is a form of monopoly. It’s obviously different from absolute monopoly, but they wield too much power as is.

          And to be fair, running games on linux without steam is definitely more tricky than without.

          • jarfil@beehaw.org
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            3 months ago

            There are two requirements to be considered a monopoly, or fall under antitrust laws:

            1. Have a large market share
            2. Be able to force competing products out of the market

            Steam meets point 1, it doesn’t meet point 2. On the other hand, things like the Apple App Store, don’t meet point 1, but meet point 2, which makes them more likely to fall under antitrust. Windows meets both points, which is why the US sued Microsoft for not letting people choose their browser.

            • Onihikage@beehaw.org
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              3 months ago

              Yeah, we only have to look at the FTC’s lawsuit against Amazon to see what they consider an antitrust problem:

              […] Amazon violates the law not because it is big, but because it engages in a course of exclusionary conduct that prevents current competitors from growing and new competitors from emerging. By stifling competition on price, product selection, quality, and by preventing its current or future rivals from attracting a critical mass of shoppers and sellers, Amazon ensures that no current or future rival can threaten its dominance.

              That isn’t what we see from Valve - in fact it’s the opposite, as Valve’s strategy with Steam is simply to provide the best service and be the gold standard. The competition is almost always compared unfavorably to Steam, because gamers know how it feels to use a mature platform that isn’t trying to abuse them.

              Valve has even taken some steps that wind up increasing competition in adjacent markets, such as operating systems (Proton has contributed significantly to Linux popularity) and even handheld game devices (Steam Deck set off an arms race when electronics manufacturers realized Nintendo is asleep at the wheel). Steam is as pro-consumer as it gets, with the exception of GOG and possibly itch.

          • exanime@lemmy.today
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            3 months ago

            But I always assumed that, unless you are blocking competition, it’s not legally a monopoly and harder to penalize (not that they actually penalize monopolies much in north America)

            Other than making a good product and easier to run games on Linux, there is nothing preventing anyone to install other launchers or games on their own or game makers from selling through other launchers or independently, etc

      • stardust@lemmy.ca
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        3 months ago

        Monopoly on a platform that they don’t own? That being Microsoft? Then seeing how epic isn’t even profitable on the launcher side and is a loss leader while their launcher is barebones it raises the question of what cut is actually realistic that allows a company to have a feature rich launcher and branch out into stuff like Linux, VR, and Steam Deck.

        Current state feels more like Walmart expanding into new territory and trying to lure people with low prices, but isn’t sustainable with the main goal just being expansion.

        • Cethin@lemmy.zip
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          You don’t need to own the OS to have a monopoly. What a weird thing to say. You don’t need to own the United States to have a monopoly in it. That’s an equivalent statement.

          Your point about Epic not being able to compete means they have a monopoly. Steam is great, but part of that is because they essentially have infinite money to spend improving things to make sure no one else catches up.

          • stardust@lemmy.ca
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            3 months ago

            Epic hasn’t given me a reason to buy from them. Fanatical, humble bundle, gmg, etc I find better if the only selling point is price with them having more consistent sales, bundles, and choice of platform.

            Epic has done more to make me not consider them an option with their foray into the market being removing Metro Exodus near launch and taking monopolistic approaches to taking the approach of denying games from being sold on other platforms. Not just steam but GOG too with exceptions only being given to owners of the platform.

            • Appoxo@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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              3 months ago

              Agreed.
              Them withholding a game makes me not consider them in the future. I’d rather pirate it if they were to keep withholding it.

              But I “allow” them to withhold 1st party games (or studios they aquire like Psyonix) from 3rd party stores. Same goes for Valve, EA, Ubisoft, Blizzard and Microsoft.
              They did the work and sure are entitled to keep it. It may not be in the interested of the consumer to have the need to install yet another launcher but it’s fine.
              Them buying up 3rd party releases are what I have issues with

          • diannetea@lemmy.ml
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            3 months ago

            Epic isn’t able to compete because their launcher is missing major simple features like reviews.

            I don’t want multiple extra steps when I’m interested in a game. Steam has a big market share because they are giving people what they want in a launcher. That’s it.

            Epic can put in the effort if they want but it’s already been like 2 years and as far as i can tell hasn’t really been updated with anything new, I use it for the free games sometimes but otherwise not really. That would only change if they make the launcher more attractive.

            • Appoxo@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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              3 months ago

              Epic could compete. But I believe they did their approach too forcefully.

              I personally refuse to use EGS because I don’t like how they approached the market by starting this exclusive war on PC. I wished they kept that to consoles only. If they did a co-release on both Steam and EGS but offer a consistent 10€ discount compared to Steam I’d be more open to it instead.

              This in addition to Tencent (and by that extent the chinese gov) have a ~40% of shares of the company. That’s a considerable amount of foothold. And I vote with my wallet by not giving them more of my data.
              I have to mention though, that I have an EpicGames account and have played Fortnight as well as use and play UE-games and tried out the UE-engine. But I have the option in life to not give them more.

            • Cethin@lemmy.zip
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              3 months ago

              I know they’re missing features. Steam didn’t always have all the features they have now either. We take that for granted now, but that wasn’t always the case. Steam has their market position because they were one of the first to market, and they invested their profits into making their product better. A newcomer is now met by consumers with the expectation that they’ll be equally as good, and when they inevitably aren’t they don’t use it. That’s how a monopoly works.

              I agree it sucks, and that Steam is a nice piece of software, and the Valve has done good work supporting Linux. That doesn’t change whether or not they hold a monopolistic position in the market though. The barrier for new entries into the market is too high because Steam is good. It’s nothing against Steam, but it is a monopoly and that isn’t good for consumers —which includes game developers, not just end users.

              • stardust@lemmy.ca
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                3 months ago

                That steam didn’t have features is like comparing steam from decades ago. I don’t feel like that is even a valid defense anymore when new smartphone companies are expected to come with a feature filled OS as opposed to pre smartphone expectations. Same for any other products be it televisions, monitors, etc.

                Barriers can be brought up, but if someone is introducing the equivalent of a dumb phone to the market to compete against a smartphone and expecting to make money for just existing and only bothering to try to corner the market with removing products then no wonder things are playing out the way they are.

                • Cethin@lemmy.zip
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                  3 months ago

                  That’s why all new smartphone companies use Android. It comes packaged feature rich. It is a good comparison.

      • Appoxo@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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        3 months ago

        Not like any other app store does take 30% except for some high volume games/publishers.
        Apple does the same. Hell they seem to have custom rules for each of the app devs (according to Linus and Luke from LTT: I believe this clip contains most of it. They recently talked about it again. Essentially they developed the app payment like Netflix. Apple said “No, that’s against our rules” and refused the submission of the update. Meanwhile Netflix supposedly still had the same communication for a long time.)

        Same goes with Google and probably a number of other external stores.
        Amazon seems to take up to 20% depending on the item (Source: sell.amazon.com/pricing.

        At least Steam does provide a forum, community features and the update framework and infrastructure.
        Personally I would be happy to take the offering over maybe needing to host and maintain the tech stack myself. Now mind you, maybe some other dev would rather do it themself and maybe wish to opt-out of the ecosystem. That is totally valid.

        (Warning/Disclaimer: I only heard about that. I do not have first hand experience!) Apple for example takes a percentage for processing a payment and offers an invoicing system. Some may like that. Others could maybe negotiate a better deal with another provider and maybe even offer tools that integrate better with their existing accounting and ERP software.

    • Grimpen@lemmy.ca
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      Can’t you use Proton on Mac? I’d think that would solve most compatibility problems.

      • Railcar8095@lemm.ee
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        The problem is that proton needs to translate direct X to Vulcan, but Apple doesn’t allow Vulcan, it has to be their own thing, Metal.

        So it’s a lot of work for valve and fully dependent on apple not screwing them.

    • Zworf@beehaw.org
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      Well the third-party launchers is extremely annoying, I have to say. Buying a game on Steam and then it forcing you to install yet another launcher (I have like 8 on my gaming PC now) really pisses me off.

      I tend to buy on GOG now if I have the choice because they don’t stand for that kind of shit nor DRM either.

      I also really love the overview of GOG of the games you have in different launchers. Before that it happened to me multiple times that I bought a game on sale without realising I had already bought it on another platform years ago on another sale. Oops.

      Ethics, features that are actually great for me instead of stuff that’s just great for them. Love it. Reminds me a lot of a company that used to be like that. It was called Valve I think.

  • t3rmit3@beehaw.org
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    3 months ago

    Valve won’t stay that way forever—the company is not immune to the pressures of capitalism

    I’m glad that the author recognized the actual root cause of their argument, which is that Capitalism is bad and ruins everything, but why blame Steam for essentially just existing in a Capitalist world? They didn’t choose that, and they’re certainly doing a hell of a lot more than almost any other company their size that I can think of to resist shitty Capitalist practices.

    It really feels like this author is just saying, “they’re resisting anti-consumer enshittification practices now, so the only place to go is down, ergo ‘timebomb’!”.

    “Every person who isn’t a murderer is just a murder away from becoming a murderer. Timebomb!”

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      “Every person who isn’t a murderer is just a murder away from becoming a murderer. Timebomb!”

      Never thought about it that way, welp, might as well get it over with.

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      The difference between Valve and almost every other company that suffers from “capitalism” is that Valve is a private company, they don’t have shareholders, investors and an outsider asshole CEO demanding enshittification in the name of exponential growth.

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      The issue is Steam and Valve being held up as the ‘one good company’, when there are plenty of examples to the contrary. Valve does many of the same practices as Epic, EA, etc., but there’s a double standard with Valve because it’s the default experience. The inevitable decline of Steam is going to be much worse after people spent a decade giving it a free pass on lesser issues.

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        The inevitable decline of Steam is going to be much worse after people spent a decade giving it a free pass on lesser issues.

        What specifically are you envisioning? If this is just a general kind of, “the bigger they are, the harder they fall” supposition, I don’t think that really holds any water; it’s just a platitude. If anything, Steam being so ubiquitous could more easily make it’s eventual decline a catalyst for legislation to give software license ownership stronger consumer protections. The idea that we should either condemn it now or stop using it, before its decline, makes no sense to me. Is GOG better? Sure. Can it fully replace Steam? No. Is Steam better than Epic, Origin, UPlay? Absolutely. I’m just not sure what the real point of all this condemnation is when they’re by far trying, by and large, to treat consumers well. It’s just blaming Valve for not being totally and eternally immune to the effects of Capitalism.

        the ‘one good company’

        No one claims this. The only thing remotely close to that which people claim is that Valve is uniquely positioned to be one of the best digital games distribution platforms due to its private ownership insulating it against shareholder demands (which is by far the largest driver of enshittification), which is also true for GOG, but obviously Valve is still beating them out in capacity and capability currently.

        there are plenty of examples to the contrary

        Of course, it’s a company. But it’s still a billion times better than most of its competitors.

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        It’ll be fine until they go public (though maybe a few billion is enough for gaben and they won’t, but I’m not banking on it), then it’ll be an inevitable decline like all the others.

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          Whatever Gaben thinks, he won’t live forever. The moment leadership changes, we’ll see how money thirsty the new bosses are.

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      “Every person who isn’t a murderer is just a murder away from becoming a murderer. Timebomb!”

      I get your point, but this metaphor would be more applicable if historically every human on earth murdered someone during their lifetime. I think Steam/Valve will remain the same as long as their current leadership is in place. 999 times out of 1000, once the original founders are gone, any company begins the enshittification process, whether it’s a major business like Valve or a local chain of grocery stores.

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        Sure, and when that happens we should (and many will) abandon the platform. But since, as you seem to be implying, all businesses under Capitalism will eventually enshittify, there’s no point abandoning it beforehand, because any alternative you move to will also eventually do so.

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          I didn’t say anything about abandoning it, just that it’s bound to happen eventually like with any other business unlike people and murder.

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            The difference between a person and a corporation… is that once a corporation goes public, it’s like having a person whose only goal in life is to get as much money as possible, no matter how. Those people usually end up in jail; corporations, not so much.

            On the other hand, something like 2/3 of businesses “fail”, or close, during the first 10 years, never going public. The ones surviving… are the ones that probably should be in “jail” 🤷

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    You forgot the Mac

    Lol, fuck Mac. If Apple cared about gaming, they wouldn’t have created Metal and collaborated on Vulkan. Fuck them. Valve went with Linux because they can change it to fit their needs. Can’t do that with Apple.
    Microsoft is only supported by Valve because it has large marketshare and can’t be ignored, but it’s clear that Valve is doing everything possible to get away from them: see Steam Deck.

    In general, I agree with Steam wielding too much power and if they abused it, I’d be out. I have my gaming hours and can live without gaming no problem. They wouldn’t get any more money from me as soon as they enshittified.

    What would get me away from steam is an opensource gaming store with games that have no DRM and are predominantly opensource. Or another gaming store that worked on Linux and allowed playing games with my other linux buddies.
    Get us that and I’m out.

    Anti Commercial AI thingy

    CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

    • Someonelol@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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      Have you considered gog? They may not be betting heavily on Linux or have as a big of a selection but their games are DRM free. You can even install gog Galaxy, a game manager similar to Steam.

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        Doesn’t seem like GOG galaxy is for linux

        GOG GALAXY 2.0 Open Beta is available for Windows and Mac. Please download the installer on your PC.

        That’s a disappointment, but Heroic Launcher is. I’ll give it a shot and see if there are new games on there for me. The name “Good Old Games” gave me the impression it was for stuff like boomer shooters or side-scrollers and stuff.

        Anti Commercial AI thingy

        CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

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          Heroic works really well. I’ve just installed it myself recently, motivated mostly by a desire to finally play the free games I got off Epic. I’ve only installed two EGS games so far - Civ 6 and Guardians of the Galaxy - but they’re working perfectly, running via proton.

          The experience is so good I was actually inspired to buy my first game outside of steam in years, namely Wartales which I just bought yesterday on GOG. Installation is a breeze, it runs under proton, and as far as I can tell it is running perfectly.

          I sort of prefer Heroic to Steam in fact, because it starts almost immediately - no waiting around for 30 seconds while it tries to connect to the Steam network etc

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    This is why beehaw needs downvotes. Crappy submissions like this article that don’t make any sense

    Edit: OP has been spamming his nonsense across multiple communities, and has hundreds of downvotes on each of them. Except here on beehaw…

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      Thank you… I was reading and thinking “this makes no sense… Does the author know what a monopoly actually is??”

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        I think it’s fair to acknowledge that everything is a trade-off, and without downvotes, we have to accept the downsides.

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      Might be due to my instance, but I see downvotes. Not nearly enough as it should have after reading the article though.

    • BreakDecks@lemmy.ml
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      fwiw, OP wrote the article himself and then spammed it to lots of different instances. Definitely worth blocking this spammer.

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    Looks like an article paid for by Epic.

    Here’s a repost of what I said the last time the Steam vs Epic Games Store “debate” was brought up:

    My biggest concern with Epic is their insistence on kernel level anti-cheat which is just ridiculous overkill and probably being used as spyware let’s be honest. They have many ties to China’s Tencent which has a 40% stake in the company and is known to basically just be an extension of the Chinese government.

    There’s also the very odd fact that just having the Epic Games Store open in the background will deplete your laptops battery life by up to 20%. Is it just horribly optimized and uses all that battery even when idling, or is it doing something nefarious in the background? We don’t know.

    As for exclusives, they have bought exclusives that were mostly crowd funded from the start which is quite the kick in the teeth to the early investors that helped get the project off the ground. And there were even some exclusives that were already listed for pre-order through Steam, forcing everyone to need to get a refund.

    Plus, any good will that they’ve purchased so far is just in service of making a good name for themselves. They’ve been losing around $400 million per year since 2019 just to bring in new users. They’re going to suddenly turn around and start being cut-throat as soon as they think they can.

    They are not consumer friendly, they want to dictate trends in gaming. Valve is already the king of that throne and they’re fairly benevolent and have pushed trends that are good for gaming and consumers overall. I have serious doubt that Epic would be anywhere near as good for gaming as Valve has been if they should actually become profitable, and an industry leader. Especially when it’s projected that they won’t be profitable until 2027, which means they’ll need to recoup their investment of nearly $3.2 billion since 2019.

  • dandi8@kbin.social
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    Steam is a ticking time bomb but mostly for the reason that you don’t own the games you purchase there and you can’t back them up (mostly) so when Steam decides to ban your account or just closes down, you lose all of your games forever.

    More people should push for DRM-free games with offline installers, like GOG and Itch offer.

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      Idk, there’s a backup system that I’ve put on a hard drive with a very easy to find GitHub steam drm remover. Haven’t had any issues playing my games without a steam account – sans online services for some, but most of the time I’m on trips or without Internet anyway. That said, if the idea is that in some 5-10-20 years this will happen, I feel like a lot of the online services won’t be around… For as much as I love Helldivers 2, I don’t really expect it to be around in 7 years. Online games from 2013 aren’t all around either, and those that are aren’t super populated.

      On the other hand, a lot of these online services do rely on Steam, so if it went down a lot of them would need the same unofficial online servers.

      I’d be more concerned if Steam were to have extreme DRM, but it’s so laughable that it’s literally worth paying for the game just to have the streaming/per game notes/cloud saves and for current games to not have to deal with updates and online services. But a Steam Library of mostly single player games? Anyone who is concerned can get a $50HDD and install/backup their games with Steam to and then apply the patch. Of the issues Steam has, I think this particular one is low on the list. And per the articles issue, I would actually blame the OS more than the storefront. I used to game on Mac’s from 2007-2013 and let me tell you, Steam was a freaking triumph. All the Mac game stores were truly short lived, had poor support while they were alive and had things like license activations per machine, so good luck past 5 computers (talk about 15 years). Back then Aspyer ports were really great too, always something to look forward to.

      Back then Steams issue was that it didn’t have refunds, Tuesday Maintenance, and sometimes it would just be buggy for a bit when trying to open (on OSX – never really had an issue on Windows). Since then they’ve only made it more service oriented, doing things they absolutely should, but didn’t have to, like refunds applying to everyone after the AUS lawsuit instead of just that region. Looking at Apple for this one.

      I would implore the author of this article to go back in time, get their games on the macgames store and other similar storefronts for OSX and I would wonder how they fare today.

      I have my accounts. I have no access to those games because licenses were activated too many times or because they no longer support the current OS. So I’m effectively limited to a previous version of OSX which cannot download the app because I need a new version of the OSX store. I don’t have the right terms but it was hours of hassle to find out that my OSX copy of Borderlands, Assassins Creed II and Brotherhood, and a couple others are just gone. To add insult to injury, I had to log into the account every year to keep my “platinum points” that you got for buying on that storefront, to use for discounts etc. I didn’t log in so byebye incentive!

      My point? I had about 250 SteamPlay games that I bought and used on OSX as a Mac gamer, which seamlessly downloaded on PC when I switched to Windows for my desktop computer. None of this is to say that Steam doesn’t or can’t have shortcomings, but rather that it is a substantially better service than than pretty much every alternative right now, save for GOG probably.

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    That has to be one of the dumbest articles I’ve read in a while.

    While I personally use Steam very rarely (I prefer to use DRM-free versions of games), Steam has done very little to be considered on its way towards enshittification.

    The macos situation is completely irrelevant because at this point its market share on steam is lower than linux and it makes no sense for them to invest only to be constantly screwed over by apple changing things on their platforms. My guess is it will be dropped within the next 3-5 years.

    The author points out the deprecation of Steam on older platforms, but fails to mention the fact that this wasn’t always their choice, for instance the recent drop of Windows 7 support was caused by the fact that there’s an embedded chromium browser in it and google dropped support for Windows 7 around that time. A similar situation happened for Windows XP, which was dropped in 2019, a full FIVE years after Microsoft dropped support for it, and at this time Steam on XP was only used for retrogaming, it made no sense to keep supporting it, there are better ways to get old games on XP.

    There’s barely a mention of all the good things that Valve has done for Linux gaming, but the article complains about Steam being 32 bit (which is still a requirement for wine to run, at least until the new wow64 mode becomes stable, and steam comes with its steam runtime specifically to avoid distro compatibility issues); they could have made proton only work with steam, they could have made their dxvk and vkd3d forks proprietary like nvidia did, but instead it’s all open source and very easy to build on all platforms and I use my own fork every day to play games without steam. Heck, there are even competitors for the steam deck that run proton.

    Also, can we mention the fact that Steam has not turned into yet another subscription service like some of its competitors?

    If I had to point at something that Steam absolutely did wrong, I’d say it’s allowing third party DRMs on the store, it’s a consistent source of issues, especially for old games. I understand that when they made the choice we didn’t have cancer like kernel level anticheat and denuvo, but still, Steam launching a launcher launching another launcher that launches the game is a trashy gaming experience and adds points of failure as we’ve already seen several times when big titles launch and their DRM servers go down, or when games get old and the DRM servers are shut down permanently.

    While I’m sure Steam will eventually become enshittified, I don’t see that happening any time soon, maybe after Gabe retires, and that’s why you should keep a collection of DRM free games on your drives and not rely solely on Steam and other stores.

    Just my opinion of course, feel free to disagree.

    • derbis@beehaw.org
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      constantly screwed over by apple changing things on their platforms.

      This was it for me. Like, you’re going to blame valve because apple keeps pulling the carpet out from under devs and users?

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      I disagree because the biggest they did and continue to do is loot boxes. I argue that it was Valve that popularized that business model with CSGO and it is the most predatory shit that has ever entered the gaming sphere. It’s a complete cancer and Valves implementation is amongst the worst there is because of their market giving the items easily accessible real money value. This makes it not just like gambling in my extremely firm opinion, it makes it actual gambling. They’re also double dipping with the community market since it also takes a cut from aforementioned gambling. How Valve has escaped the vast majority of loot box hate is completely beyond me. And how they’ve managed to so far avoid a world wide crackdown on the unregulated gambling is also to me mind boggling. I despise Valve for this to the very core of my being because I know first hand how easily that shit can ruin lives and I know people that have got hooked and fucked up their life big time from CS skins. Left at the altar fucked up levels.

      • Gnome Kat@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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        I am also always immensely confused how gamers don’t see valve taking 30% of pc sales and not recognize that as greedy shit bag behavior.

        We all know when google or apple does it on their app store its bad, or when spotify pays artists pennies its bad, or when actors are striking because of its shady residuals payout from streaming its bad. But when king gaben does it, its fine perfectly ok. Even though game devs are some of the most overworked and underpaid workers in tech. And then people wonder why games suck lately.

        • Feydaikin@beehaw.org
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          It’s about more than just taking a 30% cut of sales. Everyone agrees that it’s a high price. So what else might the potential competition do that make them stand out as worse than Valve?

          Also, overworked and underpaid Devs are a different matter. You have look at their Publishers about that. I believe Valves Devs are quite well paid and far from overburdened.

          • stardust@lemmy.ca
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            Yeah, same goes for Apple and Google. People just look at cuts, but these companies do pay their employees well and the cut they take may be a large part of it, and they branch out to other things like Apple with Vision Pro, or Google and their many failed projects like Stadia. Companies that run on razor thin margins can lead to Amazon or Walmart working conditions. The treatment of devs is more the publisher issue with the company not taking care of their own employees.

            Could cuts be better for creators? Yes. But, just fixating on cuts is a very simplified metric, and even Epic has shown themselves their inability to dedicate resources operating on the cut they are now that is losing them money and still years later struggling to be nothing more a worse fanatical or humble bundle with a launcher. Which tends to lean towards if you want to offer low cuts being a more simple key reseller storefront is more realistic than trying to maintain an ecosystem off of it and profit, since making a feature rich launcher is turning out to be much harder than thought.

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          I personally don’t have an issue with Google or Apple doing it. Even GOG does it. And given the state of other launchers it seems more expenses may be necessary than thought to make an ecosystem that is feature rich, pay their employees well, and branch out into other ventures that might not pan out for a long time.

          And when it comes to places like Steam or Android it’s not in a locked ecosystems either like Apple, so people aren’t locked to one store like with the PS5 or Nintendo Switch. But, yeah it could be lower, but it just one part of a larger issue.

      • dosse91@lemmy.trippy.pizza
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        Ok, I had no idea they were the first to do that lootbox shite, I’m not into multiplayer games. That could be considered worse than allowing third party DRMs, since it pretty much introduced kids to gambling.

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          I’m not sure that’s true - I’m pretty sure it comes from Japanese and other Asian games like Maple Story, then it got picked up by mobile games companies as they were figuring out monetization there, especially Zynga.

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        If you generalize enough, everything is a ticking time bomb. Some may have a low amount ticks left (lifespan or a hamster) and some quite big (lifespan of the Sun).

        Entropy is non negotiable.

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          1980 console rom games should last as long as we have silicon technology.

          Anything on steam is probably not going to make it to 2050.

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              A promise they have never honored. This was made blatantly clear when the steamdeck came out.

              Only some games can run in offline mode.

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                Well, some games are dependent on online mode, or don’t make sense in offline mode. Especially MMOs. In the end, it’s just shutting down the game servers.

                Got any specific names?

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    Lemmy has gotten to the point everything is getting classed as enshittification or whatever

    It’s actually getting crappy being here

    Like the whole section about macos. Apple constantly screws developers, and somehow, the author has seemed to blame Valve lol. There’s a lot of reason lots of people don’t develop for Mac, and they’re mostly valid rather than political

    Or GitHub. In the real world, developers don’t have any issues. Only in Lemmy, where people are even focusing on stupid things, so a barely visible unobtrusive sentence on a table mentions copilot lol

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      Apparently people at beehaw don’t have downvote button, kinda explains this situation. The very same article on lemmy.ml is at -56 votes (at least that’s what seems to me).

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      It’s like people are posting that BS content to bring the mood down here on purpose.

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      Lemmy has gotten to the point everything is getting classed as enahittification or whatever

      You could say that the discourse around enshittification has become enshittified

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    So basically Steam is fine, has been for 20 years, and has competitors waiting to step in and take over the market if Gaben and co ever succumb to the temptation to cash in for a quick boost to corporate profits for a few years at the expense of ruining the business forever after, as impatient shareholders might demand if it were a public company, which it isn’t.

    It’s true though, it could fall apart at any moment. So could anything. I expect piracy will be the big winner when it happens.

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      Luckily it’s not a public company and it seems its shareholders aren’t interested in making a quick buck. If they were they’d have already made it obvious. If they decide to sell or IPO on the other hand (also sell), then quick buck will be the name of the game in no time.

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      I expect piracy will be the big winner when it happens.

      Exactly my thought. And backing up games and stripping Steam DRM from the games that use it (very easy to do, or so I hear.)

      If Valve announces Steam is shutting down (or enshittifies), then everyone who can (and cares) will just backup their games, and everyone else will just download the DRM-stripped versions using their favourite piracy platform.

      Right now, it’s easier to buy a game on Steam than fuff about with piracy. Even at minimum wage, it’s usually cheaper in the opportunity cost of time to just buy games (if you’re a patient gamer, at any rate; higher income levels needed for full box price).

    • Butterbee (She/Her)@beehaw.org
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      I do this too. If it’s on Gog I buy it there. I hope gog manages to stay around but even if it doesn’t I can grab the offline installers for the games I have purchased and back them up elsewhere.

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        Does anyone actually use offline installers on a regular basis? I tried a few times and I had problems. Dunno if just bad luck. Never managed to install Pillars on eternity with it because it errored out every time. Another game’s offline installer (can’t remember which) would stall for hours then crash. I suspect a lot of users would be in for a surprise if they actually tried them.

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            Good to hear, I’ll check it out again and make sure I’m not having an issue on my end.

        • DdCno1@beehaw.org
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          This looks like a problem with your system to me. Run a few checks on your RAM and storage devices. I had files corrupt on my NAS and a PC of mine, because both had defective memory. I only noticed it, because installers and 7zip began to produce errors.

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    The article in no way describes any actions taken by Valve that leads me to believe there is any impending enshittification. They simply have made decisions, a lot of which they have stuck with for many years.

    Enshittification has to do with bait and switch, effectively. It’s luring customers into a false sense of loyalty and then abusing that to their financial gain (see: Reddit and Spez from 2023).

    The article basically says “there are some decisions by Valve I like, and some I don’t.” That in no way provides any path toward some bomb going off. Perhaps time will prove the author right, of course, because any company can easily decide to screw over their customers, but the article is click-bait and completely speculative as to what may happen.

    And due to all of the above, I think the bomb is about to go off where elephants will fly out of my refrigerator and steal my soda.

    • ninjan@lemmy.mildgrim.com
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      I don’t know why the article doesn’t bring up Valve being the company to bring loot boxes and that business model to gaming as the prime example. Valve earns extreme money from the skins market and gambling in CSGO / CS2 since they sell the keys and take a cut of trades as well. They’re far more concerned with money than actually caring for the people involved. Gambling ruins lives and Valve is the gambling company that faces by far the least vitriol in that horrendous crowd.

      • Feydaikin@beehaw.org
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        Probably because Valve doesn’t make games anymore. Not on any serious level anyway.

        Most of their games are old as hell, and most of them where in the “proof of concept” relm. They only really made games to push the technology they were working with.

        It’d be a poor argument to bring up their old catalog of games from 20 years ago as something that made them a worse company today.

    • MachineFab812
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      More like, if the Steam app ever goes 64bit, watch out. A non-shittified app like so should never require 4gb+ of RAM or anything more complicated than a 32bit instruction set.

      not correcting you on the contents of the article or anything, just that 32bit is nothing close to a mark against the Steam app.

      • Zangoose@lemmy.one
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        Isn’t supporting 32-bit apps on a 64-bit OS a security concern though? I thought that’s why some linux distros were disabling 32-bit repositories by default on their 64-bit versions

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          3 months ago

          Not by itself.

          Distros are shutting down system 32bit repos, because they require effort to be maintained: people who patch possible security holes, and people who test and package them. As most people have switched to 64bit systems, developers are no longer maintaining 32bit versions, no longer patching them, and barely anybody cares to check or run them, so any possible security flaws can slip through.

          This is all irrelevant if you run stuff in a VM, or a container: so it has a security flaw? Cool, let it get… nothing, it’s contained.

          Games running in a contained Wine, or in a OS container, can have all the security flaws they want, who cares. Games also rarely get security patches, or any kind of patches at all, so running them contained should be standard practice anyway.

        • MachineFab812
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          3 months ago

          32-bit apps use a sub-set of the same instructions that still exist on current 64-bit systems. Running 64-bit alone does nothing to eliminate any flaws, real or imagined, from the 32-bit side of things.

          As @jarfil@jarfil@beehaw.org has stated, 32 bit repos are being de-listed because no one can be bothered to maintain them(on a professional, full-time basis), and that lack of code/functional review could allow flaws to slip through. Meanwhile, a lot of those same 32-bit repos continue to exist(as community-maintained versions - my preferrence anyways) and can be accessed by interested users from most distros. They aren’t blocked, just de-listed and unsupported by those distro maintainers.

          • Zangoose@lemmy.one
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            3 months ago

            Thanks for the explanation! I didn’t realize it was mostly a maintenance limitation, I thought maybe 32-bit instructions could be an extra attack vector on a physical CPU instruction level or something like that.