• Kostyeah@lemmy.ca
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    4 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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      4 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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        4 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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          4 months ago

          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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            4 months ago

            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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            4 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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            4 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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        4 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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          4 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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          4 months ago

          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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        4 months ago

        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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          4 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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            4 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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              4 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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            4 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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        4 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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          4 months ago

          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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            4 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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              4 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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            4 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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              4 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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              4 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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                4 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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                  4 months ago

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

                  • stardust@lemmy.ca
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                    4 months ago

                    And Epic is a billion dollar company making stuff like unreal engine yet can’t scrap together a launcher that doesn’t feel like it is from decades ago. Or chooses not too. Can’t even put in Linux support despite community efforts like heroic launcher.

                    You can’t put out a shit product and then cry about why people aren’t buying it. It doesn’t work for any market. Can try to coerce people with monopolistic practices of trying to deny product availability, but that’ll only get you so far.

                    If anything if your argument is that it is hard then that just seems to bring to question of maybe a low cut actually isn’t realistic if a company wants to make a feature rich launcher and platform if even a billion dollar company is finding it hard to accomplish. But, it seems to me epic is only choosing or only knows the approach of trying to buy their way in and not want to “waste” resources improving anything else and banking on consumers not being able to resist not buying a product epic paid to only be available on their launcher.

      • Appoxo@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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        4 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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      4 months ago

      Can’t you use Proton on Mac? I’d think that would solve most compatibility problems.

      • Railcar8095@lemm.ee
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        4 months ago

        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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      4 months ago

      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.