Opinion Publishers are turning pc gaming into a mess

Hektor

Degenerate and Proud
Nov 1, 2018
547
1,674
93
If rumors are to be believed, Bethesda games will be besthesda store exclusives in the future.
PC Gaming Era | December 2018 - We got 99 problems, but 76 ain't one

Between the increasing amount of fragmentation in the PC space with this, discord, the new epic store and a bunch of others, making it harder to even tell where and when a game releases on PC and the shit tier quality of some of these platforms like bethesda.net, the windows 10 store and the twitch store, all three of which have issues with the basic aspect of downloading and installing videogames, publishers are turning pc gaming slowly into a mess.

These publishers have no fucking clue or just don't care how relevant steams ease of use and service quality was to giving pc gaming the mainstream growth it has seen throughout the last decade and are doing their best to ruin the mainstream accessiblity of pcgaming.

This is going to stifle the growth of the platform and will undoubtetly lead to an increase in piracy, as we can see it happening on netflix style streaming services.
Post automatically merged:

I'm off to bed now, looking forward to read what ya'll think
 

Jayson's Rage

I'm THAT Bitch
Sep 7, 2018
12
20
3
I disagree myself. I think it's a very good thing to see more trying to combat Steam. Some will crash and burn but others will rise up and challenge Steam to do better, like Epic with the 88/12 split. It may get messy for a bit but it will equalize.
 
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uraizen

Competitively anti-competitive
Oct 7, 2018
309
506
93
It's a pain in the ass, but at least the games make it to PC ... I guess? Although I've seen some very dumb statements made like developers not liking forums. Of course they wouldn't, that's where we can be vocal about the game's problems! God forbid we want a fix for something that might be a game breaking bug. It's also a place where we can see the general consensus on a port which might not be good for certain developers at all.
 
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texhnolyze

Role Player
Oct 19, 2018
390
916
93
Indonesia
Earlier today, I spent a good hour troubleshooting why won't Origin client install on my PC. The installer was actually running in the background, but it won't show up. There are lots of people with the same problem I found on Google. The proposed solution to this problem from their community manager is: uninstall Origin (which I haven't installed in the first place), turn off antivirus and firewall, clean boot my PC, redownload the installer, and run as administrator. Surprise surprise, it didn't work. I had to search in other places like Reddit and Youtube to finally solve my problem. I had to install a legacy installer first and run with older Windows compatibility (it still didn't work but it's just part of the solution), then I had to uninstall it and restart the PC, After that, I can finally install the Origin client.

Good thing that I'm more or less accostumed to PC troubleshooting, but the average Joe would've given up as soon as the installer doesn't show up. What's amazing is that Origin is not a new launcher on PC. How do you expect people to use your store if they can't even access it?
 

Gevin

Halo 3 on PC
Nov 16, 2018
584
1,415
93
Rosario
I can say with absolute certainty that with shit like the Epic Store and Bethesda having zero regional pricing for South America, they will drive back to piracy a lot of people who would have purchased their games on Steam.
Yep, this is a huge point. It will lower revenue for developers and hopefully make them realize they need to go back to Steam
 

Kurt Russell

SUPREME OVERLORD
Sep 6, 2018
304
583
93
30
Mar del Plata
It's a pain in the ass, but at least the games make it to PC ... I guess? Although I've seen some very dumb statements made like developers not liking forums. Of course they wouldn't, that's where we can be vocal about the game's problems! God forbid we want a fix for something that might be a game breaking bug. It's also a place where we can see the general consensus on a port which might not be good for certain developers at all.
The problem is that those games were already coming to PC. They just went from a proven store like Steam to whatever mess they decided to jump ship to.
 

Madventure

The Angel of Deaf
Nov 17, 2018
122
300
63
All the complaints about steam forums developers seemingly have are always sort of funny to me because they're the ones in charge of their games discussion board. They just have to assign moderators to make sure it isn't a giant cesspit to make sure to has a little bit of order but I suppose that requires some effort.

A lot of twitter things have seemingly been negative or just questioning what's actually positive for consumers with all of this stuff, it's happening so quick that we're (At least I did) seemingly forgetting about the newly made Discord Store that was doing pretty much the same exact thing as the the brand new Epic store.
They're slightly worse in that regard because they can implement always online DRM into their timed exclusive/discord store bought games. The full scope of how everything exactly works with the Epic store is a big question mark realistically (Again at least for me)
I know with Steam & GOG two of the same games trying to stay at the same updated status generally fall out of sync with each other because one has its version stripped of DRM and the other has Steamworks etc so will that happen as well with other copies Say: Steam, Epic, GOG, etc Where you're having 3 seemingly out of sync games?
Then again with that it just comes down to why would a smaller game studio bother going to that much effort to try and keep up to update so many fragmented versions (It even sounds stupid just typing it out)

The whole thing is just turning into a giant mess honestly, with it just being easier to say "That game looks neat but Ill probably buy it on a console when its 5$ or completely ignore it"
 

Kuroyume

Spokes for the Wheel of Torment
Oct 21, 2018
50
91
18
I don't think anything is going to crash and burn unless they're just some out of left field indie thing like Desura. I mean, both Origin and Uplay are still alive and kicking til this day. And it doesn't look like either is going to go away soon. Epic has Fortnite and they can always put the next Unreal there, so I expect that to stick around for a while too. It is a mess because I don't want to install 8 different launchers. It makes things inconvenient.
 
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ExoSoul

MetaMember
Nov 18, 2018
17
9
3
If rumours are to be believed they also paid to sway Ashen away from W10 store (previously advertised as being on the platform/part of the Play Anywhere program) and Satisfactory away from Steam (straight out pulled from the store) so yay, shitty business practices.
 

Eriugam

Premium Title
Nov 6, 2018
143
235
43
United Kingdom
Completely agree with you OP.

I have no interest downloading, installing and having to use a launcher for one game. Not worth the effort, so that's a sale lost.
 
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Amzin

No one beats me 17 times in a row!
Dec 5, 2018
89
175
33
I think there are acceptable ways, and unacceptable ways, to handle new storefronts. If you want to have an app/launcher + store that holds your 1st party games snuggly, and that is it's primary purpose, and you can pull it off, great. Blizzard and Battle.net are a pretty good example of this, although not perfect. Bethesda and Epic are terrible examples. Bethesda because they don't appear to have the talent or the investment to support any of it, and Epic because they are paying other companies (developers) to restrict access from fans and consumers, and because of the non-regional pricing, and the store itself remains to be evaluated from a technical perspective (although considering the scope of Fortnite, I feel like they can handle that part).

I've played PC games since Windows 3.1, when it was software on your DoS PC, not actually a Windows PC. Games used to all have their own unique launcher but that was a different time - you didn't need network infrastructure at all. You could buy any of these games in any store that happened to carry software. Then we got the internet, and eventually Steam, and that was kinda neat. Then more stores popped up but they mostly just sold Steam keys, because hey, you can generate Steam keys for free, infinitely, so why not?

Splintering the core customer group AND re-introducing anti-consumer things like no regional pricing are just inexcusable. It's fine if devs want that 88% cut but they'll be getting 88% of 0 from me. Not because I don't want to use another platform (I could live with that), but because I don't want to use the platform of a large company throwing their money around to hurt fans and customers.

I won't be spending any money at all on Epic's store unless they do a 180 and even then, I'm not sure I'd be OK with it. I feel like they showed their hand and I don't like it. I can sympathize slightly with the devs selling out but every example I've seen tonight, the development was largely done already or the devs strictly speaking didn't need it, so I will find my entertainment elsewhere from them as well. Which is sad, because I love Supergiant, even when I hate parts of their games.

Edit: I completely forgot about the Twitch store. I have no idea what it's like. I have Twitch prime so I have all kinds of free stuff but I've literally not even downloaded it yet. But, all their games (that I've seen) exist freely elsewhere, and they tend to focus on Twitch-favorite or Twitch-friendly games, which totally makes sense. Discord had some shitty probably-buyout things too and I'm really worried they are going to succeed enough to lose track of their original purpose in the Discord app, because it's great without the store.
 

daxy

MetaMember
Dec 6, 2018
125
244
43
Platform exclusivity sucks. I can get it for an indie studio, but even then I don't see why they wouldn't just allow it to release everywhere -- especially if we're to believe they funded development out of some altruistic wish to see the game completed. I won't judge the studios. Indies should milk that for as long and much as they can. But everyone else? They're doing just fine.

I've been wanting to play Journey for a long ass time. But I just do not want to set up yet another account and client. I have Battle.net for Acti-Bliz, Origin for EA, Uplay for Ubi, and Windows Marketplace for MS. I'm not gonna start building a library on a new generic service. At least this way it's compartmentalized per major publisher.

These moves feel like they're cannibalizing the PC space rather than doing anything for it, and I won't reward Discord, Epic, or whoever with my money for doing so.
 
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TheVectronic

The Wondering Scribe
Oct 31, 2018
206
387
63
Puerto Rico
This is turning out similar to what happened with series/movies over the past few years. Where multiple platforms cropped up to host their selection of exclusive content, only in this case our subscription is paid with our hard drive space as well as money.

And I have to agree with daxy on this:

I just do not want to set up yet another account and client. I have Battle.net for Acti-Bliz, Origin for EA, Uplay for Ubi, and Windows Marketplace for MS. I'm not gonna start building a library on a new generic service.
I like the idea of stores to act as alternatives, but the oversaturation can cost a HUGE chunk of space for the launchers, Especially if you want to play a specific game, it's not worth installing just to do that.
 

RionaaM

Vogon Poetry Appreciator
Sep 6, 2018
413
828
93
I wouldn't mind all those clients if these publishers were also releasing their new games on Steam. As it is, I'm not happy about having my choice of store being taken away from me, nor being forced to use worse clients if I want to play them. Nothing about this benefits me as a consumer.
 

The Queen

Pro Gifting Queen Of Toxeus
Oct 19, 2018
411
2,481
93
publishers are doing what i expected going all there own separate ways and gonna pay wall consumers there with the sub to us for access to our catalogue.
 

pahamrick

Has No Idea What He's Doing
Sep 6, 2018
142
278
63
-Begin Rant-

I don't care what anyone says, this is not competition. It's a complete mess for customers, and proves that these publishers / developers don't give a shit about the people buying their games. If this was about competition, they would make the games available in more places instead of just creating a new place where it's exclusive and you can only get it there.

I'm officially done. I already deal with Origin, Uplay, GOG, Battle.net, Steam. I don't need another launcher.

There is nothing, 100% NOTHING, stopping these publishers / developers from selling their game on multiple platforms (Bethesda Launcher, Steam, Epic Store) outside of sheer greed and complete disrespect for the people who purchase their products. I don't give a flying fuck about how much profits a developer gets from their sales. It's not my problem to make sure their bottom line is met. I care about my bottom line. I don't have an infinite budget to purchase games, so I'm going to purchase them where I see the most benefit as a consumer. And frankly, that place is almost always Steam. I enjoy achievements, I enjoy the social bit of seeing what my friends have purchased, or what they suggest. I enjoy the workshop support, and the ability to sell cards to help purchase MORE games. These companies are not my friend, they are trying to sell me a product. They don't care if I can't afford their product,

Steam, right now, as a platform (And yes it is a Platform, picking and choosing what is a platform to suit individual needs is stupid.) is where I get the most benefit for my dollars spent.

So all these developers and publishers who think the grass is greener on the other side, you're welcome to it. Just like I'm welcome to not purchase your game because where you're selling it offers me no tangible benefits as a paying customer. So, congrats I guess -- enjoy 88% of my nothing.

-End Rant-

This is why I shouldn't post when tired and angry.
 

Alexandros

MetaMember
Nov 4, 2018
336
830
93
Yes, I very much agree. I am certain that this needless fragmentation of the platform is going to cause damage to it, it is going to lead to reduced sales across the board and a lot of customer confusion. I am very troubled by these developments because these shitty companies don't care that they are damaging the platform. If their launchers fail they will go back to the console bosom but they will have left a shattered PC gaming platform in their wake.

Now, more than ever, it's time for every one of us to vote with our wallets.
 

#Senpai

Dad Gamer
Dec 5, 2018
685
1,874
93
Texas
Yes, I very much agree. I am certain that this needless fragmentation of the platform is going to cause damage to it, it is going to lead to reduced sales across the board and a lot of customer confusion. I am very troubled by these developments because these shitty companies don't care that they are damaging the platform. If their launchers fail they will go back to the console bosom but they will have left a shattered PC gaming platform in their wake.

Now, more than ever, it's time for every one of us to vote with our wallets.
I believe MANY people will vote with their wallets; I know I will.
 

「Echo」

漂う夢のまにまに
Nov 1, 2018
725
1,886
93
Mt. Whatever
I'm in agreeance as well. I fear that too much spreading out and fragmentation will drive piracy back up and once more harm the reputation of PC Gaming, when Japan is still warming up to us. To a degree it's infuriating even if I understand the capitalistic motivations behind these movements.

Also getting super tired of having to explain why I prefer Steam as the market leader, and even after doing so, people still turn around to say "but competition."
 

freshVeggie

ghost
Sep 7, 2018
254
617
93
It's inconvenient. Simple as that.
Also, I'm not sure if they'll add their games on bundles which are the main way I afford games.

Free games are good but they'll probably end quickly just like EA did.
Best case, Bethesda will do it like Ubi.
 

FreakOrama

MetaMember
Oct 9, 2018
63
86
18
stitch.games
Aye, same. I really want to play those games (Especially Ashen), but I don't want to support anti-consumer tactics (removing choice) so I'm not buying any of them either.


Aside from the 12/88 sales cut, old/new stores/clients should compete with having better features and having more pro-consumer benefits. Not by removing consumer choice, and (assumption) silencing partnered developers (Looking at the video above, and Ashen's silence).
 

freshVeggie

ghost
Sep 7, 2018
254
617
93
Of course, totally forgot a huge point.
Big pubs doing keeping their premier IPs exclusive to their stores also might lead to stagnation.
As in, only sure-fire major franchises get produced.
 
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Exzyleph

M̻̗e̝͔̤͗ͨṱ͆a͍͛͊M̼ḛ̳̬̾m̜̝̻bͭͩ̎ḙ̔r̰
Oct 9, 2018
46
74
18
I don't think anything is going to crash and burn unless they're just some out of left field indie thing like Desura. I mean, both Origin and Uplay are still alive and kicking til this day. And it doesn't look like either is going to go away soon. Epic has Fortnite and they can always put the next Unreal there, so I expect that to stick around for a while too. It is a mess because I don't want to install 8 different launchers. It makes things inconvenient.
There were a number of digital distribution sites/clients that went the way of the dodo. The ones you mention are just the ones that survived.

In addition to Desure, there was also Direct2Drive, a shop/client went through a number of permutations and is now simply a Steam key retailer. Microsoft's Games for Windows Live/Games for Windows Marketplace is another well known example of a dead client/store. The Stardock service (later re-branded as the 'Impulse' client) was eventually sold to GameStop and is now dead, dead, dead. And these are just the ones I could remember off the top of my head.

Moreover, GFWL and Impulse show that you don't need the company in question to fail for the store/client itself to be relegated to the dustbin. It shouldn't come as a surprise that for-profit companies, and publicly traded companies in particular, tend to ax services that become an economic burden or simply fail to offer a worthwhile return on investment.
 

Kvik

Councillor
Dec 6, 2018
365
999
93
Downunder.
I think most of these shopfronts doesn't have any real interest in competing with Steam in terms of end-to-end service for both developers and subscribers. Their aim was probably to chip at enough developers away from Steam by promising bigger revenue so that they themselves can get a bigger piece in the market. They didn't care about the community getting fractured as long as they can retain enough developers they can persuade to switch houses.

Take Epic, for instance. Apart from their interest in getting royalties from UE, they simply resorted to moneyhatting a number of short-sighted developers promising a bigger cut of the revenue even though what they're offering in terms of SDK/API/CRM didn't even come close to Steam. And not only that, the lack of community support for individual games which has always been a part PC gaming since the very beginning should've been an indication that Epic didn't care about fostering the community as much as Steam does.

I don't have any illusion that Steam Community forums didn't have its own issues. However, I firmly believe that Steam has a lot to offer to both developers and subscribers which can't be quantified easily by a short-term revenue gain. Subscriber retention can only be achieved if all the parts that matter works together, such as we have seen in Steam API, Steam Input, Vive, Community forums, Market (Some call it money laundromat), etc.
 

Amzin

No one beats me 17 times in a row!
Dec 5, 2018
89
175
33
It's inconvenient. Simple as that.
Also, I'm not sure if they'll add their games on bundles which are the main way I afford games.

Free games are good but they'll probably end quickly just like EA did.
Best case, Bethesda will do it like Ubi.
To me it's not as simple as inconvenient. Although, if I didn't care, as an American I guess it would amount to that. But for someone in South America, or SEA, or anywhere worldwide that isn't a comparable economy to the US, the lack of regional pricing combined with exclusivity is basically telling fans of entire swaths of the world that they aren't worth consideration anymore. A $30-40 game being exchange-rated to $21 or so might look like a good deal to me, but to someone that only makes the equivalent of $500 USD , that's pretty staggering compared to actual regional pricing.

Not that Steam is perfect here - but they at least gave publishers the tools (mostly) to do right by customers around the world. We're not in the wild west of globalization nor the internet nor digital distribution anymore, and the growing tendency of game companies treating customers as obliged to buy their games instead of, well, customers (like most other market types) is frustrating and not a little insulting.

If a game I really wanted went exclusive to a store that either didn't sell in my country or wanted to charge me a month's pay for it, I wouldn't hesitate to start pirating again.
 

Lashley

MetaMember
Dec 8, 2018
65
199
33
This isn't competition. It's inconvenient, yes, and sure it can be alleviated somewhat with programs like Playnite, but locking games to your storefront is not competition, and honestly? It'll just put me off buying your game at all.

I don't want Steam to be a monopoly, of course I don't. I want a rival for them, competition is healthy but this isn't it. These stores don't offer a tenth of what Valve do with Steam.
 

Arulan

Junior Member
Dec 7, 2018
65
164
33
I feel like they should have the opportunity to provide a competitive alternative, but the results thus far have failed even the most basics of requirements. They're simply not interested in providing any meaningful benefits to consumers beyond using their games as bait. In addition, these publishers do not share the values of the PC platform, and it shows.

There are two important exceptions: The Windows Store and the Epic Store. They're not just useless clients/storefronts, but they represent a danger to the open-platform. Microsoft is trying to shove Xbox down the throats of PC players, and pretending like they care about the us. And Epic has just imported the bullshit exclusivity practices of consoles to the PC. The others are an inconvenience that provide me with less features, but these two are a threat to the platform that I personally won't support.

Valve has earned its position several fold. GOG is the only other competitor I feel provides something of value.
 

Stevey

Gromlintroid
Dec 8, 2018
271
625
93
36
I would just want everything on STEAM for convenience.
Battle.net is alright, but I rarely use Origin anymore- had my account hacked once, same thing happened with the Epic launcher, had a load of emails saying someones trying to access my account.
 

Gevin

Halo 3 on PC
Nov 16, 2018
584
1,415
93
Rosario
I would just want everything on STEAM for convenience.
Battle.net is alright, but I rarely use Origin anymore- had my account hacked once, same thing happened with the Epic launcher, had a load of emails saying someones trying to access my account.
There's been a few Epic account data leaks, I deleted my account after the last one.
 
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Derrick01

MetaMember
Oct 6, 2018
172
560
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Just like with movie/TV streaming the publishers don't get it and think they can all run their own service and everyone will follow. What happened with the latter is piracy is growing again, so congrats pubs you played yourself. The same thing is going to happen with PC gaming. It's a carousel of stupidity that's powered by greed.
 

Prodigy

sleeper must awaken
Dec 9, 2018
136
274
63
Just like with movie/TV streaming the publishers don't get it and think they can all run their own service and everyone will follow. What happened with the latter is piracy is growing again, so congrats pubs you played yourself. The same thing is going to happen with PC gaming. It's a carousel of stupidity that's powered by greed.
Yeah I believe people will end up just pirating certain games, especially when a client doesn't have regional pricing.
 
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Alexandros

MetaMember
Nov 4, 2018
336
830
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Just like with movie/TV streaming the publishers don't get it and think they can all run their own service and everyone will follow. What happened with the latter is piracy is growing again, so congrats pubs you played yourself. The same thing is going to happen with PC gaming. It's a carousel of stupidity that's powered by greed.
Especially with indie games the result will be even worse than piracy. It will be total indifference. Publishers and developers aren't satisfied with one golden egg each day and they're trying to kill the golden goose.
 
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Ascheroth

Writing in the Megastructure
Nov 12, 2018
740
1,873
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Especially with indie games the result will be even worse than piracy. It will be total indifference. Publishers and developers aren't satisfied with one golden egg each day and they're trying to kill the golden goose.
Yeah, there's so much good stuff already out and still coming out that ignoring some games isn't that difficult, unless they somehow get a ridiculously awesome game you simply MUST have at all costs... which doesn't happen that often and than it's still just one game.

It's kind of how I am with Koei Tecmo games. For example, I'd like to try out Toukiden, but it's a bad port that's 1080p/30fps locked and the cheapest it's been is 25€. It's totally not worth its price and I've been playing with the thought of just pirating it instead (and some other games of them in a similar situation). Though I've never actually went through with it, because it's just more cumbersome than simply ignoring it and getting one of the hundreds of other games I want that are better and cheaper (or playing one of the hundreds I already have), lol.
 
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Maxi

MetaMember
Nov 12, 2018
87
120
33
I don't mind publishers opening their own store fronts/launchers all that much. It is an extra hurdle to get through which in a lot of cases console versions have as well (having to sign into EA accounts etc). But when it comes to large publishers trying to make 3rd party games exclusive is where I'm not too happy about it as there is almost no need to.

It will be interesting if Epic attracts other 3rd parties or if this will be another launcher that fades into the background after the publicity is done. They have the money to invest and they probably want to grow larger than being just a game developer considering they weren't doing too hot before Fortnite.
 
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Prodigy

sleeper must awaken
Dec 9, 2018
136
274
63
What
Yeah, there's so much good stuff already out and still coming out that ignoring some games isn't that difficult, unless they somehow get a ridiculously awesome game you simply MUST have at all costs... which doesn't happen that often and than it's still just one game.

It's kind of how I am with Koei Tecmo games. For example, I'd like to try out Toukiden, but it's a bad port that's 1080p/30fps locked and the cheapest it's been is 25€. It's totally not worth its price and I've been playing with the thought of just pirating it instead (and some other games of them in a similar situation). Though I've never actually went through with it, because it's just more cumbersome than simply ignoring it and getting one of the hundreds of other games I want that are better and cheaper (or playing one of the hundreds I already have), lol.
What about Toukiden 2? I believe that is a better port and 60fps, although price might still be the problem.
 
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