I'm confused about your argument on sales vs profit.
Say I've published a game and sell it on my site and GamersGate, like DW. The game sells 10,000 copies. Now, I go and make that game available on Steam and my sale of units goes up by 50% (another 5,000 copies). Even if Steam takes 30% of those sales, it is no additional cost to me, as my game was already developed and published before putting it on Steam. I have sold an additional 5,000 copies that I wouldn't have before, how does that decrease my profits? My profit margin would increase by a significant amount...
You're making an enormous assumption that Steam -only- takes a percentage of sales. Take a look at an average cell phone contract...
1. set monthly minimum fee
2. fee per minute used
3. increased fees for international calls
4. fee for bandwidth (data)
5. additional fees unpredicted call time and data usage
So lets translate that into a fictional Steam contract, which may very well entail...
1. base monthly fee for Steam services
2. cost per transaction (if there's a refund, this fee still applies)
3. additional fee for processing refunds/dispute resolution
4. currency conversion charges for all sales outside your own country
5. bandwidth usage fee (any post-sale updates cost Matrix, not Steam)
6. software testing fee (initial release and per update, to make sure it all works with Steam)
7. no liability for anything on Steam's part (particularly regional sales taxes - see Germany)
8. finally, a percentage (before all of the above) of each sale
So given the fictional example I provided, it may very well turn out that given sales predictions from Matrix, the profit to them (from Steam) might actually be less than the sales lost from their own matrixgames.com site... oh hold on, they might not be allowed to continue their own sales, as Steam might very well demand exclusive license.
But it's all speculation - since we can't see the contract. In fact, Steam is quite aggressive in keeping it's contracts with devs and distributors secret.
What we can see is Erik - arguably a competent professional - who did not sign a contract, despite the constant calls to do so from pundits like Velihopea, who haven't ever read a contract and certainly have no idea what's in Steam's contract.
I think it's quite safe to say that the lack of signing is a very good clue that the proposed straight percentage split of sales is not the case.
If you're still convinced that V has a strong case, and that increased sales is always a boon to the company, take a look the NVidia and Microsoft deal, where they were selling chips for the XBox at a LOSS. Increased sales in their case, despite what Velihopea claims, did not translate into increased profits. But he's an accounting student who's already studied business and economics - so he certainly knows what he's talking about, and I (nor NVidia's accountants) don't.
The only additional cost of being on Steam would be if you want to develop a Steamworks version of the game, which is not required to distribute on Steam...
What makes you think that integration of the Steam DRM api is the only cost? If you know anything about American health insurance, you might as well assume that your monthly insurance bill is your ONLY medical insurance cost. Is the ticket price on your car the ONLY cost of using it till you buy another? Stop and think. Where did you get the impression that the Steam api integration is the only cost here?
Here's a little analogy -
We're out for a night on the town. We come across a lady of negotiable affections. She looks hot. She looks like she can boink all night long and still be crying for more. She has customers lining up, and has several former "compensated dates" bragging about how amazing their experience was.
Now, I go to negotiate with her - and after several minutes of haggling, walk away.
I don't tell you why I walked away. Maybe it was the sight of an Adam's apple, which I saw and you didn't. Or perhaps it was the needle-tracks on her arms, which I saw and you didn't. Or maybe it was the BSDM dungeon she brought her clients into, with the array of strap-on devices on the wall, which I saw and you didn't. Or maybe it was the spreading warts I saw peeking from under her miniskirt, which I saw and you didn't.
You didn't see the Steam contract. Erik did. He walked away. He saw something that he can't or won't talk about, that made it unappealing.
Oh, Steam can't be all that bad. Look at all the happy customers it sells to and all the devs/distributors who cry its benefits. Surely Steam wouldn't mistreat the people it does business with? Right? Ask NeoGAF about how he was treated. Ask ask the devs ... oh hold on, you can't ask any of the people on their other end of the supply chain, as they're all contractually gagged. They can't talk about how much they're actually making (no, I mean their profit, not their sales figures) - as Steam's lawyers are hovering nearby; armed with heavy briefcases.
In the end, believe what you want. If you're STILL convinced that Erik is walking away from the deal of the century, then by all means continue to believe so and criticize him. It's a (relatively) free discussion forum.
- so many spelling mistakes
< Message edited by Kayoz -- 11/3/2012 10:24:29 AM >
“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” ― Christopher Hitchens