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RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe

 
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RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/11/2014 11:24:56 PM   
Osito


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Quill and Arumba are probably the best ones. I agree this probably isn't quite TB's thing. It's questionable whether it's Angry Joe's thing either, as he is not (by his own admission) a great 'grand strategy game' fan, although he has recently expressed an interest in getting into the genre. Hard to believe Matrix are not on top of these options, as these sites are ones that most game marketers must be aware of.

Osito

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RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/12/2014 2:41:07 AM   
Tcby


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TB has stated a couple times in the past that he doesn't feature grand strategy games, because they aren't appropriate for his first impression format.

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RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/12/2014 12:04:24 PM   
Icemania


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After looking at their reviews, Quill and Arumba should be considered essential by Matrix. As has been said they provide 20x more exposure than Das.

Some good comments and legitimate concerns with TotalBiscuit and Angry Joe. Until now, I had never heard of Quill and Arumba. TotalBiscuit and Angry Joe provide > 2.9M subscribers ... 290x more exposure than Das. So while there is clearly risk, given the reward, the question should at least be asked ... could it be made to work with Universe?

How about suggesting they play with settings using the smallest galaxy with the fastest research and also starting in a more developed galaxy? Do any of you play this way?

Also it would be essential to ensure Universe has vastly improved Tutorials (to help them get started), Automation (so when they start to turn manual off the suggestions are more sensible) and Galactopedia (rather than so many starting by spending time reviewing forums posts for hints).




< Message edited by Icemania -- 3/12/2014 1:15:04 PM >

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RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/12/2014 1:15:35 PM   
Gregorovitch55

 

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TotalBuiscuit frequently does something with a game that has generated some "buzz" or interest elsewhere in which case his approach is slightly different in that he will often fairly reflect some of the reasons for the "buzz" (i.e. other peoples opinions) as well as his own impressions of the game.

Quill has had a lot to do with the unbelievable and unexpected success of Banished: he did one of his per-release "Let's Try.." vids on it and by popular demand continued with it into a two or three full LP's. Other strategy game specialists, like ShenryyR2, picked up on this and started banished LP's as well. TB picked it up on the buzz and did a "WTF is"? shortly after, probably a bit more positive than it might otherwise have been.

I think you have a good point, Icemania, that setting up a game with a smaller and more developed Galaxy might help people appreciate what this game is about. DW games seem to develop compelling narrative and tension, but only after a long lead in. A lot of Das's LPs only really get to this stage after 8-10 30 min episodes. I think if Quill or Arumba got some personal experience of just how compelling the narrative and tense the situation can become in a DW game they would definitely want to share that with their audience - it's just the time problem.

Sorry, just to add this: one the key reasons Banished grabbed so much attention is that it is compelling, arguably at its most compelling, right from the get-go. This is I think why there was so much demand for Quill to continue to a full LP from his initial Let's Try - people were on the edge of their seats to know what happens next. This is obviously not the case with DW. People like complexity, options, scope and so on, but does all this lead to the kind of mind-blowing gaming experience to justify that learning curve? To answer that, IMO, is the key.

< Message edited by Gregorovitch55 -- 3/12/2014 2:41:39 PM >

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RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/12/2014 1:25:16 PM   
feygan

 

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A problem I see with folks like TB and Angry Joe would be a case of horses and stable doors. DW has been out for a fair amount of time now and developed a lot since the initial release. To give a review on the game because of a new expansion could cause some problems. First and foremost being cost, since Matrix have not graced us their loyal customers with any concept of a pricing strategy I will use the information available to me and anyone else. The fact is to review DW:U means telling folks that to play the exact thing the reviewer is playing they are going to have to shell out £67.15 for the digital only version. That is a hell of a lot of cash by anyone's standards, even more so when you consider that this is pretty much an unknown game in the pc gaming community at large. I also haven't included what cost the universe expansion will be in that.

When even the largest game publishers are getting slammed each and every month for the pricing of their products you need to have something very special to ask for more than your competition. Also this expansion really seems to offer very little in as far as game play features go, this is just an assumption based on the meager scraps of information Matrix has chosen to release. For long term fans and folks who have an idea for a mod but haven't found the right game to implement it the expansion offers lots, but it will unlikely draw extra customers to the brand. There lies the issue for a reviewer, how do they sum up a review on a product in a positive light when they are really just seeing some new bells. If civilization had only a small handful of reviews until the release of the Brave New World, and then dished it out for the masses to review I do not think it would of been drawing new players to itself as well as it has done with an initial game review then further ones for each expansion.

I could be wrong and it could work out well as a marketing method but it looks like Matrix have missed this boat by a long time and it would leave readers/viewers asking themselves "why haven't I heard of this before" and "why does it cost so much". Not the ideal thoughts you want in your potential customers heads.

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RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/12/2014 1:34:04 PM   
whiran

 

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Spidey, I don't think you understand what a Ponzi Scheme is. For reference check out these links:

http://www.sec.gov/answers/ponzi.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzi_scheme

It's cool that you don't like referral programs and that they make you feel uncomfortable. No worries there. I have to wonder what you think about giving the game away to select individuals who then try and sell others on the merits of the game which is exactly what is being discussed by giving the game to certain youtubers.

I think a campaign of selective targeting of small to medium Youtubers combined with Twitch streamers can be remarkably effective. But, the success will also be determined on the price positioning of the game. If the game still comes in at the $100 USD mark or above it then there may be some market reaction based solely on the price.

As an aside, just because something is on Steam does not mean it needs to be cheap.

The current top sellers on Steam (and have been for some time) are:

South Park: The Stick of Truth - $60
DayZ, Early Access Discount Pricing, $30
Dark Souls II - $50

Wasteland 2 was a top seller for a while at $60 and it is Early Access.
Planetary Annihilation was a top ten seller when it was priced at $90 USD and it is also in Early Access.

Here is an interesting tidbit. Sid Meier's Civilization V: Complete Edition, priced at $50 USD continues to sell well on Steam (currently top 20 sales ranking) as does The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Legendary Edition at $60 USD. These games show that games on Steam can have a long tail (an extended period of the game selling in volume) even when not being discounted all of the time.


The idea that Steam caters solely to discounted games is a misnomer. A good game will sell at what is perceived to be a good price. That price perception is a result of the marketing effort for the game. I'm certain that this game would do fine on Steam at the $60 USD mark. Maybe even at the $100 USD mark that it currently commands.

The problem with Steam for Matrix is that it takes a cut (typically 30%) of each sale and dilutes the brand. Matrix has made a decision to create their own marketplace for their games which is fine - this is an observation based on responses from the various Matrix folk in regards to selling games on Steam. They don't want to share and, instead, appear more interested in growing their market organically. With this in mind, marketing ideas should revolve around the apparent desired goal of growing the Matrix (or is it Slitherine? way to confuse their own brand - pick one and stick with it please) market.


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RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/12/2014 2:04:56 PM   
Gregorovitch55

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: whiran

I think a campaign of selective targeting of small to medium Youtubers combined with Twitch streamers can be remarkably effective. But, the success will also be determined on the price positioning of the game. If the game still comes in at the $100 USD mark or above it then there may be some market reaction based solely on the price.



Quite right IMO. You definitely don't want Quill starting a video about DW:U saying "It's expensive" like he did last time. You want him saying "You're getting the game plus all three expansions here, good value for money." $100 is completely out of the ball park here, a total non-runner. Skyrim and Civ5 can continue to command a $60 price tag because they are rock solid triple-A franchises arguably best-of-breed in their very popular genres. DW may be a best-of-breed space 4X too, but the people you want to reach don't know that. It's got nothing to do with whether DW:U is actually worth $100 or $60 per se, it's to do with what else people can buy with their $100 or $60 - and the answer, armed with a Steam account, is a hell of a lot. That's the issue. I seriously doubt Quill, for example, would call DW:U value for money at a cent over 40$

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RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/12/2014 2:44:57 PM   
Maponus


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So - since this is March I assume it'll be out any day now?

Right?

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RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/12/2014 3:49:05 PM   
Cauldyth

 

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Sure, and it's almost 2015, so we get hoverboards and flying DeLoreans soon too, right?

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RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/12/2014 6:09:43 PM   
Flinkebeinchen


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So Panzer Corps is on Steam now and they already reduced the price. I hope the sales go well and maybe we can get DW:Universe on Steam too.

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RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/13/2014 3:01:57 AM   
Shark7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flinkebeinchen

So Panzer Corps is on Steam now and they already reduced the price. I hope the sales go well and maybe we can get DW:Universe on Steam too.


And I can still buy Panzer Corps here at Matrix if I like, so best of both worlds. I have no problem with this system.

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RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/13/2014 8:40:02 AM   
Gregorovitch55

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7


quote:

ORIGINAL: Flinkebeinchen

So Panzer Corps is on Steam now and they already reduced the price. I hope the sales go well and maybe we can get DW:Universe on Steam too.


And I can still buy Panzer Corps here at Matrix if I like, so best of both worlds. I have no problem with this system.


That's what happens at Paradox: a lot of their core fan base buy a Steam key direct from the Paradox site, despite the additional hassle, simply because they want Paradox to get the full purchase price and most of those are buying on release day or pre-ordering anyway so discounts aren't an issue.

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RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/13/2014 1:28:14 PM   
Kayoz


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gregorovitch55
That's what happens at Paradox


No. It isn't.

You buy it from Matrix directly, you don't get the spyware/trojanware called Steam. Paradox does NOT offer you that choice.

Not the same.


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RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/13/2014 2:03:46 PM   
Shark7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gregorovitch55


quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7


quote:

ORIGINAL: Flinkebeinchen

So Panzer Corps is on Steam now and they already reduced the price. I hope the sales go well and maybe we can get DW:Universe on Steam too.


And I can still buy Panzer Corps here at Matrix if I like, so best of both worlds. I have no problem with this system.


That's what happens at Paradox: a lot of their core fan base buy a Steam key direct from the Paradox site, despite the additional hassle, simply because they want Paradox to get the full purchase price and most of those are buying on release day or pre-ordering anyway so discounts aren't an issue.


I don't want a Steam key, I want my simple disc with a SN like I've always gotten from Matrix. Steam's spyware will not be isntalled on my computer, period. I doubt Matrix has changed their DRM model when ordered here at the store.

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RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/13/2014 5:50:20 PM   
Gregorovitch55

 

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yeah, I totally support having non-Steam versions available, should always be optional IMO. I wasn't talking about that - I was pointing out that a lot of Paradox fans buy direct from paradox web site specifically so Paradox get 100% revenue from the sale. This is common practice amongst core fans of a dev studio that sells direct. Same with Egosoft, for example. This mitigates against Steam's 30% cut which is largely applied to new players finding the game via Steam with no existing allegiance.

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RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/13/2014 6:44:25 PM   
Flinkebeinchen


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For me it doesn't matter if I buy from Matrix or Steam.

I would like to have Steam cause I am an active user and I want my games in my Steam Library. Taking games to a larger audience should be good too especially for modding.

I can totally understand that some people don't want a third party program like Steam. Thats fine for you but for my lazyness I prefer the Steam Library ;)

From Matrix point of view getting a wargame on Steam is surely an experiment. I hope this go well :)

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RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/13/2014 9:49:41 PM   
Kayoz


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gregorovitch55
Paradox get 100% revenue from the sale.


I'm quite sure this is not the case. You're suggesting that Steam is taking NOTHING from sales coming from Paradox's site? They're offering their bandwidth and services for FREE?

No, that's absurd. They might reduce their percentage - but eliminating it is not something I can see them doing.

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RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/13/2014 11:18:08 PM   
Gregorovitch55

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kayoz


quote:

ORIGINAL: Gregorovitch55
Paradox get 100% revenue from the sale.


I'm quite sure this is not the case. You're suggesting that Steam is taking NOTHING from sales coming from Paradox's site? They're offering their bandwidth and services for FREE?

No, that's absurd. They might reduce their percentage - but eliminating it is not something I can see them doing.


That's probably because you haven't thought about it much. Firstly Steam's business model is to have has many PC games as possible tied exclusively to their system and to have the Steam client installed on as many gamers PC's as possible. So obviously they accept registrations for games sold by third party retailers, it's a huge win for them since it gets their shop front in front of as many gamers noses as possible. Besides, what do you think people like Amazon, Gamestop, GameFly etc would do if Valve tried to charge them for registering their customers games? They'd tell them to get stuffed, they'd tell publishers they will not sell any copies of games that used the steam system, and they'd launch an anti-trust action which they would probably win. Valve's fundamental defense against a charge of monopolistic practices is that the game registration, download, DRM and library services are free. This is why you can register any game you already own, no matter where or when you bought it, into your Steam library provided the game itself is available for sale on Steam.

Oh, and do you think Paradox would decide to go with Steam if they charged them for the service? Of course they wouldn't, they would sell Steam-free copies from their web site, just like everyone else would, and only use the Steam DRM system for sales made via Steam.


< Message edited by Gregorovitch55 -- 3/14/2014 12:28:41 AM >

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RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/14/2014 3:56:50 AM   
Kayoz


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gregorovitch55
That's probably because you haven't thought about it much. Firstly Steam's business model is to have has many PC games as possible tied exclusively to their system


Giving services for free. Not much of a business plan from what I can see. Traffic can help if you're selling advertising space (ie: Google), but what you're proposing seems like financial suicide.

I suppose it's possible that Steam is taking 0% of sales from developers' sites. But that seems to be a business plan that defines "bad".

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gregorovitch55
Besides, what do you think people like Amazon, Gamestop, GameFly etc would do if Valve tried to charge them for registering their customers games?


They're authorized resellers. They take a cut - probably part of Steam's share of the revenue (remainder passed onto the developer/publisher who signed the contract with Steam).

Again, your argument makes no sense.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gregorovitch55
They'd tell them to get stuffed, they'd tell publishers they will not sell any copies of games that used the steam system, and they'd launch an anti-trust action which they would probably win.


Not from my understanding of antitrust legislation. Unless it's impacting on competition, an antitrust suit has no basis in law.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_antitrust_law
"These Acts, first, restrict the formation of cartels and prohibit other collusive practices regarded as being in restraint of trade. Second, they restrict the mergers and acquisitions of organizations which could substantially lessen competition. Third, they prohibit the creation of a monopoly and the abuse of monopoly power."

Are you sure you know what antitrust means?

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gregorovitch55
Valve's fundamental defense against a charge of monopolistic practices is that the game registration, download, DRM and library services are free.


Irrelevant. Whether or not they charge the consumer directly is not a factor in an antitrust suit.

Visa, MasterCard et al lost their antitrust suit regardless of the fact that the consumer was not charged for the services directly (merchants paid). Case law does not support your argument that Steam's "free for users" would be any sort of defence.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gregorovitch55
This is why you can register any game you already own, no matter where or when you bought it, into your Steam library provided the game itself is available for sale on Steam.


Again, irrelevant. If you bought it and you're registering it through Steam, all you're doing is puckering up to their DRM and spyware, in trade for updates. I don't see how this has anything to do with your assertion.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gregorovitch55
Oh, and do you think Paradox would decide to go with Steam if they charged them for the service? Of course they wouldn't, they would sell Steam-free copies from their web site, just like everyone else would, and only use the Steam DRM system for sales made via Steam.


First, they are being charged for the service. Steam takes a percentage (common figure which is thrown about is 30%, but try to verify that). If that doesn't count as "being charged", then I don't know what does. Why Paradox sells only Steam versions of their games is probably more to do with ease of rolling out updates and maintaining one single line of development work to support. Maintenance is about 50% (figure varies, of course - but not negligible in any case) of any development project cost. My take is that they're trying to cut down maintenance costs as much as possible.

Second, there's nothing to support your "no fee" claim. What agreements are made between Steam and Paradox regarding sales of non-Steam copies of the games, is locked securely behind confidentiality. You're making wild guesses based on nothing more than ignorance and supposition.

*edit*
Spelling mistakes.

< Message edited by Kayoz -- 3/14/2014 5:00:46 AM >


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RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/14/2014 4:20:28 AM   
Spidey


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quote:

Spidey, I don't think you understand what a Ponzi Scheme is.

I'm quite aware what a Ponzi scheme is. You're welcome to think otherwise but the idea of paying people for bringing in more people is decidedly Ponzi'ish. Yes, I'm quite aware that there are certain differences, particularly since we're not actually talking about an investment scheme here, but the key part is that whole "customers making money from making other people pay for the product" thing. I could've called it a pyramid scheme instead, and it would arguably have been more correct, but Ponzi is the more known word and the difference isn't too relevant to the point I wanted to get across. Regardless of the name, it's a marketing cancer that really needs to die.

Call me a radical ideologist, but products should be sold on their merits and not by making up fancy schemes that serve exclusively to remove focus from product qualities. And let me be blunt, I ****ing hate those rotten piece of turd anal cavities who engage in these schemes. It's one thing for a regular customer to not see the issue here, but trained professionals should have higher standards. They know the difference between product qualities and quality obfuscation through an appeal to making money, and if they're engaging in these stunts anyway then it's because they don't care. That lack of care annoys me. It's like the industrialist who knows he's hurting the environment by dumping toxic sludge into a nearby river but does it anyway, because hey, more $$$ and who gives a frack about the damn fish anyway? Smaller scale, same mentality.

quote:

I have to wonder what you think about giving the game away to select individuals who then try and sell others on the merits of the game which is exactly what is being discussed by giving the game to certain youtubers.

The talk is about giving game reviewers a free copy to review. They're getting it in a professional capacity, in the hope that they'll do their job, and they're getting a free copy exclusively because their job involves reviewing games. That's a perfectly reasonable marketing effort.

The reviewers are under no obligation to actually convince people to buy the game, they're simply getting a free copy so they can tell people what they think. Some times they're positive, some times they're not, and Matrix can't do much to control that, can they? So trying to pass that off as something that is remotely connected to a referral arrangement where customers are in fact earning money on recruiting new customers is a bit silly, isn't it?

quote:

As an aside, just because something is on Steam does not mean it needs to be cheap.

You're quite right that games on Steam don't absolutely have to be cheap, but how many niche 2D games have you seen sell at $70 or whatever they're going to price Universe? You're comparing that with various other titles that have way more name, production and / or community value. Yes, Civ 5 and Skyrim can sell at 50-60 bucks. They're freaking Civ 5 and Skyrim, for crying out loud. Now imagine DW:U being even more expensive than that. How many people will spend sixty bucks buying DW when the super well-known triple-A title Civ 5 is available right next to it at a lower price?

You mentioned Wasteland 2. Have you checked the names associated with that title? Avellone? Fargo? They've been involved with two of the best RPGs in the entire history of computer gaming and RPG-fans damn well know as much. That's some major star-power that Code Force Elliot simply doesn't have. South Park? That's a damn well known brand that's even getting some added PR from the censorship rubbish in the EU version. DW:U doesn't have that brand value at all. It's probably a better game, pound for pound, just like Gossow is pound for pound a better vocalist than Hetfield, but which one of those two has more pull?

Then there's DayZ at 30 bucks for early access, which is benefitting big time from being the next popular thing in survival horror zombie multiplayer rubbish, which in turn happened because it started out as a popular mod for ARMA 2, all in all placing DayZ in a more popular genre with more name power than DW:U. Finally you mentioned Dark Souls 2 at $50. A brand spanking new action-RPG released in 2014 that's getting tons of acclaim. And it's cheaper than a gold version of a four year old 2D indie game with increased mod support. How do you see that comparison working out well for DW?

The problem with Steam, among a few other things, is that you're getting so many alternatives for comparison all the time. Many games drown and games with high prices stand out. I bought DW + expansions during the recent sale at ~70 dollars and given the amount of entertainment provided, it wasn't expensive at all in terms of cost per hour, but the price tag in itself looks intimidating as hell. When you've got a ton of alternatives at a much lower cost, all of which have more name power or more community pull, that price tag becomes a problem. At 70+ dollars, DW:U is going to be the overpriced item that makes the other items in the Steam store look fairly priced.

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RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/14/2014 5:09:55 AM   
Spidey


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quote:

Giving services for free. Not much of a business plan from what I can see.

The key thing to remember is that all things have a value. Money has value in itself but other things might be worth more than the money you give up to buy it. The marketing value involved in having big sellers refer people to your store may well be worth a lot more than however big a percentage you can talk them into giving you.

And it really isn't costing Valve a cent that Amazon is selling Steam-games. It simply means more demand on the Steam service, which is exactly what Valve wants in the first place. The bigger the load on Steam, the happier they'll be, since it means more people are actively using the client, effectively walking through Valve's digital store. So what if they're not making a direct profit from Amazon's sale when that sale sends the customer straight into Valve's game shop?

That being said, I honestly don't know if that's actually how it works or if it would be a good business plan. But I know that I don't know. What I'm saying is that as far as I can tell, it could be a perfectly viable approach. It's like your local supermarket having a big sale on tomatoes to make people walk by all those shiny apples in the fruit and vegetable section.

quote:

Not from my understanding of antitrust legislation. Unless it's impacting on competition, an antitrust suit has no basis in law.

If Amazon has to pay Valve in order to sell a game that's only distributed through Steam for DRM purposes then yeah, I think we might be approaching antitrust territory. The publisher likely has to pay Valve for using Steam DRM it but I can't see how that's any of Amazon's concern. I'm pretty sure they just make a contract with the publisher about a per unit fee for each sold unit and a recommended selling price. If the profit margin isn't good enough then no deal. If it is good then deal. I'd be quite surprised if Amazon actually cares to pay Valve for the privilege of selling a Gearbox game.

It's a different story if Amazon has made the deal directly with Valve about reselling games but I don't think that's how it works, since I doubt Valve actually has any legal rights to "license" their distribution rights to other businesses. But business law was never a big interest of mine, particularly not US business law, so my knowledge on the topic is quite limited.

quote:

Whether or not they charge the consumer directly is not a factor in an antitrust suit.

Visa, MasterCard et al lost their antitrust suit regardless of the fact that the consumer was not charged for the services directly (merchants paid).

Well, they settled. They didn't quite lose, though the cost of the settlement suggests they would have. Anyways, the credit card companies charged the merchants for their services. If Valve isn't charging the merchants (Amazon et al) then that's a pretty clear difference, isn't it? And if Valve *is* charging the merchants then that's a pretty clear similarity, isn't it?

(in reply to Kayoz)
Post #: 171
RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/14/2014 7:06:30 AM   
Kayoz


Posts: 1516
Joined: 12/20/2010
From: Timbuktu
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Spidey
The key thing to remember is that all things have a value. Money has value in itself but other things might be worth more than the money you give up to buy it.


Yes, some people value some absurd things.

But I did admit it's possible. Absurd, idiotic and would likely get the entire board of directors fired at the next general meeting. But possible. Corporations exist to make MONEY. Valve isn't a non-profit nor is it social services. If it doesn't end up in a profit for them, they likely aren't interested in it. Yes, you might sell something at a loss to generate customer traffic (ie: lost leader) - but making this as the CORE of one's business practice is a death sentence for any company.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Spidey
And it really isn't costing Valve a cent that Amazon is selling Steam-games.


Resellers traditionally take a percentage of the sale. That's why resellers do it. If you make a sale through a reseller that you wouldn't have otherwise made, and even with the percentage paid to the reseller the sale turns a profit - then yes, of course it doesn't cost Valve. It doesn't cost Amazon. That's why they do it. Both sides make money.

That's why Amazon and Steam do these things. Mutually beneficial. Surely you can't be baffled by this.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Spidey
That being said, I honestly don't know if that's actually how it works or if it would be a good business plan.


Amazon and all the other resellers aren't selling Steam keys because they're being forced to. They're doing it because it MAKES THEM MONEY. Amazon makes some, Steam makes some - good for both parties. I can't see Amazon doing it for free - much less PAYING for the privilege of selling Steam keys, as you suggest.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Spidey
If Amazon has to pay Valve in order to sell a game


If Amazon has to PAY to sell something, Amazon won't bloody sell it. Perhaps for some isolated lost leader products might be sold at a loss for a limited time, but certainly not for an entire portfolio of goods.

Where DO you get this idea that Amazon PAYS Steam for the privilege of selling keys? I'm baffled by your reasoning. Can you cite a single financial article which even SUGGESTS that's what they're doing?

quote:

ORIGINAL: Spidey
The publisher likely has to pay Valve for using Steam DRM


Cite your source. Putting your product on Steam pretty much requires that you integrate their DRM. So you're suggesting that the developers who put their game on Steam have to pay up-front for the privilege of using their DLLs? Seriously? Where do you get the impression that this is happening? Nothing - absolutely NOTHING I have read even suggests this.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Spidey
I'm pretty sure they just make a contract with the publisher about a per unit fee for each sold unit and a recommended selling price. If the profit margin isn't good enough then no deal.


So, you're suggesting:
1. Amazon pays Steam to sell Steam keys
2. Amazon sells keys and keeps the revenue. The revenue being potentially LESS than the cost of keys from #1.

Huh? How does this make ANY sense at all? Steam controls the keys. They know precisely what's sold. Why in the name of Zarquon would they use such a bizarre and illogical reseller compensation scheme? Their games aren't a necessity for businesses to exist - not selling Steam games won't put Amazon out of business.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Spidey
I doubt Valve actually has any legal rights to "license" their distribution rights to other businesses.


Depends on their contract with the dev/publisher of the game in question. But seeing that most Steam game keys are available through resellers - yes, this does indeed seem to be the case.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Spidey
Well, they settled. They didn't quite lose


$7.25 billion payout isn't a loss? Imagine trying to tell the shareholders that the company has been dinged for $7.25 billion (or rather, the company in question's portion) and selling it to them as a "win".

quote:

ORIGINAL: Spidey
If Valve isn't charging the merchants (Amazon et al) then that's a pretty clear difference, isn't it? And if Valve *is* charging the merchants then that's a pretty clear similarity, isn't it?


No, the key issue is whether or not they are abusing their market dominance and stifling competition with their business practices. Who they charge and how they do it is secondary.

Summary of your assertions:
1. You assert that Amazon pays for the privilege of selling Steam keys. If the source of this assertion is something other than the orifice between your gluteus maximus muscles, please cite your source. What you are suggesting is absurd.
2. You agree with Gregor's assertion that Paradox receives 100% of all Steam keys sold through their site. If this has ANY basis in fact, cite your source. Steam allows their developers to set their own discounts for sales from their site - but I have never heard, from any source, that this is combined with Steam foregoing all payment. Cite your source.
3. You assert that who pays (client or vendor) is a critical aspect of antitrust legislation. As I understand it, that's a cosmetic issue. Abuse of market dominance and anti-competitive practices is what antitrust is about. The law doesn't really give a toss how you do it. But since that's your assertion, cite a legal source that identifies this as a critical aspect of the credit card case.

Thus far, I haven't seen any facts. Not one iota of what you or Gregor have proposed has been gleaned from reliable sources. If you're going to just bandy about baseless ideas with no basis in fact, then by all means do so. I just ask that you don't try to pretend that what you are doing is anything other than that.

< Message edited by Kayoz -- 3/14/2014 10:15:26 AM >


_____________________________

“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” ― Christopher Hitchens

(in reply to Spidey)
Post #: 172
RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/14/2014 10:03:17 AM   
Gregorovitch55

 

Posts: 191
Joined: 2/11/2014
Status: offline
Just to remove any doubt from anybody's mind about what the truth is here, a swift scan of the Steamworks and greenlight sites reveal the following on their respective front pages:

www.steampowered.com/steamworks/:

It’s free: There’s no charge for bandwidth, updating, or activation of copies at retail or from third-party digital distributors.

http://steamcommunity.com/workshop/about/?appid=765§ion=faq:

If my game is accepted through Steam Greenlight, can I give my previous customers keys for the Steam version?
Once your game is accepted for distribution on Steam, we will give you as many keys for your game as you want at no cost.

Do you require exclusivity for titles you sell on Steam?
We think you should get your game in front of as many people as you can, therefore we do not require or recommend exclusivity on titles.

I think that's about as clear cut and Plain English as you can get with regards to charges for third party sales and Steam developer services generally: it's free.

Now Steam are completely tight lipped about their commission on sales (like everyone else is) but it is widely believed to be in line with similar digital distribution ecosystems such as Google Play, Appstore and XBox Live: most people think it's about 30%. The important point to understand about this is that the cut taken (or used to be taken pre-broadband) by high street game retail chains is/was around 60-70% (which to be fair is merely a reflection of the huge additional costs of selling a game unit in a box from a shop in the high street) and in addition the high street chains ran a roaring trade in second hand physical copies of games. For those of you who think Valve is operating poor business practice by providing all those developer services for free and requiring no exclusivity or restrictions, you just need to consider the implication of this:

What valve has done is to swipe a huge and increasing slice of the 40-50% of the total dollar value of the PC gaming market represented by the difference between Valve's cut (30%) and the high street retailer's cuts (60-70%) plus the retailer's markup on second hand games (which market segment is now increasingly being transferred to Steam's, and other digital distributor's, periodic sales). Therefore, in soundbite terms, the effect is:

Great for gamers who are getting their games much cheaper via an excellent distribution system with lot's of additional services
Great for developers who are getting more money per unit sold, selling more units, and getting an excellent marketing/distribution service with lot's of important extra features
Great for Valve, obviously......
Arguably about neutral for other digital distributors (but that is arguable)
But very, very bad for high street retail operations who have in effect effect paid for it all.

Valve have succeeded in this because they are very, very good at what they do and because it's all carrot and no stick (except as far as high street retailers are concerned where we are talking more plasma cannon than stick). Valve's business strategy has been well conceived, well planned, well executed and has been by any standards a huge success. One might say text book business school case study.

You may scratch your head and wonder at Valve's stupidity in their business practices, Kayoz, but I can assure you that says a lot more about your understanding of business, and internet business in particular, than Valve's.



< Message edited by Gregorovitch55 -- 3/14/2014 11:10:56 AM >

(in reply to Kayoz)
Post #: 173
RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/14/2014 11:23:33 AM   
Darkspire


Posts: 1989
Joined: 6/12/2003
From: My Own Private Hell
Status: offline
Oh great, here we go again with another prominent thread lock

I rarely make a comment as regards Steam but having watched and prodded it with a stick for years it just screws your system, hogs resources, inserts DRM where it wants, screws game saves (example, the mess it made of the X-series, Terran Conflict and X-Reunion, folks lost saves that took years to put together), all games on there get monkeyed with and laced with Steam poison not to mention the servers and access to 'your' games are up and down like a virgin on there wedding night and hey unlike buying a copy from Matrix if Steam goes out of business (unlikely but it could) you lose all of 'your' games, they would need to recode every single game to work without it (never likely to happen) so if your lazy, have not a clue about how to work your system or just have money to burn then go join the Steam fanboy club.
Latest one for me is Banished, I waited and got it through GOG, the steam version is nearly 20mb larger, and that extra code isn't enhancements.

Darkspire

_____________________________


(in reply to Gregorovitch55)
Post #: 174
RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/14/2014 1:06:22 PM   
Spidey


Posts: 399
Joined: 12/8/2013
Status: offline
quote:

Summary of your assertions:
1. You assert that Amazon pays for the privilege of selling Steam keys. If the source of this assertion is something other than the orifice between your gluteus maximus muscles, please cite your source. What you are suggesting is absurd.
2. You agree with Gregor's assertion that Paradox receives 100% of all Steam keys sold through their site. If this has ANY basis in fact, cite your source. Steam allows their developers to set their own discounts for sales from their site - but I have never heard, from any source, that this is combined with Steam foregoing all payment. Cite your source.
3. You assert that who pays (client or vendor) is a critical aspect of antitrust legislation. As I understand it, that's a cosmetic issue. Abuse of market dominance and anti-competitive practices is what antitrust is about. The law doesn't really give a toss how you do it. But since that's your assertion, cite a legal source that identifies this as a critical aspect of the credit card case.

Thus far, I haven't seen any facts. Not one iota of what you or Gregor have proposed has been gleaned from reliable sources. If you're going to just bandy about baseless ideas with no basis in fact, then by all means do so. I just ask that you don't try to pretend that what you are doing is anything other than that.

Pal, don't do this unless you really want me to dislike you. Don't use your imagination to assign assertions to me that I haven't made. I hate people who jump into strawmen any chance they get and that's exactly what you're doing here. And unless you're damn near illiterate in English, there really isn't any excuse for it. I'll give you exactly one chance to retract this nonsense before I write you off as someone who intentionally wants to misrepresent the points of people he's discussing things with. One chance. It's your call what you do with it.

I'll clarify your points, though, because I'm a nice guy like that.

1. Amazon obviously pays something for the privilege of selling games because if they didn't then the publishers of those games wouldn't be making money from Amazon selling those games, and if the publishers weren't making money on it then Amazon wouldn't be either. Therefore Amazon obviously pays for the privilege of selling the Steam-codes for those games. What you're suggesting, on the other hand, actually is absurd. No, "to pay" doesn't mean "to operate with a loss". Who the heck told you that anyway?

2) Yes, I do.
http://www.steampowered.com/steamworks/retailsupport.php

"Keep all of your users together no matter where or how they get your game. Steamworks has a host of features and services that support your retail product and any digital copies, wherever they are sold. It’s free. There is no per-copy activation charge or bandwidth fee.

Ship your game at retail and online. With Steamworks, you decide where and how it will be sold."

That's a lawsuit waiting to happen if they are in fact charging Paradox for selling Steamworks-based games. If you think Valve is making 30% off sales from Paradox or other non-Steam sources then provide a source. If you think the mere inclusion of a Steam-key means Valve made 30% of the sales price then show a source. Put up or shut up. So far you've provided no substance whatsoever. If all you can do is run your mouth, spilling endless amounts of useless drivel, then fair enough, but at least have the god damn common decency to admit it.

3. I've said no such thing and what's more important, there's no justification for you thinking that I did. Let's try to backtrack to the origin. Greg says that not charging is vital to not violate antitrust rules. You're saying that Valve charges such sales and that it doesn't matter if the consumer is charged directly or indirectly. I quite agree with that last part, as it happens, but what I pointed out is that

a) if Amazon (or the consumer) has to pay some fee for Amazon selling Skyrim (which is Steam-exclusive) to a consumer, then that seems to be quite similar to credit card companies charging merchants for credit card transactions. And if Valve isn't doing such a thing, receiving zero money from Amazon or the consumer, then that appears to be a significant difference from the credit card lawsuit.

and b) I'm very poorly educated when it comes to business law in general and US law in particular, so I make no claim whatsoever to actually know what I'm talking about as far as business law is concerned.

And given b), how do you get to the conclusion that I'm asserting anything? The answer is that you don't, at least not unless you either cannot read worth a damn or you simply don't care what I actually wrote. If it's the former then why are you being aggressive in a language you clearly don't understand? If it's the latter then that really speaks for itself.

< Message edited by Spidey -- 3/14/2014 2:13:50 PM >

(in reply to Kayoz)
Post #: 175
RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/14/2014 1:12:54 PM   
Spidey


Posts: 399
Joined: 12/8/2013
Status: offline
God dammit. I hate when I get distracted from a post for a few hours after a phone call and some other stuff and then I come back, finish my post, and suddenly people have made it redundant. Why can't I ever think of pushing F5 before posting and why do I always forget finishing my posts?

Anyway, nicely put Greg. Much more brief and to the point than my somewhat bloated anger management essay.

And Darkspire, I don't think Kayoz can have a thread locked unless people are actually arguing with him, and as far as I'm concerned, the path for a continuation of the discussion is quite narrow. I doubt Greg cares that much for his screaming antics either, so worst case is that Kayoz is simply screaming into the ether with nobody paying attention.

By the way, since we're apparently also sharing our feelings for Steam, I have to say that I'm very much not a fan. I'm generally not too vitriolic about it but I hate having to run the Steam client to play a game, I hate the idea of cloud saves, I hate forced updates, I hate having to reactivate games online every so often, and I hate having all my games rely on a single service provider without whom I cannot use any of my games. I'm thrilled that DW isn't Steam-based and if it was Steam-exclusive then I wouldn't have bought the game.

< Message edited by Spidey -- 3/14/2014 2:34:19 PM >

(in reply to Spidey)
Post #: 176
RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/14/2014 1:35:16 PM   
Icemania


Posts: 1843
Joined: 6/5/2013
From: Australia
Status: offline
Sigh.

Once again Kayoz shows that he is simply incapable of having a civil and friendly discussion with anybody that has different views to his own.


< Message edited by Icemania -- 3/14/2014 3:32:53 PM >

(in reply to Spidey)
Post #: 177
RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/14/2014 1:36:28 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

Posts: 34566
Joined: 3/28/2000
From: Vermont, USA
Status: offline
Hi guys,

Let's not turn this thread into another debate about steam and game finances. Let's also scale back the snark please - Kayoz, I'm especially looking at you, but this is also directed to those who respond in kind - discussions where people disagree can be carried out with civility and respect.

I can confirm that Steam gives free keys to developers/publishers who have their game also selling through Steam. We provided Steam keys to Panzer Corps owners (if they wanted them) when we just released Panzer Corps on Steam. Steam is another distribution channel, like any of the online stores or retail stores. They of course take their cut of your sales and they provide a store service in exchange. There are pros and cons as with any other channel.

Now, let's get back on topic and discuss Universe.

Regards,

- Erik


< Message edited by Erik Rutins -- 3/14/2014 2:39:38 PM >


_____________________________


Erik Rutins
Director of Product Development




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(in reply to Spidey)
Post #: 178
RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/14/2014 1:56:53 PM   
Spidey


Posts: 399
Joined: 12/8/2013
Status: offline
My apologies, Erik. I got grumpy after Kayoz "summarized" what I'd "asserted". Should've just let it go, though. I'll try to do that in the future.

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 179
RE: Space Sector Preview For Distant Worlds - Universe - 3/14/2014 3:21:52 PM   
Cauldyth

 

Posts: 687
Joined: 6/27/2010
Status: online
Hey guys, look, Universe was just officially announced! You know, the thing that's in the title of this thread? Let's talk about that!

(in reply to Spidey)
Post #: 180
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