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Steam vs. Origin: Is Competition Good for Gamers?

From its humble roots as a conduit for Counter-Strike back in 2003 to its current status as a digital delivery juggernaut with over 30 million subscribers, Steam's rise has been little short of remarkable. With an estimated 70 per cent share of the entire PC market, Valve's store has transformed a small developer into one of the games industry's most powerful players.

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Tachyon_Nova2274d ago (Edited 2274d ago )

In the future I think it is likely that there will either be several e'retailers who sell games but DO NOT make or publish games themselves OR (more likely) each publisher will have they're own seperate store.

The problem with Steam is that they shove their own games (i.e. Valve's games) down customers throats. From a rival publishers perspective, this is bad for business as they are helping prop up a rival in multiple ways. The first being that Valve takes a cut from each game sold through the service, and the second that just by having a game on the service, a rival publisher is effectively advertising for Valve as people will go to Steam to buy the game and then have advertising for Valve games in their face on the home screen.

So like I said, in future either each publisher will have it's own online store, or there will be several competing independent (ie non producing/publishing) retailers who have games from all publishers, much like modern physical game shops.

NuclearDuke2274d ago

How do steam shove down their games at customers throats? I don't see more Valve content than any other publishers content on Steam, neither are there many Valve game offers compared to indie offers.

tdrules2274d ago

"valve get a cut" - how else are they supposed to make money?
That's like having a shop where all revenue goes to the people who made the goods and you're left paying for electricity bills and rent.

Publishers have a choice in this, put their games on a very popular service where VALVe have the capabilities to shove the publisher's games down thir 20m+ fanbase or try and do it on their own.

Tachyon_Nova2274d ago

I am not demanding that Valve do not take a cut from purchases made through Steam, I am simply pointing out that in the long term, from a rival publisher/producers perspective it does not make sense to have your game on Steam as you are not only losing profit from the cut Steam are taking, but you are proping up a rival, as Valve themselves make and publish games.

If you look at the current market, retailers like Gamestop etc are not competing with publishers/producers because they do not make or publish games (aside from maybe indie games which have minimal market impact) or have a bias towards one publisher. Although they (the retailers) take a cut of the profit, it is worth a publisher losing that percentage of potential profit because it is where most of their customers buy games. So for now, publishers would like to push customers down the digital distribution route as that reduces the amount of profit they are losing on each game sold (i.e e'retailes take less of a cut than physical retailers and/or publishers save money on not printing a disc and distributing a physical object). So basically even though Steam takes a cut of the profits, publishers use it because it has a large market penetration and they make more money per sale than from a physcial copy being sold through a retailer.

BUT, in time things like EA's Origin will grow in popularity (so long as they do the right thing by customers) as more people encounter it through games like Battlefield. There will potentially come a day when EA does not need to have its games on Steam is order for them to reach their entire customer base, and at that point EA will no longer use Steam, they will exclusively use Origin. Other publishers will no doubt do the same.

gamingdroid2274d ago (Edited 2274d ago )

I don't see how Valve does any of these things would change with EA, except for the worse considering EA's many recent controversies since their digital platform has been operational.

a) Valve/Origin is a platform so yes, they will put their logo on the service and "shove it" down your throat.

b) Profit from the platform? How is that bad? A company isn't some kind of charity, people's got to eat. Would you like to get paid for your work?

If anything, I have only heard good things about Steam.

The only bad thing about this is if Origin actually becomes a service consumers accept, because not only is it inferior, it is also rather nasty towards their consumers and competitors:

http://n4g.com/news/829383/...

JsonHenry2274d ago

I think competition is good. As good as steam is now with a lack of it imagine the deals/sales/services steam will provide when they have a legitimate competitor.

HenryFord2274d ago

But I wouldn't technically call it "competition" when then publisher decides to sell it only through one service. That is not competition. If EA would go on to sell the game through Steam AND Origin, that would be competition, because Origin would have to actually deliver something in order for you to buy on it - same goes for Steam. But if it is only available on one platform, well the choice is taken from your hand.

ThanatosDMC2274d ago

What are you talking about???

radphil2274d ago (Edited 2274d ago )

"The problem with Steam is that they shove their own games (i.e. Valve's games) down customers throats. From a rival publishers perspective, this is bad for business as they are helping prop up a rival in multiple ways. The first being that Valve takes a cut from each game sold through the service, and the second that just by having a game on the service, a rival publisher is effectively advertising for Valve as people will go to Steam to buy the game and then have advertising for Valve games in their face on the home screen. "

Wait what?....Last time I see them talk about their own game was with the new CS game, and that's barely mentioned around the steam store.

In fact, they show the daily deals FROM OTHER PUBLISHERS like mad. Just recently they had one for Borderlands, and there's one going on now for Farcry.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 2274d ago
Kee2274d ago

Competition? Haha... There is none. Steam with their deals on games and their already huge userbase take the cake. That said, all the millions (don't know for sure) of people who buy battlefield 3 for the PC will all have to be origin users.

ChrisW2274d ago

I use both STEAM and Impulse. 80% of the major releases are on both and both give great discounts. The only reason why I use STEAM more is because of its easy to see online friends info and chat function. I've used EA's downloader for a few games, but the rarely give great deals... well, except for Ages of Empire for 1 penny.

I am actually a bit put off that STEAM and EA aren't working together here, though. They both know that EA will make more money if BF3 is released on both STEAM and Origin.

T3MPL3TON 2274d ago

There is no competition, Steam is the better service. The constant deals along make Steam better. The fact that EA will be forcing Origin on everyone is BS, the fact that along with Origin, you'll have to accept EA's DRM is even more absurd. Then to top that all off it's written right in the terms, that if your Origin account has a prolonged time of being inactive they'll close your account, which also removes any games you've purchased. That fact they keep out right lying and saying isn't true, it's written right in the Terms.

RAYMEISTER2274d ago

Fuck EA. I'm pissed. If u wanna play BF3 u have to install origin. Then it's in there EULA that they have a right to scan your PC and give/sell the info to a 3rd party. WTF.

Saryk2274d ago

Competition is always good. But here lately is seems that gamers in general get bent over without a reach around.

Between paying a ton of money for a short game, DLC or used games, the powers that be try to screw us every chance they get!

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