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Valve missed a huge opportunity to be the "first party" of PC gaming

GuinGuin

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Just because other company also invests on something doesn't mean they themselves don't also have their own strategy.
They invest on VR, they're also helping it grow, those are facts.

Facebook has a much much larger share of VR to the point that Valve is practically irrelevant. It didn't have to be like that. Valve have chosen to be miserly with their fortune.
What’s the benefit? They became absurdly rich with transaction fees from owning the platform

The benefit would be to solidify that position instead of losing ground. If all they cared about was money they would just shut down steam and retire.
 

Guilty_AI

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Facebook has a much much larger share of VR to the point that Valve is practically irrelevant. It didn't have to be like that. Valve have chosen to be miserly with their fortune.
"much larger" or "pratically irrelevant" are huge overstatements.
Data suggests equipment like HTC vive or even Index are only somewhat behind facebook's VRs.
 

LazyParrot

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more big publishers will exclusively push their own platform like origin.
Isn't the opposite happening? Multiple publishers who removed their games from Steam in an effort to lure players to their own platforms have recently backtracked on that, including Microsoft and EA.

I think it's much more likely that the future for publishers lies in integrating their own services with Valve's in some way, like EA is doing with EA play. Rather than using Game Pass to compete with Steam, Microsoft could score the easiest victory in industry history by collaborating with Valve to offer it through Steam instead.
 
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SlimySnake

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Sony and Microsoft are now the first party of PC gaming. Gabe will get 30% of all first party games sold on his store without doing any of the leg work. Yes, Sony and MS will keep 70% of the cut but they also had to spend millions making those games and millions more marketing them. Valve just hosts them on the servers which costs fraction of the development cost. His profit margins are literally around 99%. He will be fine.
 

PhaseJump

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Facebook has a much much larger share of VR to the point that Valve is practically irrelevant. It didn't have to be like that. Valve have chosen to be miserly with their fortune.


The benefit would be to solidify that position instead of losing ground. If all they cared about was money they would just shut down steam and retire.

Steam is profitable for them.

If shutting it down and retiring was more profitable; sure, they would do it.

I also assume that they would wear their pants on their head in this clown universe you're talking about.
 

GuinGuin

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"much larger" or "pratically irrelevant" are huge overstatements.
Data suggests equipment like HTC vive or even Index are only somewhat behind facebook's VRs.


“Facebook is going to probably have a near-monopoly in VR software before it even matters,” Heath tweeted. “Facebook will have literally reinvented itself for a new paradigm shift in computing by the time regulation gets around to addressing it in its current state.”
 

Hari Seldon

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Steam crushed Origin, which contains a top 5 PC game franchise in The Sims. Crushed all of MS's attempts at selling PC games. The only dragon that Steam hasn't slain yet is Battle.net, but that is coming as Blizzard dies out and there is no pull to open up that launcher anymore. Epic is a not even in the ballpark for me, that is the fortnite launcher and I don't give a shit about that game. Unless Epic starts making actual top tier PC games and not just moneyhatting indies I will never install that shit.
 
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The Alien

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Steam took the money they made from Steam and invested it in Steam....not games.

If games would have made them more money, you'd see more games. Taking a 30% or whatever cut by hosting is ridiculously more profitable than developing a single, expensive game for years.

From a biz perspective, they made the right call.
 
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Guilty_AI

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“Facebook is going to probably have a near-monopoly in VR software before it even matters,” Heath tweeted. “Facebook will have literally reinvented itself for a new paradigm shift in computing by the time regulation gets around to addressing it in its current state.”
An opinion piece isn't proof of anything, whoever wrote it just thinks facebook will have an monopoly on VR. He could be right, but he could be wrong too. It doens't even compare with data from valve games and hardware.
 
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Topher

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Can people stop making this comment? I put it in quotes for a reason. By first party I mean the defacto company that not only controls the space but also actively funds and steers the direction of gaming on that platform.

That still doesn't apply in an open platform. How would investing in studios have granted them such control? Would that have made it impossible for Epic to open their own store? Nope. There is nothing Valve could have done in its history that would have given it the power to "steer the direction of gaming" on PC.

Sony and Microsoft are now the first party of PC gaming.

What? They are not "first party" at all in PC gaming. Microsoft is first party in its own store on PC, but not anywhere else.
 

PhaseJump

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Facebook VR is a closed platform by comparison. Another console waiting to happen.

OP here is playing a zero sum game where Steam is somehow losing ground in a fight to be something they aren't. Something only console warriors believe has relevance.

PC is an open platform. When that aspect was circumvented or threatened slightly by proposals around Windows 8, Valve gave Linux gaming enough resources to make it viable. If they need to do something for Steam's future, they will do it. OP's concern and this whole thread is ridiculous.
 
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Amiga

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Isn't the opposite happening? Multiple publishers who removed their games from Steam in an effort to lure players to their own platforms have recently backtracked on that, including Microsoft and EA.

I think it's much more likely that the future for publishers lies in integrating their own services with Valve's in some way, like EA is doing with EA play. Rather than using Game Pass to compete with Steam, Microsoft could score the easiest victory in industry history by collaborating with Valve to offer it through Steam instead.

this is just an interim phase for them. once their userbase is big enough they will push exclusivity. it will be a slow multi year process. the aggressive moves could come 5 years from now or sooner. but the moves will be made.MS have been building up to it for a long time now.
 

Hugare

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"They could have easily taken the money earned from Steam and invested it in their own studios or purchased studios to release games on Steam"

... But why?

To you, it makes sense because you want more games from them. But to them? Why? They receive 30% of everything sold on STEAM.

So why keep the majority of their staff developing a game for 4+ years for some cash that they could get just by Store sales of third party games?

I love their work culture. Bunch of nerds doing whatever they want together and coming up with amazing new ideas.

Besides, PC is an open platform. You gatekeep it with services/stores, not games. Steam releasing HL 3 wouldnt change shit, Epic would have released EGS anyway.
 
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kevm3

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Steam makes them mountains of cash and is a profit hog, so I'm sure they see no real reason to branch out and start purchasing studios or even funding development beyond what they've been doing. From the perspective of gamers, yeah we may potentially be missing out, but from the perspective of a business owner, they are playing it smart by sticking to what's really been making them piles of money.
 

Warablo

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Don't tell Sony fans, but maybe Valve knows just like Microsoft that game development isn't worth it, unless you have a huge hit like early Halo numbers or microtransactions like Fifa ultimate team.
 
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Anything could happen if Gabe Newell decides to sell his company. But I think there would have to be some drastic changes for Steam to become a "minor player". Right now, no other company is as identifiable when it comes to PC gaming as Valve.
When I say sell in 5 years, I also mean a fraction of what he could have sell now. Im expecting major moves from Sony, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook and Epic. Epic and Amazon having the most explosive gains using Unreal Engine and Twitch as Trojans horses. Microsoft trying to Moviepass the gaming industry, ultimately every publisher creates their own streaming passes. Google will use youtube to offer Ubisoft, EA, Activision, Playstation, Etc passes. Ending up with Facebook buying steam for name recognition for their own gaming platform.
 
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or they could take a 30% cut of sales on the most popular PC store and only put out the odd game here and there. they are raking it in without having to do as much as Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo.
 
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CuNi

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this is just an interim phase for them. once their userbase is big enough they will push exclusivity. it will be a slow multi year process. the aggressive moves could come 5 years from now or sooner. but the moves will be made.MS have been building up to it for a long time now.

They tried and they failed already. They are here to stay. EA thought it had its users with battlefield, Sims etc and then tried to strong-arm gamers... Now look who's back on steam and even releasing the next major battlefield day one on it.

Microsoft is also now back in the steam game. Halo MCC, all future first parties will be Xbox and pc games, even Halo Infinite will be on steam day one. Ubisoft is the only one that left steam and now works with epic but honestly, they had little relevance before and now just made them even less relevant.
 

Amiga

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So why keep the majority of their staff developing a game for 4+ years for some cash that they could get just by Store sales of third party games?
- AFAIK the staff developing a game is different to those developing Steam.
- a game would generate it's own revenue and pay for itself. and generate enough profit to pay for a couple of others.
 

A.Romero

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I think they did everything right from a business stand point. Anything else is moot.

Do I wish HL3 or L4D3 existed? Yes. Can I also play hundreds of other games even forgetting Valve doesn't have a steady release schedule? Also yes.

They have the best PC game store around and that's enough for me.
 

Hugare

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- AFAIK the staff developing a game is different to those developing Steam.
- a game would generate it's own revenue and pay for itself. and generate enough profit to pay for a couple of others.
- but the staff that would develop games are now developing software/hardware in projects that they want to develop for. Games would require a huge amount of people for a project that they maybe wouldnt be interested in.

- true, but again, it would require a big part of their staff to invest 4+ years of their life for it. Not worth it. They would bleed talent, and put too much time into one project.
 

DGrayson

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I think the OP has some good points, but they seemed to prefer being a service company rather than a software company.

But I do disagree that Epic is eating into their market share. Giving away free games is one thing but actually cultivating a real user base is another. We need more data before making such an assessment.
 
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Fuz

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Facebook will buy Steam in 5 years. After they overbid Google and Amazon.
This, I suspect, would spark a new age of sailing.

 

Amiga

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They tried and they failed already. They are here to stay. EA thought it had its users with battlefield, Sims etc and then tried to strong-arm gamers... Now look who's back on steam and even releasing the next major battlefield day one on it.

Microsoft is also now back in the steam game. Halo MCC, all future first parties will be Xbox and pc games, even Halo Infinite will be on steam day one. Ubisoft is the only one that left steam and now works with epic but honestly, they had little relevance before and now just made them even less relevant.

Business accounts for risks and failures. it's not a swing and a miss then go home. reasons get analyzed and strategy improves for the future. business that don't go bankrupt.

Origin got as much as it could aggressively. now it's settled on a slow buildup of it's users. once a big enough percentage is on Origin the value of exclusively selling their own games will outweigh the benefit of selling on Steam.
 

Topher

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When I say sell in 5 years, I also mean a fraction of what he could have sell now. Im expecting major moves from Sony, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook and Epic. Epic and Amazon having the most explosive gains using Unreal Engine and Twitch as Trojans horses. Microsoft trying to Moviepass the gaming industry, ultimately every publisher creates their own streaming passes. Google will use youtube to offer Ubisoft, EA, Activision, Playstation, Etc passes. Ending up with Facebook buying steam for name recognition for their own gaming platform.

I don't see it myself. Valve has over 100 million active users and has never been more popular and I see its value increasing, not decreasing. The big corporations will do what they want but as we have already seen, it doesn't mean gamers are automatically going to follow. Whereas Valve's growth has been due to providing a superior service, Epic's success has been with timed exclusives (alienating a lot of PC gamers in the process) and free games.

Having said that, my crystal ball needs a new flux capacitor so my predictions could be way off.

crystal ball cat GIF by Percolate Galactic
 

Amiga

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- true, but again, it would require a big part of their staff to invest 4+ years of their life for it. Not worth it. They would bleed talent, and put too much time into one project.

they would be different dedicated staff. like how Sony studios work. didn't Valve buy the Firewatch studio a few years ago? they just need to do more of that.
 

Shut0wen

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Op is definitely right whether or not steam if failing i dont know i doubt it ever will but for there games valve 100% fucked it up, they lost so many talented people over the years purely because gabe didnt want to invest in games anymore, i actually believe the reason for it is because of how highly marked there games are and i think its a real shame how they seemed purely invested in VR only, i cant ever see them releasing TF3 or L4D3 anytime soon since VR is all there bothered about, maybe portal 3 some point soon
 
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CuNi

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Business accounts for risks and failures. it's not a swing and a miss then go home. reasons get analyzed and strategy improves for the future. business that don't go bankrupt.

Origin got as much as it could aggressively. now it's settled on a slow buildup of it's users. once a big enough percentage is on Origin the value of exclusively selling their own games will outweigh the benefit of selling on Steam.
And I think this is where you are wrong.
Even with EGS, the major consensus is, gamers prefer their games on steam. There are obviously people that prefer multiple stores or launchers, but they are not the majority. Even if they build up a user base now, once they move off of steam again, they will lose most of that install base another time and they also do know, this will hurt them long term. If you go on and off on a store front, people will start to be annoyed and you will create a "they'll leave eventually anyway" mentality, meaning people will most likely start skipping your games as there is no incentive to invest tino a game series that will be on and off of steam.

If nothing hugely anti consumer happens, then steam is here to stay and the big players know this. They will try to work alongside it then against it. Steam just has way to many users that are loyal to it and don't want to move away.
 

Dream-Knife

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You're completely wrong,and it's worded in such a way that I think you have no idea what you're talking about.

No one is switching to other stores. Valve is still considered the Nintendo of PC gaming.
 

GuinGuin

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And I think this is where you are wrong.
Even with EGS, the major consensus is, gamers prefer their games on steam. There are obviously people that prefer multiple stores or launchers, but they are not the majority. Even if they build up a user base now, once they move off of steam again, they will lose most of that install base another time and they also do know, this will hurt them long term. If you go on and off on a store front, people will start to be annoyed and you will create a "they'll leave eventually anyway" mentality, meaning people will most likely start skipping your games as there is no incentive to invest tino a game series that will be on and off of steam.

If nothing hugely anti consumer happens, then steam is here to stay and the big players know this. They will try to work alongside it then against it. Steam just has way to many users that are loyal to it and don't want to move away.

That's why Epic is spending tons of money on helping new games get made by top tier devs. If people buy those games they won't want to leave EGS and lose those games. Steam needs to do this and should have been doing this since the beginning.
 
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Tg89

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That's why Epic is spending tons of money on helping new games get made by top tier devs. If people buy those games they won't want to leave EGS and lose those games. Steam needs to do this and should have been doing this since the beginning.

Steam still has 1000000000x more games than are available on any of those other platforms. People might not "leave" EGS but they're certainly not leaving Steam either. Epic is having to moneyhat devs and offer free games all the time to even get a little bit of relative market share.
 
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This, I suspect, would spark a new age of sailing.

Pirate Bay buys Steam, shuts it down. All major games are only streamable. Assassin Creed exclusive to Ubisoft+, Fifa exclusive to EA Play, COD exclusive to Blizzard+, Cuphead: Hot Coffee exclusive to Amazon Luna, Remedy physical games are just a code to open a stream play only on Verizon 5G Moto Razer M3.
 

TastyPastry

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if valve doesn't want to develop games themselves they should license their IPs to other devs. arkane would have been a top tier studio to make half life 3 before bethesda bought them. i'm sure there are lots of indie devs who would love to do another portal.
 

TheAssist

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It might be surprise to some people, but making games is incredible cost intensive and risky, which is why even giants like amazon and google struggle in this business.

Valve had a storefront that, when it finally worked and grew to a certain amount, raked in more money than they knew how to spend it with comparetivley low risk and money.
I'm sure they are crying in their money right now.

Valve has simply grown to be a different company now. they work on new tech and make patents that they can sell to other companies. Its probably much less risky and makes them good money.
 
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I don't see it myself. Valve has over 100 million active users and has never been more popular and I see its value increasing, not decreasing.
Well it all really depends if Biden passes that infrastructure package. Once USA has a decent overall internet capability. Streaming will take off. And every publisher will have their “Netflix” of gaming. No longer needing to cater to Steam to avoid pirating. While some games head to the Epic store, since Epic doesn't care about profitability if said store. They just trying to spread their unreal engine seed to the whole world…

but we’ll see.
 
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TheAssist

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Valve is Lazy.
They are living off the success of every other developer And gaining money that way.

Smart but kinda shitty, wish they actually made more games instead of surviving off everyone else. Sleezy


I wonder how people keep saying these things when they dont even know what Valve is working on (hint: its not games).
Calling someone lazy without knowing what their actual work is is also kind of lazy. Maybe you should research what they are doing before accusing them? But hey thats the internet. If someone isnt doing what you want them to do, than they are clearly doing it wrong.
 

Kokoloko85

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I wonder how people keep saying these things when they dont even know what Valve is working on (hint: its not games).
Calling someone lazy without knowing what their actual work is is also kind of lazy. Maybe you should research what they are doing before accusing them? But hey thats the internet. If someone isnt doing what you want them to do, than they are clearly doing it wrong.

Valve is a game making studio. There not making many games anymore.

If they werent making money from other developers on steam they would be making more games.

They did the smart thing, make a platform to earn more money than any other developer, earn money from every PC game but doesnt mean I think I should respect them or think they deserve it
 

eyesabitdull

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With the launch of Steam and shortly afterwards Half Life 2 in 2004 Valve nearly instantly transformed the PC gaming market. They gave a single storefront and DRM for games of all shaped and sizes. Since that time they have released depending on how you count the various mods as few as 7 games which most recently includes Artifact a failed collectable card game and Half-Life Alyx which while apparently amazing requires expensive and bulky equipment to fully enjoy.
They could have easily taken the money earned from Steam and invested it in their own studios or purchased studios to release games on Steam. Fast forward to 2021 and Epic is eating into their storefront space and Microsoft is gaining huge ground with game pass for PC. I think they took their position for granted and really failed to capitalize on it when they had virtually no competition.
Thoughts?
Kim Kardashian Jenner GIF
 

ProLogY

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I really like the games Valve makes. Portal, Half Life, Team Fortress. It's a darn shame we haven't gotten much out of them in the past decade. So I don't know about them being the first party of PC.. But it would be nice to see them release some quality content again. Half Life Alyx shows that they still have it.
 

IntentionalPun

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Valve is a game making studio. There not making many games anymore.

If they werent making money from other developers on steam they would be making more games.

They did the smart thing, make a platform to earn more money than any other developer, earn money from every PC game but doesnt mean I think I should respect them or think they deserve it
But they still make games lol
 

bender

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Everyone hated Steam at first. Then Steam was championed. We are probably at the apathy stage but they are the defacto PC store front.
 

Balducci30

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I mean valve has a crazy legacy already, half life, counter strike, team fortress, dota, portal, vr and steam? Like for the relatively little they’ve done they must’ve made so much bank, they’ve changed the industry completely multiple times
 
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strange headache

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That's totally wrong. Are Valve games on the epic store? Are Epic games on Steam?
The majority of PC gamers hate the Epic store. Also, every Epic game sooner or later lands on Steam anyway.
If Epic weren't such salty moneyhatting b*tches, I'm sure they would be much more welcomed by the PC community.
 

GuinGuin

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The majority of PC gamers hate the Epic store. Also, every Epic game sooner or later lands on Steam anyway.
If Epic weren't such salty moneyhatting b*tches, I'm sure they would be much more welcomed by the PC community.

They are funding new games from Fumito Ueda and the creator of Silent Hill among others. I don't think those will end up on Steam.
 
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