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Raptorx7

Combat Mission and Steam

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Because Valve/Steam adds an incredible amount of value to games. I have 412 games on Steam (thanks cheap humble bundles). Having those games on Steam makes my life easier.

Steam gives an incredible amount of added value that makes it worthwhile. The Steam almost monopoly does not hurt me. All my friends who play games have Steam accounts so we can easily arrange games, I can easily reinstall and uninstall any game I own. A number of my games use Steam for multiplayer which is a ton better than just about any other service. A lot of them use Steam to save my settings and saved games to the cloud so I can access them on any computer. A number of my Steam games use the workshop to make it much easier to download mods. Oh and I can now stream games from my gaming PC to my living room TV.

Long story short, convenience. Wait until their monopoly turns them evil. Look at YouTube.

Oh wait, Valve has already turned evil with Order of War: Challenge. Following Square Enix's taking down of their DRM servers, instead of living up to their can-do-no-wrong reputation and integrating the game's online DRM into Steam, Valve did nothing. Dedicated members of the community kept Order of War: Challenge alive by using VPN. Valve's response? Rip the game wholesale from people's libraries, then restore the single player to people's libraries after the outrage. As Benjamin Franklin once wrote, "Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor liberty to purchase power."

On top of all that I get to have every single one of my games behind a single service. Why would I want to have my games split between Steam, GamersGate, Direct2Drive, Impulse, Games for Windows Live, Desura, and GameStop when I could just have them on Steam?
So if you get banned from one of them for any/no reason, you don't lose everything? I thought you would appreciate redundancy. I also noticed no Origin among them, anti-EA bias much?

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I'd really like to hear Battlefront's 2014 take at this, either their reasoning or at least a statement declining or listing why they can't say for transparency and acknowledgement. I think that would close up the steam discussion here in a prompt way that's also intuitive.

Currently, I think that the discussion on Steam's cons and its community is a tad petty and pretentious. At the end of the day, that discussion takes a very exclusive stance on the topic of video games, something that really shouldn't be fought over or even taken that seriously. In light of that discussion, I think that it'd be better to have a presence and invite anyone who wants to participate rather than shun "kids". Arguably, war games give younger audiences more of an educational, or rather functional means of entertainment over traditional games. I mean war games do incorporate a good deal of history, and critical thinking.

More interestingly, I'd like to see Battlefront take advantage of other online sites like namely GoG and Kickstarter programs. If they have the corporate rights and all that, I'd like to see the other CMx1 games on GoG and some of the older games like Shock Force on there as well. Speaking of Kick-starter, I think it'd be a nice way for Battlefront to measure what the community wants and also a means to fund, create and maybe contract some projects that may not be feasible otherwise. Namely, the DCS community managed to fund two modules, a WWII one and a Mig 21 module.

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"Transparency" "acknowledgement" "petty" "pretentious" "intuitive". Sounds like a modern political speech. Are you running for office? You know lots of buzzwords.

BFC is under no obligation to explain their business decisions to you, me, or anyone. They will do what they think is best for the continued growth and prosperity of their business.

Many of us here have been trying to tell BFC what to do/explain themselves since the late 1990s. Good luck.

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Not following the logic here - by that point they've already bought it.

Ok special reply for Jock.

"Cause they've already bought it" sucks as a argument for putting CM on Steam. Casual Gamer 001 buys CM thinking it's like CoH.....finds out it's hard to learn, and whines on the Steam forums. No thanks.

Nor do I get the steep learning curve thing - I could reel off a dozen big selling games that have a much steeper curve than CM. Just about everything by Paradox for example.

Not familiar with Paradox. I, as an adult, have limited free time. Can't learn every game out there. I choose to devote most of my gaming time to CM. Want to play?

Difficult UI? - have you played Graviteam Tactics / Achtung Panzer Operation Star ? Sells on Steam now and the forums are not full of people throwing their toys out the pram.

No. No time. Got a job, a house, a wife, etc. CM is the only "difficult" game I have time to learn. Everything else I play is strictly "beer & pretzels" gaming.

I've been computer gaming since 1983 and have been there and done it with DOS boot disks in the 90s and having to wait for patches to appear on magazine CDs. Nothing to be mourned from those days. The only thing that hasn't been a change for the better is developers releasing games in Alpha, IMO.

That is much more the norm now than back in those days, IMO.

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I'd really like to hear Battlefront's 2014 take at this, either their reasoning or at least a statement declining or listing why they can't say for transparency and acknowledgement. I think that would close up the steam discussion here in a prompt way that's also intuitive.

02-08-2014:

This topic about Steam comes up every so often. We still have absolutely no desire to be a part of Steam unless they change a LOT of what they do on the backend with the developer.

Polling CM customers is very difficult because only a small fraction show up here and that's our primary way of gathering info.

Steve

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I'd really like to hear Battlefront's 2014 take at this, either their reasoning or at least a statement declining or listing why they can't say for transparency and acknowledgement. I think that would close up the steam discussion here in a prompt way that's also intuitive.

I see @Vanir Ausf B found a more recent quote. The second post in this thread shows some more thoughts from Steve on the subject.

http://www.battlefront.com/community/showpost.php?p=1534534&postcount=2

That did not closeup this discussion at all :D

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"Transparency" "acknowledgement" "petty" "pretentious" "intuitive". Sounds like a modern political speech. Are you running for office? You know lots of buzzwords.

BFC is under no obligation to explain their business decisions to you, me, or anyone. They will do what they think is best for the continued growth and prosperity of their business.

Many of us here have been trying to tell BFC what to do/explain themselves since the late 1990s. Good luck.

Doug, I'm using words that communicate my thoughts in a concise way. I feel like those words give the impression I want to communicate and I don't feel as though they are either complex or vague in their meaning. I agree with you that Battlefront is under no obligation. I've said multiple times in my post that I'd like to hear them. Furthermore I've already acknowledged their right and said that I'd like to see a response even if it is just to decline speaking and explaining.

Rather than examining my diction, or restating something I already recognize please contribute something like Vanir or Ian that adds to the discussion.

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So Steve assessed steam sales in 2010. Its 2014 perhaps the equation has changed?

Sales of Garrys mod. How could this be a losing proposition?

Garrys-Mod-sales-graph.png

I don't understand what the interaction is on the back side that makes steam so unappealing - it must be grievous to prevent millions of gamers from looking at and purchasing your product via Steam.

von Luck

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I have a feeling the equation doesn't give much weight to sales.

Yes because selling 11,000 copies (at just one peak) of a game means your not adding weight to sales. :rolleyes:

von Luck

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I've spent hundreds of hours writing code in Assembler, Intel X86 and Sun SPARC, I've done the boot disk thing on a 486, 286, and Tandy 16, so don't think I'm impressed by the fact that you remembered a few terms from PC gaming 20 years ago. I also don't see how you walking up hill in snow both ways to play games has any bearing on this discussion.

You forgot barefooted. :P

EDIT: Also, seeing as there's already an abundance of "trolls" here I imagine Battlefront, Steve an all don't want to add anymore either. I can only imagine what Steam would bring to this website.

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Yes because selling 11,000 copies (at just one peak) of a game means your not adding weight to sales. :rolleyes:

von Luck

I think you misunderstood the comment. "The equation doesn't give much weight to sales" means (in this context) that the reasons for not selling on steam probably don't have much to do with the number of sales it would generate. Other factors make Steam unattractive to Battlefront.

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What some people seem not to understand is that it's not about sales, it's about profit. It's actually easy to get more sales. Just drop the price. It's Steam's main sales driving model, and it's been the main driving model in the industry since, well, shortly after the first PC game shop opened. Perhaps that's why Steam users are often such loud advocates of the service (well, unless they become one of the Steam haters ;))

Unfortunately, it's not a model that works too well for anyone - in the long term - but the retailer. The retailer has a seemingly endless stream of new developers and games to sell (and it really just seems that way, because sooner or later, you even run out of developers. Which is why PC game stores are now selling used games). The developer, however, only has the game to sell that he made, and will eventually, no pun intended, run out of steam.

If we were selling mods to other games and didn't have a platform to sell that in fact predates Steam and weren't in a niche market where most people in fact know us, we'd be on Steam. But we aren't so we aren't. Could we sell more units on Steam? Yes. Would it benefit the bottom line? Not nearly as much as you think.

In short, our position regarding Steam hasn't changed. Question answered. Locking this up.

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Think about it this way...

Let's say a retailer gets 40% for each sale. Let's say a manufacturer has a product for sale with this retailer at $10. That means the retailer gets $4 and the manufacturer gets $6.

One day the retailer decides for it's own sales reasons, with absolutely no input from the manufacturer, to hold a "sale" of the product for $5. The retailer gets $2 and the manufacturer gets $3. The sale is designed to increase overall sales for the retailer, not for the manufacturer. Since the retailer has thousands of products to sell it can make money off of the sales price.

Now, why would a retailer deliberately take a lower price? Two primary reasons:

1. The product is not selling enough according to the retailer's calculations. It has complex modeling that shows only X product can be at a particular price, Y product at another price. So if a product at the X price point isn't doing what it wants, then it lowers it to Y or even Z. Because to the retailer, it's just a SKU number and nothing more than that.

2. A company's success is determined by it's overall income vs. expenses. The retailer doesn't care much about how it makes it's profit number, just that it does. Same for the manufacturer but with one critical difference. A retailer can keep a steady flow of cash by playing with individual product prices, like reducing the price of 100 products to generate short term sales increases. If 80 of them fail to sell better than if they were at full price, not a problem as long as the other 20 do. If you are a manufacturer you can only come out ahead by reducing the price if the end result is better than if you kept the price where it was. It's extremely risk for the manufacture to engage in such activities, it's very low risk for a retailer. A bad pricing strategy for one product will not harm a retailer, but it could kill a manufacturer.

This has been the operating model for the games industry since the beginning. We've rejected that system since the start of Battlefront 15 years ago. Steam isn't fundamentally different and therefore we are not interested in having them sell our games.

You guys also have to remember that we keep 100% of each game we sell, less direct expenses. This means that if Steam keeps 40% (it varies from dev to dev) they have to increase our sales by 40% at the full price. Any reductions in their prices puts pressure on us to lower ours, which means they not only have to sell 40% more product than we could have, but they then have to sell proportionally higher amounts to cover any price reductions we feel obligated to make.

On top of this, we have to put various features into our games that are required by Steam. We do not get paid extra for this work. Nor do we get any compensation for lost sales due to their easily hacked DRM.

Bottom line is that Steam is a money losing proposition for us. Almost for sure guaranteed. We have more than 20 years of experience in this business, 15 of which are with Battlefront. This in an industry where even mega huge developers go out of business after only a few years. Stupid developers don't last this long, so obviously we're obviously somewhere on the smart spectrum. Smart developers don't turn down obviously good money making opportunities, do they?

For someone to argue that we should go with Steam needs to first establish what professional experiences they have which makes them more knowledgeable about wargame sales than we are. If you can't do that, then don't bother telling us what a fantastic opportunity we're missing with Steam. It would be like telling an accomplished lawyer how to present a case based on nothing more than having watched a lot of Judge Judy.

Steve

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