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Steam isn't perfect, that's for sure and one particular issue that constantly comes up is how some developers have been abusing the release date display.

Previously, it seems developers were able to change their upcoming release date whenever they wanted to. Some took advantage of this, to constantly ensure their game showed up on the first two pages of the Coming Soon section on Steam. The issue is that it constantly pushed games with legitimate release dates back, sometimes multiple pages of searching. I saw it all the time and it was a massive nuisance, when clearly a lot of these games had no intention to release then.

Going by this Reddit post, which included the image below, it seems like Valve are finally starting to do something about this:

Going by that, it seems Valve will now be requiring at least some developers to contact them if they want to delay their release date. While a lot of people do value a more open store, there has to be limits somewhere.

Hat tip to Mr. Doomguy in Discord.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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36 comments
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Zapa 6 August 2019 at 2:34 pm UTC
Finally! Steam visibility nowadays is given by the amount of wishlists you have before launch. You gather them as your page stays up and the closer you are to release - the less people have to click to see your game - the more views you get. The problem is, devs would put a release day, day would come close - they would hog the front page for new releases (pushing actual released games on another page, in the back) and then move it again.

A lot of games would reach release day after months with little to no wishlists because of this while the devs who did it would grow their numbers a ton (and, because of that, even get better visibility in other lists).

I'm. extremely. happy for this. It's good news - thanks Valve!
Beamboom 6 August 2019 at 2:36 pm UTC
Good!
The better curated and administrated the marketplace is, the better it will be for us customers.
Mal 6 August 2019 at 3:09 pm UTC
Imho the value of an "open store" is strictly the value of a non censored store, a place where you freely decide what is good for yourself. I wouldn't count being able to cheat customer and other devs on release date as an "openness value".


Last edited by Mal at 6 August 2019 at 3:12 pm UTC
Hori 6 August 2019 at 3:11 pm UTC
In my eyes this is a good move.

The store can't be completely open, and it cannot be completely controller either. A fine balance must be struck between what should be open, and what should be controlled. This feature is IMO a good example of something that has to be put under control, as it was heavily abused and caused more harm than good, for most people. Cleaning dirty parts like this could allow others to stay (or become) open. That is, of course, if the authority behind it (Valve) stands by the original idea - and I personally think that they are doing quite well in that regard, keeping in mind their past actions.

However I wonder when will the big elephant be addressed - namely the house's cut on each sale. That thing should definetely be more open (read: reduced), as it actually does affect the consumers. Devs aren't happy with it, at all (and for good reason) and decide to sell elsewhere, which is not ideal at all for the users.


Last edited by Hori at 6 August 2019 at 3:17 pm UTC
Kimyrielle 6 August 2019 at 3:19 pm UTC
BeamboomGood!
The better curated and administrated the marketplace is, the better it will be for us customers.

It needs to be a good balance. I normally really like Steam's hands-off approach to the store, but humans always will find ways to abuse their freedoms, so in this case, Valve stepping in was a good thing. I can do without Steam adopting Apple-style "WE dictate what you can buy, sell and see on our store." methods, though.


Last edited by Kimyrielle at 6 August 2019 at 3:19 pm UTC
kuhpunkt 6 August 2019 at 3:59 pm UTC
HoriHowever I wonder when will the big elephant be addressed - namely the house's cut on each sale. That thing should definetely be more open (read: reduced), as it actually does affect the consumers. Devs aren't happy with it, at all (and for good reason) and decide to sell elsewhere, which is not ideal at all for the users.

And what cut would be cool?
orochi_kyo 6 August 2019 at 4:32 pm UTC
HoriHowever I wonder when will the big elephant be addressed - namely the house's cut on each sale. That thing should definetely be more open (read: reduced), as it actually does affect the consumers. Devs aren't happy with it, at all (and for good reason) and decide to sell elsewhere, which is not ideal at all for the users.

How does affect consumers? Because Greedy devs wants a bigger cut despite this could affect some store services like local download servers for zones or local currencies? Not even bigger cuts, it seems some of devs are swimming into the bribes they receive for their exclusive deals with Tencent/Epic store.
We assume 30% Steam cut is not justified and its because Gabe Newell wants to buy an isle somewhere in the Caribbean but as someone who live outside of your first world bubble I see where the money goes, to make gaming available for all gamers on the world, no matter where they live.

If a dev wants to leave Steam be my guest. I dont put devs on a pedestal, they are the same guys who are changing the release date to get a better position on a list.

The "Good reason" why devs wants a better cut is simply money, not offering better services for customers.
doomiebaby 6 August 2019 at 6:35 pm UTC
i don't think this has anything to do with open or not; it's changing a valve-controlled feature so it can't be abused, which was defeating the purpose of the feature. they COULD also just not have the feature at all, would that be more open? you're on steam to receive a service.

the first thing i thought of when i saw this, though, is EGS and those exclusivity bribes. this isn't mean to keep people from charging for preorders and then suddenly setting only the steam release date back a year? tbh that shit oughtta be illegal anyway. breach of contract, based on a common understanding of what a preorder is. of course i didn't follow that story very closely so idk how it turned out.


Last edited by doomiebaby at 6 August 2019 at 6:36 pm UTC
doomiebaby 6 August 2019 at 6:49 pm UTC
HoriIn my eyes this is a good move.

The store can't be completely open, and it cannot be completely controller either. A fine balance must be struck between what should be open, and what should be controlled. This feature is IMO a good example of something that has to be put under control, as it was heavily abused and caused more harm than good, for most people. Cleaning dirty parts like this could allow others to stay (or become) open. That is, of course, if the authority behind it (Valve) stands by the original idea - and I personally think that they are doing quite well in that regard, keeping in mind their past actions.

However I wonder when will the big elephant be addressed - namely the house's cut on each sale. That thing should definetely be more open (read: reduced), as it actually does affect the consumers. Devs aren't happy with it, at all (and for good reason) and decide to sell elsewhere, which is not ideal at all for the users.

afaik, valve are still only charging what people are willing to pay to sell on steam. they DO offer much more to the community and far more features than EGS, for example. i mean are they losing enough money to EGS yet? EGS exclusives seemed to be more about upfront handouts than anything else.

i also don't see the harm in having multiple places to buy videogames from. choice def puts the power right in the hands of the consumer. also the devs in this case. money talks, specially when you have the right and power to withold your own.


Last edited by doomiebaby at 6 August 2019 at 6:52 pm UTC
Purple Library Guy 6 August 2019 at 8:31 pm UTC
orochi_kyo
HoriHowever I wonder when will the big elephant be addressed - namely the house's cut on each sale. That thing should definetely be more open (read: reduced), as it actually does affect the consumers. Devs aren't happy with it, at all (and for good reason) and decide to sell elsewhere, which is not ideal at all for the users.

How does affect consumers? Because Greedy devs wants a bigger cut
Well, of course they're greedy. It's capitalism, everyone in the game is greedy. That's the point. Developers are greedy, portal owners are greedy whether Valve or EGS or even GoG, and we consumers all want cheaper games, we're greedy too. Everyone is, in effect, forced to be greedy.
I think it's pretty clear EGS is running a strategy where they run up short term losses, which they can afford to do thanks to a huge war chest from fortnite and certain investors, in order to grab market share; once they've pushed that as far as it will go they can be expected to boost the price up again. But the question of what cut is fair remains open--we don't have information about just what the expenses and revenue are, so we're forced to judge based on not very relevant data, like wossname from EGS seeming like kind of a jerk.
In theory this whole war of each against all in the marketplace is supposed to lead to efficient pricing and not overly huge profit margins due to competition. But that lack of information (among other things, like barriers to entry, network effects creating economies of scale and many, many more) mean that doesn't necessarily happen.
So it may well be that Valve's cut of each sale is in fact excessive, giving them windfall profits while most devs barely get by, and they've been guffawing all the way to the bank for years. Or, it may not. We don't have the info we would need to tell the difference. (If it is true, EGS are still not our saviours, they're just an outfit who wants to replace Valve as the ones grabbing the dough, and they see the only way to do it is by loss leaders)

The only people in the whole biz who seem pretty clearly not driven by greed is itch.io. They're weird, I like them.


Last edited by Purple Library Guy at 6 August 2019 at 8:32 pm UTC
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