Jimquisition: Steam Needs Quality Control

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 NEXT
 

Steam Needs Quality Control

Valve is squandering its reputation in a bid to have more content than the other guys. Does more content mean anything when that content is crap?

Watch Video

Guise of the Wolf got onto Steam...

Jim, you could have just shown 5 minutes of that game and then say "case closed". Valve is in desperate need of quality control, because some things should not be allowed to be sold.

Great video, as always. Have been noticing this same decline of Steam over the last few years. There at the very least needs to be some sort of filter on there, so I can say "Don't show me any Greenlight or Early Access Games". The only early access games I have actually liked so far are Starbound and Starpoint Gemini 2. Hopefully, they can get their shit sorted out before it's too late.

Yeah, I found myself wondering where it all went wrong with Steam just the other day.

I used to be able to browse the store quite happily, finding plenty to add to my wishlist and making the odd impulse purchase.

Now, if I don't go into it looking for a specific game I'm completely fucking lost, and frankly, I can't be arsed with wading through page after page of potentially dodgy content.

It's a shame, because I now pretty much only buy games I've heard lots of good things about already. Gone are the days where I'd stumble across an interesting looking little game I'd never heard of and take a chance on it, because it's just not worth wading through the crap to find the occasional diamond.

Bloody hell, how much stuff has he got on that podium now?

Question: at what point are you going to make the same demands of brick and mortar stores and other online stores like Gamefly?

Because everything you are accusing Steam of happens in every store, physical or digital. To say that Steam needs to filter when no one else does is disingenuous at best.

OWENR22:
Bloody hell, how much stuff has he got on that podium now?

Not enough. There is one member missing on that desk, and that object is the Belladonna Bitch Fist.

LordLundar:
Question: at what point are you going to make the same demands of brick and mortar stores and other online stores like Gamefly?

Because everything you are accusing Steam of happens in every store, physical or digital. To say that Steam needs to filter when no one else does is disingenuous at best.

Point to the bit in the video where I said "and no one else does," please.

Yeah, Greenlight and the community reviews are some pretty broken systems. It is far too easy for the various con-men and amateurs out there to rig the votes, while far too many small and actually skilled developers, with genuinely good products to offer, are being stonewalled by the system and left out in the cold.

That...."game" that was shown at the very end, that was just a Left 4 Dead mod wasn't it? They're not actually charging for that right?

Maybe Valve is just a greedy company that wants money.

anthony87:
That...."game" that was shown at the very end, that was just a Left 4 Dead mod wasn't it? They're not actually charging for that right?

Ten bucks. And what you saw is the HEAVILY patched and improved version compared to what it was at launch.

I'm not really seeing the issue here. It's isn't difficult to use reviews both on Steam and elsewhere to judge the quality of a game. For instance, Guise of the Wolf has almost all negative reviews on Steam. The claims that Steam resembles the video game market in the 1980s is ridiculous hyperbole. Steam still sells nearly all of the big mainstream PC games, and is the number one source of surprise indie games. This whole episode is a non-issue.

Also, presumably it would be monumentally time consuming for Steam to play through every game offered to their library.

But if they put in quality control, devs are going to complain again about how long it takes to get there game in to the store. There have been enough articals about these complains in the last year.

The quality of content on Steam is only one of three things current gaming shares with the crash in the 80s.

1, Huge drop in quality with broken and barely functional games, with shit games from big and small publishers alike its easy to spend money on something you wished you hadn't.

2, Gaming machine spam, loads of rubbish consoles with no real market but companies are eager to cash in. See the amount of over priced Android consoles from loads of companies, including Madcatz and Amazon as well as the Ouya. The average consumer didn't really know where to spend money, there are loads of devices aimed at gaming from gaming tablets and handhelds to Android consoles, PCs and the offerings from Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. The market is hugely diluted at the moment

3, Ever growing tide of consumer dissatisfaction, it mainly started against big publishers like EA and Activision but with dozens of incompetent small developers and publishers trying to chase dollar signs this is rapidly spreading to the once darling child of indie gaming.

Now I am not claiming there will be a crash at all just saying those three things where among the main causes of the big crash.

Ehhh... I go back and forth on this... Obviously the QC at the PS3 and Xbox 360 camp did so well with Aliens:CM.... BUUUT we seem to expect more from Steam because well it is PC(MAC/Linux). Right now the best thing we have to QC for steam is the player reviews.... But that means some poor SOB bought a turd of a product first, and that kind of sits raw with me.

Edit forgot to tell you thanks for telling me to avoid recoil I was looking that the other day!

Jimothy Sterling:

LordLundar:
Question: at what point are you going to make the same demands of brick and mortar stores and other online stores like Gamefly?

Because everything you are accusing Steam of happens in every store, physical or digital. To say that Steam needs to filter when no one else does is disingenuous at best.

Point to the bit in the video where I said "and no one else does," please.

All I heard was "Steam needs to, Steam needs to". I did not hear the same demands toward Gamestop (both physical store and digital), Best Buy, Gamefly, etc. In fact, the only mention of another store was GoG who does filter (and even then they have made mistakes) and that's mainly because because their primary market is classic games modified by them so they HAVE to issue that promise.

So I ask again: where's the demand for other stores to require quality control at the level you're demanding of Steam?

LordLundar:
Question: at what point are you going to make the same demands of brick and mortar stores and other online stores like Gamefly?

Because everything you are accusing Steam of happens in every store, physical or digital. To say that Steam needs to filter when no one else does is disingenuous at best.

Stores have limited shelf space, and people have to go through the added inconvenience of of physically going there. That alone is enough incentive for store managers to stock games they know will sell and people will at worst not mind, since it guarantees customers will keep going back.

For me, I think the democracy system of Greenlight is a failure. People just vote up the drek on there by concept alone and few people actually bother with the no vote, guaranteeing that the game will eventually get enough votes to get through. That's why we have 3 sandbox zombie games on steam, none of which are worth it and only one of which has potential.

For me, Greenlight jumped the shark when Dragon's Lair was released. Say what you will about it's significance to gaming history, all it is is a cruel satire of the current state AAA games industry where interactivity is slowly bleeding out in favor of a pretty presentation.

Well we can all agree that Greenlight is not doing the job. Outsourcing your quality control onto your users when your users have proven they'll buy Early Access games that aren't even functional was a bad idea.

Jim, I think one of Valve's big pushes is to create a relatively open environment with reasonable access (while making even more money for doing so, of course). There's a difference between unplayable and ugly/glitchy/bad. How do they walk the line between the worlds of relatively open access vs closed and controlled? Who sets the standards and how are they gauged? There are some truly innovative indie games that wouldn't pass most standards but end up being great to play.

I think I'd rather see them implement a much more reliable customer response to games. Just something that can't be controlled by the developers like it is now. A steam equivalent of metacritic. Most of the crappier games have no link to metacritic and so you have to go off-site to review them. Even likes aren't always displayed. This nonsense of forced lack of critical information is the most valid point anyone has mentioned for Steam's content so far (so thanks for bringing that to my attention, can't believe that developers control customer content on steam).

I know steam benefits when people unknowingly buy shit. I mean, free money and they're likely to buy another game sooner because they're not going to spend more time playing that garbage? Yeah, it benefits them multiple ways. But informed consumerism is a conerstone of a healthy market.

$15 for this? It may be broken but I paid $60 for Battlefield 4 at launch sold it, got it again for christmas months later and it was and is still in an poor state, so maybe Steam is not the ones we should focus on maybe, the devs perhaps who let their products come out in these kind of ways?

I think something is deeply wrong at Valve. Quality assurance is the major thing Valve is famous for. Valve wouldn't release any game they develop unless they were finished completely. Granted, the other publishers on Steam doesn't share the same psychotically perfectionist work ethic, but the fact that Valve has allowed this much unfinished garbage to go on Steam means nobody who works there is raising their hand and questioning whether this approach is a good idea. Given their decentralized approach to organization and their almost fetishistic approach to QA testing, this should not be happening.

Valve is one of the most secretive publishers out there, so we have no way of knowing what is actually going on.

This saddens me as a hobbyist developer with delusions of someday actually releasing something... It brings to mind the phrase "this is why we can't have nice things".

I'm referring to how the openess of Greelinght has been abused to death by false promises and shady monetization schemes. It is one thing for Valve to have poor quality control (which they have, not excusing them), but seeing the well being poisoned by the very people that drink from it is disheartening at best.

From the looks of this, as well as the oversaturation in the various mobile app stores, It does feel like the digital market is going for its first genuine crash, even before it had a chance to solidify its position.

I just can't understand it. I understand why an individual favours the short term over the long term, its a matter of instinct and psychology... But, big corporations? Are really individuals in such an unchecked position of power as to impose selfish short-term strategies? In companies where such massive amounts of money are at stake? You'd think such large organizations would have more checks and balances to make sure no brain-fart from the higher ups can destroy their market and thus their future!

I usually agree with Jim, but on this i've got to say fuck no. Steam is shaping up to become a near-monopoly like Amazon, and the absolutely last thing we as customers need is for them to grant third parties permissions to sell to us. That's a position of power that is absolutely going to be abused. (Remember when people actually believed google about their "don't be evil" shtick? Yeah, funny that)
What steam could use on the other hand is a better implementation of review scores so that it makes it just as easy to find out about a product as it is to spend money on the product. For example, they could have links to reviews on news sites like metacritic does. Or heck, just link to metacritic. And put that right on top of the page.

LordLundar:

So I ask again: where's the demand for other stores to require quality control at the level you're demanding of Steam?

Why is it necessary for anyone to make that demand?

Does not failing to call out particular alternative video games vendors make any criticism of Steam invalid?

Is it "not true" that Steam has a quality control problem because Jim didn't accuse Gamestop of the same thing?

Suppose Jim didn't care whether Gamestop has good quality control. Does that mean he isn't allowed to want Steam to have quality control?

Should Steam not aspire to be better than Gamestop? Should its users not want it to be?

Sorry man, Valve can't hear you over their mountain of cash. Honestly, I can't recommend much to do about this other than voting with your wallet. Store pages now have review sections on them, so that's mildly helpful at least.

LordLundar:

Jimothy Sterling:

LordLundar:
Question: at what point are you going to make the same demands of brick and mortar stores and other online stores like Gamefly?

Because everything you are accusing Steam of happens in every store, physical or digital. To say that Steam needs to filter when no one else does is disingenuous at best.

Point to the bit in the video where I said "and no one else does," please.

All I heard was "Steam needs to, Steam needs to". I did not hear the same demands toward Gamestop (both physical store and digital), Best Buy, Gamefly, etc. In fact, the only mention of another store was GoG who does filter (and even then they have made mistakes) and that's mainly because because their primary market is classic games modified by them so they HAVE to issue that promise.

So I ask again: where's the demand for other stores to require quality control at the level you're demanding of Steam?

Considering this video WAS about Steam specifically, I don't see what the issue is. Mentioning whether or not other business' are doing it better or worse is irrelevant. His argument is that Steam is doing something wrong and that they should fix it.

So now the big question is, when I Valve going to invite Jim over to their offices and have a more in depth chat. Maybe invite William Dafoe, or Ridley Scott to entice the deal.

Dragonbums:

OWENR22:
Bloody hell, how much stuff has he got on that podium now?

Not enough. There is one member missing on that desk, and that object is the Belladonna Bitch Fist.

Yes! Jim, bring back the Bitch Fist, and while you're at it lets get Jonathan Holmes' Penis on the show!

You have a fairly good point Jim. A lot of the systems present within Steam as of right now are broken and should be fixed.
However, I don't think Steam should necesarrily have a big emphasis on quality control. It's a free market out there. If the game's shit you simply shouldn't buy it.

It's up to the consumer to see what's good and what isn't and then make choices accordingly. That's my view on this matter anyway.

I've haven't really thought about it much, but now that you mention it, Jim, I have been rather reluctant to check out new titles on Steam for quite a while now.

When I look at the top sellers list, and see Rust and the War Z up there, I just can't feel excited at all. I love the whole zombie survival theme, and with such expansive crafting systems it should be right up my alley.

Yet I don't buy them, I don't trust the video footage, and I don't trust any developers anymore. I've bought too many stinkers in the last few years, and with my disposable income as low as it is now, I'm unsure I even want to invest in titles I know are good, much less any that might not be.

Steam made me more or less completely stop pirating games once, but I hate to admit that for every month that passes that option looks more and more tempting again.

Okay, so steam becomes the app store and we can all enjoy another type of price gauging (exchanging recoil for the freemuim dungeon keeper Jim just reviewed). Is this really the improvement we want?

We are literally complaining about too much freedom in the gaming environment. Yes we can pick up our own crap and eat it but aren't sandbox's still all the rage?

McKitten:
I usually agree with Jim, but on this i've got to say fuck no. Steam is shaping up to become a near-monopoly like Amazon, and the absolutely last thing we as customers need is for them to grant third parties permissions to sell to us. That's a position of power that is absolutely going to be abused.

What? Jim just wants Steam to hold its content providers accountable. To curate their stuff. Where are you getting "grant third parties permission to sell to us"? What does that even mean in relation to this topic?

(Remember when people actually believed google about their "don't be evil" shtick? Yeah, funny that)

Yeah, haha, like that time they started google fiber to scare the huge ogliopoly of ISPs into not taking advantage of consumers. That worked so well some of them actually started providing a better service for a reasonable price and others try to pass legislation to stop it because competition hurts them...

http://boingboing.net/2014/01/31/kansas-cable-lobbyist-writes-b.html

You know, that time they made a company that boasts 1Gb down/up for $70 which is cheaper than many Americans are paying for over 15Mb Down/ 5Mb up.

Google isn't evil. They do a shit ton of stuff that greatly benefits mankind. From putting up huge cash prizes to reward scientific developments that benefit mankind to providing legitiamte competition across multiple markest. It's correct to say that they're in the position to do evil, it's incorrect to say that they are currently doing so.

What steam could use on the other hand is a better implementation of review scores so that it makes it just as easy to find out about a product as it is to spend money on the product. For example, they could have links to reviews on news sites like metacritic does. Or heck, just link to metacritic. And put that right on top of the page.

That's exactly what Jim is saying when he points out that the consumer is being silenced.

And steam DOES link to metacritic. It's just that metacritic doesn't review these small shitty titles that no one has ever heard of. So those links are missing.

Fappy:
Considering this video WAS about Steam specifically, I don't see what the issue is. Mentioning whether or not other business' are doing it better or worse is irrelevant. His argument is that Steam is doing something wrong and that they should fix it.

The problem is blaming Valve for the quality issues is the same as blaming GameStop for used games. All it is is giving a scapegoat out there so everyone else can be happily ignored. The problem is with the industry itself, not a single store and Valve suddenly accepting responsibility when no one else does is not a magical bullet that going to fix the industry. All that's going to happen is the makers of this drek is going to another outlet who will happily put it out and nothing is fixed.

Sorry, but a "Not in my Backyard" answer is not going to fix things.

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here