Origin Boss Says Steam Sales "Cheapen Intellectual Property"

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The ignorance of EA has crossed the boundary into the realm of hilarity :D

Seriously, it's like they're completely disconnected from the real world!

Steam sales can be amazing for developers; According to the developers of Amnesia the steam sale gave them a great boost to recognition amongst gamers and helped keep a word of mouth and community drive going for the game. All you are paying are bandwidth costs. As long as a developer is making at least SOME profit off a steam sale then its a worthwhile thing.

As for cheapening intellectual property i think in terms of souring your users experience of the game the shit EA pulls on a daily basis is far more destructive to an IP than any mega-sale could ever be. EA needs to get its head both out of the past and out of its own ass. The days of the big launch £45 retail game muscling everyone else out are coming to an end and it scares the shit out of people like EA. Digital distribution is helping make games happen.

Take the example of Daiblo 3 (which represents everything vile and wrong in modern gaming) and compare it to the grass-roots hype train behind download only Torchlight II. 5 years ago this would have been impossible. Now Torchlight II may even give Diablo a run for its money.

Ea misunderstands the basic principles behind a digital distribution system.

i bought amnesia through a steam sale and i like it. if not for that sale i wouldnt of purchased it.

as for EA the comments comming out of EA's PR and marketing department lately is like watching monkeys use tools for the very first time

Hahahahaha...just get the fuck out, Origin, you're embarrassing yourself.

Because people don't pre-order or buy games on release any more...umm...wait a second...

No. People still buy games at release. The desire is too great. What steam sales do is let a publisher make every single dollar from every single customer they possibly can in the long term. Because there is such little overhead in digital distribution, sales maximize profits. In addition, if you release a good game and it goes on sale, you have more people playing what amounts to a demo for your NEXT game. You ALSO build up goodwill with your consumer.

And lastly...even if EA believes this...why would they say it? It makes no sense to say, "Oh we are going to not drop prices because of...some lofty idealism about value of IPs". Yeah, even if that argument wern't BS, no one is going to like an argument that demands that they pay more. If you were half way decent at spinning, you wouldn't be trying to convince people that they should pay more and like it.

And lastly...project $10. It makes sense for you to make $10 off an older, used game, right? Why not make that $10 of a sale on a DD site, and cut the game retailer out of the picture entirely to encourage even more sales?


Don Reba:

There are no differences to eat up in digital distribution. It costs nothing to produce a copy of a game. Steam is not giving sales out of the goodness of its heart, but simply because it is very profitable. Players buy many more games than they would otherwise. Valve explains this in the employee manual.

Now, EA's motivation is a mystery. It looks like they just genuinely hate gamers. Their policies are sure not helping their stock.

Yep because we all know games cost absolutely nothing to make. Nope, there is no millions of dollars that you need to make back or anything. Steam does not have to worry about this because they did not make the games. It you had bothered to read my post you would have seen that I already addressed everything you mentioned.

Also there are costs associated with digital distribution and thinking otherwise is extremely ignorant.

That's not what he said. He said:

"It costs nothing to produce a copy of a game."

Once you have the digital distribution structure in place it costs the same to run whether you sell one game or 100'000'000 copies. Valve picks up the bill for distribution costs: the game makers send them a file and Valve distributes it via the internet to the millions of people who bought it. But valve has the infrastructure, every moment people aren't using it to full capacity they are wasting what they have already paid for. It does NOT cost extra to distribute more copies of a game.

You don't seem to understand the question or the basics of the situation.



Yet another reason Origin will never be able to truly compete with Steam.

Well their servers are better than steam´s and don´t crap out when you don´t want them to.
Also the games launch faster.

Congratulations, your the first person I've ever heard say good things about Origin.

actually, i have something good to say about origin. when it first launched, i decided to check it out, and saw on the digital store Spore and The Sims 3. I knew that i had purchased physical copies of these games before and made sure to register them, but now had no idea where the discs were. I contacted customer support and within an hour was talking to someone who gave me digital licenses to Sims 3, Spore, Creepy and Cute and Galactic Adventures, because I had registered them. They could have easily said no, but didn't. This was the first time I was happy with EA in a long time. Especially when I've some horror stories about Steam's customer service.

but i guess what really matters is that I was on Steam earlier today. I was on Origin earlier last year...

I swear i've heard this before...pretty sure the guys at GOG said the same thing...

...and I still don't think they're right...

Andy Chalk:

Like it or not, there's no arguing that Steam sales don't offer tremendously good deals.

I think you meant "DO"...

GoG said HUGE sales can cheapen a game. Remember that GoG.com has its own regular chunk of sale specials going on all the time, what they said was harmful were the "80%" off kind of big sales.

As for EA and origin?
I read that entire thing and distilled it into "Fuck yall, you either pay in full or not get it (on our service at least)". There is no way they can compete with what Steam does, unless they start doling out major chunks of free DLC for each Origins title.

And if they do that, don't expect it to be decent dlc at all. It'll be Capcom-quality spam DLC, like the "From a Different Sky" quest packs they are releasing for Dragons Dogma.

Oh yay, 100 new quests! Positive right? Well let me finish.
Oh yay, each and every one of those 100 quests involves going out and finding the same damn pendant in some different location, forcing me to travel long distances through an entirely static environment and back, fighting the exact same enemies in the same exact positions I've been fighting the past 20 runs I made through the location.

That sounds like a load of crap to me. If people still want to buy certain games, they will buy them at full price. This just gives a chance for people who literally do not have the money to buy the games at full price a chance to get them. It is also a good way for people to pick up games that they are on the fence about and likely never would have picked up anyway.
The sales do nothing but help. You can argue that it harms sales but I don't know about that. Amnesia: Dark Descent continued to make tons of money on steam sales, even when it was going for 5 dollars instead of its original 20. The Developers specifically said it all evens out in the end.

This would be true if games were targeted at a niche market. They're not, they're selling them as quickly and as many as possible to everyone. Saying that sales will cheapen the IP makes it sound like a luxary product. But games are owned by so many people now can they really be called luxary? Nor can they charge luxary prices and still break even. I doubt it.

I kind of see his point, but god forbid there is even any reason to discuss it considering there is 4 pages of "Fuck EA".
Any person with half a brain knows that anything released a month or two before Winter/Summer is going to be on sale in Steam's sale extravaganza. I wish I could find Total Biscuit's Mailbox on a somewhat similar topic. Things like sales and bundles are supposed to be for when the amount of full price sales has dropped off quit a bit and the sale/bundle is the last hurrah for the game. For example I saw TB's play through of Dungeon Defenders with the devs and I was like oh wow this is awesome, and picked it up on launch. And what do I find 2 weeks later? Steam is having a sale for 50% off. Or take another example of Botanicula, it was thrown in a freaking bundle on launch day. The indie scene has basically taught me to never buy at the full cost because you're pretty damn sure to see it in the very near future for pay what you want.

Don't get me wrong, I buy a lot of stuff from steam sales, but there is a big different between buying a game that is several years old when it's on sale and buying a game that was just released in the last 3 or so months for an obscene discount.

i bought amnesia through a steam sale and i like it. if not for that sale i wouldnt of purchased it.

And numerous people went and bought the whole Penumbra series because of how good Amnesia is, so that sale may well have contributed to an increase in the sales of that developer's entire back catalogue.

Andy Chalk:
"What Steam does might be teaching the customer that, 'I might not want it in the first month, but if I look at it in four or five months, I'll get one of those weekend sales and I'll buy it at that time at 75 percent off'"...

So, what, you mean like just about every store in the world? That's how the entire market has worked - full price over the first few months, then discount that stuff at the end of its cycle. That is pretty much the working model for EVERYTHING with a limited cycle of noticeable sales, clothing, food, you name it. And if it's worked fine for who-knows-how-many-years with them, why can't it work just as well for Steam?

Mind you, the steam sales sometimes have a CRAZY amount off, but that's good for giving one more reason to say "Hey, might as well try, right?" I mean, if you have a bit of interest in, say, a £40 game, and then it gets a 75% off deal, that's £10 - that's not as big an investment, so that added to the bit of interest = game purchase. Times that by however many people think like that - and that's probably a lot, given the general feeling of cynicism around the gaming community nowadays - And that's a lot of £10 that wouldn't have paid £40 before. So, it's not a £30 loss, so much as a £10 profit.

There are games which I like a lot. I buy those games at full price if I've got the money. I don't wait for those games a couple of months for a sale.
Then there are games which I won't buy at full price because I either don't like it enough or I'm not sure whether I'd like it. For those games I wait for a sale. If there is no sale, I won't buy it. I don't devalue those games, I simply can't afford to throw my money away. Different games have different value for me, if I'm going to pay full price, then I have to be sure that it's worth it. If the price is lower then I have much less to lose in case the game turns out to be crap. I'm more willing to risk a purchase.
There are so many games in my Steam library which I would have never tried without a sale.

Of course this is just the usual shit flinging from EA. They don't believe these words themselves, EA's games have been often enough on sale on Steam. They're just trying to sound like some exclusive store.

You know what else cheapens IPs?

flogging them to death with yearly releases and lazy DLC

CAPTCHA: dueling banjos. what the ef?

... and if you listen reaaaal carefully you can hear him whining in envy.

I honestly don't think that this guy makes a remotely decent point. I mean, if you really want a game you'll buy it straight away to hell with the money you could save waiting several months, however you see a game you're considering buying but can't justify it for that price and then along comes a steam sale and you gobble up a decent deal for a game you were on the fence about!

This way that company has earned money from you purchasing it at all and increased sales from a particular studio of series of games can often mean that whilst they didn't make a whole lot of cash due to sales, they've gained popularity and sequels would earn a bigger profit.

Valve have said a couple of times that the increase in sales boost makes up for the price drop anyway. So what you're then doing is making the same amount of money whilst reaching a wider audience, who are then likely to buy your next game closer to a normal price point later.

In other words, this is the stupidest fucking thing I've heard all week.

If there's a game I'm looking forward to, I'll buy it pretty much as soon as it comes out. If there are others I'm less sure about, I'll probably wait. If it stays full price, I'm not going to buy it. If I catch it in a sale, that's an investment and a potential new customer.

Perhaps if publishers weren't inclined to swamping the last 2 months of every year with more releases than anyone in their right mind could afford to purchase at once, this would be less of an issue.

But no, clever EA man, continue pretending that maintaining a higher price point than someone else on the same fucking product ups the prestige on your store somehow. That's exactly how it works.

(And I see there's no point in doing anything more than noting the irony of a guy from EA complaining about IPs being 'cheapened'.)


See top paragraph.

And link: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/10/24/less-is-more-gabe-newell-on-game-pricing/

Andy Chalk:
I can't imagine what it could possibly offer as an effective substitute for ridiculously cheap games, but I sure am looking forward to finding out.


Mind control. EA is going to unveil mind control. They will then use it to make us pay twice full price for games.

OT. I agree to a degree. I don't own Skyrim cause I don't want to pay 60 bucks. I want all the dlc and the game for 30.
However, that doesn't mean I'm never going to pay full price. I do all the time for indie games. ...
Wow, I'm cheap aren't I?

aegix drakan:
Hmmm...I wonder what EA thinks of the free-to-play market. Specifically ones that aren't "Pay or you stand no chance in hell"

Probably this: "WHAAAT?! Let people play our game and potentially not pay us a single dollar?! That is insane! This is harming the industry (IE, EA only) and making people expect game for FREE!!!!! :o"

i'm currently rocking a free to play game by EA called Command and Conquer Tiberium Alliances, and the only thing paying can do is cut down waiting times, which doesn't turn out to be a HUGE advantage.

I'm all for EA bashing, but fair is fair, and sometimes even the devil needs an advocate.

Wow, this just really makes me angry. What a bold d-bag to just come out and say that consumers getting good deals and buying more games is hurting the industry. I could almost pity him if he weren't so full of it. Oh and sales happen everywhere, not just steam.

Steam sales are to get people onto Steam with cheap games. They win when the percentage of people who stick begin buying at full price.

Likewise, Origin shouldn't hold its breath for me to get to the party.

EA Vice President David DeMartini will soon be looking for a job as more and more manufacturers distance themselves from his insane comments. With all game forums at 99%, (give or take 20% forinternet accurracy) against Origin, and marketers watch this, something is going to give.

Everything is worth what the buyer is willing to pay.

Never forget this EA, or you may oneday be the company failing (as opposed to the companies you buy out and ruin).

Andy Chalk:
Origin Boss Says Steam Sales "Cheapen Intellectual Property"

This is a naked attempt to shame people into thinking that these low prices screw the artist rather than just the middlemen.

In the retail world, you've got to make a certain amount per copy to break even, due to the cost of producing, packaging, and distributing each unit. Selling below that price can cause a lot of problems.

In the digital world, you've got to make a certain amount total to break even, because the product must only be produced once. So selling one unit for a million dollars, or a million units for one dollar is financially identical to the seller. But which is better from a business perspective? Well, I'd rather have a million people talking about how fun my game is and how great the price was.

EA is still stuck on this per-unit logic pothole.

For whatever reason EA has for not wanting to offer sales en par with Steam's, you can be absolutely sure that it is NOT because they wanted to take a moral high ground.

You mean it teaches people to save there money until the price is a t a point they feel is right for them? How dare they.

I think it would have been really silly for anybody to ever expect EA to do the kind of sales that steam does. Steam is able to do them for the same reason places like walmart and target can. When they put stuff on sale its not them that is eating the difference its the guys who made the product. EA on the other hand is the guy who paid to make the product.

The problem with steam sales is that they do hurt developers. Because of steam sales more people are willing to wait till the game goes on sale to buy it. Because of this you get less sales within the first couple months. Now this forces developers/publishers to agree to put there games on sale on steam just to make up the lost money. This leads to more people wanting to wait to buy games on sale. This leads to a never ending cycle of steam making tons of money and fucking over everybody who created the games.

I think there's something you're misunderstanding, and I think it's the same thing EA's folks are missing. We only see the developer "getting screwed" if we look at the per-copy sale price and compare it to the usual. In the retail world, that comparison holds water -- it costs money to burn the disks, package and ship it all, and get it stocked on shelves. In the digital world, however, there is no per-copy cost. Moving one unit at $1 million is exactly the same as moving a million units at $1 each.

Sigh... Does EA even know anymore how businesses work.

omg when's the last time this guy bought anything on Steam? it's always, always more expensive than a boxed copy. the only games that are cheap are indie titles that have no other real retail channel.

Really? My £3.74 Portal 2 begs to differ. As does my £2.50 Alpha Protocol, £3.74 Alien vs Predator, £2.50 Tachyon: The Fringe, £5.00 X3: Gold Edition. Actually, most of my Steam games I got considerably cheaper than you can boxed.

Saying it harms the market is BS. Despite what EA might think, gamers aren't one giant hivemind. Lots will fork out extra and jump through hoops to get a game early, others will wait half a year to save $10. I use your stupid platform to play BF3, and I forked out $60 to get the game a few hours early. Then you come up with "Premium". I used to be cool with EA, but their treatment of DICE and BF3 is total BS. Why can't it be like BF2? No stupid dick waving contests with Valve or Activision, no stupid DLC ideas, more useful patches, and GODDAMN MODDING TOOLS!

EA Vice President David DeMartini says gamers shouldn't hold their breath waiting for deep-discount sales to come to Origin.

Guess I won't be looking at Origin games. Not everyone can spend full price for games.
Hello Steam, I still love you.

EA: It's way better for us if you buy our games at full price. Don't you want to help us out here?

Steam summer sale coming soon!


GoG said HUGE sales can cheapen a game. Remember that GoG.com has its own regular chunk of sale specials going on all the time, what they said was harmful were the "80%" off kind of big sales.

Don't get me wrong, I love me some GOG.com...it's pretty much the only other place I get game downloads other than STEAM...

I think it can be really helpful, when they cut the price of a game that isn't selling well. Even if it's an impulse buy, a struggling game can get a second chance from those impulse buys, pushing it onto the top sellers list on STEAM, generating interest from players...and you never know, you might find a new favorite game (Love you, Humble Bundles)...

But then, I can see it as damaging since it gets buyers into a mind set of "Oh, i'll just wait till it's on sale" and they don't buy the game until one of those big sales, or maybe they don't buy it at all because they are waiting for a specific price they are willing to pay, but the game never falls to that price...

I guess it's a two way street...helpful if it is done right, but hurtful if it's abused...


nice going EA, keep spouting that bullshit, :D and keep giving me more reasons to never use Origin (like i need more of those)

What steam sales do to me, and I'm pretty sure I got the same attitude as many people is Steam crazy sales made me buy games that I will not buy under normal circumstances.

If I'm excited about big games, I will buy it within 2 weeks of release, the games that I'm kinda iffy about I'll wait until massive price drop either online or in retail.

Just another reason not to use Origin besides for select EA titles.

We got no Games
We also got no Sales

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