Origin Boss Says Steam Sales "Cheapen Intellectual Property"

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Any game that I really want to play I will buy full price on day one. Heck, a lot of the time I will pre-order it off Steam. However, I have bought games that I never would have even considered just because they were on really cheap through Steam. A few examples off the top of my head are Hearts of Iron III, Hitman: Blood Money and Metro 2033. All of those games are now in my list of favourites and as a result I have sunk tons more money into Hearts of Iron III via all of its DLC. I'm also considering buying Hitman: Absolution and Metro Last Light for full price on day one. In short, if it wasn't for a Steam sale all of those games would never have been on my radar.

joshthor:
Here is the thing EA doesnt get. Not all games are worth 60 dollars. Hell. not all games are worth 20 dollars. However, really good games are worth a day 1 purchase.

Examples: Skyrim, Diablo 3, Guild Wars Factions Nightfall and Eye of the North, Dragon Age.

Examples of games that arent worth 5 bucks: Alpha Protocol, Far Cry 2, Wolfenstien.

Most other games fall in between. I regularly pick up games at 33% off on steam when they hit their very first sale, space marine, witcher 2, serious sam, batman arkham city.

the game industry needs to take a cue from every other entertianment industry and start putting out their product at a slight discount for the first week or two.

I strongly disagree with you there. Bought it for 15 bucks, never regretted it.

"He also suggested that despite giving exposure and huge sales boosts to indie developers and major studios alike, Valve's approach could actually be doing the industry more harm than good. "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'"

Pft! We already learned that if you wait half a year, you can get the GOTY edition of games in stores for about $20.

WarpPhoenix:
He seems to misunderstand what happens with Steam sales. The VAST majority of cases from personal experience and from people I know and talk to in and around the games industry do not wait for games to go on sale on Steam. They look at the Steam sales and buy the current on-sale item if it is low enough, without even checking out the game beforehand.

This means that the sale means it brings in a large amount of customers that were not even going to buy the game in the first place. And since another digital unit costs $0 to give to someone it is going to be pure profit to the developers. If someone is put off by the price of a game then sale or not they were, more often than not, never going to buy the game at that price.

I just can not trust EA when they try to talk to anyone about doing good by the developer. Maybe that's biased but I've heard some serious horror stories.

This is pretty much what I was going to say. I have at LEAST 10 games that I bought on Steam and never played just because I wanted to try them out and they were on sale. The ONLY reason I have origin on my system is because of ME3.

Sad thing is I'm sure they know that's the reason half the people with an Origin account have it in the 1st place.

I mean, he's so wrong its almost not even worth discussing. But the best counter-argument is this: Amnesia Dark Descent wouldn't exist without Steam sales, as shown in this article (http://dft.ba/-amnesia). So Steam sales make new IPs possible, allow independent developers to stay employed, and ultimately help everyone. But keep telling yourself otherwise, EA. You're really convincing everyone.

rolfwesselius:

If everybody buys games just because their cheap and not because their good,then yes that decreases value.
Also everybody waiting is not good for the devīs who need money the moment their done with a game and not 5 months down the line.

Correction: If everybody buys games because they're cheap, then that reveals their value. If the dev needs the money now and isn't getting it until the game goes on sale, that would be considered a sign that the game is too damned expensive.

It doesn't matter what the dev (or more likely, the publisher) wants, rule #1 of economics is that nothing is worth more than what people will pay for it. If it's only worth full price to 1% of the market, then tough noogies, EA. Drop the price or GTFO.

In other words EA are butthurt that Gabe Newell could build a house out of money and still have plenty to spare.

robert022614:
"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',"

Yet a game like lets say Bulletstorm dropping to 29.99 within what like a month doesn't do the same thing?

I think this quote would roughly translate to "Not enough people are buying games immediately at full price before they get a chance to know how bad they actually are". I can understand how that would hurt EA's business.

Playing at devils advocate is hobby of mine sooo... He thinks it undervalues his stock, making his IP worth less than he set it at. It also tells users that they don't have to buy at full price, thus consistently undervaluing his stock and leading to a constant cycle of cheaper and cheaper games. If he said it's bad for indie games, then the only justification I can come up with would be that people would be unwilling to pay $20 for Frozen Synapse since they just spent $5 on Oblivion, thus hurting indie developers.

Or something. He's probably the type who sees regional pricing as necessary too. Or he might not be evil, just of a different economic mindset, the "10 units at 100" versus "100 units at 10". 'shrugs' I don't have the economic background to continue this line of reasoning, any finance majors on here want to try seeing his POV?

rolfwesselius:

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

Well their servers are better than steamīs and donīt crap out when you donīt want them to.
Also the games launch faster.

That's just lack of people, Steam sales pull in millions of people at the same time and few have the capacity to cope with that. Not saying it's a good thing, just saying that Origin is like Green Man Gaming. They're good until they have millions of users logging it at the same time at which point they turn into Blizzard/Ubisoft while Steam trundles along. This coming from someone who thinks Steam is kinda sucky btw.

shiajun:
I just wish DICE wasn't with EA, since I would truly want to play Mirror's Edge.

Mirrors Edge is on Steam, and a fair few other digital distribution sites for that matter. No Origin in site since it wasn't even around when the game was released. If you want to play the game, do so. I highly recommend it.

They don't know how to run a business yet they are still publishing games and.... whoa! they are still in business.

This translates to "I don't care if this makes us crazy rich, it interferes with our overpriced game distribution model".

Origin officially got even further behind in this race.

seriously, i could not disagree any more ....
I now own some games on steam i WOULD NEVER EVER EVER have paid full price.
but thanks 2 steam sales i now paid 10 bucks for them they would not have gotten from me
i even own some games on Xbox/ps3 i now have on steam because of the sales so thats a double cash flow for the makers of the games.
People who want it day 1 will pay day 1 money ... that simple

OK, EA. You keep on keeping on with the whole "We'll charge full price for everything and maybe do an occasional minor sale on Origin," thing. Meanwhile, those few EA titles I can manage to get over my disgust with your business practices long enough to buy? I'll keep buying them in real stores where I get a real disc, a real piece of paper that passes for an instruction manual and a box with pretty art on it for paying full price. Or even better, buy those games in real stores when they're put ON SALE.

Meanwhile, my Steam library will continue to grow when they put the games I'd like to play - but not quite enough to pay full price for - on those deep, "intellectual property cheapening" sales. I don't have to spend money on your horrible online distribution service, EA. And you're making the decision not to buy my games through Origin easier and easier every time someone on your end opens their mouth.

I have no problem paying less for something that has a fixed price despite quality, guarantee of functionality or any method of returning it in case of dissatisfaction.

You should be thanking me. On your knees for buying this game I didn't plan on buying at all now that it had a massive sale. Because of that sale you got 10$ you would otherwise never have gotten.

Instead you whine about cheapening intellectual property whilst you yourself have a long proud tradition of rushing titles and sucking studios dry.

Who is the real one cheapening the industry? The store that offers sales to attract customers that would otherwise not come. Or the industry giant that specializes in sports titles and purchasing studios to burn up any talent that is in it.

thebobmaster:

joshthor:
Here is the thing EA doesnt get. Not all games are worth 60 dollars. Hell. not all games are worth 20 dollars. However, really good games are worth a day 1 purchase.

Examples: Skyrim, Diablo 3, Guild Wars Factions Nightfall and Eye of the North, Dragon Age.

Examples of games that arent worth 5 bucks: Alpha Protocol, Far Cry 2, Wolfenstien.

Most other games fall in between. I regularly pick up games at 33% off on steam when they hit their very first sale, space marine, witcher 2, serious sam, batman arkham city.

the game industry needs to take a cue from every other entertianment industry and start putting out their product at a slight discount for the first week or two.

I strongly disagree with you there. Bought it for 15 bucks, never regretted it.

I think the point more is that some games arent worth 60 bucks TO YOU. There are tons of games that every one of us wont pay 60 bucks for if they are put out at that price, but with a discount during a sale...thats potentially a sale they may never of made otherwise.

deth2munkies:
Reason number 347 that Origin can fuck itself.

I had that on my computer for all of 12 hours while playing ME3 and I felt dirty the whole time.

you played ME3 in only 12 hours?

Captcha: yes, sir

Mr. Johnson, sir!

Yeah, you just keep charging more for digital copies than what retail copies cost.
I'll just keep boycotting you.

Vault101:

deth2munkies:
Reason number 347 that Origin can fuck itself.

I had that on my computer for all of 12 hours while playing ME3 and I felt dirty the whole time.

you played ME3 in only 12 hours?

Ran through it pretty fast. Admittedly it was over 2 days.

To quote Shamus here: "Which franchise is worth more money: Dragon Age or Angry Birds? Well herp derp it must be Dragon Age because those games sell for $60."

Seriously its like no fucking person at EA ever even considered business school. Someone should ask EA what their main goal as a company is: Is it to have the most expensive intellectual property, or is to just fucking make money by selling videogames? Honestly its time these fucktards were relieved of their employment, before the contribute to yet another studio's destruction.

Thing is, a lot of people, even knowing that they can get a game at a 75% discount half a year in still buy games they like on launch, because they want to support the dev and, more importantly, play the game sooner. Meanwhile steam sales allow people who otherwise wouldn't have been able to afford a game to play it and support the dev, although perhaps not as much as a full-price sale would.

Treblaine:

Can't believe I'm the first to post this video.

But I have to hand it to EA, they really are a HORRIBLE publishers, and it's awful how many decent developers work under them and ruin them. I'm actually totally freaking OK with Activision now.

I just wish EA would GO AWAY FOREVER!!

I liked the video quite amusing. Although I dislike all the other games display there also that were not EA lol

Oh, I see, EA are charging extra money for digital sales to take the moral high ground.

How noble of them.

Actually because of the policies they have in place. I can see a 75% off going out of business sale in Origin's future.

Steam sales personally i use to pick up games I didnt think were worth full retail to me. For example alpha protocal i picked it up for a dollar still dont think it was worth that =P. And if i want a game there is no way in hell I am waiting months past its release to get it! skyrim day 1 diablo swtor ! the list goes on but stuff like saints row ill wait for a GOTY edition because I dont like how they are doing their DLC

Cyberjester:

shiajun:
I just wish DICE wasn't with EA, since I would truly want to play Mirror's Edge.

Mirrors Edge is on Steam, and a fair few other digital distribution sites for that matter. No Origin in site since it wasn't even around when the game was released. If you want to play the game, do so. I highly recommend it.

It's not only Origin I have beef with, it's EA. It may be on Steam, but it's still EA. So, I'll keep sticking to my guns for now.

Christ EA, I honestly try to be on your side with these things. You publish some bad games, but you also publish some really great stuff. I'm even one to defend Origin, because as much as I like Steam, I think it would be bad for Valve to have a complete monopoly on digital distribution, when companies are competing for our business, we all win.

Steam sales are one of the shrewdest part of that service. Plenty of times I've bought a game I otherwise wouldn't be interested in because the deal seemed too good to pass up, hell, that's how I ended up with Aliens vs Predator and that game is terrible. Even those 10% off sales can be enough to make me justify buying a game I otherwise wouldn't.

Whatever else you say about them, I had always thought that EA had shrewd business people running it. Now I'm not sure I can give them THAT much credit. What the hell, guys?

LOL That Demartini guy is quite the comedian!!

Curious if he would break down how much cut of the profits EA gives to the makers of the games sold on Origins. I mean it's obvious they care so much about them that it should be quite substantial right?

rolfwesselius:

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

Well their servers are better than steamīs and donīt crap out when you donīt want them to.
Also the games launch faster.

As opposed to crapping out when you DO want them to?

But seriously, I haven't tried Origin but neither of those things have affected me enough to make me want to switch from Steam.

I can envision a scenario in which a small outfit goes broke in the meantime while no one buys their game new and instead waits for a sale (i.e. something like 38 Studios without the tax credit malarkey).

Somehow I doubt that's what EA is concerned about...

Sound business practice EA, really. A good way to attract Steam customers, to be sure.

Steam sales are a great thing, since they are the only thing capable of convincing me to buy games online. I'll never drop the full price for a game on a digital distribution service, since I feel like paying for a promise... a "right" to play a game. I might as well pirate it for free, without the hassle of having to use some cancerous software in addition to the game in question. That's why I buy all my new games in a retail store (having something physical to show for my purchase really helps).

And that's why Origin is and apparently will remain useless to me.

They may say that but the studio that made Amnesia would never have been able to finish that game and would probably have had to shut down if not for steam sales. When they were almost out of money, Penumbra went on a big sale and they sold a lot of copies and were thus able to rack up enough money to finish Amnesia.

Origin boss says Steam makes more money than him, and he's sad.

Leximodicon:
Origin boss jealous Steam makes more money than him, and he's sad.

Fixed that for you.

What EA seemingly can't understand, is that there are games that I flat out WILL NOT pay full price for. Either because I'm not that interested, or because, for whatever reason, they slipped under my radar.

When Steam has said game very cheap, I'll often buy it just to play at a later date, or to try out the series or genre. The developers might not get as much as if I'd paid full price, but if it was full price I wouldn't have bought it, even if there were never sales. The sales are getting them money where they otherwise wouldn't.

Why can't EA understand that?

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