Origin Boss Says Steam Sales "Cheapen Intellectual Property"

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Oh man EA, only you have the balls to try and shame people into spending more money than they need to on stuff they don't really want.

Nah Origin, keep your games full price. I'm sure that people will be happy to pay $60 for ME3 a year after it's released with no DLC included.

Here's why I'll never buy from Origin, it's games are most likely never going to be cheaper no matter how old or how bad the game is, and how the standard price for most games on it are roughly the same price at retail (wait what? why should I have to pay EA £40 for a game without them adding the disc and box? (y'know, those things make games more expensive)) AND how it's EULA is-- well, you all know about that abomination.

All the EA-Is-The-Evil-Empire-of-the-World shit aside, I find this article kinda funny when it comes a couple of days after what I believe was a 50 or 66% off sale off a fairly large list of Origin titles.

I recently bought Medal of Honor: Airborne, Battlefield 2142, and some Bad Company 2 DLC within the price range of about 10 dollars each, adding up to just under 30 dollars. You have to understand, for an Australian that is a metric ton of dollars saved.

Thus, I am bemused by this silly man's statements.

Also, the Origin EULA has been redacted so much that all of that constitutional-violation argument is pretty much grasping at straws at this point.

Well the biggest problem I feel is that PC releases tend to not get a playable demo to download and try before having to gamble £40 on something you've no idea whether the wallet damage will be worth it. What, we're supposed to trust EA's latest pile of pixels will be good out of faith and a couple of videos of vague relevance? I know I'm guilty of bargain shopping, it's the only way I can actually afford games these days.

As this is coming from a PUBLISHER like EA, DeMartini's words could not ring more hollow...

If you don't know what I mean, ask yourself one question:

Who has put more development companies out of business: Steam, with ridiculous sales, or EA, trying to pad their bottom lines to appease their shareholders?

I think the answer will be obvious.

Aside from that, as Andy mentioned, Steam isn't moving physical copies. If you're an indie developer, you can sell 300,000 copies on Steam (with no publishing fees or printing/shipping costs)... as opposed to the maybe 3,000 copies you'd sell on physical media WITH additional costs. Having a lower price point on non-physical media MAKES SENSE.

This is yet another reason why I will never support EA. If their developers are smart, they'll quit their contracts and abandon ship now.

Andy Chalk:
"I just think it cheapens your intellectual property."

And we can't have that, Origin Guy. Hey, maybe Origin should do the opposite of Steam! You guys could have, like, reverse sales! "This weekend only, buy EA games at three times the normal price (while we fill your computer with spyware)!" Come on, it could work!

So Steam is #1, and are beloved by it's customers, so yeah, just ignore everything they do and hope for the best. I have no problem waiting for games to come down in price. I'm not paying $60 for a game, period. I waited until Skyrim came down in price when they released the Workshop, and the game was still good, it hadn't degraded in value at all! Who knew?
Although, I'm waiting for some company to get the idea that they will only sell it for a month, at $100, and after that, never sell it again.

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.

eh, everyone is different. for instance - i love mirrors edge while most people think it sucks for some reason

More like Origin Boss Says Steam Sales lessen our profit margins. Wah. It's just economics. It creates demand + plenty of supply = profit.

Of course it cheapens IP, it's on sale half the time!

This is exactly what we need to be doing - deflating the gaming industry. It's becoming big and bloated thanks to fuckpuppetry by EA, Activision and Ubisoft, all and one unfailingly clamoring for undeserved profit from the gullible fanbase they so shamelessly exploit.

Cid SilverWing:
This is exactly what we need to be doing - deflating the gaming industry. It's becoming big and bloated thanks to fuckpuppetry by EA, Activision and Ubisoft, all and one unfailingly clamoring for undeserved profit from the gullible fanbase they so shamelessly exploit.

Yeah, as a user earlier wrote, EA is so used to automatically having a monopoly over its competition that when it suddenly has that taken away (like right now with Origin vs. Steam) it just continues its poor customer service while twiddling its thumbs wondering why they haven't drove their competitors out of business yet.

Every time I hear the argument that "Steam Lowers the value of video games" I just sigh. On paper, yes, it does, because statistics show that video games are selling for lower and lower prices. However, before Steam came along, what were we doing to get our video-game fix without authentication B.S. and all the troubles of physical copies? Pirating!

We pirated everything to, and still do to an extent. Steam -does- cheapen video games, yes, but it's beating -free-. Video game companies are making more money then ever, especially indie games, thanks to Steam able to mass distribute with digital copies. Video games are worth less, but video game -companies- are worth more in the long and short term.

joshthor:
eh, everyone is different. for instance - i love mirrors edge while most people think it sucks for some reason

Internet high five *tsh* Loved that game to bits. Ignoring the fact that I beat it on the harder difficulty in one sitting.

Dylan Rushing:
We pirated everything to, and still do to an extent. Steam -does- cheapen video games, yes, but it's beating -free-. Video game companies are making more money then ever, especially indie games, thanks to Steam able to mass distribute with digital copies. Video games are worth less, but video game -companies- are worth more in the long and short term.

This and all of this. I can admit I used to pirate a fair bit, mostly just getting pirated stuff off my friends because it was easier. And now that I have a part time job and a Steam account, I have not pirated a game in about 2 years.

Your games are still sixty bucks on a wholly digital format, David DeMartini. EA doesn't give two shits about intellectual property; the CEOs just know giving consumers a fair deal isn't filling their swimming pools of money any faster. Screaming about threats against intellectual property has become another way of saying "the consumer is doing something I don't like".

I agree that the Steam sales discourage people from buying the games right away, but you know what else does? Making them so fucking expensive in the first place, especially over a digital platform. There's no excuse for it other than you expect us to pay for your luxuries, and to that I say "Guess I'm not buying your games at all, then".

And when I do feel like getting a PC game, guess who's going to get that money? And if I like it enough, I'll go and buy it at full price and send it to a friend later, because it was worth the cash. I spend my cash on the things that I think earn it, not your marketing or your propaganda. Steam earns my business; articles like this just put EA on my list of companies that don't. So enjoy your smug self-satisfaction, Dave; you think people will buy it anyway, and I'll enjoy my own self-satisfaction in proving you wrong.

Josh12345:
Here's why I'll never buy from Origin, it's games are most likely never going to be cheaper no matter how old or how bad the game is, and how the standard price for most games on it are roughly the same price at retail (wait what? why should I have to pay EA £40 for a game without them adding the disc and box? (y'know, those things make games more expensive)) AND how it's EULA is-- well, you all know about that abomination.

At one point, Kingdom's of Amalur: Reckoning (A game published by EA, which owns Origin) was actually £5 cheaper on Steam compared to Origin. No sale was going on, Steam just charged less by default.

When your own published games cost less on your rival's platform, you've proven you've got no bloody clue what your doing.

On the same topic: Dragon Age Origins was £40 on Origin. In 2012. And the digital deluxe edition was £35. Origin is run by a group of brain-dead giraffes.

shiajun:

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.

EA are getting progressively worse in my humble opinion, so you should really play it ASAP before it's equivalent to a Blizzard game. I can't even use the "EA only published it" line since DICE developed it from the start.

How about, read this book http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Light then play the game if it's the only EA game you ever play. Don't think of it as giving EA $5, think of it more as a memorial to a great author. Also the best game EA has ever made and probably ever will make.

Well, boo hoo, EA.

"Hey we are not greedy! We just want all your money we can possibly squeeze out of you for the least effort!"

Origin is shit.
EA is shit.
Their games are shit.
This guy is full of shit.

How many of us have bought a game on steam during a sale that we were interested in at some point but didnt feel interested enough to buy it for full price... most of us. Hell there are a few games in my steam library that are complete duds and i played them didnt really like them but i dont feel ripped off because i only paid about $5 for them.

Steam sales i think tend to sell more games that are older and people have forgotten about. You do see a big blockbuster game go on sale on steam every now and then but that's usually not the bulk of their sales... its usually older or more indie titles which i think everyone is happy are getting sold at all, even at sale prices. Hell i bought Beathazard for $2.50 and i love the game, its not from a big company but it is definitely a fun game... but would i have bought it at $10? Probably not...

His statements are totally irrelevant because every game that is put out in todays market is $60USD no matter the length of gameplay, replayability,quality, the budget or anything. Games aren't priced to their value to begin with so when a sale comes up the players can choose when they feel like buying it.

Treblaine:

I play on TF2 servers in the United States from the UK and get consistent 50-100ms ping. But BF3 is still a buggy mess as fas as I can tell.

Well, to be fair, those aren't really depending on Steam's servers at all, but rather on the individual hosts. BF3's netcode is what makes it a mess (that's no excuse, though), not its master server.

OT: Far Cry Complete went on a Steam sale recently, two games I've been enjoying immensely, and I will probably end up buying the sequel. And that's bad for the industry... how?

The 60$ price point doesn't work anymore.

a lot of the things I buy on sales aren't things I would buy for full price, fuck that, if I want a game I'll either pay full price or I wont, steam sales just catch the people like me who wouldn't

I wonder what would happen if with one big retailer, digital or otherwise, brand new AAA titles were sold at $30. Because $60 for one game is a steep price, and has no justification when digital. But if those $60 could buy two new AAA games, who knows what that could mean.

Atmos Duality:

To Summarize:
"We will beat Steam's reputation (long-term-relationship) by building a longer-term-relationship. But we won't do it by lowering prices, and I cannot tell you how."

LMAO and summing up the whole problem with this 'pitch'

They really have no idea do they - lets compete by offering a (perceived) worse service on a worse platform (origin vs steam) - with less products - and we'll charge more....

Take that 'business plan' to any bank and they'd laugh at you all the way back to the exit

This article is the latest example of a running theme that major game companies have not the slightest clue that there is a difference between video games and physical products. Though the stuff they're saying indicates they don't really get physical products either.

Simply put, everything has an up-front cost to make it at all, and then a per-unit cost. Also, if you're doing certain types of mass production you add a hefty chunk to the upfront cost in exchange for the per-unit cost going down. You can't sell for less than the per-unit cost and make money for obvious reasons. The amount by which the price exceeds the per-unit cost is how much money each sale makes, so there's finite room to cut prices to make more sales before it becomes pointless.

But video games, unlike cars and appliances, have only a negligible per-unit cost. For Steam it's literally pocket change, but the physical copies don't cost all that much to make even with fancy box-art. You could shove a glossy full-color 100 page manual in, sell it for half the average video game price, and still make money per sale.

Now, it's not a free ride. Video games have massive up-front costs. In the days of physical copies, near-universal practice set the sale price at 50$ to make up for that. Why 50$? I have no idea, but it seemed to work. Valve, however, has found that they can sell many more copies by doing massive sales. And because of the miniscule per-unit price, selling 13 copies at 5$ instead of one at 60$ is unambiguously a win. I don't understand why that concept seems to be beyond EA's leadership.

Once upon a time it made sense to charge 50, 60, maybe even 70$ for a game because of legitimate supply issues (Nintendo's proprietary data storage that they insisted on using till the Gamecube comprised of flash memory cartridges that were not the greatest way to hold data, but were also time consuming and expensive enough to make that Nintendo had near-total control over what games got released on their consoles, and to what volume. While they'd eventually lose in court over it, unless you were using unlicensed cartridges you had to go through Nintendo) and the simple fact that the stuff Nintendo slapped on those silicon wafers was expensive.

Now you can buy ssd's that hold about 15 times what your average DVD holds for the same price.

While there are legitimate complaints from the Indie sector that Steam Sales are a two-bladed sword the reality is that for a company like EA it should be a wake up call, not a thing to whine about. The fact that Steam doesn't treat customers like second rate citizens isn't something to complain about.

And what is a good profit range to EA? 30%? 60%? 130%?

Of course, Steam prices aren't exactly great either. I've stopped buying from them because they charge the same as retail, and give me less stuff. Imports FTW.

maniacfox:
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?

In my experience it's always cheaper to buy games of Steam, even when there is no sale.
I saved 100NKR (about 20$) on Deus Ex: Human Revolution for example.

Doom972:
Steam's method seems to be working quite well for the industry. Nobody is forcing publishers to sell their games there.
If EA wants people to buy games when they come out, they need to price games fairly and not just give all games the standard $50 price (and no game should start at $60).
Some "AAA" titles don't deserve more than $5, being fun but very short.

Random true story, there's a used bookstore chain around here that carries sealed software that's been ditched from retail. When I went in today I found stacks of Crysis 2, Mass Effect 2, Medal of Honor, and Dragon Age 2 with $5 stickers on them...

Where I'm going with this is, turns out that; that $60 price point? Yeah, more bullshit than I thought.

One thing I have found from sales more people will buy it and lets say that your friend tells you about how awesome said game is so you go to but it and the sales over most people will still buy the game eventually nothing like a boost in popularity to make a game sell better and the fact digital games cost nothing to sell (besides hosting costs) But meh most people know this already XD so many have said this in this topic already as well. <how you like that one period in the whole sentence grammar peeps?

rolfwesselius:

If everybody buys games just because their cheap and not because their good,then yes that decreases value.

How? The value to the consumer is the same but the opportunity cost of buying is greatly decreased. Conversely the cost for the publisher to produce another unit is zero.

The supply curve is therefore a horizontal line and since games are a luxury we can assume that their demand is highly elastic. So the Supply/Demand curves look like this.

http://imgur.com/K6KBE

Say at $60 they sell 100,000 units.

If they do that wait till they've sold 100,000 units and then drop the price by about half, then on my rough graph:

http://imgur.com/ExbNh

It appears they sell another 100,000 units. So by doing that they make 9 million dollars instead of 6 million dollars.

Now like you've said this may change consumer expectation so the demand curve may change a little bit.

http://imgur.com/Fil30

Now it looks as if the only sell 66,000 units at $60 but they also sell 120,000 units at $30 so they still make 7,560,000 dollars

If you increase the number of steps down so say we start at $60 drop to 55, then 45, 30, 20 you make even more money.

As long as the amount that Steam recieves and the amount that the devs receive is always proportional I don't see the problem.

rolfwesselius:

Also everybody waiting is not good for the dev“s who need money the moment their done with a game and not 5 months down the line.

Well that really depends on the contract that the developer has with their publisher.

Ive got both steam and origin on my computer and besides the intrusiveness of its reports and the lack of indie titles and sales i prefer origin, it seems to be more stable than steam as an application, downloading a new game is much better and their file servers generally handle the load better especially on launch day and unlike alot of people im not in denial about the fact i do play EA's games and i do like being able to get them easily. Ive spent over $300 on steam and roughly the same on origin and tbh, i have more steam games..but i play more origin games :/

that being said i am a little pissed that EA wont have many sales on origin, but im happy to not share the application with "i hate EA coz its the cool thing to do" sheep, it sounds almost like people who say 'fuck the police' just to sound hardcore.

Josh12345:

Cid SilverWing:
This is exactly what we need to be doing - deflating the gaming industry. It's becoming big and bloated thanks to fuckpuppetry by EA, Activision and Ubisoft, all and one unfailingly clamoring for undeserved profit from the gullible fanbase they so shamelessly exploit.

Yeah, as a user earlier wrote, EA is so used to automatically having a monopoly over its competition that when it suddenly has that taken away (like right now with Origin vs. Steam) it just continues its poor customer service while twiddling its thumbs wondering why they haven't drove their competitors out of business yet.

When did EA have a Monopoly over it's competition? Steam has been around much longer than Origin.

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