Valve Counters EA's Shots at Steam

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Valve Counters EA's Shots at Steam

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Valve insists that frequent sales do not "cheapen" IPs, no matter what EA thinks.

Last month, EA, in its bid to set Origin apart from Valve's top distribution platform Steam, derided Valve's deep-discount sales, vowing it would never do the same. Senior Vice President for Global E-commerce David DeMartini specifically said that frequently discounting games 75% or more "cheapens your intellectual property," and teaches gamers to wait for discounts instead of buying games at full price. The fact that EA then went on to discount some of its titles by over 80% notwithstanding, Valve has now countered the accusations, saying that frequent sales actually increase brand loyalty and purchases over time.

Speaking at the Develop conference in Brighton, UK, Business Development Chief Jason Holtman defended the discounts by pointing to Valve's internal numbers. Pre-orders and early sales are actually up, according to Holtman, which would contradict DeMartini's theory that more and more gamers would start waiting for discounts. Holtman went on to posit that gamers would pay a premium to get the game first, saying that gamers who do wait for sales are making "a time trade-off." He made sure to point out that there was nothing wrong with waiting and buying at a lower price, a tactic particularly known to gamers on a tight budget. As long as more gamers are buying and playing games, he said, it's a win for Valve and its partners.

As for the increase in pre-orders and early sales, Holtman theorized that gamers who buy games on sale will fall in love with titles they would never have otherwise played, then eagerly purchase the next title in that franchise or from that developer. Thanks to the magic of digital distribution, gamers can easily pick up titles released months or even years prior - a luxury that wasn't available back in the olden days when PC games only came in boxes, when "if you didn't get a game in the first three months it was around, you were out of luck because you had to find a copy of it." That convenience, in turn, is "making people happier" and thus more willing to pick up titles at full price later down the road.

Even without the long-term benefits, indie developers get a big boost from the promotion inherent in Steam sales. Introversion, the indie developer behind Darwinia, publicly stated in 2010 that a Steam sale of its games saved it from dissolution, despite the rock-bottom price of $1.25 per game. And although Valve has so far been the sole determinant of which indie titles get a presence on the platform, it plans to rectify that with the new community-voting Steam Greenlight program set to launch in August.

Source: Eurogamer

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In other news: EA is still full of blithering idiots who don't know the first thing about gaming OR running a business and who have pissed off consumers more than Bank of America. More at 11.

Oh EA you really don't have to try this hard to get us to hate you, we already do. In all seriousness you'd think they'd have a better PR team that would monitor what people in the company are saying to make sure they don't embarrass themselves by contradicting an upcoming policy. But I guess with a company that big it's hard to have everyone on the same page.

As stupid as these comments are, they have a point. I bought Mass Effect 1 and 2 on steam, thought they were great. Then they released ME3 and I paid 60 dollars for a piece of crap. They might be on to something, if I had payed full price for their first two games they might have made ME3 good on release instead of 3 months later. Damn EA and their solid logic!

Still love Battlefield 3 though...

He really didn't need to go through all of this effort to argue EA's point. None of us bought EA's shitty logic anyway.

Eh, honestly Valve responding at all is more respect than the comment deserved, considering they went right around that guy and sold stuff so cheap anyway. I'd have pretended it never happened.

Good on valve, I like when a good company defends itself.

kitsuta:
Last month, EA, in its bid to set Origin apart from Valve's top distribution platform Steam, derided Valve's deep-discount sales, vowing it would never do the same.

Yeah! Doing something that benefits your customers and thus would encourage them to buy more of your products? What blasphemy is this?
/sarcasm

Seriously EA, I think you've reached entirely new depths of stupid.

EA is the Faux News of Gaming.

ea made origin to compete with steam, the tactics they are using is saying we will never have awesome sales like steam. steam should just give up, the battle is already lost.

It wasn't on a Steam sale but in a similar nature to Introversion/Darwinia the original Humble Indy Bundle deal gave which included one of the Penumbra titles gave Frictional Games enough of a cash infusion to pay the bills and finish making Amnesia: The Dark Descent.

These are indy companies though. For the big mega publishers like EA and Activision who for a business model rely on an annual release schedule where the community itself puts pressure in players to always be up to date on the latest releases and/or dlc, there's no real benefit to the Steam sale model. But thankfully this fight at least seems like one where the big guys aren't going to win. EA can try but they aren't going to get their way here.

While I agree with valve entirely, I think considering the reputation of both companies, if there was an argument between them people would always side with valve no matter what.

EA: Kicking puppies is bad
Valve: We like kicking puppies
The Public: Valve has a point

Speaking about the sales. When a game goes on sale for 75% off, they increase their gross revenue by 40 times <.<

Valve knows what the fuck they are doing and EA is as oblivious as always!

6:58 seconds when the question was asked and Gabe tells us how much more money they make :P

Eric the Orange:

EA: Kicking puppies is bad
Valve: We like kicking puppies
The Public: Valve has a point

My opinion on this as well. EA's people are correct in a vast majority of their statements, but hating EA is cool.

Valve, on the other hand, can sodomize your mother, and the gaming public would give them money for it.

Oh... It's like a happy ending for everyone, except for EA of course. I could be wrong about that last one.

Ympulse:

Eric the Orange:

EA: Kicking puppies is bad
Valve: We like kicking puppies
The Public: Valve has a point

My opinion on this as well. EA's people are correct in a vast majority of their statements, but hating EA is cool.

Valve, on the other hand, can sodomize your mother, and the gaming public would give them money for it.

Last time I checked, Valve wasn't charging $50 to get to the front of the line in online multiplayer or adding subscription fees and DLC to freaking Tetris. If there's any sodomizing going on, it's not Valve's doing.

Just sayin'.

EA are just jealous they did not think of the crate system in TF2, how much money is that making valve?

*meanwhile at EA

...

....

OH ...NOW WE GET IT!!

I love how EA is trying to guilt trip the people who wait for sales. "HOW DARE YOU NOT PAY FULL PRICE!" Sorry EA, I am guilt free.

Valve is totally right here. For me, I bought Assassins Creed and AC: Brotherhood for next to nothing during a Steam sale. I will now pre-order, buy on day one, or buy near day one, Assassins Creed 3, because I tried something with little risk to me, or my wallet. EA dosn't grasp that idea though, and its really kind of sad.

Clearly, no one at Valve has heard the phrase 'don't feed the trolls.'

Eric the Orange:
While I agree with valve entirely, I think considering the reputation of both companies, if there was an argument between them people would always side with valve no matter what.

EA: Kicking puppies is bad
Valve: We like kicking puppies
The Public: Valve has a point

This is probably because Valve tries to make life better for the consumer AND the developers. Sure, devs, you can have your DRM, but we'll make it improve the experience, rather than what Ubisoft, Activision or EA do.

Rainboq:

Eric the Orange:
While I agree with valve entirely, I think considering the reputation of both companies, if there was an argument between them people would always side with valve no matter what.

EA: Kicking puppies is bad
Valve: We like kicking puppies
The Public: Valve has a point

This is probably because Valve tries to make life better for the consumer AND the developers. Sure, devs, you can have your DRM, but we'll make it improve the experience, rather than what Ubisoft, Activision or EA do.

I'm not saying I don't understand why it is, I do, only that it is.

Ympulse:

Eric the Orange:

EA: Kicking puppies is bad
Valve: We like kicking puppies
The Public: Valve has a point

My opinion on this as well. EA's people are correct in a vast majority of their statements, but hating EA is cool.

Valve, on the other hand, can sodomize your mother, and the gaming public would give them money for it.

However, Valve doesn't sodomize mothers. They've earned our trust. They've made some mistakes, but ultimately they own up to it and try to fix it.

Dismissing EA's criticism by saying people are bandwagonning is just flawed logic.

dontlooknow:
Clearly, no one at Valve has heard the phrase 'don't feed the trolls.'

True. EA's big marketing scheme nowadays is to trash-talk the top contender in an effort to make themselves seem like the second-choice at best and relevant at worst.

Meanwhile their PR is awful and their stock is the worst it has been in over 12 years.

Welp. They're right. Example. Say someone got Assassins Creed 1 and 2 for real cheap on the sale, and really enjoyed it. Chances of preordering/buying the next game at full price? Pretty high.

But damn Valve you don't need to explain yourselves to EA of all things, you're better than that. Stay vigilant.

I wonder for how long will EA be able to keep running while being so oblivious to the real world.
It's a business after all, how can they afford to be so stupid? Why would you like to work with them knowing management it's so antagonistic against consumers?

They are their own parody, it's so freaking depressive when you think about it.

matrix3509:
I love how EA is trying to guilt trip the people who wait for sales. "HOW DARE YOU NOT PAY FULL PRICE!" Sorry EA, I am guilt free.

It's just their newest target. "Piracy ruins the gaming industry!!! Oh wait...we can't stop the pirates. Okay then, used sales ruin the gaming industry!!! ...shit. Okay guys I got it! Steam sales ruin the gaming industry!!!"

Is this really even news? EA is full of accountant morons, Valve is the golden poster child for gamers who "get it." Of course one is going to say something completely gobshite and Valve is going to wink at the rest of us and we'll all share a quiet little elitist gamer gigglefest at EA's expense.

RandV80:
It wasn't on a Steam sale but in a similar nature to Introversion/Darwinia the original Humble Indy Bundle deal gave which included one of the Penumbra titles gave Frictional Games enough of a cash infusion to pay the bills and finish making Amnesia: The Dark Descent.

These are indy companies though. For the big mega publishers like EA and Activision who for a business model rely on an annual release schedule where the community itself puts pressure in players to always be up to date on the latest releases and/or dlc, there's no real benefit to the Steam sale model. But thankfully this fight at least seems like one where the big guys aren't going to win. EA can try but they aren't going to get their way here.

Well, I started with the Mass Effect series by buying the first game for 10€ I think, I enjoyed it enough that I bought the second game and I enjoyed that enough that I decided to preorder the third.
Similar thing with Dragon Age, bought it when the price dropped a little and enjoyed it, so I preordered Dragon Age 2.

So EA got a lot of money from me because I bought 2 games on a budget and decided afterwards to buy it's sequels for the full price, without the budgets I might have looked at the games but probably wouldn't have bought them.

I think that this is a good example why even the big companys benefit from the steam sale model.

As I said in the initial article regarding this topic:

Personally, I think constantly pumping out sequels and rebooting classic games into safe, mass market appeal games cheapens IP's. *Cough* Syndicate *cough*

dontlooknow:
Clearly, no one at Valve has heard the phrase 'don't feed the trolls.'

They're not trolls, though. They really are just *that* stupid.

You know, EA, I turned a blind eye with Battlefield. When you called out Activision to come to the playground and defend their sand castle, I just told myself "boys will be boys". But now? Picking on Valve? You have serious issues, man. Seek help.

SnakeoilSage:
Is this really even news? EA is full of accountant morons, Valve is the golden poster child for gamers who "get it." Of course one is going to say something completely gobshite and Valve is going to wink at the rest of us and we'll all share a quiet little elitist gamer gigglefest at EA's expense.

Indeed.

image

Ympulse:

My opinion on this as well. EA's people are correct in a vast majority of their statements, but hating EA is cool.

Valve, on the other hand, can sodomize your mother, and the gaming public would give them money for it.

In other news, EA's stocks hit an all time low, lay-offs are rampant, they continue to shutdown and undercut their internal devs at a record pace, they continue to push costumers away with price gouging and restrictive services/features, they still create over-priced DLC, simplify IPs to appeal to a "wider audience", and (if rumors are to be believed) are set to fire a few CEOs/COOs; all because of their "correct" statements and business practices.

At the same time, Valve hits all time high in profit revenues; both internally and for other devs who use their services. They also continue to provide free services and content to users as well as continuing to update and upgrade said services with new features.

Yep. You're right. EA clearly knows what they're talking about and Valve is full of shit. I mean, it's not like EA is literally in the process of going under or anything. And it's clear Valve is planning to sodomize our mothers because we're not dropping enough cash for TF2 crate keys.

Yep. It all makes sense now. Can't believe I was so blind. How could I have possibly admired Valve?! What's wrong with me?!

Vigormortis:
Yep. It all makes sense now. Can't believe I was so blind. How could I have possibly admired Valve?! What's wrong with me?!

Annnnd there's the wink again.

See, this is exactly the kind of thing that the EA PR department should take note of. This is how you endear people to you and make them actually want to give you money. I have no doubts that Valve is run with a goal of making as much money as they can, in the same way that EA do. The difference, however, is that Valve are capable of doing this without making the entire gaming community hate them for it, because actually they seem to genuinely care about there customers. Whether they do or not is irrelevant, it's all about perception. Would you rather give money to someone who has openly admitted that they will try to fleece you for every penny they can, or someone that offers you a bloody good deal on a game whilst being friendly about it?

I think I rambled on a bit there. Basically, this is how companies should talk to the public if they want people to want to give them money.

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