According to a report on trade site MCV, two “big-name digital retailers” for the PC market are staring down the barrel of financial ruin, while two major British retailers are reportedly considering a ban on games that include Steam integration.
“Publishers don’t give a shit, they don’t care what happens to the customer. Which is the crucial point, because Steam do,” the director of “a fledgling Steam rival” told the site. A fledgling rival, eh? Direct2Drive, perhaps? GamersGate? Impulse, maybe?
The criticism of Steam – an online multiplayer platform and digital shopfront run by Half-Life developers Valve – doesn’t stop there.
“I’ve fought hard for my customer, and never before have I had to give my customers away. Steam is killing the PC market and it is no wonder digital retailers are failing”, the unnamed director continues.
“Steam is locking down the market.”
See, here’s where these digital competitors have it wrong. Yes, it’s hardly an ideal set of circumstances that a single company is effectively taking over the mainstream PC downloadable market. More competition would be good for everyone. But there’s a reason Steam is so dominant: it’s the only service that’s doing things right.
The sooner competing services quit bitching and start putting together comparable platforms where you can shop, play and communicate as easily as you can on Steam, the sooner we’ll take their criticisms as something more than just sour grapes.
As for the bricks-and-mortar retailers, there are reportedly fears that selling boxed copies of games that include mandatory Steam integration is only going to encourage customers to not only shop online in the future, but shop with Steam, which is a competitor to these own retailer’s digital shopfront ambitions.
As a result of this, “two major retailers” in the UK are threatening publishers that they will cease stocking games that include such a requirement in any form.