UnfortunateShort,

Can think about Steam tax whatever you want, but they provide a hell of a lot more than just a half-assed store and some exposure for your games like Epic does. Don’t get me wrong, I do gratefully take the free games and I do appreciate the competition, what I want to say is that Steam doesn’t just pocket that money. They provide forums; frameworks for stuff like modding and achievements; a much better client useful beyond games they sell; subsidized hardware and support for Linux as an alternative to Windows. All of this also benefits game developers one way or another and costs money to develop and maintain. (Software) engineers are anything but cheap.

Ineocla,

Epic does have its steamworks alternative called epic online services which provide more or less the same functionality (achievements, p2p networking, anti cheat…) but it’s also completely free, cross store, and cross engine

dev.epicgames.com/en-US/services-games

haui_lemmy,

I agree partially. They are competent rather than just able to do whatever cause money.

Now if they invested their profits into workers salaries and made a bid for management salaries to only double per rank, we would be going somewhere.

hikaru755,

Does Valve officially have managers now? Last I checked, they had this extremely flat structure of everyone being basically equal and people self-determining what they’re working on and how

haui_lemmy,

Thats what I heard as well, doesn’t change the fact that management gets paid 10-100 times of an engineer and profits go to the owner/s not the workers.

hikaru755,

Are you talking about Valve, or generally? Because as I said, I don’t think there is such a thing as a generic manager role at Valve, much less one that gets paid so much more than other roles. How much of the profit goes to Gabe directly vs the employees or reinvested into the company I don’t know, but if you want to complain about compensation gaps, I’m very sure that Valve is absolutely not the company to start with.

haui_lemmy,

although valve is by no means the worst offender, they’re no angel either. Between raking in billions of dollars and taking no small cut from game developers (plus the fact that they take 100 $ just to put games on steam, even for free from what I read) they arent our savior by a long shot.

FOSS is. We‘re seeing massive effort of people to democratize software development and it is glorious. So while I get that valve isnt an example for the worst of the worst, they still fit in „billionaire bad“.

dillekant,

OK a bit of a rant from me but here I go:

Tim could easily see a smaller cut from Valve for a big game and say “yeah that’s great sign me up” but he doesn’t. He literally says “You should support the smaller players rather than the large ones”. He’s arguing to give a better rate to struggling developers rather than the successful ones. That’s what the COO says “umadbro” to. Honestly, that’s enough for me to really reconsider buying new games from Steam.

The issue is: This is exactly how Sweeney talks to people on Twitter. There was a particularly good reply to him once, which basically went: I agree with you and support your principled stance, but I can’t trust you because you are such a troll.

This is the problem. I truly believe Sweeney is a good person, and he actually wants more open markets not just for Epic but for everyone. Yes, he ships Unreal which smaller devs use and a sale for them means a sale for him, but really you don’t lean into things like this unless you actually want to democratise making games as a principled stance.

But he can just be such a jerk that people just don’t like talking to him or dealing with him or his companies. It’s frustrating to be honest, because he can be such a voice for good.

Templa,

I loathe Epic Store but I wish they was better competition to Steam. They definitely offer better cuts for devs but I think they still need to understand what makes Steam popular the way that it is. There’s a huge social media aspect, there are social media aspects, proton, bigger picture with the controller support…

We are in a very delicate situation where Valve can do whatever they want. They can suddenly decide to start making steam worse for users, adding more ads than we already have and we won’t be able to do anything, because in the end we don’t really own anything we have there.

helenslunch,

Proton really only caters to a very small ~3% of enthusiasts and stands to potentially benefit Valve far more than any individual consumer.

Valve could definitely decide they want to be dicks tomorrow, but they haven’t in the last 3 decades, so why start now?

iturnedintoanewt,

… Because everyone else started now. And so far they all got away with it.

helenslunch,

They didn’t start now, they started a very long time ago.

Tak,
@Tak@lemmy.ml avatar

The competition for Steam is GoG as it is effectively the only platform to offer you something Steam doesn’t.

Templa,

I always forget GoG exists lol

What do they offer that steam doesn’t? Old games?

Tak,
@Tak@lemmy.ml avatar

There’s other things but mostly the lack of DRM.

araly,
@araly@beehaw.org avatar

gog has always been so anal about linux though, that it kind of feels like a epic games to me. you can’t have a platform ran on drm free games, and then when people want to play them on linux (the “drm free” platform), they ignore and alienate them.

Tak,
@Tak@lemmy.ml avatar

How has it been anal about Linux? Are we talking Galaxy? The launcher is pretty butt and it’s better to just download the games directly and then they can be run with proton because of the lack of DRM.

Generally Steam does a lot more, especially for linux but GoG is the only store offering DRM free as the default.

Bezier,
@Bezier@suppo.fi avatar

It does suck, but I think the only thing Tim Epic can do is to fix his own store.

FrostyCaveman,

Tim Epic

Lmao

Canadian_Cabinet,

Reminds me of how one time Trump had a meeting with Tim Cook and called him Tim Apple

VeganCheesecake,

There’s a lot of stuff from Sweeny I disagree with, but I don’t think he’s wrong on this.

ampersandrew,
ampersandrew avatar

If only he could realize why he's wrong about why Steam is the market leader, then he could build something that customers actually want to use. Right now, he's just throwing money away.

atocci,
atocci avatar

Been out of the loop for a while on the EGS. Other than a lack of Linux support, what keeps people from wanting to use it?

ampersandrew,
ampersandrew avatar

What problems does it solve that Steam doesn't do better? If there's no answer to that question, why would I ever shop there? EGS has lots of developer incentives to put games on there but no customer incentives to shop there, except for maybe the occasional extra discount. When that discount comes at the expense of Steam Workshop, Steam Input, working seamlessly with the Steam Deck, or whatever other feature is important to you, it's often not worth it. I can think of a few things that would be important to me that EGS can solve, but I can also promise you they're not interested in solving them. Sweeney thinks people only shop on Steam because they've been shopping on Steam and have a large library there. That's certainly part of it, for a sizeable enough chunk of the player base, but it's very far from all of it.

teawrecks,

Yep, as much as I benefit from valve’s push on Linux, I know it’s not out of the kindness of their hearts, it’s out of self preservation.

I would gladly use epic’s store if it gave devs more of the profits, but it’s just incredibly immature. Basic options are missing, and it doesn’t support Linux. I can try to work around their shortcomings as much as possible using bottles and proton, but eventually I can’t play their games due to their invasive anti-cheat. On top of that, they seem to be building a walled garden of micro transactions that’s just a worse version of NFTs. They really don’t want me as a customer, and I’m not going to argue.

CaptainEffort,

it’s out of self preservation.

It’s understandable though, if my entire business was fully dependent on Microsoft of all things I’d be desperate to make alternatives viable too.

kurcatovium,

Wrong with what? 30% cut? It seems a lot, but from the greater distance I don’t think it’s that much.

Developers do get great benefits from this. The game is downloadable at any time with great speeds everywhere in the world. They get steam workshop for mods, free forums, reviews, steamplay, proton, friendlists with super easy game invites, … and all this is basically free advertisment for developer.

Now what does Epic offer in this regard? Nothing.

Templa,

Do you really think that an indie game with a few people working on it should pay the same cut than bigger companies? And even so, the game industry is not doing good, that’s why games are getting worse and worse and there are so many lay-offs.

FreeBooteR69,
FreeBooteR69 avatar

Indie devs get a lot of exposure they wouldn't by themselves, and there are many benefits to using the platform that don't exist on any other storefront. The steam market is massive and they wouldn't come close to as many sales on any other platform. They will charge what the market will bare. If indie devs weren't making money they wouldn't put their games on Steam. Yet they still do, that's because the benefits outweigh negatives.

kurcatovium,

Why not? It’s the magic of % that with huge sales you’ll throw money at steam, but with few copies sold you’ll pay steam next to nothing.

I would not say game industry is doing bad. It’s jist many big corpos thought too mich about themselves and now they face the reality. Shitty recycled games and another 1000th successor to your once-famous series with juat shiny graphics but nothing interesting is simply not enough now. Greedy CEOs realized it too late so now they have to lay off people so they can keep their $$ for themself.

But there are examples like Palworld or Helldivers or BG3 or others where smaller/independent studios release absolute smash game because they either 1) were bold enough to do something fresh, inovative and/or 2) absolutely love what they do and put so much more than “now the usual bare minimum” in their game it simply shows.

Just deliver good product and people will buy it.

And it’s the advice for Tim Swepic too. Steam is just better in every aspect, so maybe if you delivered better experience instead of just bitching about unfairness, people would actually buy in your store.

Templa,

But there are examples like Palworld or Helldivers or BG3 or others where smaller/independent studios release absolute smash game because they either 1) were bold enough to do something fresh, inovative and/or 2) absolutely love what they do and put so much more than “now the usual bare minimum” in their game it simply shows.

Smaller doesn’t make it a small company. You only gave examples of companies that aren’t small at all. Many small studios are facing bankruptcy even if they have successful games and depend on publishing deals to keep existing. Have you watched the Double Fine documentary about Psychonauts 2 development? If you haven’t I really recommend it, it is very interesting.

In the end, you need to have money to pay people wages. Game developers don’t work solely because they “absolute love what they do”.

Just to illustrate, there’s a dev of a game I am interested that post monthly reports of revenue on Mastodon. It just feels really weird to me that they end up getting 15% of the gross revenue. Should be a little higher if we take out refunds, but this sucks.

kurcatovium,

Sure, Larian is big (400?), but compared to some of the gaming industry behemots, it’s still small(ish). Arrowhead (Helldivers) should be like 100 people which is not that much. And wasn’t Palword developers studio like 30 people? I’d call that pretty damn small. Especially in contrast with the sales.

And of course not everything is fine and dandy in gaming industry. But where is?

Templa,

The game I linked to you is literally made by two people.

kurcatovium,

It doesn’t change the fact that “30 people that made Palworld” is still really small studio. And that being small studio doesn’t mean you can’t make vastly successful game.

VeganCheesecake,

I don’t have any frame of reference for how much content delivery on Valve’s level costs, and whether a lower cut would be sustainable. I assume that a lower cut for the first $X of revenue a game makes on Steam would be doable without cutting into profits too much, and would probably help smaller indie devs. In the end, since Valve is private, we can kinda only speculate about what would be fair, or even just feasible.

Of course, Valve isn’t obligated to do any of this, but if they would in response to pressure from Epic, I’d consider that a good thing. Considering the article above, that seems unlikely, needless to say.

I also do agree that Epic’s store isn’t all that great.

kurcatovium,

Still, with 30% cut, it was never easier for indie devs to release their game before. Now it’s basically like “you made your own game in your garage or basement in your free time, then you log in to steam, fill some paperwork, set price, upload, and you can start selling copies already as you have link you can share on your social media and everywhere”. Some 20 years ago you’d need to find publisher that would like the game, be willing to invest in pressing CD/DVD and distribute this across the city/state/country/world/whatever. Then you had to market the game in paper magazines, online ads or wherever and hope people will see the ad/review and go to store to buy the game. Then wait for money to run the circle back to you. With much greater cut than current 30%, especially with indie titles. Even like 10 years ago, you’d have to be “green lit” for steam to actually sell your game, meaning you had to beg for a lot of clicks, to be able to put your game on steam.

VeganCheesecake,

Point taken, though I’d argue that it is slightly harder than it used to be before Steam opened the publishing floodgates completely, mostly because of the overwhelming amount of games that are ostensibly spam, not that Greenlight was that great a system either. It is, of course, probably quite hard to actually moderate the amount of games that get pushed onto Steam, but many interesting titles do get buried a bit.

I will not argue that Valve hasn’t changed the PC Gaming landscape in a very positive way, both for customers, as well as for developers. I also think that they are using at least some of their profits for some pretty good things.

I just also think that they could be doing some further good for small developers, while not sacrificing all that much profit, though, as I said, I am not really in a position to make an informed judgement on the feasibility of anything like that.

sugar_in_your_tea,

But it’s not just content delivery, they have a lot of software engineers building and maintaining lots of things, such as:

  • Steam Input
  • Steam Link app
  • Proton - for Steam Deck and Linux

And a bunch more. That cut isn’t just going into the coffers, it’s being invested in the platform.

What does EGS do?

  • pay for exclusivity
  • give away games
  • twiddle their thumbs?

EGS basically wants to draw you in with the free games and exclusivity, but that’s it. They have no actual draw to their platform. Valve invests in their platform, EGS just buys eyeballs.

VeganCheesecake,

Yeah, Epic does a lot of sucky stuff. I think that their 12% cut, if they can sustain it, is good, but that isn’t an endorsement for all the other things they do.

I’d also argue that Valve is, considering their market position, on the whole extremely light on anti-consumer practices, in a way that a publicly traded company likely wouldn’t be.

I am not arguing that Valve is bad, I just believe that a lower cut, if it is sustainably doable, is a good thing. Since neither of us know their numbers (unless your pretty high up in Valve, in that case, Half Life 3 pls), it all comes down to assumptions in the end.

sugar_in_your_tea,

The 12% cut is there to attract developers to their platform. They know they’re not going to sell nearly as many copies as Steam, so they need some reason for developers to list their games on EGS. If EGS caught up with Steam, I’m guessing that number would also go up, or they’d add on other nonsense fees to increase profit.

And yeah, a lower cut would be good for devs, but it might not be good for PC gaming (i.e. less investment into stuff like Steam Link). But I agree, I don’t have the numbers, so I don’t know how much of that cut is profit vs reinvested.

krellor,

I think many folks are too young to remember before the Internet when everything was published through retail stores. Publishers took big risks paying for advance copies of games to be produced and shipped, and developers typically got less than 70% all told.

When steam came out 30% and you didn't need to print advance copies, or deal with retail channels, it was a huge win.

Now, the world has changed, but so has steam. Steam has continued to introduce features, sales based % tiers, grown the community, push Linux development, push VR, etc. they also go out of their way to support their devices and make them user repairable.

In any other sector people would be bitching about not having a pro customer option, and yet in this market we get a bunch of non-developers bitching about the revenue split from the best game store other than GoG.

It boggles the mind.

Tak,
@Tak@lemmy.ml avatar

A bigger cut for developers would be nice if mostly any gaming studio actually did profit sharing. I’m not going to be riled up and motivated for some capitalists to get a fat fucking bonus while using a shittier platform. But billionaire Sweeny is all for claiming it’s all for the little guy while not giving a shit if his own employees stack up 60hr work weeks.

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