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Customer Discussions > PC Game forum

Why is Steam suddenly bad?


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In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2009 11:42:01 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 26, 2009 11:42:51 AM PDT
<<<...but anyway...among other issues, you don't own anything you "buy" from Steam. That's the biggest complaint.>>>

You only want to "own" the game so you can sell it for MONEY. Otherwise, this wouldn't even be an issue.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2009 11:49:41 AM PDT
WolfPup says:
Or I want to own them because I want to play them. Either way they're worth more to me if I own them.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2009 12:11:35 PM PDT
What do you mean they are worth more to you if you own them? Are you talking about sentimental value? For a video game?

If you purchase a game off Steam or one that has DRM, you can play it. It seems to me that people just want to be able to sell the game to someone else and get back some of the money they spent on it. Like I said in my other post: Otherwise, this wouldn't even be an issue.

I understand that some people are experiencing problems that are caused by the anti-piracy programs, and those are legitimate problems. Just saying you want to "own" a physical copy so you can turn around and sell it when you are finished with it is not a legitimate problem.

Posted on Jun 26, 2009 1:00:43 PM PDT
WolfPup says:
<<<Michael Thompson says:
What do you mean they are worth more to you if you own them? Are you talking about sentimental value? For a video game?>>>

Well sure games have sentimental value, but no, I mean that if I like it enough that I'm keeping it, I want to always be able to play it, so it's worth more either way if I own it.

<<<I understand that some people are experiencing problems that are caused by the anti-piracy programs, and those are legitimate problems. Just saying you want to "own" a physical copy so you can turn around and sell it when you are finished with it is not a legitimate problem. >>>

Well yes, that in and of itself would be, as it's the most monumental shift in property rights since we've had property rights, that I'm aware of, but that's not the half of it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2009 1:12:26 PM PDT
Bryan says:
I own many DVDs. I plan to buy more. I may or may not decide to sell some of my DVDs in the future. I can do that legally. What's the difference?

Not that I ever wanted to sell my games but why shouldn't I be able to if I can other protected digital media such as a movie on DVD?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2009 1:29:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 26, 2009 1:35:27 PM PDT
R. J. Satori says:
Uh... no.

I don't sell used games. Too much hassle even if I don't like the thing right out of the box (I really should sell them, just because they're piling up). But I like to hang onto them -- particularly those that I really enjoy. I kept fiddling with Ultima 6 until well after Ultima Online was losing it's audience (mainly because I had hacking tools to modify the game). I still install and play a number of games from the late 90s -- Gangsters, Rocket Jockey, Zero Divide, Cutthroats, Hardwar, Majesty, etc. -- a couple of those are always installed.

Almost all of those games are no longer in distribution. The developers have disbanded. The publishers are defunct. But I own them. Some I've purchased multiple copies and made backups of the patches to ensure I don't lose them.

You get no such assurance of access when buying through Steam. Worse, even if you buy a boxed game and take care of your discs, if Steam goes away or stops supporting that game, or even if your account gets banned for some reason (!!!), there will be no way to reinstall, much less patch the game.

That's not all, but I don't feel like going over all the problems with the use of Steam in association with boxed games again. Not to mention the technical problems with Steam itself.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2009 2:45:38 PM PDT
Dreaming.. says:
*Just saying you want to "own" a physical copy so you can turn around and sell it when you are finished with it is not a legitimate problem.*

Michael.
But of course it is!! If you buy something, shouldn't you be able to do as you wish with your *invested money*? Because if you don't lemme say right now that buying games from steam or any other similar DRM scheme is the biggest waste of money in the history of capitalism.

Think about it for a minute, what if you couldn't sell your car? your house? what if instead of giving them away, your used clothes couldn't be used anymore? your watch?

Software companies have been trying to pull this stunt for years now, how come everybody pulls their hair out at M$ for their monopolistic stunts and game software companies are merely victims of piracy?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2009 6:21:13 AM PDT
Can you make illegal copies of your car? your house? your watch? I'm willing to bet that if you could, it would be almost impossible to sell any of those items.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2009 6:36:28 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 27, 2009 7:20:34 AM PDT
R. J. Satori says:
I doubt it.

In any case, I have never owned a new car. If I were forced pay upwards of $20K or more for a new car every few years I would be bicycling to this day.

Also, my first car was a 1956 Rambler hardtop sedan. Sweet. I aquired it in 1987, when all new cars were starting to become suppository-shaped eyesores. It ate a lot of money trying in vain to fix it up over the following years (it was just getting too old and the parts too hard to find), but I loved that car. Given the means I'd still be driving that car. If only it were possible to "make copies" of such things.

And to heck with the car companies who long ago forgot how to make products like that beautiful (and sturdy) old Rambler.

Maybe if we could "make copies" of the old cars, or they didn't wear out at least, the car companies would have to produce better and more attractive new products to compete, instead of cranking out ever-shrinking and increasingly repulsive fiberglass garbage that won't hold together three years, much less thirty+.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2009 7:13:20 AM PDT
Dreaming.. says:
Michael.

What is exactly your argument? Because I bet if I could, I wouldn't be having any kind of problems, where as if, your watch was DRM protected, the only nagged person would be you.

Allow me to shoot another example, what about your PC? how would it be for you if the day comes when: sorry sir, you can't sold your old PC, windows 9 has already been activated on it...

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2009 7:56:56 AM PDT
H.Le says:
Michael Thompson,

"You only want to "own" the game so you can sell it for MONEY. Otherwise, this wouldn't even be an issue."
...
"Just saying you want to "own" a physical copy so you can turn around and sell it when you are finished with it is not a legitimate problem."

Primarily, I simply want to "own" something that I paid for - whether I will resell it or give it away later is secondary. Here my personal discovery of the ownership issue with Steam:

A couple years ago, I gave away my legally bought "Sin Episode 1: Emergence" to a co-worker (I do give games out as gift from time to time, but this was the first time I give away a used game). A few days later, he said that he would need to activate the game under *my* Steam account, since Steam does not transfer activation code. I told him that I would need to think about it and get back with him later - just to delay the obvious "No" answer.

However, when I approached him, he simply gave the game back to me and said, 'Never mind, screw it, I already found a way to play it without your Steam account.' Let's just say that the 'way' that he used to play the game was... not legal.

Briefly, here is the result of this incident:
1) An amateur pirate is born (OK, whether he continued with his evil way or this was a 1-time incidence is not known to me).
2) Since then, I made up my mind to never buy any product from Steam unless it is $25 or less - since I don't really own it. On the other hand, I am still OK with the service provided by Steam, so it's a fair compromise IMO.

So, after having done everything legally, how on Earth did I unwittingly create a potential pirate ? Do I have to DRM to thanks for that ? Is lack of true ownership a "legitimate problem" ? Is DRM a problem itself, rather than a solution to a problem that it was *supposed* to solve ?

I think the answers to those questions will vary among us. At any rate, I love the fact that DRM awareness is currently at an all time high; and hopefully, it will keep on increasing in the years to come. So, big thanks to everyone who contributes to the DRM discussion threads worldwide.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2009 8:20:14 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 27, 2009 8:31:22 AM PDT
H.Le says:
R. J. Satory,

I am going slightly off-topic here, but thanks for the 'car comment'. It reminds me of a statement that former GM CEO Rick Waggoner made years ago (probably 10 years ago, but I still remember it) that drew much criticism from automobile enthusiasts: Wagoner said something along the line that he is all about business, and doesn't know what a "car guy" is ! That is, GM is making car simply because it is a business.

In the same line, I remember EA's John Riccitillo saying that he is a businessman first, and a gamer (probably a distant) second. Well, it is understandable and easy to see that recent harsh DRM scheme is a business decision that puts residual income first (with anti-piracy as a pretext), and legitimate gamers and Customers second. Whether this is a sound business decision still remains to be seen.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2009 10:22:50 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 27, 2009 10:23:44 AM PDT
R. J. Satori says:
Sad about Waggoner and GM, and look how that attitude has worked out for them.

Currently, the game industry seems to exploit the passion of the young people coming in. It's not set up so much with creative decisions being handed down from the suits, so having passionless business execs in charge doesn't necessarily ruin the core product (production talents talk more about problems with the marketing people). But I think you are right that it is those great minds running the publishing companies who are unable to see the harm in insulting and abusing the customers.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2009 12:43:49 PM PDT
Steam is great. I buy the game online, download it to whatever computer I want, and then play it. I have my games on my desktop and laptop. You can install the games as much as you want. The games update themselves. If I got a new computer I can just download the games onto that new computer. Don't buy the game in a store, download it. Don't mess around with steam files. Unless you have some special circumstance, everything is fine.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2009 2:51:28 PM PDT
Dreaming.. says:
Elizabeth.

Hopefully in any future reply you won't be cynical enough as to try to deny that you work for steam.

H.Le
Your story reminds me of Diablo 2, the copy protection was so agressive that most of the time it required firmware patches for the cdroms back then, and you were better off finding a less legal way for running the game.

More recently I remember ubisoft actually plagiarizing a crack to finally fix the copy related issues with a game (forgot which)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2009 3:05:41 PM PDT
Bryan says:
Elizabeth's profile is humorous.

Posted on Jun 27, 2009 10:57:17 PM PDT
WolfPup says:
The claim that Steam auto-updates games is a lie too. I guess it does for VALVE games, but nothing else that I've seen. I "bought" Universe at War for $5, figuring for that price I wasn't too bothered that it was a rental, and getting that thing running was a nightmare. Steam didn't leave it in a remotely playable situation, and didn't patch it at all either, nor does it for anything I'm aware of outside Valve games.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2009 3:18:01 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 28, 2009 3:22:30 AM PDT
R. J. Satori says:
Should have bought the boxed UaW. It didn't come with Steam as a requirement (only Windows Live, if that's a problem for anyone), it had no issues out of the box that I know of and can be patched manually without going through any particular system.

Other non-Valve games apparently do "auto-update." Probably all the ones that come boxed with Steam as a DRM solution, but I stopped after Lost Planet. Lost Planet didn't just include auto-updating as a feature it demanded to download and apply all updates (a couple of GB or more, apparently, by the time it got done, many months later) on installation. Not that the game worked when it got done with all that...

Someone is bound to pop up and say something like "you turned off auto-updating" (I wouldn't know), but it really doesn't seem like a huge problem the way you frame it. Could you patch the game outside the Steam system after downloading it through Steam, though? I'm guessing no...?

I know that you could not install the game to any drive but your main, or wherever the Steam client resides. That's an annoyance.

But you had a choice and you chose Steam... at least you had a choice there. All I'm really looking for is that opportunity to choose.

Posted on Jun 28, 2009 11:16:14 AM PDT
WolfPup says:
Like I said, I only put up with the rental because it was cheap enough ($5) that I didn't care that much. But no, I've not seen Steam patch anything but valve games. That could be that things that require Steam's activation at retail are tied in to it better though.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2009 4:40:20 PM PDT
As far as I can tell, games that you download off of Steam are exactly like any other game. You can go to the website for the game and download patches and install them manually. You can even use... *ahem*... trainers and such, as well.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2009 6:36:13 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 28, 2009 6:40:08 PM PDT
R. J. Satori says:
If that is the case, that's good.

Can you install to an independent drive (as you can with any boxed game that does not come bound to Steam), or do you have to install under the Steam directory on your main drive?

If Steam were only an alternative delivery mechanism, it would not be a problem. Well, it might be if it has any hitches adapting to new operating systems like RealArcade has, or anything else that might rob a customer of access to legally purchased games. But as you can see from my previous post, I'm not as sympathetic toward those who choose digital delivery (through Steam or one of the other services) when a boxed alternative without Steam strings attached exists.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2009 7:16:41 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 28, 2009 7:19:34 PM PDT
M Lewis says:
The patches for Dawn of War 2 are only available through Steam. It can only be installed to the Steam directory. On launch day many people had trouble running the game. It was reported that the pirated non-steam version (the only version without steam as it isn't a retail option) worked better for most people. A different problem I and many others had during install is even though we had the physical disc in hand, Steam still wanted to download the entire game. Shortly after release (a week maybe?) there was a patch released (different issue not related to the last sentence; the install issue still happens for many users). The next day Steam said there was another patch and proceeded to download it as well. This patch didn't exist. It was the same one as the day before. So far I'm not impressed with Steam at all.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2009 6:13:37 AM PDT
R. J. Satori says:
Can you install to an independent drive (as you can with any boxed game that does not come bound to Steam), or do you have to install under the Steam directory on your main drive?
________

You don't get a choice where the game gets installed. As a matter of fact, you don't get a choice as to where Steam is installed. I bought a second hard drive because my main drive was full. I wanted to move Steam and all the games to this new drive to free up space, but after I uninstalled everything, including the Steam client, it wouldn't let me install on the new drive.

That problem was solved after I got a new computer, but it was annoying not being able to tell it where to go.

Posted on Jun 29, 2009 6:25:11 AM PDT
Bryan says:
So a question comes to mind. Would it be piracy to download a "modified" game if you already own it in steam already?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2009 7:47:23 AM PDT
R. J. Satori says:
"Would it be piracy to download a "modified" game if you already own it in steam already?"

Can't see how anyone could make that claim, exactly. However, it probably would be a violation of the license agreement in some way -- which, if discovered, might result in getting your Steam account banned and losing "legal" access to all your games on Steam.

What it is, really, is the result of an abuse the customer has suffered. How is it anything but an annoyance to have to hunt down and then spend multiple GBs of bandwidth downloading a piece of software for a second time in order to rectify problems caused (or imposed) by the original seller?
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