Epic Games Vs Steam - A Battle Worth Watching

Discussion in 'PC Games' started by boneburner, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. Drizz06

    Drizz06 Member

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    Back on topic who is buying Metro Exodus off the Epic store???

    I’m personally buying it on PS4 and I don’t really buy that many pc games these days except for exclusives like totalwar/Anno so the epic store isn’t a really a strong issue for me.
     
  2. power

    power Member

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    it's taking me a fair whack of self control not too as I played, finished and really enjoyed the first two games - as a fan I'm disappointed that this exclusivity deal exists, i want the game, want to buy on Steam and well that means I just have to wait.

    And I'm notoriously impatient with games I really want.
     
  3. Drizz06

    Drizz06 Member

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    Haha I loved the first two so it’s a day 1 for me!
     
  4. PersianImmortal

    PersianImmortal Member

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    That already exists inside my head :)

    Exactly. They're basically just very shallow imitations of real life, which makes them even less interesting.

    Yes and no. I agree to the extent that, for example, I love mid-20th century movies precisely because censorship ("Production Code") meant there were some highly creative, extremely subtle and nuanced ways of dealing with sometimes very confronting material. Alfred Hitchcock managed to make amazing thrillers that never showed a drop of blood or a single dismembered body. Compare that to modern directors who do the exact opposite in all respects. I don't like horror movies, and when asked why, I say horror is to thrillers what porn is to romantic films.

    But limitations in games like being unable to shoot someone through a wooden door, or not being able to hold a torch and a gun at the same time, or not being able to blast through a wall if you get stuck in a room, etc. doesn't make me feel creative, it just ruins immersion and makes me painfully aware that I'm in a game. I can appreciate the contrived nature is required to set up a particular puzzle or a certain atmosphere, but it doesn't work for me, and honestly it's usually done in a lazy manner now (invisible walls, overscripted events, and hand-holding, etc.).


    If we must get back on topic, let me say I've never been a big fan of Steam or Valve. Kudos to Valve for taking a chance by tying Half Life 2 to Steam, in order to force gamers to use their platform, and profiting handsomely for it while also pushing game distribution into the digital age. But the more competing digital platforms in the market, the competition to keep Valve motivated, otherwise I think they're more than happy to keep charging bricks-and-mortar prices for digital products, like Apple does on itunes for example, and that, frankly, is short sighted. Yes the majority of a game's cost is the development, not the box or disc. But equally, many games companies effectively give way a ton of potential revenue due to lost sales :Pirate: because prices are too high. There has to be a happier middle ground where cheaper games are available direct from the developer/publisher with unobtrusive DRM, and what would have been Valve's (Apple's, Microsoft's, Sony's, etc.) cut is split to benefit both the creators and the gamers
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  5. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Summarising what I said before,

    1) Consider that RDR2, arguably one of the most immersive games ever made, took around 5,000 people 7 years to make. Quadrupling the possibilities and adding in almost limitless physics means you're staring down the barrel of 20,000 people taking 28 years to make the game you desire. The limitation there is not AI engines in NPCs, nor is it CPUs and GPUs. It's pure human effort. Making games at that scale, and at that complexity is very, very time (and money) consuming.

    2) While you're waiting almost three decades for the perfect "shoot people in the face simulator 3000" to appear, consider some more rewarding games to try out to cleanse your palate. The previously mentioned "Undertale", the excellent "Okami", and "The Legend of Obra Dinn" are all highly regarded by critics and regular people alike, and might fill in your time waiting for the perfect FPS to show up. None of them allow you to shoot people in the face through wooden doors, but all of them are excellent and will make you think about the bigger picture of gaming.

    3) Alternatively, take a break from gaming. I did. It helped me come back with a very different and far more appreciative perspective afterwards. The games aren't going anywhere, and you can always play them at another time.

    And again repeating what I said above, if anyone thinks it's easy, by all means try it out for yourself.

    Business is hard. Damned hard. The entertainment industries are harder than most. You're attempting to sell something that is in no way needed (it's not food or clothing or shelter) to a ridiculously fickle and subjective audience, many of whom are technically competent enough to copy your product without paying for it and at almost zero effort, and limited financially enough to be motivated to do so.

    Of the countless people who have tried, all that remains are what we have today. There's no greater proof of success or failure than organic evolution, and what we have as an industry today is due entirely to the few who survived with the winning model that made money, while the rest perished and went broke.

    Watch Noclip's documentary on GoG. It's a distribution platform that insists on zero-DRM. Their early efforts were funded entirely by their parent (CD Projekt Red, makers of the Witcher Series). Without that money, they would have died several times over. And even today they have endless problems convincing a largely US-based and US-focused industry that not using DRM is even fathomable. Despite my own personal hatred of DRM, I genuinely believe that they're an outlier, and we'll never see anyone like them again because of terrible realities of both the games industry and gamers as an audience.

     
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  6. PersianImmortal

    PersianImmortal Member

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    You're right in some respects, though keep in mind that I'm not sitting around waiting for a perfect shoot-em-up :) Some of the best memories I have of PC gaming come from savoring the ambiance of a game world, such as a calm dusk near the ocean in Oblivion, or walking down a street in the 1930s in Mafia.

    I don't claim to know how to run a gaming business better than those who do work in the field, but at the same time, some people may be amazed at just how uninformed games developers, even publishers, are about their own industry. Piracy is one area where I was surprised to find that some simple research I did in an article I wrote received a huge amount of attention and feedback from some very prominent people in the industry.

    With regards to Good Old Games, I've known about GoG for years, and I could discuss the many reasons why I believe it's never taken off. Chief among them is CD Projekt's unrealistic "No DRM" stance. It doesn't work. I know CD Projekt says it does, and they insist that they have a great relationship with their audience. But quite frankly, this is a PR exercise. I don't like DRM, nobody does. CD Projekt only make things worse by rejecting facts and suggesting that removing DRM works, when even their own experience with the astronomically high rates of Witcher 2 piracy and Witcher 3 piracy don't bear this out. They announced, in advance of each game, that these games would be PC-oriented DRM free games, and still, 75%+ (a conservative estimate) of their total playing audience just chose to obtain these games for free. When some small proportion of these people then opted to buy the game in order to use DLC, CD Projekt considered that a win. Bizarre.

    If I were a game developer right now, PC would be the last platform I would develop for precisely because I don't want my game sales to be based on how much I can sweet-talk and cajole my market into not stealing my product. Make a good game for iOS or even the consoles, and sit back. If it's popular, the dollars will roll in. On PC, if a game is popular and isn't multiplayer based (i.e., server-side protected), then the dollars may come rolling in. If PC gamers feel like paying you for your game. If you ask them nicely, and they're in the right mood, and their other bills aren't high this month.

    I'm fairly sure that this is a big part of the reason why Red Dead Redemption 2 hasn't been released on PC yet (if ever). If it had been, it would have been heavily pirated and gutted console sales. But of course that's just speculation. Still, if PC is such a booming platform, why no RDR2?


    In any case, piracy aside, my point can probably be best encapsulated in the following question: What is it about PC gaming that makes it unique, compared to say consoles or smartphones?

    If what you're suggesting is true regarding the many wonderful games that stimulate the mind and entertain through means other than sheer graphical/sensual immersion, and I have no reason to doubt it as such, then quite simply a smartphone can serve the purpose.

    The Return of Obra Dinn for example looks quite interesting to me. It has ultra-low spec requirements, so I checked for it on the Apple app store, to see if I could play it on my phone or tablet instead as it would probably be more suited to playing on the couch rather than in front of a PC. I've played puzzle/adventure games like 80 days on my phone, and it's actually quite enjoyable.

    It turns out that The Return of Obra Dinn isn't available for iOS right now. But as you can see, if we're talking about PC gaming, then we can't really continue to talk about low-spec puzzlers and RPGs, because they won't drive the platform.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  7. power

    power Member

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    saw this, keep in mind this guy is just a youtuber not a pro and well tbh he's probably at or a touch above the skill level of the average PC gamer.

    I don't see Epic doing anything like this kind of value add to the Epic exclusivity store.

     
  8. Hookimus

    Hookimus Member

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    Yea I don't understand why a lot of PC gamers (not all) seem to hate spending money on a game like it's some sort of badge of honor. I was playing Apex Legends yesterday and had dropped the $20 to unlock the extra characters because I was enjoying the game and believe that developers should be supported and had a random team member try and make fun of me dropping money on a free to play game.

    Personally Keyboard + Mouse input and being able to watch videos on a secondary screen easily. There was about 5-6 years I was too tired after work to fix my PC so went out and brought a console so I didn't have to fix my PC.
     
  9. Mynamewastaken

    Mynamewastaken Member

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    What's "never taken off"? In comparison to revenue/profit versus Steam? I would think they'd be close to second place. I know I go out of my way to purchase via GoG first over another platform.
    Saying that their no DRM stance is nothing but a PR exercise is pretty odd. It's a core underpinning of their whole raison d'etre. That and game preservation.

    No doubt the piracy exists. That's not due to the platform though. People won't pay for something if they know they can get it for nothing, regardless of where it's at. That shit's ingrained.

    It would be interesting to know what effect piracy will have on Metro, being restricted to the one platform (Epic).

    Thought I'd leave the below stat from the GDC too. PC gaming is thriving and doing fine. :)

    https://www.statista.com/chart/4527/game-developers-platform-preferences/

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. PersianImmortal

    PersianImmortal Member

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    Well, glad that's solved then. No need to worry about this anymore :)
     
  11. Sphinx2000

    Sphinx2000 Member

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    GOG/Galaxy is very popular and isn't going anywhere.
    Piracy is becoming less and less of an issue than it was 10 years ago, if you have good delivery platforms and attractive pricing - more people are buying legit than ever before. Myself included.

    PC gaming is building more than waning, and the devs know it - as the graph shows above. The switch is proving popular because of it is portability, and then there is the massive behemoth of mobile. But traditional consoles are becoming less relevant and exclusive because they are based on PC hardware these days, so it's much easier to develop for PC first then port to console (instead of the other way around like the old days).
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  12. PersianImmortal

    PersianImmortal Member

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    Stop, stop, you've convinced me with your overwhelming enthusiasm. 2019 will be the Year of PC Gaming and Linux!

    Look guys, I'm not anti-PC gaming, I'm just trying to make this a factual and multi-faceted discussion. Here are some more facts for you guys to mull over.:

    PCGameTypes.jpg



    MobvsPC.jpg


    Revenue.jpg

    If you were a game developer, what would you be looking at doing to provide the best return for your countless hours of sweat and toil: a unique PC game, or a formulaic casual mobile game? You don't need to answer me, just be honest with yourself. Even if you honestly said 'PC game', look at the other statistics, such as PUBG being the biggest selling PC game now, and The Sims being the biggest selling PC game of all time, plus the top-grossing games being online-only (i.e., server-side DRM), and the greatest revenue being generated (by a factor of around 5:1) in Asia. This isn't the PC Market you might imagine it to be.

    The unfortunate reality is that the PC is an open platform, thus the most pirated, as well as the most expensive to get into in terms of hardware, and the hardest to maintain and configure. It used to be that we said consoles would dominate because with a console there's no need to install patches and updates and configure drivers etc. Now it's equally as true to say that you can just grab a phone and game, it's even easier than a console. You don't need even need to switch it on and pull out the controllers, just pick up a phone and 2 seconds later you're gaming.


    Regarding GoG vs. Steam - it's difficult to measure the difference properly since neither provide detailed information that would let us determine market share. But just as one measure of relative popularity, let's look at their Alexa web rankings:

    GoG.png Steam.png

    I'm not seeing the tearaway success of GoG. To be honest, I'm not even sure what the "preservation of gaming" means? Are games actively disappearing? Are we genuinely going to wake up one morning 20 years from now and find that there's not one existing copy of Pacman or Baldur's Gate left anywhere?

    I don't wish CD Projekt or GoG any harm, and I'm sure they're doing quite well financially. But this is a dead-end avenue for PC gaming. If the only thing that sets PC gaming apart is sheer enthusiasm and bravado, along with nostalgia for old games on a DRM-free platform, then let's just turn off the lights now.

    PC gaming will "survive", just as people still play pen-and-paper Dungeons and Dragons, and Vinyl and cassettes have had a resurgence. But in the long run, It's not the keyboard and mouse that makes PCs unique or drives the market, it's the sheer potential power of the hardware. Power that's wasted by just using it to play old games. I love old games. But I can play Pacman on my iPhone. The PC is where people should want to go if they really want to experience something special and immersive. That's what's dying.
     
  13. whatdoesthisdo

    whatdoesthisdo Member

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    I wish I could code. I have tried many times but as you say making games today just requires so many talents that even if you could it all, it would take you forever. I feel that a lot of the main stream game dev's these days just copy their last iteration of the IP or copy and slightly tweak someone else's. I have so many ideas for games but without being able to code it's just wasted. My hat goes off to those that can, they are amazing.
     
  14. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    This is a bit off topic, so I won't answer in enormous detail here. But the answer is: yes, games are disappearing at an alarming rate.

    If you want a deeper conversation on this, I invite you over to the retro forums and we can start a dedicated thread on it there. Game preservation is an enormous personal passion of mine, and something I'm actively involved in (just last month I preserved 5 games that are not available anywhere else in the world - I've got their definitions added to MAME/MESS officially in the 0.206 release, and will be uploading binaries and description to archive.org very soon - although they're on my own website now which archive.org mirrors too).

    Some points of contention there for me.

    1) Old games, and new games that don't require a lot of computing grunt are not lessor than Triple A games. They're different, but quality hasn't ever been defined by scale, budget or CPU cycles. I've had some literal tear-jerking and gasping out loud moments from 320x240 pixel art games. Art and story telling has never been limited by medium, from when we painted on cave walls to shadow puppets to books, plays and films to high end gaming rigs today.

    2) Inversely, not every Triple A game that pushes hardware to the max is a masterpiece. Some are, sure. But the ratio of good to bad is no different now than it ever has been. For every "Super Mario World" there are a thousand "Bubsy" type games, in every generation of gaming. We spoke about this earlier with our Bieber comparisons. Music and film are the same (ditto for all art forms). That's just "Power that's wasted by just using it to play shit games".

    3) "Immersion" is a tricky thing to quantify. Some would argue AR/VR is better at "immersion" than a flat, 24-27" screen ever could be. And AR/VR according to both my anecdotal observations and graphs you've posted above is not selling well, nor are people developing for it at scale. I think that's a combination of expensive hardware, space requirements (as in physical space in your gaming area) and no critical mass. But then I look at something like PlayStation VR, and wonder what, other than pure grunt, a PC can offer that's better. And if that's all it can offer, than the delta from PC to console isn't huge (a PS4Pro/XBOneX today, both of which run PC based architecture, are much more powerful than my gaming PC of 8-10 years ago, and I'm patient and can wait for hardware to drop in price so that I can play affordably).

    It's certainly an overwhelming task when you think of games like "Cave Story", for example, which more or less single handedly reinvigorated the PC indie dev scene back in 2004. That game is enormous, and is made in totality by a single person - all design, graphics, game engine, coding, story, music, everything. I don't have 1% the talent the author, "Pixel" aka Daisuke Amaya, has in his little toe.

    But with that said, small collaborations are possible. If you've got ideas, designs, stories - these things are valuable. There are plenty of people on the other side of the fence who are excellent programmers, but couldn't come up with a good story to save themselves. There are also engines out there designed to assist non-coders ("RPG Maker" comes to mind, but there are plenty of others too) in getting basic games up and running with less technical effort required. No, you're not going to be developing the next Unreal Engine based masterpiece without excellent development skills, but then again you're very likely not going to be doing that solo even if you could, at the scale some modern gamers demand.

    If you're genuinely passionate about this, try a small project to start with, and see how you go. Like a "short story", but for a game - even if the end experience is less than an hour, those sorts of games are still very interesting.
     
  15. power

    power Member

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    i'm sure all gamers have thought about making games, personally if i was going to get into it i'd try and get onto a team developing a mod, or just do a lot of testing for games. Testing something and providing feedback will definitely provide insight into how things work.
     
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  16. PsychoSmiley

    PsychoSmiley Member

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    My 2c on this is the further we go down this digital distribution path on this the harder it will be to revisit thing. If a company wants to pull all their stuff on a digital platform and sit on it and there was never a physical release, how will you experience that again if there is no means to get it? You've then got the idiots that will sue and hunt you down for distributing their content which they own, but they flat out refuse to provide it in any obtainable legal manner despite people wanting to pay money for it if existed.

    Hell look at MMOs. You have these gloriously crafted worlds which exist only online, but when the plug is pulled how to revist or experience that? People reverse engineer the servers so they can run their own but that's still at the risk of having some idiot lawyer finding out and issuing a cease and desist despite the fact what you are emulating doesn't phsyically exist anymore in legal channels.
     
  17. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I did, until I worked with game devs. Then I saw what it took out of them, and decided that woodwork was a pretty sane creative outlet for me. :)
     
  18. power

    power Member

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    exclusive streaming models will change gaming forever - and you can bet your sweet ass publishers can't fucking wait.

    no piracy, no used market, no playing without subscription and if they make their own - no profit sharing with retailers or other secondary sellers.
     
  19. Sphinx2000

    Sphinx2000 Member

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    I don't think GOG is going for tearaway success or global domination, but filling a niche market. But tell me where else I can effectively buy and download old PC games from except for GOG? Not on Steam or Epic (as per the topic), not from the original publishers themselves either. Hell it would even be hard to find pirated versions for many of what is available on GOG's extensive catalog.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
  20. power

    power Member

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