Jump to content

So... Steam's going to sell regular applications now.

Sign in to follow this  

Recommended Posts

I really hope I don't need to post article links for this :\ Anyway, long story short, Steam is also going to start carrying applications and... I'm actually not happy about this. Maybe things will change, though. The additions won't be made entirely public until the 5th of next month, so there's time for developments to arise. So, until then, let's discuss our thoughts on this.

 

Basically, my list of cons:

1. Steam will have to run alongside all applications purchased through Steam, assuming the DRM implementation doesn't change. This will present an artificial bottleneck to resource-heavy applications.

 

2. Steam's application catalog can't be family-friendly if the DRM scheme isn't revised. As things stand, the Steam client can only smoothly run on one machine (I've managed to get it going on two with offline mode, but it's a pain and I don't think others are as patient), so this means you can't open the same application on two machines at once. This doesn't apply to those of us who own computers and operate independently.

 

And my list of pros:

 

1. Steam Workshop for Applications. This would make it easy to find and install plug-ins for your applications.

 

2. Steam prices.

 

3. Cloudsync for settings, preferences, and presets. This is a maybe, but it seems dead simple enough that I'd be shocked if they didn't do this.

Share this post


Link to post

Basically, my list of cons:

1. Steam will have to run alongside all applications purchased through Steam, assuming the DRM implementation doesn't change. This will present an artificial bottleneck to resource-heavy applications.

 

2. Steam's application catalog can't be family-friendly if the DRM scheme isn't revised. As things stand, the Steam client can only smoothly run on one machine (I've managed to get it going on two with offline mode, but it's a pain and I don't think others are as patient), so this means you can't open the same application on two machines at once. This doesn't apply to those of us who own computers and operate independently.

Both of these don't need to be cons. Developers can choose whether Steam is required to be running to start the game(and most likely, in the future, applications). So you can still start the Game/application without having to have Steam open. For example you can run Super Meat Boy straight from the executable in the Steam folder without having to run Steam. You won't be able to use the online features but that is to be expected.

 

3. Cloudsync for settings, preferences, and presets. This is a maybe, but it seems dead simple enough that I'd be shocked if they didn't do this.

This, for me, seems like a huge pro. From installing Windows a a bunch of times lately(because I clog the system up with complete nonsense and am to lazy to clean it all up) I have found that the most tedious thing is not getting your applications/progs installed again, it is getting those settings, preferences and presets back to how they where. Being able to not only download your applications but also your previous settings ect. in one go on any PC is super convenient.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Share this post


Link to post

Basically, my list of cons:

1. Steam will have to run alongside all applications purchased through Steam, assuming the DRM implementation doesn't change. This will present an artificial bottleneck to resource-heavy applications.

 

2. Steam's application catalog can't be family-friendly if the DRM scheme isn't revised. As things stand, the Steam client can only smoothly run on one machine (I've managed to get it going on two with offline mode, but it's a pain and I don't think others are as patient), so this means you can't open the same application on two machines at once. This doesn't apply to those of us who own computers and operate independently.

Both of these don't need to be cons. Developers can choose whether Steam is required to be running to start the game(and most likely, in the future, applications). So you can still start the Game/application without having to have Steam open. For example you can run Super Meat Boy straight from the executable in the Steam folder without having to run Steam. You won't be able to use the online features but that is to be expected.

 

3. Cloudsync for settings, preferences, and presets. This is a maybe, but it seems dead simple enough that I'd be shocked if they didn't do this.

This, for me, seems like a huge pro. From installing Windows a a bunch of times lately(because I clog the system up with complete nonsense and am to lazy to clean it all up) I have found that the most tedious thing is not getting your applications/progs installed again, it is getting those settings, preferences and presets back to how they where. Being able to not only download your applications but also your previous settings ect. in one go on any PC is super convenient.

 

I don't have the same faith in developers as you do to make that choice. Very few of the games I own on Steam work as you describe (so far only the ones from the humble bundle, actually), so I imagine applications will probably be similar. Plus, I wouldn't be surprised if bigger developers also add their own 3rd party DRM, something else that Steam currently allows with games. Compared to other application stores, Steam is already behind the curve here.

 

And cloudsync seems like the smallest pro in my opinion. It should be common practice to, once you've set up your OS, updated it, and installed your crucial applications and settings, to make a backup so you don't have to do it all over again. Since I do this, I hardly need help in that area.

 

If I'd choose the biggest pro, it'd be the possibility of the Steam Workshop for Applications. There was an instance where Gabe was speaking with one of the head honchos of Adobe, where he basically told him that Adobe should distribute their applications for free and make revenue based on plugins and add-ons, since Steam's sales show how profitable that model can be. Of course, the guy just looked at Gabe and basically said "I have no idea what that means".

Share this post


Link to post

Taking Adobe for example, it'd be a stupid idea to force people to have Steam to start Photoshop. And as far as I am aware Adobe products don't have any extra DRM. Why would they suddenly be interested in it now?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Share this post


Link to post

I'd agree. I also think it's stupid for Bethesda, Square Enix, Telltale, and 2K to require to have Steam to start their games, but they do it anyway. I can see Adobe having the same arbitrary requirement. Also, bear in mind Abobe products do have the DRM in the form of the product/activation key. They could easily implement that alongside Steam's DRM (think how Bioshock 2 works with Steam) to further lock down how many machines you can install the application on.

Share this post


Link to post

But for games that is in response to piracy. Piracy for image/video editing software is very rampant and has been for a while. If people like Adobe wanted to do something about it, they would have already.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Share this post


Link to post

I don't think that's entirely accurate. Adobe's protection scheme improves a bit with each iteration, but people crack the software or create a keygenerator to get around the need of a genuine activation key. By that same measure, game companies haven't done anything to combat piracy either since you can very easily find cracked games online. Just because their methods aren't that effective doesn't mean they aren't trying to do something about it. They still have the freedom to use Steam's DRM to further protect their products.

Share this post


Link to post

But they haven't gone as far as to force you too launch a client that houses all Adobe products you own where you have to log in and it checks whether your copy is legit. Why would they suddenly decide to do it this way now?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Share this post


Link to post

(Just to point this out, this is really de-railing the thread. This will be my last reply on this subject just because this thread isn't about Adobe failing to protect it's products, it's about Valve hosting regular applications and the pros and cons of their decision.)

 

Neither did other game publishers. They waited until someone else made a service before they went as far as forcing us to launch a client tied to our games. Only somewhat recently have other services started appearing, such as gog.com, GFWL, and Origin. By the logic you've presented, Bethesda, Square, 2K, or Telltale shouldn't be using Steam DRM because they didn't bother making their own clients to house their products. But they do, and so can Adobe and any other software developer out there. Just because they haven't done something before has very little bearing on whether they'll do so in the future (look at Windows 8's new interface, Microsoft didn't do anything like that for their desktop OSes in the past).

 

This would turn into a non-issue if Valve would change how it handles the DRM of the content it sells.

Share this post


Link to post

How is it derailing the thread? It is about why Software developers would or would not make use of the DRM part of Steam. How more on topic can you get?

 

This would turn into a non-issue if Valve would change how it handles the DRM of the content it sells.

That's not going to happen. Valve already gives the option for developers to make use or not make use of the DRM features of Steam. And I find it unlikely that any big time Software developers such as Adobe(if they will be on Steam at all) will make use of said DRM.

 

(look at Windows 8's new interface, Microsoft didn't do anything like that for their desktop OSes in the past)

That is because tablets(which the interface is clearly based of) weren't popular until recently.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Share this post


Link to post

Steam's monopoly of the digital distribution industry continues to grow. Valve may be benevolent, but a lack of decent competition to Steam could become an issue in the future.

Feel free to PM me about almost anything and I'll do my best to answer. :)

 

"Beware of what you ask for, for it may come to pass..."

Share this post


Link to post

The problem with that is that even if there does come a decent competition, what is the thousands of people who have 100+ games on Steam. I'm sure as hell not gonna abandon all my games all of the sudden. Gaben is such an evil genius.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Share this post


Link to post
How is it derailing the thread? It is about why Software developers would or would not make use of the DRM part of Steam. How more on topic can you get?

 

This would turn into a non-issue if Valve would change how it handles the DRM of the content it sells.

That's not going to happen. Valve already gives the option for developers to make use or not make use of the DRM features of Steam. And I find it unlikely that any big time Software developers such as Adobe(if they will be on Steam at all) will make use of said DRM.

 

(look at Windows 8's new interface, Microsoft didn't do anything like that for their desktop OSes in the past)

That is because tablets(which the interface is clearly based of) weren't popular until recently.

 

No need to get aggressive here. You were making it all about Adobe's business practices with your examples (I mentioned Adobe, but only as an amusing anecdote to illustrate what kind of content a Steam Workshop could provide for creativity applications in general), which was causing the thread to drift away from Valve's practices and how they'd handle digital distribution of software. This thread isn't about the software developers that may or may not use Steam. It's about Valve's approach to the new market they're entering.

 

Just because you find it unlikely doesn't mean it won't happen. Wishful thinking fallacy at its finest. I find it likely because software developers (yes, even big ones like Adobe) have entered other digital distribution systems and have been making use of the DRM offered by those systems.

 

Also, regardless of tablets, the move was inconsistent with what Microsoft had been doing in the past with their desktop OS. It illustrates a point that counters your point that because software developers didn't do something in the past that they won't do it in the future. In fact, there's a plethora of examples I can use to further show that just about every major software developer has made changes to their products inconsistent with what they've done in the past. To keep it on-topic and about Valve, look at this move. Sure, they sold games before, but this will be their first step into selling regular applications as well. According to you, this is an impossible move because they hadn't done it before.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in the community.

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  


  • Who's Online   0 Members, 0 Anonymous, 104 Guests (See full list)

    • There are no registered users currently online
×
×
  • Create New...

This website uses cookies, as do most websites since the 90s. By using this site, you consent to cookies. We have to say this or we get in trouble. Learn more.