Valve: downloadable content should be free

jebo_4jc

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This was on the frontpage, but not highlighted:
http://kotaku.com/gaming/as-the-valve-turns/valve-keeps-dlc-free-262573.php

Despite having the perfect backbone in place for charging gamers for extra maps, models, etc., Valve is coming out completely against the idea of charging folks for game enhancements. Speaking with Eurogamer, Team Fortress 2 designer Robin Walker pretty much slams every publisher who ever made folks pay for DLC:

"You buy the product, you get the content," Team Fortress 2 designer Robin Walker told us. "We make more money because more people buy it, not because we try and nickel-and-dime the same customers."
What a great philosophy! I'd daresay there are games out there that I've long since traded in that I would buy again if new free content came out. DLC should be an incentive to buy a game in the first place, adding value to a title to generate more sales. I would much rather have free extra content that is supported by advertising than a $5 map pack any day of the week.
Even though a handful of extremists are calling for a boycott of Valve's products since they won't be selling the Black Box version of Episode2 in retail stores, I applaud Valve's stance that we buy games, not individual bits of content (horse armor?)
 

Netrat33

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Even though a handful of extremists are calling for a boycott of Valve's products since they won't be selling the Black Box version of Episode2 in retail stores, I applaud Valve's stance that we buy games, not individual bits of content (horse armor?)

I think it's pretty shitty of them to do that. It's no better. People aren't really too excited about Steam as it is. They want a retail version of the game yet the only way they can get it is to buy the whole thing all over again.

But reality, Valve has there own problems to deal with to start pointing fingers at other publishers.
 

Spaceman_Spiff

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Valve is against downloadable content all right...they want you to purchase another full version of things you already own to get the new content.
 

saan44

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I think it's pretty shitty of them to do that. It's no better. People aren't really too excited about Steam as it is. They want a retail version of the game yet the only way they can get it is to buy the whole thing all over again.

But reality, Valve has there own problems to deal with to start pointing fingers at other publishers.
You may fit into this group, but not everyone does. I, for one, couldn't care less about the cancellation of the black box. I was planning on preloading on steam regardless so it doesn't impact me. I'm willing to bet that Valve did some pretty serious market research before making the decision to ultimately axe the black box version. If it wasn't viable from a business standpoint, they'd never attempt it. Will they lose some sales? Definitely. But overall it's going to drive more people to use steam to get the game(s) which has been their goal all along. I wouldn't be at all surprised if we see a nice price cut on preloads via Steam to sweeten the deal even further.

As far as Steam goes, it's had its issues, particularly early on, but it's working quite well now. It keeps my games up to date without me having to mess with stuff and honestly, the only reason I can think of that people wouldn't like it is if they don't have broadband or have a download cap on their connection. For the vast majority of gamers, this isn't the case. Valve is definitely alienating some of their customers, but it's a minority. By using steam and skipping the middle-man Valve doesn't have to pay distributors to stock their products and Valve gets more money even though they sell fewer overall copies.

I can see where some people are frustrated by the decision, but Valve is still head and shoulders above live marketplace or anything else of that nature.
 

Mabrito

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Valve is against downloadable content all right...they want you to purchase another full version of things you already own to get the new content.

Well this is only for the retail versions. You can still use Steam and purchase and download the games you want.. Alot of there sales is from Steam anyway. Yes it does blow for the retail guys, but they are a small minority.
 

ManCannon

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This is what I'm talking about. Kudos to Valve for knowing what's up.

Sure the Black Box/Orange Box thing sucks, but personally I don't care because I'll just get the stuff of of Steam anyway.
 
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Yeah... dang it, it sucks for me because I just realized last year that I could buy the retail box and register THAT on steam to essentially have a Steam version of the game. And the retail boxed versions tend to be on sale / much cheaper. HL2 EP1 for $9 release week instead of $15-20 at best on Steam, and so on.

:( But... whatever as long as I can still get Portal/TF2/EP2 for a reasonable price, I won't mind giving more of my money to Valve too much.

Probably it seems worse to some customers because it 'feels' like they're mildy screwing those that have supported them via retail Ep1/Hl2 purchases in the past. Those that ran out and bought both those games at their local Best Buy or whatever on release day are now stuck up a (very small) creek.
 

kelbear

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Valve makes less money off retail store sales because it's being published by someone else who takes a cut, then the game store takes a cut. This option is kept open because some people want the box, and would otherwise be a lost sale.

Valve owns Steam, so they make the game, publish it, and sell it to you, and keep the whole deal. This is why Valve prefers consumers use Steam than a store.

Valve encourages other developers to try Steam, because they get a cut as a publisher(smaller than publishers for retail stores that is), and the cut given to the retail store goes to the developer(it could go to the consumer, but only if the price cut results in more sales for more overall profits). I do like the idea of a developer getting a bigger cut instead of money going to a publisher or store because those two aren't added value when I don't value owning the box.

The whole thing is money driven. And as somebody else mentioned in this thread, same with DLC. If DLC was done in a profitable way, then Valve would also jump on it. Their version of DLC is really just bigger portions with a bigger price. If DLC is smaller portions they should have a smaller price. So long as the price matches the portion, it's no loss. DLC thus far has been pretty @#%& in terms of price for value, only one I've liked so far was the Crackdown one and I hear Knights of the Nine for Oblivion was an ok deal(while Horse Armor was a complete rip-off).
 

Fumarole

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Kudos to Valve for bucking the trend. As long as they keep making good games, I'll keep buying them via Steam.
 

Majin

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We need more companies, like this!
Games should be completed when published, not needing a patch the same day as release!
Adding extra content (excluding an add-on game release) should be free!
I have said it before and I will say it again!
Valve = THE WIN!
Steam == THE WIN!

Fuck you EA!
 

Obi_Kwiet

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Valve is against downloadable content all right...they want you to purchase another full version of things you already own to get the new content.

For 40$ the new EP2 + TF2 + Portal is more than worth the price. Did you honestly think they'd charge 20$ for all that stuff? Episode 2 is supposed to be as long as HL2. They're just throwing in the old stuff for free in case you don't have it yet. Quit your whining.
 

The Goose

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Kudos to Valve for this; I've always liked them and I've been waiting since June 2, 2006 for Episode 2 (ep1 came out on the 1st).

\Episode 2 is supposed to be as long as HL2. \

I agree with you on the rest, but I thought it was only supposed to be 6-7 hours?
 

Netrat33

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For 40$ the new EP2 + TF2 + Portal is more than worth the price. Did you honestly think they'd charge 20$ for all that stuff? Episode 2 is supposed to be as long as HL2. They're just throwing in the old stuff for free in case you don't have it yet. Quit your whining.

Episodic content was supposed to be cheaper. Hence the whole idea of episodes in smaller and quicker installments..1 year later. By your ..."logic"...Buying this version means a consumer just spent $60 bucks for 2 episodes when it's supposed to be 3 episodes long. You're not getting the old stuff for free. You're paying for how much it costs now.

:rolleyes:
 

ManCannon

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Yeah, I do think episodic gaming has failed miserably, that much is for sure. I knew it wasn't going to amount to shit when it started.

Right now, the only episodic game that seems to be surviving is Sam and Max. SiN lasted one whole episode, leaving gamers with 1/8th of a game that will never see completion, and HL2: Episode 2 has been in development longer than many full-fledged sequels and will cost the same as any other game thanks to it's pack-ins.

So in conclusion, what has episodic gaming brought us? Games we'll never see the end to, production cycles that aren't any shorter, and games that cost as much as they always have. Seems pretty pointless to me.
 

TheToE!

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I say good for valve for calling it like it is. More and more people are starting to accept DLC, because usually its cheap so its no big deal. Really this is just a way to increase the cost of the game without giving the consumer sticker shock. Hell, i wish they would just include all the content from the get go and charge 70.00 bucks for it as opposed this DLC and booster-pack-bullshit.


As far as steam goes, I love it. I dont have to keep track of cd's and that rocks. Another cool thing they've been doing is offering older games for download that you cant find anywhere else ( legally ). Take the longest journey for example, got it for $8.00. I've picked up several titles for under 10.00 from them. The black box fiasco does suck, but its not the end of the world.
 
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If people are going to make such a stink over a retail box that they aren't ever gonna use, it brings to mind what they are using it for...

Pirating HL2 much?
 

defiant007

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When episode 3 comes out are we going to have to buy HL2, Ep1, Ep2, Portal, CSS and TF2 again?
 

Glyphic

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I guess you missed the part where valve decided that instead of just releasing episode two, they decided to go ahead and revamp the source engine for multiple cores, as well as some other stuff I can't think of atm.
 

Frosteh

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The whole black box fiasco in retail is quite franky fucking stupid, if they want to offer up HL2 and HL2 Ep1 for cheap why don't they sell them for the price difference on Steam, so people can buy Ep2 in retail in a more reasonable black box edition and then go online and add HL2 and Ep1 to their accounts if they so wish for the price difference (orange box minus black box price)

As for downloadable content, lets put it this way, most things that are released through steam that have anything to do with Valve tends to be released with a severe lack of media. Case in point DODS was released with only 4 maps! CSS didn't have a massive amount of maps to start with or even many character models IIRC.

I don't think it's fair that Valve can stand up and basically claim that they're better because they offer downloadable content for free, because they don't offer a decent amount of content in the first place, they're just making up for their own shortfalls IMO.

The idea that its used to encourage other people to buy the product is complete rubbish...think about it, how do customers who don't have the product become aware that additional downloadable content is available? They don't care if they don't have the product and I can't see many people being persuaded to buy games they wouldn't otherwise buy just because of downloadable content.

I personally think that Valve are going to use this free downloadable content to justify putting adverts in to pay for it, when in reality most of the additional content like maps etc don't take that much additional time to make, not when compared to the revenue they will generate from an advert system.
 

Silus

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This was on the frontpage, but not highlighted:
http://kotaku.com/gaming/as-the-valve-turns/valve-keeps-dlc-free-262573.php

Even though a handful of extremists are calling for a boycott of Valve's products since they won't be selling the Black Box version of Episode2 in retail stores, I applaud Valve's stance that we buy games, not individual bits of content (horse armor?)

I find it amazing, that people keep praising Valve for everything they do. "Delay Episode 2...again? Amazing!"; "Cancel Black Box? Way to go Valve!".

That's great about free downloadable content, but are going to see any game from Valve in the near future ? Or are we going to keep making vague promises to something that's not out yet ?

Oh and yes, I'm one of those so called "extremists" that won't be buying any Valve game anytime soon :)
 

Silus

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I don't think it's fair that Valve can stand up and basically claim that they're better because they offer downloadable content for free, because they don't offer a decent amount of content in the first place, they're just making up for their own shortfalls IMO.

My thoughts exactly.
 
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You know your great grandfathers probably used horse carriges to get places, and your grandfather used the radio, if so many people stuck to one thing (retail cds) instead of trying something new (digital distribution), we'd still be riding horses and dying at 40.

More then likely the people making a stink over retail boxes are over 25, and have bought them all their life...

BTW, your crt is calling for you, better ditch your lcd.

Likewise, that shiny new cell phone is probably too much of a change, better go back to landlines.

Wouldn't it be so much better if we hid from changes and just accepted our world as it is?

When the cds that you old people (You really act like my mom, she refuses to try anything new) love to say are so much better than digital distribution break and you gotta buy a new one, don't come crying to people who have it online and can play no matter if the cd breaks or not.

And you can say what you want about Valve disappearing, but with steam at 9 (or was it 10?) million subscribers, and growing, they aren't going anywhere...

Digital Distribution is inveitable. it's the future. You can accept that, or hide from all the new technology in a cave with your lovely crt and your many cds... Until they break.

One final thing, I've read in other posts that people compare it digital music.

If digital distribution was the same as digital music, you'd only be able to go up to medium setting, 800x600, no hardware acceleration, and you could only download it 3 times. Digital music is extremelly gutted.

Digital distribution (Over steam at least, D2D is horrid), is the entire game.
 

mikelish

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then maybe Valve should stop being hypocrits and stop charging for downloadable content such as Episode1, 2, TF2 etc.
 

saan44

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Did you people that are bitching about this even read the information about it or are you just using this as another reason to bash valve? If you don't want to pay for HL2 and HL2:e1 in the orange box, you can still go online and purchase everything via steam that was going to be in the black box without the first two iterations of HL2.

Why is this such a huge deal? If you purchased it retail you'd still have to register the game with steam so it's not like anything changes by purchasing it directly from valve. The only thing I see that's problematic is what I mentioned before: people that don't have access to broadband or have download caps. EVERYONE else that's bitching doesn't have a leg to stand on. You can still get the black box, hell you can even preload it now, and you still don't have to pay for HL2 and episode 1. The ONLY thing that's changed is the method of delivery.

Shut up.
 

Netrat33

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My notice, walk into most any retail game store, what i see on %80+ of the shelves is console games, not PC games.......

I'm not sure what you are trying to say with this. But most games aren't advertisted as downloadable purchase and, well, that isn't a statistic. If anything that is a sad state of how pc gaming is.
 
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I'm not sure what you are trying to say with this. But most games aren't advertisted as downloadable purchase and, well, that isn't a statistic. If anything that is a sad state of how pc gaming is.

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=23438

...The surprising thing is that, despite the fact Valve enjoys a direct link to the consumer and a much bigger cut of revenues through Steam - and despite the failing retail market for PC games - Valve is far from proclaiming retail dead. "There's always going to be the customer that wants to go to the store and find something new," says Lombardi.

And some buyers remain attached to a box copy, even when the data's already on their hard drive. "The interesting thing for us was our free weekend promotions on Steam, how many sales that would drive at retail as a result," explains Johnson. "We had this huge spike of players, and we could see which of them purchased the product on Steam. Looking at it, we sold a bunch more, and it turns out 60 per cent of the sales were at retail as a result of the free weekend. People would play the promotion on Steam and then go to the store to buy it. The channels aren't as segmented, they're not fighting each other as much as people think..."

Except in this thread.
 

Wally

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bazylik

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So, wait a minute... How much will be Ep. 2 on Steam and do we still get TF2 and Portal bundled with it or now we have to pay separately for everything?
 
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no one I think is disbuting that Valve gets a bigger cut from steam direct sales, but valve is stating there that retail is a valid point

I wasn't trying to prove that retail was extinct, else I wouldn't have used an article like that as reference.
 

saan44

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So, wait a minute... How much will be Ep. 2 on Steam and do we still get TF2 and Portal bundled with it or now we have to pay separately for everything?
Nothing will be bundled unless you purchase the orange box which includes HL2 and HL2:e1 as well as HL2:e2, TF2, and portal. If you don't want/need the original HL2 and episode 1, you can still purchase everything off steam piecemeal. No word on pricing yet.
 

bazylik

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Nothing will be bundled unless you purchase the orange box which includes HL2 and HL2:e1 as well as HL2:e2, TF2, and portal. If you don't want/need the original HL2 and episode 1, you can still purchase everything off steam piecemeal. No word on pricing yet.
but lovely Valve said TF2 and Portal would be free with Ep.2. Did they lie to us again:confused: Oh dear Mary, no...
 

saan44

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but lovely Valve said TF2 and Portal would be free with Ep.2. Did they lie to us again:confused: Oh dear Mary, no...
Estimates I heard ranged from $30 to $40 for the black box and I don't think you'll be paying any more for all three titles off steam separately. It's simply that you're buying them all individually instead of in a package. Granted, I have nothing to back that up, but common sense says anything above that price makes the orange box a better deal even with the extras that I don't need. If they price it too high, it's going to drive people away from steam which is exactly the opposite of what valve is trying to do by canceling the black box.
 

bazylik

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Estimates I heard ranged from $30 to $40 for the black box and I don't think you'll be paying any more for all three titles off steam separately. It's simply that you're buying them all individually instead of in a package. Granted, I have nothing to back that up, but common sense says anything above that price makes the orange box a better deal even with the extras that I don't need. If they price it too high, it's going to drive people away from steam which is exactly the opposite of what valve is trying to do by canceling the black box.

How is $50 a better deal when I already bought HL2 and Ep1? I can't justify something with that price when Valve said they will bundle TF2 and Portal with Ep2 for free in the first place, lies? I imagine if everything bought separately via Steam will add up to more less same amount of money only the difference will be freedom of choice, again lies.

HL series I'll see in a bargain bin, ciao!
 

saan44

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How is $50 a better deal when I already bought HL2 and Ep1? I can't justify something with that price when Valve said they will bundle TF2 and Portal with Ep2 for free in the first place, lies? I imagine if everything bought separately via Steam will add up to more less same amount of money only the difference will be freedom of choice, again lies.

HL series I'll see in a bargain bin, ciao!
What I meant is that given the choice, if buying episode 2, TF2, and portal off steam amounts to $50 and the cost of the orange box and that combination are the same, it makes the orange box a better deal because the costs are equal but you receive more in the orange box.

This is exactly why I pointed out that common sense states that valve will price the three games formerly in the black box competitively. It's in their best interests to do so. Even if they sell fewer copies overall, by selling the majority through steam, they receive a much larger cut of the money because they skip the distributors. The announcement of the cancellation of the black box also came hand in hand with a slight price drop in the orange box so I wouldn't be at all surprised to see the combination of games in the former black box close to $30.

I guess I just don't understand what you're complaining about. We knew all along that Episode 2 was going to be priced higher than Episode 1 due to increased costs from the source overhaul and the inclusion of TF2 and portal. Valve is a business after all and they're not going to give us those things for free as you seem to have inferred. If the price is the same as it would have been - again, I'm guessing $30-40 - just broken down into parts (say $15 for episode 2, $10 for TF2, and $5 for portal) then why is this an issue? It's still the same sum total you would have paid for the black box. The only difference is that you will have to purchase them separately via steam instead of having the option of purchasing a box in a brick and mortar store.
 

Frosteh

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A good example of what they're up to is with Ep2 and it's added value packs, in reality Ep2 will be a hell of a lot shorter than HL2 definately at least half the time but probably more like 1/3, and a lot of the content we will have already seen, all the meshes and textures will be re-used etc.

Don't forget that while TF2 and portal "add value" that you're not paying for a full game when you pay for Episode 2, you're paying for an episode for more or less the same price as a full game, TF2 and portal aren't really value added at all, they're required in the first place to justify the price on the black box. It's an easy thing to forget.
 
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