Official E-Guides = Massive rip-off = Fuck you steam

Not only that fans are unable to purchase certain official strategy guides in the form of a book with actual paper, they are now being forced logging INTO STEAM TO BE ABLE TO READ THEM*! Semi-actual example = Shogun 2.

Guess they should at least be cheeper due to, well, the fact there are no associated printing and distribution costs. Haha, nono, they aren’t.

I’ve said FUCK YOU STEAM when they started and I had to wait for the HL2 install being finished for days and I say FUCK YOU STEAM, FUCK YOU EVEN HARDER, now.


  • Of course you could also print the hundreds of pages and MAKE YOUR OWN GUIDE!!! Great business idea. Customers love that.


How it does work? In what format is the guide? PDF?

Steams “Official” guides are in a webpdf, usable only through the internets and you are unable to download them (Without hacking I assume).

You acces them through Steam like you’d acces a particular game’s forum, storepage and the like, with the menu in the right side.

While I felt a bit less outrage about it, I was disappointed when I bought my fallout new vegas guide to be sure.

No, only available in some drmish format (you even have to print the pages one after another). If they had put it on PDF it would have been available two days before officially available of course, so I kind of understand that.

This is only about maximizing profits. Unfortunatelly I doubt these kind of guides will reach the sales figures of guides you actually can read on paper (the best DRM one can imagine).

edit: what Razgon said

Odds are it’s the publishers forcing rules and restrictions on Valve rather than Valve delighting in making customers lives difficult.

Ugh, I never buy buy a guide like that.

In fact with this system you are not buying the guide, but a pass to access to guide’s web, and only through a specific DRM.

Yeah. I’d imagine the underlying cause is due to the publishers not wanting to undercut their retail product rather than (or at least more than) Steam wanting to bilk their customers. Valve using their DRM to protect the content is just sensible once you step past the initial hurdle of accepting their value (which, honestly, I usually don’t - not that guides aren’t often well written and enjoyable, just that spending $20 in order to know what’s around the next bend isn’t often my idea of maximizing my fun).

Why would you buy a guide when you can just alt-tab over to the wiki?

Personally, this was the first guide I ever bought. It was part of the steam summer sale for Fallout: New vegas and I thought it would be fun to try out… I was wrong ;-)

I don’t know why you’d pay for an electronic guide. Fan guides always end up more comprehensive, accurate and up to date. The main reason to buy a published guide is for the pleasure of holding the physical tome in your hands.

I guess if you really need a comprehensive guide on day 1 release, then official guides might be the only way to go.

You might not be missing anything with the Shogun 2 guide. I grabbed one of the earlier Prima Total War guides from a bargain bin, and it was a terrible cynical cash in. It looked like it could easily have been written without ever playing the game (just pictures and stats). Plus theres some really dedicated Total War fansites out there.


Official game guides are usually poor at best and rubbish at worst. Except for the handful which aren’t. The good ones manage to be very good indeed, and make for nice reading material away from the game.

Doublejump did this online limitation with their ebook guides. It was a big disappointment for me; I love their guides for the Disgaea and Persona series but they are expensive to import to the UK. Sometimes the guide cost more than the game! An ebook version would have been a decent solution if I could put it on my ereader. When DRM means that I must stay logged into a website there’s no advantage over gameFAQs.

Gamersgate offers official guides for download and from time to time I idly wonder how that works. Since it’s the likes of Prima and Bradygames I expect they are also online only. They cost more than the printed versions - I’d love to know who actually buys them.

Not sure what’s considered etiquette regarding self promotion by nobodies like myself, so if this isn’t allowed please forget this paragraph exists. If people want a Shogun II guide, and if it’s not frowned upon, I can provide a link to the one I did. People seem to be finding it pretty helpful, and at 53,000 words it covers quite a lot of material. If it’s not appropriate forget I mentioned it.

Your guide is so awesome I’ll link to it for you. Frogbeastegg’s Guide to Total War: Shogun 2. Completely free, naturally.

Everyone is somebody, Mr. Egg. ;-)

Since developers are encouraged to self promote here unless its a one-shot on to the next website kinda deal, so I assume its no problem. Then again, I’m not in charge (Man things would change if I was!)

Official strategy guides went out with 1200 baud modems. The internet is your friend.

The only real value official strategy guides have usually had for me is their existence as a physical thing I can use away from my PC, with most completely surpassed by fan FAQs and similar.

I did buy Doublejump guides religiously, but once they went to an online format, that was it for that.

Thanks for that, Matt.

Razgon, I’m Miss Egg :)

I didn’t want to be that annoying low post count person who crops up screaming “Look at what I did everyone!” while shoving unwanted links in people’s faces. Been lurking for years, read the forums nearly every day, and very seldom post. I know that promoting your own game is welcomed here provided you aren’t a fly-by-nighter, not so sure about things like guides.

No, thank you. Your guide to Rome is the only reason I was ever able to figure it out and nearly win a game. Finding out you were working on a Shogun 2 guide was fantastic and believe me, I was checking for it every day for a while there. I’m glad to point that guide out over here. :)

The only guide I’ve bought in recent memory was the one for Fallout 3, but that was because it was a handsome hardcover book. I have no idea why anyone would ever pay for a pdf game guide since anything electronic is going to pale in comparison to a wiki or fan walkthrough.

That’d be cheating.

Exactly this. I also loved thick instruction manuals made of paper and now since they have transformed into the ususal PDF somewhere on the discs which I can’t be bothered to read on screen, official strategy guides fill(ed) the niche, especially regarding the TW series. Of course they are also pretty poor as Miss frogbeastegg mentioned but you get at least an overview about the different units and buildings.

For collectors and book lovers (aka people who like to read on actual paper) their value is independent of their content mostly.

The Portal 2 was very nice.

The DA2 one from Piggyback studios was overly fru-fruey making the text small and unreadable.