Steam Stuff - What Has the Digital Distribution Giant Done Lately?


#362

Sadly you don’t make business decisions based on developers needing extra cash. I would prefer the big publishers not each run off and make a separate store and new crappy client I have to install. It’s not a tall ask to want my library to be in one place.


#363

You’d think there’d be third party apps that logged into all your storefronts and presented you with an amalgamated library.


#364

Hah, Trillian for video game storfronts. You’d never get the updates. It would be nice though, a single interface for all of them. I really don’t care who is getting what cut.


#365

I’ve seen at least one, I think it was called Launchbox. But I was not impressed with it when I tried it.


#366

FWIW the new kongregate store (kartridge) is a 100% cut to indies for the first $10,000 (IIRC). Not that anyone whatsoever is buying games there yet but…


#367

I’m surprised the AAA rates aren’t already the case.


#368

It could be worse. They could be getting nothing. Pre-Steam it was very difficult to launch an indie game. No retail space and no consolidated consumer base. Argue that they should bring down the percentage now all you like but developers - indie and AAA alike - are paying for access to a customer base that Valve largely built/attracted on their own.

Most businesses offer volume discounts. I fail to see why Steam should not.

On a personal note I think Steam should be doing more to earn their % with more aggressive curation rather than charging a lower percentage but continuing to let the store turn into a dumping ground of shite.


#369

For what it’s worth, anyone can negotiate a different agreement with Valve, and I would imagine most larger publishers already weren’t paying 30%. Their default arrangement is definitely not a “take it or leave it” situation, as long as you have leverage.


#370

12% seems like a more fair take from the store than 30%:

While running Fortnite we learned a lot about the cost of running a digital store on PC. The math is quite simple: we pay around 2.5% for payment processing for major payment methods, less than 1.5% for CDN costs (assuming all games are updated as often as Fortnite), and between 1% and 2% for variable operating and customer support costs. Fixed costs of developing and supporting the platform become negligible at a large scale. In our analysis, stores charging 30% are marking up their costs by 300% to 400%. But with developers receiving 88% of revenue and Epic receiving 12%, this store will be a profitable business for us.


#371

Over the past few weeks, the company has removed the store pages of several visual novels, including cross-dressing yaoi romance Cross Love , catholic school adult visual novel Hello Goodbye , “story about the love between siblings” (yuck) Imolicious , and cat girl game MaoMao Discovery Team . The developers of these games all claim to have received similar emails stating that their games could not be released on Steam.

“While we can ship most titles on Steam, we found that this one does feature themes of child exploitation,” read the email received by Top Hat Studios, makers of Cross Love . “Because of that, the app has been banned and cannot be reused.”

There are a couple ties that bind the games in question: 1) Cross Love , Hello Goodbye , and Imolicious feature school settings, and 2) all four of the aforementioned games contain adult elements and center around anime-styled characters who appear young—in some cases uncomfortably so. However, their developers have taken to protesting the bans on social media, saying that their games have been misunderstood. They all claim they’ve reached out to Valve since receiving their bans, only to be met with silence.

Oh no. Where will people go for their 900-year-old dragon sex games?


#372

Correct.


#373

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#374

If you were steam and you asked me? I would say ban all the sex games. It annoys me that they are on there, and nothing good comes from it. There are separate sites they can get those games from.

I am no prude. But they are just cluttering up my game list and frankly they just seem dumb.

(gosh I seem like a cranky ol curmudgeon)


#375

Heh, I guess they didn’t really mean to have an anything goes policy after all. I guess if their employees hate it enough think it should not exist it does matter.


#376

They just mean “anything goes” to appease the alt-right. No sex games, but shooting minorities is totally cool.


#377

I dunno menzo. Perhaps we should just let the sex games just settle. I mean I don’t care about them. But they just clutter up stuff in steam and makes the whole thing seem trashy.

But to quote the immortal Bill Murray “I am willing to learn” - so I guess well see.


#378

The point is Valve made this ridiculous statement about them not policing their store, the games doesn’t represent them as a company and their presence doesn’t reflect them and less than a year later they decide sex is their line… because those games are not illegal and they’re not trolling. It’s just… hypocrisy. Nobody made them make those statements, but they did. I’m sure shooting up Jews, killing cops… all those will be fine but dear god not toon sex.


#379

What Valve could have done is to say “look, this is illegal, so we are not selling it”, and then if the developer want to dispute the decision, Valve just send the game to the censor of EACH country the developer wants to sell, and ask the developer to get clarification from EACH country whether that kind of game is legal, out of the developer’s pocket.

So basically Valve could have buried the contentious cases with paperwork/make them very expensive to sell. In the odd case whether the developer got the explicit approval from censor, then Valve just have to bite the bullet and take it on the chin. (AFAIK Japan is oddly tolerant, legally, of sexual manga/anime involving clearly underage children, the defense is that those are images and no one was harmed.)


#380

A superior solution would be to just identify them and provide (working) filters to let people avoid them if they so choose. They’re not harming anything and the good thing that comes from it is that people can buy their weird porn games from a trustworthy store and have them backed up in the cloud with all their other games. And while I don’t think there’s a lot out there right now that’s actually adult in themes and writing without being blatantly prurient, I think we could see more of that kind of thing if there were a major sales venue that wouldn’t treat an AO rating from the ESRB as a tacit ban.

I mean, I’m not saying it would be easy - I for one would like to be able to filter out products that are about sex while retaining products that merely contain sex or nudity, which can be a tricky thing to distinguish from a store perspective. For example. But I’d much rather they do it than ban shit off their store based on arbitrary moral decisions.

As to these specific games, maybe Valve is worried about running afoul of SOFTA?


#381

I never see them. Didn’t even know they were there.