Direct2Drive was the only real oposition to Steam. GOG is small and limited, and Impulse is taken over by the evil empire.
This left Steam as the one basket to put all the eggs. The one basket the whole town will use to put the eggs of the whole town.
Yea, nice. We love Steam, except these that have not surrended his ships to this flavour of DRM.
But putting all the eggs in one basket is a terrible idea. What if Steam dies? then in a single event, we will lose control over a big fat part of our game collection.
I am listing here a collection of doomsday scenarios where this can happend:
“No fresh blood”. The people that make Steam be Steam gets old and retire, the new guys don’t make sales, or turn the steam client into GameSpy Arcade 2.0. Perhaps Valve fail to hire new people, so is the lack of people and not the lost of the spirit that kill it.
“Bought by Microsoft”. Microsoft or any other big entity can buy Steam, and kill it by turning into a platform that you don’t want to be part. Sales suffer for it, and is finnaly closed. Microsoft has created and killed already a lot of digital downlods services. Even if Gabe and these people don’t want to sell, will not live forever or always be the ones taking decisions. People get old and want to retire.
“Patent Nightmare”. A small patent troll company in minesota, withouth any products whatsoever, claim 2.9B in damages to Steam, because have some broad patent, like “adquiring games trought digital networks, paying using credit cards”. Other patent troll companies smell the blood and attack too with more lawsuits. Steam is not inmediatelly killed, but is turn into a unprofitable mess that can’t do things the normal way, because the normal way is patented.
“Cracking Attack”. A group of hackers manage to break all the Steam protocols. Both users and publishers lost confidence in the platform and abandon it.
“ISP’s reign of terror”. ISP’s in USA continue billing more and more for the same bandwith. At some point, the USA digital download market stop making sense, as make game more expensive as download than buying the box.
“Sea change”. All publishers create his own crappy shop to sell games onlines, Steam is abandoned withouth new games to sell, except some indies,and must close because is not a profitable operation.
I have cleanup the wording of some options and added “Sea change” to the obituary list.
I think Gamersgate is a great alternative to Steam. And if Steam does go down? I probably wouldnt miss it much. Well I would, but not because my games had all disappeared because most of those games were purchased and ridiculously low prices and to be honest my backlog needs to be culled anyways.
Then I’ll miss playing all my Steamworks games, as a worst case. Assuming licensing doesn’t gum those up, and assuming Christmas and Summer sales keep going the way they do, I shouldn’t suffer too much.
This. There’s no point in viewing purchased games as a ‘collection’. Games are not art!
If Steam goes down and I suddenly feel an irresistible terrible urge to play one of dozens of games I have there and hadn’t installed in years, I’ll just rebuy it on GamersGate or GOG or whatever for 2 - 5 currency units. If I can’t find it I’ll still probably live through it.