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Old May 3, 2021, 04:19 PM   #31
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koralis
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Originally Posted by Jet Black View Post
I don't think I buy this argument because developers are not forced to go through Steam but they choose to go through Steam because typically Steam = Sales.
That's strongly implying monopoly power and how they can distort the market because of it.

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Epic is literally luring developers with money to come to their store to build market share through exclusivity. That seems far more underhanded than just being the best at the job and letting the customers choose where they wish to shop.
If Steam is the best just because customers prefer it, they shouldn't need contracts stipulating price controls. It's that stipulation which could land them in some trouble. If that stipulation didn't exist then this would be a non-starter.


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If you want a store that has a huge customer base, go to Epic. But be warned: They haven't invested in their storefront, they don't advertise games well, they don't have a cart, they don't have forums, they don't have mods, addons, etc. But you will earn more money.
But a small number of sales because you can't lower the price enough to get people to buy on Epic instead of Steam. If I had the option of downloading on Steam for all the goodies at full price, or of forgoing those goodies to save 15% on Epic, then Steam's dominance could be said to be based merely on providing what the customer wants. If the cost on Epic = cost on Steam except for exclusive titles, that isn't true. With price parity, you will always choose the more-full-featured option. Without price parity the consumer can make a decision on what they value more.

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Seems like a system that is working as intended.
To keep Steam as the number 1 PC download vendor forever? Yes. That's the definition of monopoly power.
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Old May 3, 2021, 04:27 PM   #32
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Seems like a reach to me, but lawyers will be lawyers. So, the courts should force a private company to change the business model they've been using for years?
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Everyone jumping on the platform suing bandwagon
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Old May 3, 2021, 05:57 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by koralis View Post
To keep Steam as the number 1 PC download vendor forever? Yes. That's the definition of monopoly power.
I likely don't understand the definition of "monopoly power" or I don't disagree with it because I think that Steam has put themselves in a position where they are the best, but they are not unbeatable nor are they unchallenged.

I guess where I'm lost is why does someone get to sue someone else because they are the best at something? If they have a superior service and want to charge more for it and have contracts that stipulate controls, as a developer (or publisher) I'm still free to take it or leave it. I don't know retail that well, but I'm sure it's similar. I can't afford to pay for the front kiosk, eye-level display at the best store, so I won't sell as well. Or I do pay more and sell lots. Should we be suing retail for this because they are controlling what sells and hence the market?
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Old May 3, 2021, 08:26 PM   #34
koralis
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Originally Posted by Jet Black View Post
I likely don't understand the definition of "monopoly power" or I don't disagree with it because I think that Steam has put themselves in a position where they are the best, but they are not unbeatable nor are they unchallenged.

I guess where I'm lost is why does someone get to sue someone else because they are the best at something? If they have a superior service and want to charge more for it and have contracts that stipulate controls, as a developer (or publisher) I'm still free to take it or leave it. I don't know retail that well, but I'm sure it's similar. I can't afford to pay for the front kiosk, eye-level display at the best store, so I won't sell as well. Or I do pay more and sell lots. Should we be suing retail for this because they are controlling what sells and hence the market?
Let's break it down. Can a developer choose not to release on Steam? No... Not really. They are giving up too many customers That Will Never Buy from anyone else. Most games will never break even without steam, let alone be successful. Steam has monopoly power.

Now, because you MUST release on steam, they can dictate any terms they want. The terms they dictate are a high cut of your revenue and other terms that you would likely never agree to if you had real choice in the market.

Steam could demand 40% and it wouldn't change anything but generate some bad PR. No publisher would walk away because they can't if they want to stay in business.

The suit is designed to get the court to determine that steam has monopoly power AND is using it the cement their dominance, ultimately hurting the industry and ultimately consumers. Once that happens then the department of Justice and/or the courts would impose changes to their terms or operating scheme so that they can't abuse their dominant position.

Basically this is exactly the sort of things that antitrust law was created to deal with. The fact that we are all used to it doesn't make it good.

Now, maybe the courts decide that valve is doing nothing harmful and let it go. Until you actually have discovery and the arguments you can't say. The problem with becoming dominent in your industry is that you are held to a higher standard.
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Old May 3, 2021, 09:51 PM   #35
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I see your point, but I still think that the thought process is far more conjectural than should Steam have started buying up all the other storefronts and made an actual monopoly where developers literally couldn't sell anywhere else.
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