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  1. What you're saying is the ideal environment were these companies are competing within a legal framework and customers are free to make decisions based on objective information given to them. That's how it should be but the current situation is quite away from that ideal universe. We're currently in a situation where: The Shenmue 3 game was sold as a definite Steam title to customers. People bought the title under the impression that it will be delivered to them using Steam "when it's done". Developer/Publisher suddenly out of nowhere has announced that instead of Steam, the game will be distributed trough Epic which objectively is a worse option for most customers. Developer/Publisher has refused to give any refunds to anyone so that customers could possibly later buy the Steam version. They've also been dishonest and blatantly lied about the merits of the EGS by calling it "better option" instead of just being honest about it and saying e.g. "we needed more money to develop this game". Customers have clearly been mislead by the company with false promises/advertising, the company has refused to issue refunds and they're not in a proper communication with their customers/backers. There could be a basis for a lawsuit against the Developer/Publisher in this case. Depending on the intention and context, this could turn out badly for everyone... Well, it actually already has turned badly for the customers whom were unable to vote with their wallets and make the decision like the "don't like it, don't buy it" proverb instructs and thus your stance falls apart. I agree we should support GOG more. This isn't really about some "love-fest for Valve/Steam" but rather consumers being able to receive the agreed deal without sudden alterations. Furthermore Valve does a lot of work to keep Steam a market leader and having that position isn't simple. Any (even a minor) change can cause Valve to lose a lot of business which is why they move slowly and often play the long game instead of going for short term gains.
  2. I think you might be moving the goal posts now from "what are the ways to get certain games" into "are we absolutely forced to buy things from EGS". I might have been bit unclear with my initial text, sorry. But yes, I do agree with you that we aren't forced by the gun point to buy stuff from EGS and there are simply too many games for most people to even notice and play on the market right now (which is a problem and EGS probably might be part of the solution in that case). One of the things of EGS is that game prices probably will not decrease as fast as they do on Steam because AAA and AA and middle market B category games don't have to compete against unfiltered unrestricted torrent of garbage titles and visibility at Steam. Of course this isn't proven yet but we have good reasons to estimate that this will be the case. Comparing Steam (and its lack of features we've come to expect nowadays) from 2003 to EGS 2019 is bit dishonest, in my opinion. The comparison should be done from 2003 Steam to its competitors at the time. Steam wasn't the first on the market but they were the best by providing customers with features like shopping cart, a backup utility, global pricing and many community features such as forums. Many of these things were not provided by Direct2Drive and other digital game stores back then. All major digital game shops these days provide additional features such as achievements and have done so since they were released. However in 2019 Epic didn't even bother to make any of these their priority and still haven't done them. Also I think that person shouldn't use oneself as an primary example (or exception to a general trend) when having a discussion of something else such as digital gaming stores and the diverse & global PC gaming community. Most people on the globe are likely to not own high speed and low latency internet connections which we can see from the statistics. In 2018 there are still people who have to go to a public library or their friend's place to download a large size games into external HDD so that they can come home and install it. Steam's backup utility is a great benefit for them. I kind of like how you're proving the point I made that almost all Steam competitors don't provide as good quality service. And there are good reasons for that.
  3. I just have to point out that the EGS harvesting information was partially BS, IIRC. Yes, they were accessing your Steam friends list by very dubious means but apparently the information didn't go further than Epic. Of course that's also wrong since customers weren't giving their consent by opting in (rather than having to opt-out) by default and we cannot actually know that for sure so assuming worst is probably ok thing to do. I'd doubt the claims that they take and upload your hardware information and software information without your permission and share it with Tencent since they could get into deep shit with U.S. officials for doing that like Electronic Arts did when they did something similar. (There was a case of EA's Origin actually taking a lot of information about you and how & when you use your computer and then just running with it.) So this is the one point were I'd hold my horses at least somewhat. At least because of that incident we started to get information about how Epic mistreats their employees by making them do over time and work during the weekends without proper compensation. I'd say that is far bigger scandal at this time. This ties into the problem of EGS breaking down PC gaming communities rather than building them which I mentioned before along side the privacy and security issues (such as stolen accounts and weak account protections).
  4. In the DLC, CD, DVD, BR, etc. scenario you can still buy the product from any other store, you're just not getting all the pre-order bonuses unless you pre-order several copies each from different store but you are able to get the product itself. In the case of Epic Store, there are certain games which might never appear on other stores (at least for now, like you pointed out). Or will drop the Steam specifically only to get some of the Epic money. The TV Shows and Films which appear only on specific Video Streaming platforms tend to be almost always funded and created by the said Video Streaming Platform. Netflix and Amazon have their own studios creating their own content only for them. The trouble with Epic is that they're not making their exclusive content themselves or even funding other studios to create new exclusive content for them. Almost no one is complaining about Fortnite being an Epic Store exclusive. There weren't many complaints when Valve put their own content exclusively to their own platform. Epic gets these complaints because they purchase out games people got interested and after they were announced to Steam and other places. They're behaving like a bully. As far as I know EGS has both actual real exclusivities, private timed-exclusivities, publicly timed-exclusivities and then open market titles. Epic is giving both pure cash injections and also higher percentages for publishers and developers, if I've understood it correctly. They were also giving plain money for people to that way get the set prices of new games artificially lower. That cheapens out the value new games which actually hurts the developers but can marginally (if even that) benefit big publishers e.g. in form of boosting initial sales figures (which makes market investors and speculators happy and rises stock prices of publicly traded gaming companies) with negative effect of lower long-period sales (which hurts developers in a long-term more than the publisher). Check the recent Epic Summer Sale scandal for more information on that. It resulted several developers pulling their games out of Epic Games Store or at least breaking the exclusivity and timed-exclusivity deals they had made.
  5. The problem people have isn't that Epic Games Store is attempting to compete with Steam or which stores games initially appear in. The problem is the strategy Epic has chosen to try and compete. It will bite them into ass in a long run. At this moment Epic isn't even directly competing with Valve in the quality of the services which is the only thing that should matter. Instead Epic has decided to create a "monopoly" around certain games by bribing developers and publishers to take them off of the open markets to closed and limited Epic Store or at least off from the Steam. This is their first mistake which also influences prices of games in longer run. Second mistake is that Epic's dealings are causing a lots of bad blood between gaming communities and developer/publisher relations. Publishers might have promised that people will be able to have all the titles from the same game series in a single store. However they might switch exclusively to Epic store one week before the release and without any warning breaking their earlier promises and expectations of customers. People whom already paid for the Steam version thought that they will get a Steam version, with all the benefits Steam provides such as achievements and existing social connections, will in fact not get the game on Steam and might not be able to play with their friends. Publishers and developers whom break their promises like this cause people to grab their pitchforks and torches and it could very well lead to a civil war(s) which might destroy the fabric that holds PC communities together. Epic's third big mistake imo is that they're forcing people against their free will to use what is clearly inferior and poorer service with less features, higher downtime, poorer UI design with usability issues, security and privacy concerns and then some. Even some of the very essential things you'd expect any regular web shop to normally have such as a shopping cart just aren't there (yet). It annoys people to a great extent. Epic should have put work and added at least the bare minimum features we've come to expect before starting their aggressive behaviour. Epic should give people a better option by being the shop which replicates all the features Steam has and then some and offering higher quality service. At least they should have made their store have the essential features first before taking this current strategy which has cost them their reputation. I can iterate these points more if you want. Finally let us also not forget that Steam already has lots of competition in form of Origin, UPlay, Twitch, Bethesda Launcher, Battle.net, GOG Galaxy, Discord, etc. but they all have issues and aren't providing service with as high quality as Steam. The very reason Steam is successful is because they're providing the best service(s) currently. Valve is not perfect and Steam does have some genuine issues such as customer support being garbage half the time. But they're still the best service provider on the market and Valve does support and think of their communities and customers even if it always doesn't seem to be the case. Epic is currently doing the very opposite by breaking things down.
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