Dillon

Never liked the STEAM concept

Recommended Posts

After reading PMDG's OP-ED it brought back why I never liked the Steam concept.  Now with the advent of a version of FS being 64Bit and the likely forcing of add-on developers to use that platform to distribute thus cutting into profits it's more apparent my dissatisfaction with Steam.  Many people praised Steam as the best way to get software to users but realities like PMDG's post is insightful to it's usefulness in this community.

Share this post


Link to post
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Steam is good for games, I'm using it for 10 years and love it. For another kind of software or simulators, I'm not sure if is a good option, and after reading the PMDG topic, they say something true and fair.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post

Perhaps even more important than the quality and capabilities of a new sim is the business model it follows... will users be required to add-on (whether it be payware or freeware) thru the distribution system?  If so will the sim survive?  Time will tell...

Greg

Share this post


Link to post

Tbh, it does have its advantages, for instance when it comes to DRM: 3PDs don't have to develop their own protection, but can rely upon steam to do the job for them. That means: Not having to switch off antivirus software, not needing to beg devs for additional activation keys only because you have a new PC or did a re-install, etc. Steam refunds policy applies to all purchases, so if you find out a specific addon doesn't work on your machine, there's no need to beg devs to take it back. So it is very convient for users. I wouldn't want to go back to the times when I had to download every single community-made item for every single game I owned from a different obscure website.

It is just a tradeoff between having more sales, but less profit on steam or less sales with more profit outside of steam. How the numbers work out, everybody has to figure out him or herself - especially when another distributor charges an additional 30% on top of the steam fee.

Share this post


Link to post

Steam is great.  It may not fit the model PMDG require and i completely understand that, but Steam itself is a fantastic idea and piece of software

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, WotanUK said:

Steam is great.  It may not fit the model PMDG require and i completely understand that, but Steam itself is a fantastic idea and piece of software

Agreed!

1 hour ago, Dillon said:

After reading PMDG's OP-ED it brought back why I never liked the Steam concept.  Now with the advent of a version of FS being 64Bit and the likely forcing of add-on developers to use that platform to distribute thus cutting into profits it's more apparent my dissatisfaction with Steam.  Many people praised Steam as the best way to get software to users but realities like PMDG's post is insightful to it's usefulness in this community.

Respectfully, I must disagree...

Personally I love Steam, and I'm trying prioritize my purchases so I can centralise my games. The refund policy, the handling of DRM and installation, updating and inspecting integrety of your games. All in all, I like Steam - especially compared to other similar services (Origin, UPlay etc...).

Of course, this is just my humble opinion. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post

Every version of MSFS I have ever bought, from FSW95 to FSX, I bought in a box from Game on the high street. In the days before widespread broadband Internet, I bought a fair few addons that way as well. 

As we know, since FSX was released in 2006, the bricks and mortar high street shop has largely gone the way of VHS and audio cassettes. Steam is just a 21st century shop window.

PMDG have a right to a view on whether that particular shop window is worth being in financially, of course. But Randazzo's point about needing cash to reinvest applies as much to Dovetail as it does to PMDG. Let's not forget that MS ditched FS because it simply wasn't economically viable to sink millions in to developing a platform to sell for £30-£50 once every two years (if they were lucky, given that there are still people here who haven't yet upgraded from FS9!) and not get anything out of the third-party market.

DTG so far seem to have learned some of the lessons of MS Flight. Whether it will work in the long term remains to be seen, but Steam is not unique as a concept: there was a bit of fuss about the Apple App Store, Google Play Store etc a few years ago and now they are the norm if you own a smartphone or tablet.

PMDG have done a lot of good work, that is certain. But they are not the beginning and the end of the flight simulation community. There have been other devs before and there will be others afterward. 

FSW is a mass-market product on a mass-market platform. However good P3D is, it is not either of these things and due to the EULA, can never be. Can PMDG afford to not be selling to the mass market going forward?

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post

What's good for the masses is not always good for the simmer!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post

Steam is a great platform and makes installing and keeping track of addons very simple. The way I see it is that PMDG don't want Steam to take a cut of the sales for selling on their platform. That's all it is.

Share this post


Link to post

What I think is the issue here is the high costs associated to the Steam distribution channel. If the Steam platform is interested in growing itself, they would need to approach all single developers and offer something financially feasible. Forcing, pushing someone to do something not feasible is not going to be a successful effort at the end. So please, DTG, with that in mind, sit down and negotiate in fair conditions and do your homework!.

Cheers, Ed

 

Share this post


Link to post
6 minutes ago, Pineapple_Wizard said:

Steam is a great platform and makes installing and keeping track of addons very simple. The way I see it is that PMDG don't want Steam to take a cut of the sales for selling on their platform. That's all it is.

I agree. And i personally find it not very objective from AVSIM that Mr. Randazzo´s post was pinned on the front page. There was already a lively discussion on the PMDG forum. I do not see the necessity to post it again.

Regards

Christian

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, Dillon said:

Now with the advent of a version of FS being 64Bit and the likely forcing of add-on developers to use that platform to distribute thus cutting into profits it's more apparent my dissatisfaction with Steam.

There seems to be a disconnect with reality in many of these ruminations...

DTG has made it clear that any developer can continue to sell via their own online stores, provided they also make that same product available for purchase via the Steam portal.

From my perspective valued customers will continue to shop at the developer's store. For the most part those who buy via the Steam portal would likely never have become a customer otherwise! :cool:

Granted, net-net from Steam sales would be less than selling direct, but it seems to me that even so it's a net win-win for the developer. Revenue earned that otherwise would have never been earned is a plus.

Now if DTG did insist (as MS did!) to limit sales to the Steam portal, that would not be a good deal at all. Fortunately, that is not the case!

  • Upvote 5

Share this post


Link to post

Domae001 (above) hit the nail on the head. The world gets bizarre pretty quickly when you are dealing with many many vendors each with their own DRM, distribution, licensing, keys etc. Every time there is an update, addition, change you are off on a search to see what you need to do and half the time it does not work or the connections are terrible. This all makes it hard to mange and control for the user and most of these vendors do a poor job of it because they are aircraft and scenery producers and not "platform" or e-commerce developers. so... Steam all the way!

Share this post


Link to post
2 minutes ago, Rivet said:

Every time there is an update, addition, change you are off on a search to see what you need to do and half the time it does not work or the connections are terrible. This all makes it hard to mange and control for the user and most of these vendors do a poor job of it because they are aircraft and scenery producers and not "platform" or e-commerce developers.

The exact reason I abandoned Orbx for years until they introduced some sanity with Orbx central

Share this post


Link to post

Every time a new Flight Sim Platform comes out their is always 'The Sky Is Falling' types. 

When FS5.1 jumped to FS95 everyone went nuts because that meant Flight Simmers were forced from DOS to Windows.....but now that has become the norm hasn't it

DTG has been really accommodating from the details they have released so far. Buy from their store, or don't. those options are available to you. 

I for one really like ORBX FTX Central and what they have done. If the success from that moves to PMDG or others then great. If you still want to purchase from separate vendors and save an archive and uninstall and reinstall from your hoard.....you can still do that too, your sky isn't falling after all.

Share this post


Link to post

I can understand PMDG's point of view, as well as people who want to go through Steam for their games.

PMDG certainly does make some complex additions for flight simulation, and IMHO, Steam and DTG want a cut of PMDG's profits, without any investment beyond a hyperlink to the product on their website.  It seems Mr. Randazzo objects to the amount they want for their cut and trying to restrict his access to the "game" marketshare.

So, let's say they release another aircraft, which can go anywhere from $60-$130 (depending on your platform).  Seems Steam and DTG want somewhere between 30-65% (?) to allow you access to the PMDG product through their store.  I think PMDG thinks that is way too big a bite into their margins, rightfully so.  

Share this post


Link to post
14 minutes ago, BuddyDog said:

PMDG certainly does make some complex additions for flight simulation, and IMHO, Steam and DTG want a cut of PMDG's profits, without any investment beyond a hyperlink to the product on their website. 

That is incorrect. Steam does not "provide a hyperlink to the product..." All products obtained via the Steam portal are hosted on Steam's servers, and Steam pays for the costs of hosting and download. Steam also handles the installation process and provides the DRM protection.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, n4gix said:

DTG has made it clear that any developer can continue to sell via their own online stores, provided they also make that same product available for purchase via the Steam portal.

The point is: why FORCE any developer to sell on steam. Any restrictive business model of a flight sim will have negative effects.

DTG is shooting themselves in the foot with this attitude.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, n4gix said:

There seems to be a disconnect with reality in many of these ruminations...

DTG has made it clear that any developer can continue to sell via their own online stores, provided they also make that same product available for purchase via the Steam portal.

From my perspective valued customers will continue to shop at the developer's store. For the most part those who buy via the Steam portal would likely never have become a customer otherwise! :cool:

Granted, net-net from Steam sales would be less than selling direct, but it seems to me that even so it's a net win-win for the developer. Revenue earned that otherwise would have never been earned is a plus.

Now if DTG did insist (as MS did!) to limit sales to the Steam portal, that would not be a good deal at all. Fortunately, that is not the case!

 

Didn't think about this and very true.  I guess PMDG can upcharge for sales on Steam and offer a lower price for sales on their own website to make this work.  

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, BuddyDog said:

 

PMDG certainly does make some complex additions for flight simulation, and IMHO, Steam and DTG want a cut of PMDG's profits, without any investment beyond a hyperlink to the product on their website.

developing the sim counts as an investment too. not to mention that pmdg has already almost certainly benefited from DTG's continued maintenance of the FSX platform, it has added hundreds of thousands of users well after FSX's original retail life was over. how many people here use the steam version to fly their pmdg stuff? i'd bet it's a fairly high percentage. many of them like me, who has given DTG a total of $5 while spending something like $300 on pmdg stuff....

i'm all for developers getting their fair cut of things but i do think they may be missing the point of steam which is that it makes it easy to expose your products to a mass market that already has their payment info conveniently setup to do a 1 or 2 click purchase of your products, with no need to develop or host any infrastructure on your own. heck it was only a year or two ago that pmdg wouldn't even let you re-download their products, to save on bandwidth costs.

4 minutes ago, Silicus said:

The point is: why FORCE any developer to sell on steam. Any restrictive business model of a flight sim will have negative effects.

DTG is shooting themselves in the foot with this attitude.

you could just as easily argue that any developer who doesn't want their products on steam is shooting themselves in the foot.

it's like saying you don't want walmart selling your product on their shelves because they only pay wholesale prices and you'd rather open your own mom and pop store to compete. maybe your per product profit is much higher but the potential market size is orders of magnitude smaller.

anyway most of this stuff is speculation, without knowing any details about the actual cut they want or what any big name 3rd party dev sales are like, nobody really knows. it would be interesting to compare how many steam versions of products are sold compared to the 3rd party hosted ones for sure ...but probably DTG is the only one with comprehensive numbers on that..

cheers,-andy crosby

 

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
20 minutes ago, Silicus said:

The point is: why FORCE any developer to sell on steam.

Because sales through the DTG Steam store earn DTG a slice of the profit. Some might argue that this is a good thing, because if DTG can make money out of FS in the long run, they will continue investing and continue developing.

If nobody sells through Steam, DTG -- who will have invested significantly in creating the platform in the first place -- earn nothing in the long term, just like Microsoft discovered with FSX. And if DTG can't make any money, they won't bother sinking any more cash in to updating the platform in future.

The alternative, I guess, could be that DTG demand commercial developers pay them some form of licencing fee. This actually would probably suit a large established outfit like PMDG because a) they could keep 100% of the profit from all of their sales by selling only through their own website, and b) it would likely be a barrier to new entrants to the marketplace who may not be able to afford or be willing to risk the cost of paying some form of commercial licence to DTG without a proven/established product base.

Share this post


Link to post
2 minutes ago, skelsey said:

Because sales through the DTG Steam store earn DTG a slice of the profit. Some might argue that this is a good thing, because if DTG can make money out of FS in the long run, they will continue investing and continue developing.

 

Respectfully, I see it the other way around. Flight sims do live from add-ons. Can you image FSX/P3D/X-plane as 'closed' products, no add-ons allowed? They would be nothing. They would be dead.

They are only around, because of endless amounts of free- and payware. Each user can improve the sim according to the liking/budget.

More add-ons = more sales of the core sim = more profit for the core sim developer. To try to get money from add-on developers is just greedy and very short sighted. The more add-ons are available the more sales of the core sim.

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Just now, Silicus said:

 

More add-ons = more sales of the core sim = more profit for the core sim developer. To try to get money from add-on developers is just greedy and very short sighted. The more add-ons are available the more sales of the core sim.

 

except sales of the core sim aren't what they are going for, that's why they are giving the platform away for free.. they already recognize that the profit comes from adding new content to the platform, they have used this model quite successfully with their train products already. i'd guess that they are doing pretty well with fsx addons too, despite only charging $5 for the sim. it's the loss leader that gets the other stuff going.... and it's not like they are doing anything that isn't happening elsewhere already. simmarket, flightsim store, and various other addon sellers certainly take a cut whenever they sell 3rd party products too.

cheers,-andy crosby

 

Share this post


Link to post
3 minutes ago, Silicus said:

Respectfully, I see it the other way around. Flight sims do live from add-ons. Can you image FSX/P3D/X-plane as 'closed' products, no add-ons allowed? They would be nothing. They would be dead.

With respect -- FSX IS dead! 

If it were not dead, Microsoft would have been developing it over the last decade and we would not be sitting here more than ten years later with a platform that is still 32 bit, clock speed bound and with all the rest of the problems it has.

5 minutes ago, Silicus said:

More add-ons = more sales of the core sim

But without a core sim, there can be no add-ons and no sales for the third-party developer. This is why fundamentally it is not unreasonable for a developer who has put a significant amount of resource (I don't know what it has cost DTG to develop FSW, but in the case of MSFS in the Microsoft days I would imagine you could easy be talking millions) in to developing a platform to expect some cash from those who subsequently seek to profit from that platform, whether that be in the form of a commercial use licencing fee or by taking a slice of the profits from those add-ons.

Freeware of course is a different matter and as far as we know DTG have no plans to restrict the way in which freeware developers distribute their products. This is about commercial operations: and let's be honest, PMDG et al, passionate though RSR and co are, if not necessarily in it to get rich are certainly not working purely out of the goodness of their hearts either.

Share this post


Link to post
6 minutes ago, spesimen said:

except sales of the core sim aren't what they are going for, that's why they are giving the platform away for free.. they already recognize that the profit comes from adding new content to the platform, they have used this model quite successfully with their train products already.

Yap, and that's why most of their products are of very low quality and riddled with bugs..... I still think flightsimmers are a different kind of crowd that look more for quality.......

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now