Capt. Baldy Oct 30, 2013 @ 5:51pm
I actually think Steam has passed it's peak. (in terms of player base based on less well known titles)
I say this with concern. There are simply FARRRR too many early release games coming out. In fact, there are far too many games coming out... full stop.

Some games never see the light of day, or suffer with naff-o sales and dreadful player numbers. There are so many great games out there that don't get the attention or players it deserves because every five minutes either a new game comes out, an early-release title is released for a cheaper price, or yet another Free 2 Play game comes out. The numbers from the Top 10 drastically drop from extremely high player numbers to incredibly low, very quickly over the span of a few games, many of which are F2P.

Why is it that every day, a new game comes out? Those top 10 games haven't changed for ages. I know giving power to developers with Steam Greenlight looks well and good, but all it does is make a quick buck or two for the designers and Valve themselves and then the game never really shines. I think if anything the number of votes should change on Steam Greenlight so it is significant enough to have a least a few hundred playing, at least. As it currently stands, a few thumbs up and it's on. The number of Greenlit games is mad.

Someone list the number of early-release titles with over 500 players on the top 100 games. I doubt it'd be much.

F2P is always going to be popular so it makes sense that they will always beat pre-release/early access, but what I'm trying to say is that the number of early release games need to be reduced, or need a better incentive to be purchased other than the fact it is super early from actually being a game.

I'll use the game Damned as an example. Apart from the game being in Alpha and the work done is mediocre at best, there is barely anyone to play with, so open rooms are lacking. Not only this but due to the lack of players it is only natural for many players from many different regions of the planet converging on a server and having a stupidly high ping. Fortunately a game like Damned doesn't really need low pings.

I'm tired, I'm going bed. I'll feel stupid for writing this later lol, but in all seriousness though, overall, there are too many games coming out on a weekly basis on Steam.

Last edited by Capt. Baldy; Oct 31, 2013 @ 11:49am
Showing 1-15 of 140 comments
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No One Oct 30, 2013 @ 11:24pm 
indie developers will use early access for general game testing . its not about getting every one to buy the game when its first avalible its about over head . if they dont pay any one to be game testers and just run a few test to see if it runs they save money

big companies should never have early access since they have no excuse for doing it and people just see a unpolished glitch fest and laugh

and asfar as the volume of games being released some are old games that some how got onto steam . many of these do not have accurate release dates . it would seem that valve wants to crush gog with more games from back in the day and crush desura with more indie stuff and leave EA going wtf since almost all of what origin has is ea games it looks kind of barren . steam becomes the walmart of pc video games

over all more games isnt bad but they should add new filters and more generes so that stuff doesnt end up on 3 different list . FPS are not adventure games and fighting games are not action games and a store indie on/off function by default set to on would solve alot of QQ about low end games flooding steam . i know indie isnt a genere but if you never buy them why look at them? i do own dont starve , incognita , strike suit zero/infinity and the last chapter of man but i dont always go looking for a indie game
Bonder Oct 30, 2013 @ 11:29pm 
tldr, but I think there is some validity in the topic.
Getting on the steam front page used to be such a big deal, now, you are lucky if you are even in the first scrolling page of "new releases" for 1 day (some are just a few hours, no joke).
Is steam still a license to print money? yes. But, the effect of 'finally getting on steam' is going to be more and more watered down going forward. And all the early release stuff is starting to look kinda bad.
Amateur Oct 30, 2013 @ 11:40pm 
I actually feel the same. Sort of. Some months ago I started feel like I won't be able to play all the new good (and not-so-good as well) games that are on Steam because they pop almost every week. My problem was kind of resolved when I changed my way of thinking and decided to play games for the sake of the process, for the sake of good gameplay instead of beating games. I believe not every single modern gamer has enough time to play all the games he/she has so it's required to prioritize a lot. The same I felt about Steam trading cards. At first I wanted to get them all, but then I got an idea that it's not the point. Trading cards and badges are the ways of player to express his love to the game he actually enjoys playing or support the developer.
Back to your topic, I think it's market. Too many sellers might oversaturate the market and it'd be vital to make good advertisement and PR policy in order to get the profit. But I think if the game is really-really cool, it's gonna have its fanbase despite of all the competitors.

Thank you for your post btw. I enjoyed it very much to read your thoughts :)

UPD: Wow, I've missed two new replies in this thread while typing mine.
No One, your idea about new categories and filters is what I'd like to see as well. +1
Last edited by Amateur; Oct 30, 2013 @ 11:45pm
Kargor Oct 31, 2013 @ 1:29am 
Well, Steam is a download-platform, after all. It's not the best idea to produce DVDs and put them into shops for unfinished games, but if people are willing to pay to help you with the testing, a download platform would be the way to go. I mean, usually it's the other way -- you would have to pay the testers.
Dixie Flatline Oct 31, 2013 @ 2:31am 
I think the issue is mainly with the current & recent economics of the industry and what consumers have allowed the market to 'get away with' over the past rather than anything specific to Steam.
I AM SHODAN! Oct 31, 2013 @ 4:17am 
The videogame market has really been oversaturated for some years now, with both AAA and indie games. Perhaps Steam's frenzy of releases every week has brought it into perspective for many people. It does seem that there is a dizzying number of games available, and more every day, even in my own library I can't list all of the games I own at this point because I've picked up so many through insane Steam sales, Amazon sales, indie bundles and other places. It makes you feel a bit intimidated and jaded when you go to the library page to select one of those games to play. When there are too many of one thing, it's difficult for any of them to truly stand out as special.

Back when I first got heavily into gaming, there were very few videogames for PC around, and few places to purchase them. When a new game came out, it was generally embraced with joy by the gaming community and everyone played it to death, regardless of genre, and usually only one game was played at a time. There were no "let's play" videos as there was no youtube, no FAQs to look up online and few if any hints around (some could be found on local bulletin boards and many games had pay-by-the-minute hint lines you could call if you were desperate.) Hint books were around for some games, but not all of them. Basically when you plunked down your $50 for a new game from Sears or whatever you knew you were in for weeks of fun and frustration at the same time, but it was very rewarding to find out all of the game's secrets and get to the end entirely on your own.

These days there are new games constantly, both finished and "in progress", and people tend not to treasure them as much. There are also a million ways to cheat, look up the answers, use trainers or power level. It's difficult to place any sentimental value on a pile of games you bought for $5 each during the latest Steam sale, since you're already playing ten others - or sometimes more. The amount of time and concentration people are willing to invest in both making and playing games has changed due to the huge variety available, the market, the general economy, social views, and other factors.

I do agree that there are "too many" games being released, but there is no way to know which are the gems and which are the duds without this process since so many have jumped on the game making bandwagon. There are some truly stellar games available from both indie and AAA developers, and there are some horrible jokes that get passed off as games and an awful lot of copycat game making around. I'd like to see more innovation and new concepts rather than yet another in the already ridiculous pile of AAA military shooters, the same old RTS games, Pay-To-Win crapfest rpgs, mediocre zombie apocalypse shooters, and Slenderman clones.

I don't agree with the assumption that a game's value and success is measured solely by its number of players, as some games are meant to be niche games that will appeal to only a small segment of the gaming community - many games released now are simply not suitable for the average gamer. This doesn't mean they don't deserve to be made and enjoyed by whomever is willing to give them a chance, however. The indie gaming craze and programs such as Greenlight and indie bundles have made it possible for many unique games to be made that otherwise would never have seen the light of day, and I am grateful for this.

Each game should be viewed as a separate piece of art, and judged on its own merits rather than trying to fit it into some predetermined formula. Otherwise the game industry will stagnate and never evolve. Some of the most popular game genres today exist because some developer took a chance on something totally new and scary to make, as it is always a risk of time and money to do so - examples of this would be the entire first-person shooter genre, more or less started by Doom, Quake and Castle Wolfenstein, and the survival horror genre which arguably was originally begun by Alone in the Dark but reignited later by the incredible PSX game Resident Evil.

Granted, in the game industry as with every other industry there are always going to be some people who get into it solely to game the system and make a worthless cash cow and afterwards disappear with a huge pile of money. There's no getting around that, and early access and greenlight and the like do seem to be where they concentrate. However they are a minority, as truly bad games are not very common, and without these programs there would be little to contest the cookie-cutter formulas that AAA game companies often demand so there would be little change. I think that Steam could perhaps do a better job of reviewing and checking out each potential game, to keep the duds away before their reputation is damaged further, but I don't feel these programs should be stopped. They do more good than harm, ultimately.

Tito Shivan Oct 31, 2013 @ 4:53am 
Originally posted by I AM SHODAN!:
I don't agree with the assumption that a game's value and success is measured solely by its number of players, as some games are meant to be niche games that will appeal to only a small segment of the gaming community - many games released now are simply not suitable for the average gamer. This doesn't mean they don't deserve to be made and enjoyed by whomever is willing to give them a chance, however.
Just to add on that point, gamers as a whole, don't really realize how much of a vicious circle and how damaging it can be for a good game to only consider player numbers as a measure of a game value. .
-People don't buy a game because few people play it.
-Game don't get more players because no one buys it.
Rinse and repeat.
Uareriaan Oct 31, 2013 @ 6:25am 
Steam is ultimately a product, and any product has a finite life-cycle. Crudely speaking, this resembles a bell-curve with four phases. It starts off small, first gains popularity at an increasing rate, and then at a decreasing rate before topping off at the peak of popularity (A-phase). It then slowly starts to decline in popularity, and faster later on until it 'bleeds out' completely (B-phase).

This life-cycle can be lengthened through product innovation - technically this can be done indefinately with constant innovation.

If succesful, instead of a bell-curve the trend will now resemble a stair. The product starts off small, gains in popularity and at this point (quite some time before the peak is reached) they will already be investing in innovation. A business will aim to release this innovation of their single product at around the time it is either still gaining popularity but at a decreasing rate, or at or just after the peak of popularity.

This is why Valve is investing heavily in the Steam OS and the Steam controller - it's product innovation.

With regards to the games that appear on Steam I'm inclined to agree with Case and I AM SHODAN!. I don't think this 'problem' is particularly related to Steam or Valve itself, but rather the medium through which it becomes more and more apparent as time passes. Personally, I too am of the opinion that this is caused much more by the industry itself and patterns of consumer behavior rather than by the influence of a distribution platform like Steam.
Last edited by Uareriaan; Oct 31, 2013 @ 6:29am
Satoru Oct 31, 2013 @ 7:09am 
✠ŞϚՓґῤ‡Փй✠ Oct 31, 2013 @ 7:22am 
awesome
Pheace [MCT] Oct 31, 2013 @ 8:28am 
November is considered hell month for releases. (and Oktober this year it seems). Countless publishers stuffing in their releases before the Xmas season. It'll calm down mid late december probably.
crunchyfrog Oct 31, 2013 @ 8:49am 
Far too many early-releases coming out? Hard to say, as it's still a relatively new thing so we're in uncharted waters.

Far too many games coming out generally? Rubbish. There have been many times over the decades where more have come out, and as others have pointed out, this is the hellish time of years for releases. I used to dislike this time of year when in gaming journalism.
Tito Shivan Oct 31, 2013 @ 9:08am 
Originally posted by crunchyfrog:
Far too many early-releases coming out? Hard to say, as it's still a relatively new thing so we're in uncharted waters.
I blame that "too many early access" titles on cognitive bias. People just wants to see what they want to see. And being the new kid in the town, they "seem to be everywhere"
Sort of "why it's always games i don't like on sale?" complain.
(not to mention that a couple games have "tainted" the feature for some)

Anyway, as Satoru pointed, with over 65 million users, Steam still has a lot of "steam" to go.
crunchyfrog Oct 31, 2013 @ 9:10am 
Originally posted by Tito Shivan:
Originally posted by crunchyfrog:
Far too many early-releases coming out? Hard to say, as it's still a relatively new thing so we're in uncharted waters.
I blame that "too many early access" titles on cognitive bias. People just wants to see what they want to see. And being the new kid in the town, they "seem to be everywhere"
Sort of "why it's always games i don't like on sale?" complain.
(not to mention that a couple games have "tainted" the feature for some)

Anyway, as Satoru pointed, with over 65 million users, Steam still has a lot of "steam" to go.

Indeed, VERY, VERY true.

I do believe a lot of people are seriously lacking in perspective, and Satoru has it there - with 65 million active users, that's a HELL of a lot of customers from various cultures and countries to serve. So for people to object to things that aren't for them is frankly daft.
Last edited by crunchyfrog; Oct 31, 2013 @ 9:12am
Capt. Baldy Oct 31, 2013 @ 9:11am 
I didn't mean peak in terms of number of players, I meant peak for the quality of the games and their life spans (I'd already seen the 6 million concurrent user article several hours prior to writing my post).

As I said before there is about 42 trillion early release games, full production games and F2P titles coming out each week. There are quite a number of games I've gotten which in my opinion should of been incredibly popular, but when the same games sit at the top (thanks F2P), because they involve item farming so small children can get free items and games on Steam then it just dilutes the quality of other titles. An that in itself is an issue, item farming. Many a time have I gone on TF2, (which I play rarely) to find rooms full of people sitting in spawn, literally entire rooms, running scripts so they spin around in circles or fire a shot or two, just so they get items to craft things with or make metal from so they can use it to trade and get free games. Ultimately it helps the Steam economy in a way but, wtf? Why isn't anything done about that crap?

So many games, so short lived.

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Date Posted: Oct 30, 2013 @ 5:51pm
Posts: 140