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I suspect history will repeat itself with Steam, Impulse (now GameStop Online, I guess), etc. It's inevitable, IMO. Right now we're in the gold rush stage. I don't think it will be too long... a year, two?... where things are going to start getting nasty there, too. If they aren't already. Steam has already trained its customers never to buy a game at full price. It's been great for them in the short term, because they can offer temporary, steep discounts and generate a feeding frenzy. But that's becoming an expectation. I tend do buy all my games during their holiday sales now, and almost (almost) never buy a game through them the rest of the year. I think that's going to bite them - and more importantly, game developers - in the long run. Just as it did with the casual portals.
While i agree with the fact we "expect" great deals from steam.. i dont think the sales hurt full price sales. Most (steam does release sales figures) games sell at full prices on steam as well as in stores when they are released. The big difference is when shelf space is limited in stores games get shuffled back and forgot.. a Sale on steam brings them back to the limelight and extends sales. I DO think theose "fence" games my not benifit from it. The ones your not sure you want, dont feel like bying at full price, you wait. SO i would suspect it does hurt sales on those. I'm not 100% sure but I belive i read that Oblivion actually sold more units on steam years after its release then it did in stores when it was new. I seem to rember them saying that at $19 it made them more profit then it did at $49 in stores when it was released by volume.
Where i do see the problem is having 10 'alwasy on" download services boggin my PC down, sendign crap back to the owners about my gaming.. while i could care less about them knowing i play XXX game alot.. I have no interest in more than one doing it.. I DO THINK all games should be on all services so we can pick which we want to use..
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