Earlier this week Germany's Federation of German Consumer Organizations (or vzbv) called on Valve to explain the changes it made to the Steam end-user license agreement back in August. The vzbv found that the changes Valve made to its EULA were unfair to consumers and that Steam had no mechanism for allowing its users to trade games per a recent European High Court ruling. It required Valve to respond by September 26 to their insistence the company change its policy "restricting access to content based on the forfeiture of signing the new EULA."
While there's been a lot of disparaging news about Steam Greenlight, there is some good news from Valve's indie discoverability program: the first ten games to get the "green light" have been revealed. The first set of titles to launch via Greenlight will be released in "the months ahead," according to Valve. All of the titles are in different stages of development so exact release dates for each title were not revealed.
E. Zachary Knight makes a triumphant return in Episode 19 of the Super Podcast Action Committee. After a near-death experience (we might be slightly exaggerating) last week, he rejoins host Andrew Eisen to discuss getting older (be sure to wish him a happy birthday today!) Steam Greenlight's early hurdles, the latest GamePolitics poll, and Ubisoft's new DRM policy. Download it here: SuperPAC Episode 19 (57 Minutes).
As Valve works out the kinks in its new indie discovery initiative, Steam Greenlight, the company tells Gamasutra that they are not done tweaking and refining the service.
GamesIndustry International has an interesting article featuring No Reply Games co-founder Miriam Bellard. Yesterday we reported that the company's erotic adventure simulation game, Seduce Me, had been booted from Steam Greenlight. Today the founders of No Reply Games explained what they had hoped and their disappointment in how Valve handled their game.
Yesterday we mentioned that Steam Greenlight was having lots of trouble dealing with smart alecks and trolls posting fictitious games in its new indie game discovery program. Today Valve has come up with a solution: anyone who wants to submit a game to the service for consideration will have to pay $100. The money will apparently go to the Child's Play charity.
If you were expecting smooth sailing with Steam Greenlight, Valve's new community initiative that lets them decide which indies should get on Steam in the timeliest manner, then you are probably delusional. While the core idea of it works, there's always going to be people that use the system to basically waste people's time and be offensive.
While Valve Software has adamantly denied the rumor that it was getting into the hardware side of gaming (the infamous SteamBox rumor), a new job listing from the company seems to indicate otherwise. In that job listing Valve says that it needs an industrial designer to work on "product design and manufacturing, ergonomics, usability, aesthetics, and surfacing."
Amsterdam-based indie developer No Reply Games issued a statement yesterday saying that their first game to make its way on to Steam Greenlight has been kicked off the service. The game is called "Seduce Me," and is an erotic themed dating simulation. From the trailer we viewed of the game, it contains some nudity, adult language, sexual themes, and adult situations.
"Many people still view games as 'for children' in spite of the fact that the average gamer is 30 years old," said No Reply Games Miriam Bellard.
Stolen Couch Games has launched the Green Light Bundle a budget-minded collection of indie games for a minimum $1 purchase, or up to eight games for $5 or more. Those willing to pay more than $1 can get Stolen Couch's Ichi, AngryMob Games' Muffin Knight, PixelJam's Dino Run SE, and Studio Evil's Syder Arcade.
For $5 or more, you'll get Gunman Clive, Madfinger's Samurai II Vengeance, AngryMob's Guerrilla Bob, and Crescent Moon Games' Paper Monsters, along with five bonus soundtracks.
Valve Software offered more details on Steam Greenlight and "big picture mode" last night during an episode of GameTrailersTV. Steam Greenlight, which is set for an August 30 release allows the Steam community to pick and choose which indie game titles can be bought onto Valve's service.
There's no feud between Valve and EA over their competing digital distribution platforms (Steam and Origin) - at least according to EA's Chief Operating Officer Peter Moore. Speaking to Eurogamer at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany this week, Moore brushed aside the idea that there's some sort of grudge match between the two companies.
Valve Software today officially announced that its digital distribution platform Steam will expand its software offering to include creativity and productivity software offerings. Steam is one of the top digital distribution platforms for PC and Mac game software in the world.
"The 40 million gamers frequenting Steam are interested in more than playing games," said Mark Richardson at Valve. "They have told us they would like to have more of their software on Steam, so this expansion is in response to those customer requests."
In an announcement made this morning over at the official Steam web site Valve Software revealed a change to its Steam Subscriber Agreement that makes it so that subscribers can no longer file class action lawsuits against the company (Federal Arbitration Act). Under the terms of the new agreement, Steam users agree not to form a class action lawsuit against the company, using a "dispute resolution" process to deal with complaints on an individual basis (arbitration).
In a short statement posted on the Saints Row: The Third forums, Volition acknowledges that there are still problems with the PC version of the popular over-the-top action game several months after it was released on Steam, and that they are still hard at work trying to iron out problems that still exist.
David DeMartini, the man in charge of EA's Origin platform, said in a recent conversation with MCV that he knows that some hardcore gamers have "issues" with his company's digital download service but wasn't all that surprised with the negative reaction.
If you bought an Ubisoft game available as part of Steam's massive Summer Sale, you may experience what users are feeling right about now: angst and rage. Apparently some players who bought Ubisoft games have found that they cannot play them because of uPlay, the online service in charge of validating DRM in many of Ubisoft's titles.
If you would prefer to spend your hard-earned cash on digital goods but also want to trade-in some of your used games too, then GameStop is offering a deal worth mentioning. For the remainder of Steam's massive summer sale trade-ins at GameStop will net you an additional 30 percent in value if you put that credit towards the purchase of a Steam gift card. The deal runs until July 23.
Valve Software's business development chief Jason Holtman finally offered a response to what EA Origin boss David DeMartini said last month about Steam sales "cheapening intellectual property." At the time DeMartini said that EA's digital distribution platform would not copy Steam's frequent and deep discounting sales tactics.
Valve has revealed Steam for Schools, a cool initiative that brings the joys of learning with Portal 2 to America's classrooms, at the Games For Change Festival. Steam For Schools, launching in a limited beta, will provide a limited Steam Client and a tailored version of Portal 2, along with the level editor and a workshop for hosting and organizing user-created levels. It will be free to teachers, who will have administrator access so that they can control what levels get shared.
In an interview with GamesIndustry International, David DeMartini, Senior Vice President of Global Ecommerce for Electronic Arts and the head of EA's Origin digital distribution platform, decided to talks some smack about Valve's Steam. He also talks about the platform's rocky first year and how the company wants Origin to be the number one hub for gamers.
It's a one-word email but it's enough for those who have been asking Valve for years to bring Steam to the Linux operating system. A Phoronix reader named Joe Davison recently e-mailed Valve's Gabe Newel to ask him if the Linux version of the Steam client would be made public before the end of 2012. In a simple one-word response, Newell replied with "Yes."
The popular indie documentary about indie game development will be the very first feature-length film to be made available on Steam. Indie Game: The Movie will be available on Steam June 12, but those who buy it early before its release can get a ten percent discount. According to filmmaker James Swirsky, the 1080p video "will be DRM'd as much as any other Steam product/game," which means you'll need to be running the steam client in order to watch it.
According to a C&VG report games retailer GameStop will begin stocking Steam cards May 15 in a majority of its U.S. stores. The idea of having a retail card is that it gives those who do not have a credit card the ability to put cash towards a card they can use to buy games on Steam.
While publisher Electronic Arts has taken its fair share of chances on new properties from small independent studios, one would never dare to call them "indie." That would be like calling Walmart a mom-and-pop operation.. But a recent sale on Steam featuring several EA published games has agitated at least one high profile developer and has certainly made some gamers look up the definition of irony to see if EA's logo might be pictured somewhere nearby.
According to Michael Larabel of Phoronix, Valve is developing a Steam client for the Linux operating system. The story began to take shape last month when Larabel tweeted that Valve's Gabe Newell had reached out to him about a Linux build of the client software. Today Larabel tweeted that he flew to Valve headquarters in Bellevue, Washington for a personal meeting.
"Steam is coming to Linux," he replied in response to a question on Twitter following that announcement.
EA's digital distribution platform "has a long way to go," according to Valve's Gabe Newell, who owns Steam. As part of episode one of the Seven Day Cooldown podcast, Newell gave a blunt response when asked what he thought about EA's digital distribution platform.
"They have a lot of work to do to get to where they need to be and where I as a customer would want them to be," he said.
In a recent interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, GOG.com's Managing director Guillaume Rambourg and marketing head Trevor Longino try to make the case that Steam's practice of discounting games actually hurts developers in the long run. The duo questions the frequent sales on Steam, adding that heavy discounting also sends the wrong message to gamers.
Speaking to GameSpy, Minecraft creator and Mojang front man Markus "Notch" Persson said that having Steam as the only source for digital distribution would be "scary," even though he generally support Valve Software's platform. Steam's platform currently has more than 40 million subscribers.