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waltc

Game like this should be available everywhere

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I bought PoE1 and PoE2 on GOG--and here I find out that this game is on the Epic and the Microsoft Stores, only, and man, am I disappointed.  I gotta' tell you--I don't understand why game devs don't want to make their games available through every major distribution House on the planet...although it's not the same, this reminds me of "trying to suck up the Mississippi through a straw."  If you catch my drift.   Come on, Obsidian--you have such little confidence in this game release that you want to go with Epic's cheesy deal?  That smacks of pure desperation.  Gawd, it's horrible when bean-counters make these kinds of short-sighted, dumb  decisions.  OK, well I'll just wait for it on GOG and if it doesn't come then I'll struggle with it on this terrible xBox Game Pass for PC--that worked great yesterday but today it's telling me to reinstall--and then it won't let me play!  Hot dog--Obsidian--just what I like to see, paying customers being treated like crap!    Jeez--let me guess--it's your publisher who has no confidence in the game, right?  What a way to kill a game right out of the chute!  Bravo!  Obsidian had given certain assurances that little would change with Microsoft buying up the company, but it's easy to see that's not exactly true, is it?  This is a great game and you guys are restricting its sales right off! Incredible.  You didn't put it on Steam, even--I wouldn't have bought it there, most likely, although I have a Steam account, because I don't like the Steam DRM (although you guys were great about that with PoE!)  and I like having my own backup copy of my games--it's habit I picked up in the 1980's when I started buying computer games...;)  If it gets to GOG I'll buy it then.  If not, I'll just forget about it--how long has the xBox game pass for PC been in beta now--6, 8 months or longer? 

Edited by waltc
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It's very well known that I don't make mistakes, so if you should stumble across the odd error here and there in what I have written, you may immediately deduce--quite correctly--that I did not write it... :biggrin:

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Obsididan and Private Division first made a deal with Epic because Epic offers them more money than other game selling platforms.

After that, Microsfot bought Obsidian, and probably managed to offer a new deal to Private Division in order to get it on their store and game pass.

Steam prefers to take all the money for themselves and give little to developers, and this need to change.

That's why going with epic was the best move. 

Also, it's a way for them to be free from steam's control over the market, and this can only be good.

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Private Division seemed to make a deal with Epic to release their games exclusively to their platform.
https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-03-20-epic-games-store-line-up-expands-with-private-division-more-ubisoft-titles-and-quantic-dream-exclusives

There is little indication so far, that releasing games on Epic hurts sales, and that doesn't account for a better cut publishers/developers are offered. While it's not very exciting development it does make sound, but unimaginative, business decision. If I remember correctly, in case of Phoenix Point XBOX Pass was agreed to prior to Epic exclusivity deal, therefore the game is sold on Epic only, while available through game pass as well. Perhaps something similar happened here as well? I find it unlikely, that Epic would wave rights to their exclusivity for a company which does seem quite involved in the Outer Worlds - afterall OW is a partnership with 2K from before Mc aquisition.

Edited by Wormerine

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The Phoenix Point developer basically outlined how many sales they could afford to lose because of their deal with Epic and still turn the same profit, and it was pretty substantial.

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I don't agree that this is about steam taking too big of a cut. Maybe they do, maybe they don't I have no idea how all that works. Epic are perfectly happy to risk making losses on these deals in order to grow their platform which in the long run will benefit them. They for example have been offering deals that gaurentee a certain amount of revenue that if the game doesn't make on their store they will pay out themselves. This isn't an offer that is easily refused. They also did that sale, again they footed the bill for that one which isn't usually how sales work. 

Amazon has done a lot of that kind of stuff in the past with music and other things and it worked well for them.  

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About sales:  there's no data with which to compare current Microsoft/Epic-only sales to GOG/Steam/Epic/Microsoft, etc., sales.  No way to know what the sales might've been had they made the game available everywhere at once.  But most importantly to me--how does buying the game from Epic/Microsoft advantage me as a customer?  True, Epic is undercutting the commissions it keeps on game sales compared to Steam/GOG--but I note that the savings in price is *not* being passed on to me or you--the customers.  Indeed--we are being charged full boat regardless.  This cozy little deal between Epic and the bean-counter publishers suits their purposes but does nothing for me as a paying customer.  Hence, I feel no need to rush over to Epic and breathlessly purchase the game--nope, I'll just wait.  So, how about a 10% discount for your customers, Private Division?  You remember who "customers" are and what they mean to the bottom line, I certainly hope...;) 

IMO, in today's huge game-software market it isn't unheard of for popular titles to sell literally millions of copies in the first week!  Talking about "We can afford to miss a lot of sales for what Epic is saving us" has to be just about the dumbest remark I've ever heard from a game publisher...;)  No kidding--the name of the game is to sell, sell, sell--not to focus on the unknown, hypothetical number of sales you think you will miss!  That's just rationalization.  A little common sense is all that's required--don't leave the customer out of these calculations.    And it isn't even the customer pricing that is all-important here, it's also the fact that some people have a "favorite" software distribution site for reasons they can easily enumerate.  For instance, I like GOG because of its no-DRM position--paying customers should not be punished by having to jump through hoops to run the games they buy; and I also like GOG because the service provides me with my own installable backup game copy to keep--I got used to that in the 1980's when I first began buying Amiga computer games.  Steam doesn't as policy do either of those things--some Steam developers use DRM and some don't--with GOG it's universal: no DRM.   Steam does not provide its customers with installable backup copies of their games.   The Steam forums, however, are marginally better than GOG's--and I haven't heard that Epic even supports a forum for its customers.  Or other services  like that which cost money to implement.  I'm waiting on Epic to give me some material reasons to shop there...;)  Game exclusivity is not one of those reasons.  It's just common sense.


It's very well known that I don't make mistakes, so if you should stumble across the odd error here and there in what I have written, you may immediately deduce--quite correctly--that I did not write it... :biggrin:

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1 hour ago, waltc said:

About sales:  there's no data with which to compare current Microsoft/Epic-only sales to GOG/Steam/Epic/Microsoft, etc., sales.  No way to know what the sales might've been had they made the game available everywhere at once.  But most importantly to me--how does buying the game from Epic/Microsoft advantage me as a customer?  True, Epic is undercutting the commissions it keeps on game sales compared to Steam/GOG--but I note that the savings in price is *not* being passed on to me or you--the customers.  Indeed--we are being charged full boat regardless.  This cozy little deal between Epic and the bean-counter publishers suits their purposes but does nothing for me as a paying customer.  Hence, I feel no need to rush over to Epic and breathlessly purchase the game--nope, I'll just wait.

Yes, Epic strategy isn't to appeal to buyers, but to strongarm people to use their platform. I don't think there is a way to see how same game would do sell with and without Epic exclusivity without visiting alternative universes. But games do seem to sell well at least for Epic - at least major ones. 

https://www.polygon.com/2019/3/20/18274359/metro-exodus-epic-games-store-steam-exclusive-gdc-2019

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2019-09-23-borderlands-3-is-the-fastest-selling-game-in-2ks-history_7

No doubt open platform sales would provide some more sales, but would it be enough to cover the gap between 12% and 30/25/20% split between platforms?

Unfortunately, providing good service might not be the most practical way of doing the business. My only hope that GOG won't suffer too much from the war Epic is waging. While one might want to support platform they like, it might not be relevant if they won't get a chance to do so. 

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The only people that would know if it makes financial sense would be the people making these decisions and as these deals keep happening then you can be sure it makes financial sense to do so. I don't like the practice that Epic are doing but the only way to stop it from making sense would be to not buy it until it releases on the store you want to buy it from.  

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51 minutes ago, Wormerine said:

No doubt open platform sales would provide some more sales, but would it be enough to cover the gap between 12% and 30/25/20% split between platforms?

And whatever that gap is, one still has to remember that PC sales are just one piece in the profitability of a multi-platform game.  Big money is still coming in via Xbox, PS4 (and Switch, eventually).  It likely doesn't take a colossal Epic Game Store incentive to make the game a financial success.

If we had the raw numbers to analyze, I would not be too surprised if the effect of all this EGS drama was a quantifiably small piece of the overall sales pie chart.

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Sales aren't necessarily king anymore, anyways. Fortnite built an empire on a f2p model. My guess is Microsoft is much more interested in concurrent users and hours logged at this point than traditional sales, hence them offering it on the gamepass for a buck.

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On 11/5/2019 at 4:54 PM, Hurlshot said:

Sales aren't necessarily king anymore, anyways. Fortnite built an empire on a f2p model. My guess is Microsoft is much more interested in concurrent users and hours logged at this point than traditional sales, hence them offering it on the gamepass for a buck.

Hopefully, people reading this will know this isn't a criticism of the game--I think the game is very nice, actually.  It is a criticism of the game's publisher because I think these exclusive deals like with the EGS likely hurt the bottom line--but, hey, that's not my problem. 

Microsoft gamepass (I'm using that right now for Outer Worlds) has some major disadvantages--they don't even allow you to browse the game directories to see what's installed, and if you change permissions on the directories to get in to look at the game files--then the next time you try and run the game--you can't, and you have to redownload the entire hidden file game--all 37.12 GBs of it.  Of course this restriction means no mods, either.  You no changee anything with GamePass! I don't game on consoles at all and never have, so obviously that kind of thing seems downright barbaric to my sensibilities...;)  Basically, as I see it, Game Pass for PC is a "try before you buy" service and not much else.  If you want to own the games then you have to buy them straight up at the standard MSRPs, even from Game Pass--that sometimes does discount--but rarely right away when a game first ships. 

Also, it doesn't make any difference to me how much $$$ a given publisher/dev makes on a given type of game.  What matters to me is the deal I get--not the deal they get....;)  That's just common sense.  It's like people who pre-order games from an online distributor at full pop--why?  It's not like the publisher is going to run out of copies to sell, it it? Now, if the publisher says--20% off for pre-order, then maybe I'll bite.  But at full MSRP I've got no incentive to pre-order. 

I've always known that games like The Sims and Fortnite make fortunes, but I've never even looked at them twice--not interested.  They just don't appeal at any price.  But if you couldn't buy anything in Fortnite, how much $$ would Epic & Ten Cent make from it?  Nothing...;)  He might have huge numbers of concurrent online users but without sales it wouldn't mean a thing (of course.)  So sales are still at the hub of everything, etc. He seeds the copies and then he gets the sales later.  

Again--The game publishers aren't giving me a reason to buy from the EGS.  Knock 10% off and maybe I'm there--but MSRP?  I can get that anywhere, and suddenly I'm wondering if it wouldn't be better to wait a while before buying.   And to tell you the truth I've never known a time when it *wasn't* better to wait a while before buying, both for pricing reasons and code-patching reasons, etc.  I've never felt that game publishers use good judgment in these matters--even for the ridiculous ~$60 MSRPs that have barely changed in decades, even though the total market for games these days is exponentially greater than it was in 1990, for instance. Today, a good game can sell 5 million copies in a week--in 1990, if all the PC gamers on Earth bought  (most with Amigas at that time) there weren't enough of them to buy 5 million copies.  For me--the sweet-spot MSRP for new AAA games should be ~$44.95 or less these days.  And if the publishers really thought about it, selling more copies is a surefire way to move beyond what his distributor (Gog/Steam/EGS) is charging him to host his software and his *customers*, too.  If you'll notice, most software devs dislike selling their own software direct themselves--some of them do, but they put little effort into and almost never offer discounts--which tells me they'd prefer it if I bought their software somewhere else...;)  Ironic.   I'm sure this is in vain--they won't listen, they never have.  But unless they give me a reason to buy the game from an exclusive source, I won't. 


It's very well known that I don't make mistakes, so if you should stumble across the odd error here and there in what I have written, you may immediately deduce--quite correctly--that I did not write it... :biggrin:

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On 11/4/2019 at 5:24 AM, Merzhinhudour said:

Obsididan and Private Division first made a deal with Epic because Epic offers them more money than other game selling platforms.

After that, Microsfot bought Obsidian, and probably managed to offer a new deal to Private Division in order to get it on their store and game pass.

Steam prefers to take all the money for themselves and give little to developers, and this need to change.

That's why going with epic was the best move. 

Also, it's a way for them to be free from steam's control over the market, and this can only be good.

That is... wrong?

 

Obsidian was purchased by Microsoft before the Epic Deal happened and Obsidian wasn't involved in the Epic deal itself as Private Division has the publishing rights/is responsible for what platforms the game is released on. Which is why the first trailer of the game featured a steam logo, the first big PR interview (Gameinformer) featured them saying it comes to Steam and the switch version is happening (Even though Obsidian approves of that).

Edited by C2B

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I would rant on this too, but honestly, I'm just glad to see a game content to stand on it own and not use tactics to keep trying to get back into my wallet. It's so refreshing that I don't mind coming to the epic store to get/play it. I'm happy to just play a game that does this than spend my energy delving into the deep dank darkness that is gaming today. 

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23 hours ago, waltc said:

But unless they give me a reason to buy the game from an exclusive source, I won't. 

But will you buy it in the end? Not from Epic but Steam/Gog once it comes out? I probably will. 

The kinda brilliant way of the Epic exclusivity deal is that Epic wagers that game will sell well on their platform. From what we understand, they calculate how likely those games are to sell, if they were released platform-wide (how it's calculated don't ask me!) and then offer this number to developers/publishers as "guaranteed" sales - meaning they pay publisher/developer for those sales whenever they happen or not.

1) If the game doesn't sell well on Epic, publisher/dev gets money from Epic. According to multiple reports those can be substantial amounts. On top of that people who didn't buy on Epic, may buy on Steam/GOG meaning those sales aren't necessary lost. In addition guaranteed sales come with a better split.

2) If majority of sales still happen, Epic might not loose any money if they hit quota, and Developer/publisher will get a better split. 

 

For the record, I don't disagree with you. I am glad Game Pass exists, as I can playthrough OW without commiting to Epic, but it is not a model which I find attaractve. However, it is a good deal, for those who play their game only once. I could get my Dualshock to work with it, though, so I will be quitting once I am done with OW. Which is a shame, there are some controller-based games I hoped to check out this month. 

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On 11/7/2019 at 12:55 AM, waltc said:

Hopefully, people reading this will know this isn't a criticism of the game--I think the game is very nice, actually.  It is a criticism of the game's publisher because I think these exclusive deals like with the EGS likely hurt the bottom line--but, hey, that's not my problem. 

Microsoft gamepass (I'm using that right now for Outer Worlds) has some major disadvantages--they don't even allow you to browse the game directories to see what's installed, and if you change permissions on the directories to get in to look at the game files--then the next time you try and run the game--you can't, and you have to redownload the entire hidden file game--all 37.12 GBs of it.  Of course this restriction means no mods, either.  You no changee anything with GamePass! I don't game on consoles at all and never have, so obviously that kind of thing seems downright barbaric to my sensibilities...;)  Basically, as I see it, Game Pass for PC is a "try before you buy" service and not much else.  If you want to own the games then you have to buy them straight up at the standard MSRPs, even from Game Pass--that sometimes does discount--but rarely right away when a game first ships. 

Also, it doesn't make any difference to me how much $$$ a given publisher/dev makes on a given type of game.  What matters to me is the deal I get--not the deal they get....;)  That's just common sense.  It's like people who pre-order games from an online distributor at full pop--why?  It's not like the publisher is going to run out of copies to sell, it it? Now, if the publisher says--20% off for pre-order, then maybe I'll bite.  But at full MSRP I've got no incentive to pre-order. 

I've always known that games like The Sims and Fortnite make fortunes, but I've never even looked at them twice--not interested.  They just don't appeal at any price.  But if you couldn't buy anything in Fortnite, how much $$ would Epic & Ten Cent make from it?  Nothing...;)  He might have huge numbers of concurrent online users but without sales it wouldn't mean a thing (of course.)  So sales are still at the hub of everything, etc. He seeds the copies and then he gets the sales later.  

Again--The game publishers aren't giving me a reason to buy from the EGS.  Knock 10% off and maybe I'm there--but MSRP?  I can get that anywhere, and suddenly I'm wondering if it wouldn't be better to wait a while before buying.   And to tell you the truth I've never known a time when it *wasn't* better to wait a while before buying, both for pricing reasons and code-patching reasons, etc.  I've never felt that game publishers use good judgment in these matters--even for the ridiculous ~$60 MSRPs that have barely changed in decades, even though the total market for games these days is exponentially greater than it was in 1990, for instance. Today, a good game can sell 5 million copies in a week--in 1990, if all the PC gamers on Earth bought  (most with Amigas at that time) there weren't enough of them to buy 5 million copies.  For me--the sweet-spot MSRP for new AAA games should be ~$44.95 or less these days.  And if the publishers really thought about it, selling more copies is a surefire way to move beyond what his distributor (Gog/Steam/EGS) is charging him to host his software and his *customers*, too.  If you'll notice, most software devs dislike selling their own software direct themselves--some of them do, but they put little effort into and almost never offer discounts--which tells me they'd prefer it if I bought their software somewhere else...;)  Ironic.   I'm sure this is in vain--they won't listen, they never have.  But unless they give me a reason to buy the game from an exclusive source, I won't. 

Have you got a degree in finance or marketing?!? If not I dont think they care about what you have to say.

Edited by daven

nowt

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Epic allows for a solid foundation for companies and has been known to buy up a certain amount of digital copies of a game prior to launch, thus ensuring revenue for the developers / publishers. This can mean a lot for independent / smaller companies as they won't have to struggle as much when it comes to funding, and this would have also been before the Microsoft acquisition.

At the end of the day, the game is on PC and not even exclusive to Win10, just takes a separate & free launcher (one that admittedly still needs a lot of polish), though GoG2 will really help with "launcher fatigue" once it's out of closed beta. It is funny though how not really all that long ago, a lot of people were incredibly annoyed at Valve requiring Steam just to play a handful of games.

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