How Origin plans on beating Steam

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#1 Posted by Kidavenger (3546 posts) -

Apparently Origin is planning on abandoning Steam like deep discount sales and take a Nordstroms approach and deliver "value" rather than "cheap"; nothing says value like a $700 shirt!

I have no idea what Origin plans to do to deliver value on commodity products but according to Eurogamer expect an announcement soon.

#2 Posted by Hunkulese (2721 posts) -
@Kidavenger I know most replies will be pretty anti-EA but they do have a point.
#3 Posted by Kidavenger (3546 posts) -

@Hunkulese: I think they both have a point

Clearly what Steam is doing now is working for both developers and consumers, so an EA executive coming out against it is at best self serving and at worst completely retarded; either way it should have never been said in public, let alone quoted in an interview.

I don't think the huge discounts are the best for the industry, but that is the way things have been for many years, and not just at Steam, everywhere has huge discounts now, no sense in fighting it at this point.

#4 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

Well, Valve may not have the right approach, but they do have all my money.

#5 Posted by 2HeadedNinja (1617 posts) -

@Hunkulese said:

@Kidavenger I know most replies will be pretty anti-EA but they do have a point.

In what way? Look at the Steam top-sellers right now:

- May Payne 3 (50€)

- Arma 2 (25€)

- Civ5 Addon (27€)

etc.

In the Top10 of the bestsellers every single game but one is at the full price the publisher wants it to sell. Sure, there are always people who will wait on a game till it gets cheap, but then again: nobody can buy every single game he/she is slightly interested in at full price. So the publishers/devs can choose: Keep the game full-price forever and loose that audience or discount it at some point to get additional sales. It has been said time and time again by devs and steam that every single time a game is discounted the sales rise and good money is made.

Also: Steam/Valve doesnt set prices, the publisher do. And as we all know: If discounts didnt make them money they would not do it.

Steam doesnt devalue games, it is a way to keep the life-cycle of your game going much longer and keep making money once the first 6 months are over. That is not bad for publishers and devs, it's good for them. Don't even get me started on digital copys of games being the same price than regular retail copys.

#6 Posted by Tesla (1921 posts) -

I dunno, buying high quality games for deep discounts is a pretty good definition of value. I predict Origin will continue to be my Battlefield 3 player, and nothing more.

#7 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

The only way to beat Steam is to do what Steam does but better. I cannot imagine a corporation like EA ever coming up with an idea that would out-Steam Steam that wasn't immediately lawyered out of existence.

#8 Posted by buft (3317 posts) -

@mandude said:

Well, Valve may not have the right approach, but they do have all my money.

exactly, shut up and keep my money!

#9 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4487 posts) -

I walked away with over 20 great games and barely spent over $60 during Steam's Christmas sale.

Fuck your 'value' EA.

#10 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@rebgav said:

I don't think that they want to be Steam, I think that they want to be Blizzard - or at least to adopt Blizzard's approach to digital delivery, a single distributor can keep the price high forever. Unfortunately, Blizzard's strategy is based on best-in-class games with strong online components and powerfully addictive gameplay, EA can't count on any of that nor the good will that Blizzard enjoys.

Fair point. In that case let me reword what I said:

I cannot imagine a corporation like EA ever publishing a best-in-class game that held it's value in spite of their yearly iterative business model.
#11 Posted by Subjugation (4720 posts) -

And this is why BF3 will likely remain the only thing I have on Origin. Valve just gets it. Gabe just gets it. They understand that you sell a game at full price point for a while and get all of the consumers willing to buy at that point, drop the price and grab more customers who weren't willing to jump in at the previous price, and then repeat the process until they choose to stop. It's actually a very sound economic principle. Do you know how many games I have bought because they were discounted that I never would have purchased otherwise? Sure, they didn't get full initial retail asking price from me but they did get more money than zero.

#12 Posted by Akyho (1637 posts) -

So what they are saying is "we are going to keep the high prices and just make YOU WANT TO buy it." While steam goes "We make it so cheap, YOU HAVE TO BUY IT!" and so we do....and the hole isnt that deep.

Online
#13 Posted by glyn (382 posts) -

@Kidavenger: The discounts are there because people are not prepared to pay the extortionate amounts these companies charge for a game. It is their way of trying to flog the stuff and claw back as much money as possible.

If games were priced sensibly to begin with .... I agree with EA

#14 Posted by Shookems (474 posts) -

Origin still sucks, end of story.

#15 Posted by Capum15 (4899 posts) -
@Subjugation said:

And this is why BF3 will likely remain the only thing I have on Origin. Valve just gets it. Gabe just gets it. They understand that you sell a game at full price point for a while and get all of the consumers willing to buy at that point, drop the price and grab more customers who weren't willing to jump in at the previous price, and then repeat the process until they choose to stop. It's actually a very sound economic principle. Do you know how many games I have bought because they were discounted that I never would have purchased otherwise? Sure, they didn't get full initial retail asking price from me but they did get more money than zero.

I agree with everything you have said. Hell, there are only around 5-ish games in my Steam library that I've bought at full price.
#16 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

@Akyho said:

So what they are saying is "we are going to keep the high prices and just make YOU WANT TO buy it."

This really has me wondering. I mean, unless they're going to recline my chair, massage my back and pour me a cup of tea while I use their service, nothing they announce could really make me want to pay 4 times the price.

Although...even then, I do like to make my own cups of tea.

#17 Posted by Demoskinos (14823 posts) -

I'm already bought into the steam ecosystem. People need to realize once people buy into a ecosystem that they aren't going to change unless that service screws them over royally.

#18 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

Haha, Valve has a good heart and good substance, they have an allegiance of loyal fans and customers forever. EA exists solely to maximize profit (not make it, MAXIMIZE it), their filthy hands always reaching for our pockets will never succeed.

#19 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4798 posts) -

I think I'll wait and see what their idea of added value is before deciding if I'm for or against this philosophy. Steam games can be cheaper than crack, but if EA wants to make me pay 50-60 dollars and they give me a bunch of cool shit along with my purchase? Hard to say.

#20 Posted by murisan (1119 posts) -

Look, I'm not going to go "FUCK EA MAN FUCK THOSE GREEDY ASSHOLES," but they're not providing any value that Steam isn't. Their premise is deeply flawed. The ONLY thing I've noticed in Origin that is better than Steam is the download rate I tend to get. Steam tends to hit 1.5MB/s and sort of fluctuate around there, but Origin caps my bandwidth (~2.4MB/s). I DO love that, but if I had a choice between Origin and Steam...

It's Steam everyday. Origin/EA have already borked me in a way. I no longer have the box/CD for Battlefield 2, for example, and I had a different account for it. Since I can't remember the account, I can't get the game on Origin. Mild complaint, but the point is that this won't happen on Steam. Even if Valve goes out of business, they've said they'll allow customers to download their library and play without Steam.

Comes down to trust, really.

#21 Edited by Pinworm45 (4088 posts) -

@murisan: You should change your download location in Steam. If you're not maxing your connection from Steam, you're probably downloading from a high-population location. You can change it in the settings.

#22 Posted by stinky (1548 posts) -

@Kidavenger said:

I have no idea what Origin plans to do to deliver value on commodity products but according to Eurogamer expect an announcement soon.

make good games? its a gaming company after all.

#23 Posted by clstirens (847 posts) -

@stinky said:

@Kidavenger said:

I have no idea what Origin plans to do to deliver value on commodity products but according to Eurogamer expect an announcement soon.

make good games? its a gaming company after all.

I have a fine assortment of EA games i enjoy playing, but I seriously doubt EA's killer plan is make good games. Sure it works for Blizzard and Valve, but some companies look at the bottom line and say "how can we market this game" instead of "will the market like this game" (and can we market it to them)

#24 Posted by ajamafalous (11992 posts) -
@Subjugation said:

And this is why BF3 will likely remain the only thing I have on Origin. Valve just gets it. Gabe just gets it. They understand that you sell a game at full price point for a while and get all of the consumers willing to buy at that point, drop the price and grab more customers who weren't willing to jump in at the previous price, and then repeat the process until they choose to stop. It's actually a very sound economic principle. Do you know how many games I have bought because they were discounted that I never would have purchased otherwise? Sure, they didn't get full initial retail asking price from me but they did get more money than zero.

@Demoskinos said:

I'm already bought into the steam ecosystem. People need to realize once people buy into a ecosystem that they aren't going to change unless that service screws them over royally.

These two posts basically sum up this thread.
#25 Posted by Zor (656 posts) -

Maybe free dlc? Or have all the dlc for a title be free (it should have been already imo, but that isn't the topic here, so lets not get into it) if you buy it from them.

#26 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

Hey, hey guys! We totally know that you have access to something that works so good, better than anything we could ever come up with. But you know, if you'd like to go ahead and use Origin instead, that would be great, okaaaay? Greeeat, thanks.

#27 Posted by J12088 (450 posts) -

In other words exclusive content if you buy via origin. No thanks. Bad enough with preorder bonuses.

#28 Posted by CheapPoison (731 posts) -

The idea of offering more value is intrinsically good. But i doubt it is going to be the value we care about. I wonder what they can add to games that adds to them. Try and get free dlc for the origin platform? I feel they might be trying that if they pull that i believe lots of people will be pissed.

But i feel that i't gonna be hard it beat steam just on their bad rep plus prices mostly trump anything for me. At least in games cause the products are identical.

And with stuff like artwork or soundtracks.. that is not going to cut it for me. So I really fear for exclusive ingame content. And i hope at that point people will finally say fuck you to all the DLC.

#29 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

@J12088 said:

In other words exclusive content if you buy via origin. No thanks. Bad enough with preorder bonuses.

That's pretty much how it is now, only it's already on a larger scale. A lot of EA games are Origin only.

#30 Posted by Driadon (2998 posts) -

I don't think EA has any concept as to what "Value" is in the customer's eyes, see Madden. They see value from their eyes.

#31 Posted by insanejedi (655 posts) -

Origin has one thing over Steam (at least for Canada) which is the physical copy and the digital copy cost exactly the same price. I only have to pay $2.50 for shipping for the physical copy. To me that's worth it. I have had good service with Origin's physical copy orders with Battlefield 3 and Sim 3.

#32 Posted by Erk_Forever (157 posts) -

I think the flaw in a "nordstrom" strategy is the fact that Nordstrom sells status, not quality; gamers don't (shouldn't) play games for status, they play for fun.

#33 Posted by pw2566ch (480 posts) -

I'm not talking crap on Origin or anything ( I have a few games on Origin), but I believe DeMartini is seeing this completely wrong. Steam doesn't discount games at 75% right away and usually it's at the developers and publishers discretion. You don't see any of the Call of Duty's at 75% off and the only games that do get discounted that heavily are Valve games.

EA can do whatever they want with Origin and they don't have to discount games, but if that's the case then they won't get very many customers. There's nothing wrong with Origin, it's just that DeMartini is approaching this wrong since they're dealing with PC gamers.

#34 Posted by DillonWerner (1528 posts) -

@mandude said:

Well, Valve may not have the right approach, but they do have all my money.

/thread

#35 Posted by AlexanderSheen (5004 posts) -

Baseball bat to the face.

#36 Posted by ahgunsillyo (450 posts) -

I'm not trying to defend DeMartini or Origin or anything, but I'm actually inclined to agree with his statement that the deep discounting of Steam sales "cheapens intellectual property."

Nearly the entirety of my Steam library consists of games that I got during one of the ridiculous Steam sales. However, most of these were games that I got on a whim not necessarily because I actually wanted them, but because they were so cheap. A lot of the time, I don't really know or care if I'll like the game or if it's even good; I just figure, "Man, it's so cheap; I'd be stupid NOT to buy it!" As a result, most of these games either remain completely untouched or have not been played for any significant amount of time.

At least when games are full price (or are discounted at most by 50%), I know I'm buying them because I care about the games and I want to and fully intend to play them.

#37 Posted by Danteveli (1184 posts) -

Origin wont beat steam and thats just it. Giving away games could help them bu it may be not enough compared with the powerhouse that Valve offers. Also using GOG rhetoric may not help EA gaining sympathy.

#38 Edited by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

I still haven't bought Starcraft II, and I'm not going to until it's 15 bucks. On the other hand, I've bought all the Cyan games and I've only played like 2 of them.

So there. Valve has more than my money than Blizzard. The system works.

#39 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

@insanejedi said:

Origin has one thing over Steam (at least for Canada) which is the physical copy and the digital copy cost exactly the same price. I only have to pay $2.50 for shipping for the physical copy. To me that's worth it. I have had good service with Origin's physical copy orders with Battlefield 3 and Sim 3.

You mean if Origin were to sell a game for 5 bucks, and you gave them 2.50, they would send you a physical copy?

#40 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@Hunkulese said:

@Kidavenger I know most replies will be pretty anti-EA but they do have a point.

EA wants to be a semi exclusive department store catering to a small portion of a market which pays generally only pays a premium for physical bundles and exclusive content when the store really offers neither?

They have a brain disease, not a point.

#41 Posted by onarum (2084 posts) -

Yeah that will totally work:

user: "Umm, ok here we have the same game both in Steam and Origin, the only difference is that in Steam it is far cheaper plus it's 1000000000000 trillion times better than origin in terms of community integration and whatnot, well I guess I'll go with Origin."

This person does not exists, the only games that will be bought on Origin instead of Steam are the games that can only be bought on Origin, period.

#42 Edited by Brodehouse (9949 posts) -

I wish Steam had a view mode with the game boxes like Origin.

I only end up buying games through Origin if they were games I was planning on spending the full 60 on anyway. Or if I can buy it on Amazon and punch the code into Origin, because Origin has the better download speed than Steam or Amazon.

#43 Posted by Jimbo (9809 posts) -

I don't know how it's affecting other people, but I certainly don't feel like Steam sales are teaching me to wait for games to be discounted.  I do buy a lot of discounted games in Steam sales, but it's only ever shit I wouldn't have bought otherwise. I don't even end up playing half of them.  
 
If there's a new game I'm interested in I usually just get it (but not from Steam, because they're fucking expensive).  I would happily buy more games on Origin, but if they (somehow) can't even manage to compete on price with third parties selling physical copies of EA products, then I don't hold out much hope for non-EA stuff.
 
DeMartini probably just shouldn't have said anything until he was prepared to reveal what his amazing alternative to big discount sales is. I have absolutely no idea what he's referring to and I still feel pretty confident in saying it isn't as good an idea as he thinks it is.

#44 Edited by c0l0nelp0c0rn1 (1807 posts) -

@insanejedi said:

Origin has one thing over Steam (at least for Canada) which is the physical copy and the digital copy cost exactly the same price. I only have to pay $2.50 for shipping for the physical copy. To me that's worth it. I have had good service with Origin's physical copy orders with Battlefield 3 and Sim 3.

Steam will let you make a physical copy for free, minus the cost of re-writeable media to store it on.

@Brodehouse said:

I wish Steam had a view mode with the game boxes like Origin.

They have a grid view similar to that, but it's not the full size game box.

#45 Posted by zityz (2360 posts) -

Here's one other thing Steam does over Origin. Free 2 play games. Not to mention free updates on Valve's own games and new stuff like workshop. One of the reason's why it's such a good platform is that it's a PC platform for PC gamers. There is a community.

Nothing about Origin has me going. Okay' i'll bite. Shit GoG is well ahead of Origin and if not for BF3 the damn service would have tanked hard by now.

#46 Posted by Hunkulese (2721 posts) -

@SeriouslyNow said:

@Hunkulese said:

@Kidavenger I know most replies will be pretty anti-EA but they do have a point.

EA wants to be a semi exclusive department store catering to a small portion of a market which pays generally only pays a premium for physical bundles and exclusive content when the store really offers neither?

They have a brain disease, not a point.

The point is that regular expected 75% of sales do devalue games. There is a large portion of the steam userbase that wont pay full price for anything because they know if they wait a few months they can get the game at a significant discount. Of course sales numbers go up when these sales occur due to the large amount of people waiting for the games at clearance level sales. There is a difference between extending the life of a game with a regular sale and offering the game for next to nothing.

#47 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

@Hunkulese said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

@Hunkulese said:

@Kidavenger I know most replies will be pretty anti-EA but they do have a point.

EA wants to be a semi exclusive department store catering to a small portion of a market which pays generally only pays a premium for physical bundles and exclusive content when the store really offers neither?

They have a brain disease, not a point.

The point is that regular expected 75% of sales do devalue games. There is a large portion of the steam userbase that wont pay full price for anything because they know if they wait a few months they can get the game at a significant discount. Of course sales numbers go up when these sales occur due to the large amount of people waiting for the games at clearance level sales. There is a difference between extending the life of a game with a regular sale and offering the game for next to nothing.

I disagree. The top sellers on Steam are usually always the newest releases.

Valve also did an interview (or just released a statement, I can't remember exactly) where they were discussing the spending patterns they had been researching through sales, and even if it's true that IPs are devalued, it still stands that not only did sales go up during a sale, but overall spending went up as well. That is to say, 15 people buying a game at $30 will net you more money than if only 5 people buy it at $60, so it still remains a win-win for everyone involved.

#48 Posted by BionicRadd (617 posts) -

Steam devaluing games implies that everyone that bought Psychonauts for a dollar was going to eventually buy it at full price. They weren't. I own a ton of Steam games I have never played, because they were cheap as crap and I had a remote interest in trying them. All of these online retailers shitting on Steam's methods just have sour grapes and want to cover up why they are too greedy or short-sighted to do it, themselves.

#49 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@Hunkulese said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

@Hunkulese said:

@Kidavenger I know most replies will be pretty anti-EA but they do have a point.

EA wants to be a semi exclusive department store catering to a small portion of a market which pays generally only pays a premium for physical bundles and exclusive content when the store really offers neither?

They have a brain disease, not a point.

The point is that regular expected 75% of sales do devalue games. There is a large portion of the steam userbase that wont pay full price for anything because they know if they wait a few months they can get the game at a significant discount. Of course sales numbers go up when these sales occur due to the large amount of people waiting for the games at clearance level sales. There is a difference between extending the life of a game with a regular sale and offering the game for next to nothing.

You have no statistical data to back up that claim. By the same token I could say that those people who chase the Steam sales and only buy at such discounted rates are also largely people who would never buy games at more expensive prices via Steam so they just contribute positively.

There's a difference between making a claim and backing it up, however and if you bothered to look at the Steam top sellers almost all of them have consistently been full priced, brand new items with some exceptions like Arma2 CO.

#50 Posted by Ducksworth (660 posts) -

It's clear that Steam has always been miles upon miles ahead of Origin, on top of that the approach of not discounting games is just pushing them even further back...but I'm actually kinda glad that origin is still kicking around. If Origin (and GWFL while we're on the subject) don't get it through their heads then it really wont effect us, Steam will remain great and life will go on. In the event that they do get it right or even if a new player enters the field then the deals and stuff that we get are just going to get better.

I guess the only point of worry would be that these companies have the power to make games exclusively tied to their services which wouldn't be helping us at all. There's also always the worry of less informed gamers placing their trust into the lesser services and ultimately getting ripped off.

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