By Contrarian 54 Comments
Steam and me were destined to never co-exist in peace and harmony. To be honest, I hate it with an absolute passion, for reasons directly related to my experience with it and retail PC games. It is a complete and utter pain.
I got myself a cheap copy of Empire: Total War yesterday, just $15 Au. Great I thought. I love me some RTS on the PC - a lot. So, this morning I pop the disc in the machine and oh wait - you need to get Steam working. This is 10am Sunday (today). It has to update Steam. NowI don't have a great internet - it is running on dial-up soeed as my broadband has dried up until next week and I only get 3Gb of it a month. 3 hours later, it finally completes the update.
Now to login. Oh wait, I can't remember my username - my fault, I must write that down, I just don't use Steam enough to cement it. Get an email with my username and lucky for me, I remember my password. Enter the details and now it wants to authorise this computer for Steam and apparently I have some code I should know that has to be entered. Where the hell did that come from? I have never seen this before. Now I try to contact Steam and remember another problem - stupid Windows. I run an iMac with Windows for RTS gaming. It won't connect to the internet to contact them - yet will talk to Steam to update it. I hate Windows. Why can't things be simple - put the disc in, load it up and play it. Why do they deliberately put obstacles all over the place just to piss of the consumer?
Fast forward 3.5 hours and it is 1.30pm and I still can't even get close to playing the game. I am now back on Mac and trying to login to Steam so I can get this fixed. This means I have to load Steam up on the Mac as it won't let me sign in. So, I download Mac Steam. Done. Now it is updating Steam. Fast forward another 2 hours, it is about half way through and it crashes. Hoping it would pick up from where it left, I start again and it it starts at the beginning. Trying to sign in to Steam completely fails. It just won't do anything.
Rage has taken over. I give up. So it will be a week before I can TRY to play the game I bought at a store.
Retail PC gaming isn't dying, they are deliberately killing it.
It is easy for you people with super access to high speed broadband to say how great Steam and digital is. But spare a thought for those who don't. I don't begrudge people choosing digital, but I want an easy way to play legitimately purchased PC games. If I put as many obstacles in the way of my clients to access my product, I would go out of business. It doesn't stop piracy. In fact, it fuels it. Sure as hell makes me want to get a pirated copy.