Monthly Fees for Steam

#1 Posted by emkeighcameron (1876 posts) -

Let's face it. More and more games in people's PC collections are becoming Steam-registered. Whether you love or hate Steam, the numbers don't lie: it's becoming a pretty big component of PC gaming, and there are a lot of people who believe that it's going to be the future of the platform.
 
So, when are they really going to crank up the heat?

Envision the following scenario:
 
Steam first introduces a "SteamPRO" or "Steam Supreme" program that requires a monthly fee. The old Steam will still be free, but the newer one will have more customization options,  faster download speeds, earlier game access, cooler icons, etc. After "SteamPRO" has been online for a while, say a year or two, they'll just make paid subscription mandatory for both regular and PRO Steam, and jack up the price for PRO.
 
That was my horrible vision, and I'm sure all you clever marketing and MBA guys out there can come up with a trillion other models for introducing paid subscription into the Steam service.
 
Now, I know what a ton of you are going to say: "Steam already gets tons of money from the game sales" and "Steam makes bank from advertisements alone, why would they want to alienate their user base with bullshit monthly fees?". Who knows? You could be entirely right. Maybe I'm scared of nothing. But if it DOES happen, I want ya'll to know I called it. 
 
[Editor's note: The author has an embarrassingly extensive Steam game collection and you don't want to know how much he would pay monthly to retain access to said collection, even though he hardly plays the vast majority of the games contained therein.]
 

#2 Posted by Bigandtasty (3203 posts) -

Yeah, I feel that paranoia sometimes too. But hey, even if the worst-case scenario happens in a few years, I got a good amount of enjoyment out of my ~15 games bought for like $60 total.

#3 Posted by TheGremp (2064 posts) -

Luckily, Valve is above doing something like that.  Such is why I love Valve so much, they're one of the most consumer-friendly devs out there.

#4 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -
@emkeighcameron:

It's a possibility but I doubt there will be premium service fee.
 
I think it's far more likely that Gabe might implement some kind monthly fee to community fund new original titles.  He's been talking up the idea of community funding for a while. 
 
That fee would be kind of like premium access to yet to be released titles and might also give access to specific betas etc.
#5 Posted by SolidestChimp (155 posts) -

the second you have to pay for steam is the second i stop useing it simple :/

#6 Posted by Spacetrucking (943 posts) -
@SolidestChimp said:
" the second you have to pay for steam is the second i stop useing it simple :/ "
And this is the reason it will never happen. Valve is smarter than that. They know what happened to GameTap.
#7 Posted by 71Ranchero (2765 posts) -

I would pay for a steam subscription in some cases. If it provided you with a discount, more skins, screenshot and video apps, early access to demo's/dlc, and things like that.  

Online
#8 Posted by Evilsbane (4618 posts) -

Valve isn't stupid they know that would kill their user base instantly, like someone else said the community aspect was something Gabe was talking about and it was a brilliant idea.

#9 Posted by MikkaQ (10288 posts) -

I'd pay if they mac-ported it.

#10 Posted by Cerza (1653 posts) -

I would not pay a monthly fee to have access to an online game store where I then have to pay another fee for access to each game I want to play. You are paying a fee to pay a fee. It's stupid. Also, by doing this they would completely alienate their user base and suffer the same fate as all the others that have tried to go this route. As big as Steam is it's not the only digital distribution platform available on the PC. The only thing that separates it from the competition is that its currently the one with the most games and features. There are some things you just can't charge for on the PC and the folks running Steam are smart enough to know this.

#11 Edited by PureRok (4235 posts) -

The only way they'd do this if they had a BSOD.
 
Sorry, I've been reading TvTropes all night.

#12 Posted by NoXious (1338 posts) -
@SolidestChimp:

I'm with this dude!

I don't have a ton of games (beyond Steam-only) that are registered to my account. I am perfectly happy with dropping it all together if it would become a subscription based service.
Now there's something to say for a subscription/feature plan though. Depending on the feature I'd pay a subscription. I dropped my MMO's lately so I have a 15/month gap free in my plans.

#13 Posted by JeanLuc (3583 posts) -

Its like what Hulu is doing with their new paid subscription model. The second that happens I'm never visiting Hulu Again, and the same would happen to steam if they did that.

#14 Posted by nrain (1274 posts) -

I don't know why they'd make you pay to give them money for games, that's like having the local game shop havve a bouncer on the door wanting £3 to enter. If however by subscription I can pay say $100 a month and play any game I want then bring it on.

#15 Posted by L33tfella_H (901 posts) -

The Common Mentality with the internet (and perhaps in the real world) is that if you are given something out for free for a long time, and then suddenly you are asked to pay for it, you'll be hard-pressed to just say 'yes i'll gladly pay now after 6 years in which i didn't have to'. Also, what are we paying subscription for anyway? For multiplayer gaming, Steam Servers only host mostly Valve games i'm pretty sure (there are minor exceptions), community aspect? (it's way too shallow to even ask that we pay for that), hosting all our purchased video games on a server (they could do that, but i'd gander most people would just never go online on their steam account ever again). 
 
If Steam do want a monthly fee, they need to give us a damn good reason for it.

#16 Edited by GreyFox (137 posts) -
@emkeighcameron said:

"Steam already gets tons of money from the game sales" and "Steam makes bank from advertisements alone, why would they want to alienate their user base with bullshit monthly fees?"."

Because you can never have enough money. NEVER.
 
Oh, and I do like steam. Would probably pay if it were mandatory.
#17 Posted by JJWeatherman (14558 posts) -
@emkeighcameron:  Stop giving Valve ideas!!!   :P
#18 Posted by MattyFTM (14383 posts) -

I'm sure if they did that there would be a huge boycott from the gaming community. They'd never get away with it.

Moderator
#19 Posted by Tennmuerti (8100 posts) -

No just no.
I don't pay any RL shop money monthly for the right to shop there, why would I for Steam if they are already getting a fat cut of the the games that I purchase of them.
If they ever did something like that I believe the uproar from the community would be phenomenal.
I don't know about others but if something like this ever happened it would force me to stop using Steam immediately and I would probably also pirate any games that I already purchased from them that I would like to keep playing. The only thing that stops me from clicking on a torrent, these days, rather then on a yes button of a purchase confirmation is my honesty and goodwill, if that goodwill is destroyed I simply will not buy from them, period.
 
I'm not saying that this could never happen, but if it did they would only consider this if their potential profits from doing so would be higher then the sales that they would loose.

#20 Posted by Binman88 (3687 posts) -
@emkeighcameron said:
" Let's face it. More and more games in people's PC collections are becoming Steam-registered."
I've got 50 PC games sitting on my shelf from the last couple of years, and only three of them require Steam, one of them being a Valve game from 2004.
 
Steam, at least for me, does not have the appeal to warrant a subscription fee. I use it for buying cheap games when they have sales, and I like that it keeps my games updated. That's about it. I have Xfire for cross game chat, which supports way more games than Steam ever will.
#21 Posted by pause422 (6184 posts) -

I guarantee you there is absolutely no chance of them ever enforcing something like this. They are always all over microsoft at being made to charge anything added content on the 360, and people that like Valve and Steam, this is a big reason for it. They would never be so stupid to make a move like this.

#22 Edited by cstrang (2381 posts) -

Introducing something where they would hold out new games for "premium" users is something they would never do.  It's pretty much like shooting themselves in the foot.  "Oh, I can't get that game on launch?  Fuck you, then, I'll go to D2D".
 
The only way I could see some kind of "premium" service is if they charged a flat monthly fee in return for temporary access to their entire library.

#23 Posted by Driadon (2998 posts) -
@cstrang said:
" Introducing something where they would hold out new games for "premium" users is something they would never do.  It's pretty much like shooting themselves in the foot.  "Oh, I can't get that game on launch?  Fuck you, then, I'll go to D2D".  The only way I could see some kind of "premium" service is if they charged a flat monthly fee in return for temporary access to their entire library. "
Which, in theory, could work but with piracy so rampant it would be so damn easy for someone to pay that fee once, download every single game they can and find a way to "crack" each and every one of them.
#24 Posted by cstrang (2381 posts) -
@Driadon: Of course there would need to be a retooling of how they do their distribution...
#25 Posted by nukesniper (1312 posts) -

I feel that if they did that they would have to give me a way to play my games outside of steam. Otherwise, they are adding a fee to play games that (when i purchased them) did not mention a fee by month. I am sure that that example would be illegal in some way.  
 
I could see them making a premium Steam with a fee, but I wouldn't use it. I like steam because I can buy and download games from it. If they were to do that and handle it poorly it would greatly effect their userbase. I would go back to buying games in cases.

#26 Posted by RandomInternetUser (6789 posts) -

I don't think Valve would do that.  I kind of question whether it would be legal to deny access to games you bought by implementing a monthly fee after you had bought the games pre-subscription, but I don't know.  I could maybe see a premium service that costs money, but I don't think they would ever just flat out make you pay for Steam.

#27 Edited by HitmanAgent47 (8576 posts) -

They wouldn't have to do this at all. Steam is a very well thought out digital distrubution service that adressed everything you could think of to buying a game online. They aren't going to alienate ppl like xboxlive, the pc community will not support this and it will destroy their business and loyal customers.

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