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Edited 9 months, 19 days ago

Poll: Have you started to wean yourself away from Steam? (539 votes)

Yes 15%
Yes but very slowly. 15%
Not really, only where I’m being forced to. 33%
No 36%

It seems like the narrative has slowly started to turned against Steam in the last couple years. I don’t hear as ppl wanting all their games in one consolidated place these days. The sense I get is that ppl are increasing unhappy with the way Valve handles anything and the power they wield in the PC space.

So I wonder, are ppl actually voting with their dollars or is it mostly talk?

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#1 Posted by Veektarius (6410 posts) -

I don't care about having to open up other launchers, but it's still the least intrusive overlay, I prefer it when it's available. And I've seen improvement in the games they've been surfacing to me, though they really should figure out that I don't have a VR rig.

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#2 Posted by nutter (2136 posts) -

@undefined: I’m not buying much on PC these days. GOG and Steam kinda get equal mindshare from me, but stuff like Steam Workshop is pretty cool...but I like to support stuff like GOG.

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#3 Edited by CheapPoison (1127 posts) -

Steam isn't perfect, but I really don't want anything to do with a landscape were everyone has their own launcher and I am forced to have 9 launchers.

At this point I don't want it on steam, but I don't want it on your launcher, we are back away to taking away the convenience of people. Some can still get away with it, but a ton of stuff is right out, exclusive to orgin is a giant hurdle for me that no game in the last few years have been able to scale, The quality of the games on Orgins has been pretty meager though, with only Titanfall kind of tempting me but the dwindling community making my decision pretty easy.

I am on board for steam and gog at this point. I don't want a different launcher or store front by Ea, blizzard, ubisoft, Epic, Windows store,..There are a ton of free to play games with launchers, but at least they interface with steam or one of the other ones, or aren't too intrusive.

Steam is far from perfect, I trust the other ones way less to get it right at the moment. I wouldn't be against another one coming along, but everything needs to be on there.

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#4 Posted by citan359 (44 posts) -

I have but not because of any issue with Steam. Due to increased competition there are usually incentives for buying stuff on other launchers so I can save money while also making it easier to share my large Steam library with my wife (or share my other launchers with friends) without having it all consolidated in place. After using many different launchers, I do feel steam gets too much crap. Even if just comparing the basics, Steam just works and does so many things I rely on - Moving games between drives easily, giving me insane download speeds, sensible organization, easy account sharing, etc.

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#5 Posted by sparky_buzzsaw (8888 posts) -

Yeah, kinda. My professional life is taking over more and more of my time, and the guilt of having a big backlog is starting to hit me harder with every new purchase, especially as it's money I could be using for better purposes. I get the feeling in another decade or so I might be limiting myself to just a few games a year, if that, and more and more those are coming from places other than Steam.

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#6 Posted by The_Greg (542 posts) -

People like to turn on the thing that is the most successful. If this Discord platform takes off in a big way, people will be complaining about it in 10 years.

I buy games wherever they're either the cheapest or easiest to access. Aside from that, I don't care.

The only thing that bothers me with Steam is that the store is saturated with bullshit games that are all in early access or have been through no quality assurance whatsoever. Even this isn't a huge problem though, as I know what games I want to buy months in advance of their release, so I don't spend much time browsing the catalog. If there's a sale, I just look through my wishlist.

I also still believe that Steam is the best one of those. That's not to say it isn't flawed, but none of the other platforms even come close.

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#7 Posted by fedallah (296 posts) -

I still buy most of my PC stuff on steam, but I don't think I've browsed the steam store in years.

They work pretty good as a place where I can type in the name of whatever game I want and then buy it, and their community stuff is as complete as I've ever needed, but they are piss poor at surfacing anything of interest to me.

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#8 Posted by Ares42 (4359 posts) -

Why would I ? I already have a massive library there and it's still the place you'll find 99% of the games you're looking for. Is Steam as good as it used to be ? Hell no. But it's still by far the best alternative for me. I would think where you might see a bigger discrepancy is in new user statistics. Alternative platforms are probably more attractive to people who aren't as invested and younger people who needs to squeeze their pennies.

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#9 Posted by CreepingDeath0 (419 posts) -

God no. I'm 1000+ games deep on Steam at the minute. If I could roll my uplay, origin and gog accounts into it I would gladly.

Honestly at this stage if Steam somehow went under I'd probably quit the hobby. Losing not only my latest games buy ones I've loved and had easy access to for well over a decade would be incredibly shitty.

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#10 Edited by Seikenfreak (1532 posts) -

Not really. I don't have any real issues with Steam. Having multiple launchers is stupid. I don't buy too many games on PC (currently at 190 on Steam) though so most things I do want are on Steam. If it isn't, and I specifically want the game on PC, then I'm forced to use some other dumb launcher, which gets installed to play the game for a week and then uninstalled when I'm done.

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#11 Posted by Ben_H (4195 posts) -

I haven't stopped buying from Steam, but I have stopped buying stuff during sales unless it is something I was already considering. I used to buy a lot of games just because they were cheap and then end up only playing them for 20 minutes.

I do find their interface increasingly tough to use. There's simply too much stuff now that hides things I might actually want. The tab on the front page that shows games on special is basically useless now because there are thousands of junk games that are perpetually on sale.

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#12 Posted by riostarwind (1357 posts) -

Steam has become the place where I get the assortment of humble bundles I buy and not much else. The amount of games I own on it pretty much guarantees I won't stop using it for a very long time.

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#13 Posted by BaneFireLord (3568 posts) -

I buy most of my stuff on Humble Bundle now because of the monthly subscriber discount, but since all of those codes activate on Steam I'm not likely to stop using the platform itself until I literally cannot use it anymore.

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#14 Posted by Casepb (701 posts) -

I mostly use Steam, but I do have Battle.net and Origin. I see no reason to stop using Steam.

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#15 Posted by reap3r160 (265 posts) -

I mostly use steam, but only because I have to. Their business practices and just overall design initiative has put me off from them but unfortunately it is still where 90% of content is and is usually the only place to get the best price(GMG is getting better).

I will be using discord once their launcher releases(their library, not the launcher that is there now).

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#16 Posted by ATastySlurpee (670 posts) -

I typically only used Steam for sales and indie games. I prefer consoles, so I use Steam about the same as I always have thought I've noticed I buy less games on Steam because the sales are not as great as they used to be.

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#17 Edited by MattGiersoni (587 posts) -

I play more on consoles than PC but otherwise no, I haven't really started going away from steam. I buy most of my games on steam and most of retail PC games are still tied to steam. It really doesn't bother me and I don't mind other publishers tying their games to their own platforms (they want to avoid the 30% fee and grow their own platform) Some of them still offer their games on steam and their own store either way. If I buy an EA, Bethesda or Ubi game for example, switching a client takes a few clicks and seconds and I can usually add it as a non-steam game if I want to chat/I can just use discord so whatever. Although for super old games GOG is probably better since they are reworking a lot of them and adjusting them to modern systems, I belive they even have a division for that stuff which is cool.

Steam's policies have been a hit and miss in a recent months but I doubt there's going to be a serious contender to challenge them in the market and majority of people are definitely not going to boycott/vote with their wallets unless an absolutely massive fuck up happens. It does suck a bit that steam has such a huge monopoly because competition is good but I doubt anything will change soon.

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#18 Posted by mcbisquick (54 posts) -

Not really. I don't usually buy much from them directly, but I'm often price shopping. So places like Green Man and stuff typically have better deals but only offer the games as Steam codes. If I really want something and it's the same price everywhere, I don't mind grabbing it on GOG or some other service, but Steam has the control they have for a reason (for better and worse). Most of my game library is on there so it's convenient, and it's just kinda your main vehicle if you play games on PC at all.

I have been playing more stuff on console in 2018 than the last couple of years, but that's mostly out of convenience and not really trying to vote with my dollar or anything.

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#19 Posted by Nux (2890 posts) -

I don't play as many PC games as I used to so I haven't opened up Steam since Pillars 2 came out and I don't see myself opening Steam up again until the Pillars 2 DLC comes out, if it even gets any. When I am playing a PC game it it usually WoW which is ,obviously, not on Steam but I mostly play games on my PS4 and Switch these days and I am quite happy with that.

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#20 Posted by Justin258 (15649 posts) -

The only problem I have with Steam is that, for whatever reason, I can't access most of the Uplay games I bought through Steam. It says they're tied to a different account. I never made a Uplay account, I just started those games, they launched into Uplay, and then I was playing games.

Except for that, I've never actually had a problem with any of these launchers. Technically, anyway, I do have a philosophical problem with them. I'd love to be able to just buy boxed PC games like they did in ye olden days and never have to worry about online activation or whatever. GOG's thing is a great second to boxed PC games - you don't need a launcher! - but I guess I'm so in the Steam ecosystem that I've never thought about seeing if it's on GOG before buying on Steam. Guess I'll start doing that in the future, although most of your big-name games aren't going to show up on GOG and multiplayer games almost definitely aren't going to be on there.

I do, rather frequently, wonder what will happen if/when Steam/Origin/Uplay shuts down. Will I still have access to all of my games? Will they release a thing that allows me to access them? Will some games work and some games not work? Realistically, if Steam ever gets to that point I bet someone will buy it and just screw over customers any way that they can.

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#21 Posted by fisk0 (6888 posts) -

I get my stuff on GOG (or the few other DRM free stores) whenever possible, but GOG has this odd habit of rejecting games I've been looking forward to, so in those cases I still have to get them on Steam, but it's really never my first choice.

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#22 Posted by BradBrains (2268 posts) -


Its becoming more and more clear the idea we had before of "everyone on the same platform" was a wrong one that ended up being harmful. Lets go back to 2003 is what I say.

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#23 Posted by Fezrock (731 posts) -

Only a little bit. I use Battle.net and Origin as necessary and have a few games like FFXIV that use their own launchers. I have no real attachment to Steam, even though that's where most of my games are, but I still primarily use it because most of the time its the most convenient option for me. If games start becoming exclusive to other launchers, I'll just expand the number of launchers I use. I have no problem with that.

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#24 Posted by ajamafalous (13817 posts) -


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#25 Posted by Efesell (4503 posts) -


It's an incredibly useful service and for as much as 'voting with your dollar' sounds nice and noble and what have you literally the only person who would be affected by it is me.

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#26 Edited by frytup (1315 posts) -

@nux said:

I don't play as many PC games as I used to so I haven't opened up Steam since Pillars 2 came out and I don't see myself opening Steam up again until the Pillars 2 DLC comes out, if it even gets any.

The first Pillars 2 expansion dropped earlier this month. I'm waiting until the final two expansions release before I hop back in.

My opinion of Steam now is the same it's always been. Steam reviews are useless, Steam forums are full of trash people, and the store has tons of low-effort junk in it. This hasn't changed in years. Since I don't browse the store, read Steam reviews, or engage with the "community", I don't have much reason to care. It's a perfectly functional store front with a bunch of useful features.

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#27 Posted by BabyChooChoo (7092 posts) -

Slowly but surely. The only real reason I keep Steam around is because it's still the only place you can get 99.9% of Japanese games, which make up the majority of what I play, on PC. They took forever to embrace the platform in general and I imagine it's gonna take at least another decade before they start embracing other services. Mostly because, and I'll readily admit it, no other service comes even remotely close to the install base of Steam so I can forgive companies (Japanese or not) for ignoring those services, but also I'm just gonna bet a lot of companies are still worried about piracy and GoG being completely DRM-free probably isn't a comforting thought to them.

Steam is for the most part a completely solid service. However, and goddammit I know I've said this half a trillion times on these forums this past year alone, I just don't like that they're you're only option for the vast majority of PC games. It's gotten so crazy that they've essentially become synonymous with the platform. Whn you think of PC gaming, chances are you think of Steam. Again, and yes I get it, they've earned it, I'm not arguing that. It's just for a platform that people like to brag is all about choice, it's amazing how little choice you actually have in some cases.

Also, I just find the front page and browsing the Steam store a terrible experience. There's too much shit in both senses of the word. There's a lot of games in general, but also just a lot of genuinely terrible games that have no business being sold. It took Valve forever to kinda sorta crack down on asset flips, but as far as I know, they're still a thing and it's really only the most heinous ones that see any action taken by Valve.

So I applaud other publishers waning off of Steam. That's great, we should all stop being so reliant on them lest we end up with another "Amazon" when Gabe and the rest of the old guard step down. Probably unlikely, but competition is good either way.

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#28 Edited by mellotronrules (2609 posts) -

i think the anti-steam narrative exists largely in a media-bubble. steam is a nightmare if you have to drink from the firehose that is new releases, early access, etc.

but if you're getting your recommendations from friends and the media itself (this very fine website, as an example)- the new releases, recommendations, and promo sections of steam are all largely irrelevant. discovery isn't happening on the platform for me- it happens on the web.

and in terms of breadth of features and value-adds (big picture, cloud saves)- i don't think steam really has any comparable competition.

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#29 Posted by Sergiy (52 posts) -

I try to stick to Steam and GoG Galaxy when possible, i dont want to deal with a launcher for everything having to keep it all up to date, logging in and out, having all these things patching games in the background... its just becoming more of a pain the more they force us to use them.

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#30 Posted by alexl86 (868 posts) -

No, not really. I launch a few games from other launchers, but launch 90% from steam.

Something about the narrative around steam reminds me of The Last Jedi debacle. A small, very vocal minority are complaining and have to an extent some legitimate complaints (and some that definitely aren’t legitimate), but their voice make a very large impression that isn’t representative of the consumers at large.

Now, I would love if there was a competitor to Steam, so if Discord can be that, that’s good for PC gaming.

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#31 Posted by BelowStupid (496 posts) -

Not really, I get free games on twitch's launcher which is pretty nice, but I still buy games on steam,

As a matter of fact I downloaded Brutal Legend on twitch's launcher a few months ago but there was no controller support for the DS4. I probably could have looked for drivers or something, but I thought it would be easier to get it on steam for $2.50 and just have the support right there.

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#32 Posted by mach_go_go_go (207 posts) -

I feel like every time the thought creeps into my mind, another high profile Japanese game that comes from a franchise with no history on the PC gets an announcement.

Valkyria Chronicles, Okami, Yakuza, Shenmue, Dragon Quest, Onimushu...

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#33 Posted by MerxWorx01 (857 posts) -

I use practically every service from the itch launcher to the now defunct GMG Capsule Launcher. There's no reason for me to "wean" myself off a service that works for me. So far every service out there is pretty much either an imperfect hodge podge of software that mimics steam or it's a large company whose main draw are it's own flagship products.

So no.

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#34 Edited by Forrester90 (995 posts) -

Nah, I like having GOG and Origin but when I'm looking for a game I'll usually want the Steam version.

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#35 Posted by Maxszy (2377 posts) -

Eh, not really, or at least not on purpose.

Other launchers have had some good sales or opportunities. Origin has been good for me playing through Andromeda recently and re-visiting Mass Effect. Titanfall 2 is also on there so, its all worked out well for me. Origin also is way better than it was initially and seems pretty stable now to me.

I've also gone to the GOG launcher and platform when I can. I like support devs who put it on GOG being DRM free. I've done a couple things through UPlay but its still not great.

I don't mind having to open various launchers but its not ideal. As long as they work, and I can access what I bought to play then I don't really care. I do still buy the most of my stuff on Steam.

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#36 Posted by ShaggE (9269 posts) -

Nope. I bought too many games, and now I have to play them all. So all aboard the Steam train. (apologies to the Grumps, I didn't start that sentence intending to do that, I swear!)

Seriously though, the issues I have with Steam aren't nearly enough to make me stop using it. Now, if I'm choosing between Steam and GOG, all other factors being the same, I'll take GOG every time.

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#37 Posted by MostlySquares (323 posts) -

I felt better about Steam back when I thought the endless amounts of dollars Valve skimmed through Steam would somehow magically turn into amazing Valve developed games. Then Valve stopped making games and now Valve is just a place where money goes.. God knows it doesn't go towards making their platform better.. That makes Steam less and less appealing to me. It used to be a cool platform by those awesome folks what did the team fortresses and half life.. Now it's a store that kinda does nothing with your money.. If I buy stuff straight off of Origin, at least EA gets all the money... I know that sounds like an insane thing to say, but the fact of the matter is that EA will turn the 30% that otherwise would have been Valve's cut into actual games.. Valve would turn that 30% cut into an ever expanding apple-style money pit...

Money makes big businesses lose focus. No idea what Valve's plans are for the future. Just dabble in VR and Dota 2 stuff for the long haul?

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#38 Posted by cikame (2822 posts) -

Nope, Steam's great, PC ports keep getting better and better, and it's where my screenshot library and friends are.
The popular issues with Steam arn't really a problem for me.

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#39 Posted by someoneproud (582 posts) -

Stopped buying games on steam years ago and never looked back. Most of the games I'm interested are available on GOG and I've had some very unpleasant exchanges with steam's "customer service" people from the very first day I started using it.

I like the functionality fine but I'd rather my money go to CDP (who actually seem to give a shit).

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#40 Posted by mikewhy (338 posts) -


What other PC platform has the same caliber of controller support? And the streaming? And voice chat? And Big Picture (tho Uplay does have controller support IIRC)?

Yeah I can see people taking issue with the mess that is the new releases / early access. But not everybody goes that route.

I don't mind multiple launchers, since I always add it to steam anyways for the advantages mentioned above. I do however dislike the fragmentation that brings to friends lists.

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#41 Edited by Onemanarmyy (4398 posts) -

Nah not really. Steam has a bunch of nice features and 99% of the games are available there. I have some origin games that i hardly check into because i just don't think about using their launcher. GOG is an alright competitor, but knowing that games on GOG will not always patch at a similar rate, or get a certain patch at all is a turn off.

Not being able to find neat games between the garbage while browsing is a problem, but the search bar always does the trick. I rather have games that are harder to be found than games not being available at all.

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#42 Posted by ArbitraryWater (15714 posts) -

I don't buy as many PC games as I used to, thanks to a combination of buying everything on sale over the years (back when Steam sales were insane) and regretting buying everything on sale over the years. I'll occasionally try and get smaller stuff on GOG, but the vast majority of big modern PC games still only show up on Steam. Sometimes, even when a game launches on both, the GOG version will be treated like a weird second-class citizen, be it with slower patches, segregated multiplayer, or a lack of workshop support.

I will say that the outcry over Steam's decreasing functionality over the years has always come off as a tad exaggerated over the years. I'm not saying the store isn't full of garbage, or that Valve hasn't been making the absolute wrong decisions at every turn, but I've never had a problem finding what I'm looking for. Maybe I'm only speaking for myself, but I've never found any sort of hypothetical "hidden gem" digging through the trash and purchasing something that wasn't already well-known or on my wishlist. I've found some weird curiosities, but never anything I'd call "great"

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#43 Posted by tds418 (477 posts) -

@mostlysquares Spot on. I want as much money as I spend on a game to go to the people making it. Valve is a middleman that does almost nothing to add value to the games but skims profit off every transaction. For what? I don't use any community features, and running a web store is really not that special.

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#44 Posted by ShiftyMagician (2190 posts) -

As someone who currently dual-boots Windows and Linux, the recent Steam Play + Proton updates lately have made sure that I won't be thinking about moving away from it anytime soon. If they keep it up, I may finally be able to move away from Windows for good.

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#45 Edited by Captain_Insano (3511 posts) -

I mean, only in the sense that I bought waaay more than I'll ever need in past Steam sales (especially when they had those publisher deals and flash sales). With the death of those, I buy a lot less. It's still my go to place to buy games on PC, simply for ease of use.

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#46 Posted by The_Greg (542 posts) -

I don't buy as many PC games as I used to, thanks to a combination of buying everything on sale over the years (back when Steam sales were insane) and regretting buying everything on sale over the years. I'll occasionally try and get smaller stuff on GOG, but the vast majority of big modern PC games still only show up on Steam. Sometimes, even when a game launches on both, the GOG version will be treated like a weird second-class citizen, be it with slower patches, segregated multiplayer, or a lack of workshop support.

GOG will always be a 2nd class citizen, but it will always have its place too. There are old games on there that I love and will never be on Steam. I hope they continue to build that amazing back-catalogue.

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#47 Posted by beforet (3470 posts) -

Not like intentionally. I just don't use it as much as I used to. If I got way more into PC gaming, I'd probably try to diversify my sources a bit. Itch, GOG, etc.

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#48 Posted by totsboy (496 posts) -

I've been trying to use itch.io when I can, DRM free and the dev get's 90% instead of the usual 70%.

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#49 Posted by nicksmi56 (840 posts) -

If anything, it's the opposite. I'm desperately trying to get myself to play my Steam games more often. I have several perfectly good indies on there that I need to set aside some time for, which is only getting harder to do when Switch is getting all the indies I want and has portability to tempt me away XD

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#50 Posted by loafofgame (166 posts) -

@cikame said:

Nope, Steam's great, PC ports keep getting better and better, and it's where my screenshot library and friends are.

The popular issues with Steam arn't really a problem for me.

Same here. I only play on pc and I personally don't have any issues with Steam as a service and platform. I've heard many stories, but those simply have not applied to me so far.

I also have Ubisoft and Origin launchers and a GOG-account, but so far I've only used GOG and Origin to get free games.