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Alasdair Duncan's blog
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Alasdair Duncan avatar 6:52 AM on 07.20.2010  (server time)
I love Valve but this seems slightly shady

Stop me if youíve heard this one before: thereís a co-op, top down shooter available on Steam. You blast some aliens and itís been developed from a Unreal Tournament mod. Yes, itís Alien Breed: Impact, which was released in June on Steam.

Oh wait, you though I was talking about Alien Swarm right, the game you can get for free on Steam right? Yeah, I was a little confused too, and actually quite relieved that I didnít put down any money on Alien Breed, 15 bucks to be exact. Ďcos from where Iím sitting, they both look like the same game.

Valve has caught some flack before, specifically about Steamís potential to be anti-competitive as both a publisher and developer. Last time the issue came up, plenty of indie teams came to Valveís defence, especially Tripwire who developed the co-op zombie shooter Killing Floor. The said, that despite similarities with the Left 4 Dead games, that Valve never compromised Killing Floor by pushing their own games. It made sense, I know a lot of people who bought Killing Floor and have had fun with it.

But those games were fairly different, both in aesthetics and their core gameplay mechanics. Alien Breed and Alien Swarm look like the same goddam game. I havenít played Alien Swarm yet (servers are busy apparently) and I only played the Alien Breed demo, but both are co-op games (Alien Breed only 2, Alien Swarm has 4), same top down shooter mechanics, same look, steam features like leaderboards and achievements.....

This seems a bit dodgy to me; would anyone seriously buy Alien Breed now knowing that a similar game is available for free? In Valveís defence, Alien Breed came out more than a month and a half ago and had a fairly noticeable prescience on Steam. I suppose anyone buying a top down, alien blaster shooter would have bought it buy now, right? Even so, this is a bit fishy...

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