This completely slipped me by, but Gabe Newell gave the keynote speech at DICE 2009 yesterday. The speech was liveblogged over at G4TV
which I've only just finished reading (damm time difference). Now this post may fall into one of those vomit-inducing, Valve love-fests, but when Gabe breaks out some of the figures here it's hard not to admire what Valve have done with Steam. I think in the past I've been maybe critical of the pricing and availability of games outside the US, (couldn't get all the oldGTA games on Steam or Ubisoft games until a short while ago), but things have definitely improved over the last few months. With EA's catalogue now available and new releases getting a world-wide release date, Steam has come on leaps and bounds.
I don't want to simply re-print what's on the blog post, but here's some of the best bits:
* Remember last weekend's Left 4 Dead sale? Turns out the sale resulted in a 3000% up-turn in purchases! Yes, 3000%!!! For a game that's been at retail for almost 4 months, it's almost unbelievable.
* Gabe believes piracy is caused because Pirates offer a better service; fast, free and DRM-free.
* An un-named third party game's sales went up 36,000%
on a weekend sale! Jesus Christ. I know me and my friends who use Steam definitely check out each Steam sale weekend with anticipation. To me, it's a chance to pick up some games that might have slipped me by. I got R6:V2 a couple of weeks ago, and a few people I know picked up the Ghost Recon Pack from two weeks ago. It's become a weekly event that I really look forward to. That and the yearly post-Christmas sale.
*Steam for consoles? Gabe would like to see a similar service on consoles
As I said it's becoming a bit to much of a love-fest, but Valve does a really good job with Steam. In an ideal world, there wouldn't be a need for retail copies of games and we could get all the games and community features we need from Steam. But Broadband access isn't truly widespread around the world and retail copies are a necessity. But still it would be good if all PC publishers and developers used Steam to sell their games. Anyway, here's looking forward to the new Scout update in TF2, more Left 4 Dead stuff and maybe Braid next month all on Steam?
(what the fuck is wrong with me, 4 cblog posts in 24 hours....?)