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Author Topic: Steam online game account system flirts with micropayments  (Read 4995 times)

mouser

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Steam online game account system flirts with micropayments
« on: March 18, 2009, 06:00:53 AM »
I like to stay on top of developments in the micropayment world since DC is a member of this small community.  I'm skeptical about the details of this specific system on Steam actually resulting in a micropayment system that people use.

However, I think you can see how micropayments are going to eventually catch on -- and that's when people are, as a side effect of some other motivation, already part of a large network of users whose financial information is already in place so that they can pay without risk or inconvenience.

As I wrote about here, the term "micropayment" is probably going to turn out to be a misnomer.  The key issue for developers who wish to survive on trivial end-user payments is not the size of these payments but the ease in which they need to be doable before they will become financially viable to a producer.  For this to happen, we need a kind of financial account facebook/myspace/twitter thing, where most of the planet is signed up.  I don't know how long it will take to get to that point but I think it's coming.

Quote
Valve's Steam software has a new feature for game publishers that lets them sell additional downloadable content, or DLC, from within their games.   Valve says the new system will allow users to purchase and add additional content, even on titles that were not purchased through Steam's game store, just like it does with physical software titles that were purchased from other retailers.

« Last Edit: March 18, 2009, 06:20:06 AM by mouser »

wraith808

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Re: Steam online game account system flirts with micropayments
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2009, 09:39:08 AM »
They're playing keep-up with XBox Live, IMO.  XBox Live has shown that this stuff works- DLC, Achievements- and Steam is trying to be the de facto platform for the PC.  IMO, it's a great idea as long as the DLC is kept under tight control so that it's not required content that's left out just to charge for it later.  As Live has shown, there's real backlash over that kind of thing.

wraith808

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Re: Steam online game account system flirts with micropayments
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2009, 09:47:00 AM »
BTW, Thanks for the heads up mouser!  Without this topic, I wouldn't have seen the topic about Steamcloud :)

mediaguycouk

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Re: Steam online game account system flirts with micropayments
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2009, 10:37:58 AM »
What's interesting with the comparison with xbox live is that steam don't like 'extra' payments.

A news item was on a site the other day saying that they couldn't have new achievements with the new DLC for Left 4 Dead as achievements are only available on paid for downloads. Valve said that it was 'more important that their content was free'.
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Deozaan

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Re: Steam online game account system flirts with micropayments
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2009, 12:21:27 PM »
I hate DLC you have to pay for. It just encourages developers to release an unfinished game and then charge you extra if you want the full experience.

And then there are the companies (EA, I think it was) who charge you extra money to unlock cheat codes, or other forms of help. Or give people who pay extra money better gear and items that give them an unfair advantage in online games. This is bad!


mediaguycouk

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Re: Steam online game account system flirts with micropayments
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2009, 12:31:54 PM »
Just some links for my comment

http://www.bingegame...-microsoft-and-sony/

http://www.shacknews...m/onearticle.x/57308 // Valve: Left 4 Dead Half-price Sale Saw 3000% Increase, Beat Launch Numbers
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wraith808

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Re: Steam online game account system flirts with micropayments
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2009, 03:10:13 PM »
As long as the platform enforces some QC on the DLC (i.e. its worthy DLC and not just completing an unfinished game), then I'm all for it.  It gives new life to something that you might have really enjoyed but want more (Fallout 3, Oblivion, and Mass Effect are all good examples of this).