For many PC gamers, games for PC have become synonymous with Steam. Valve’s digital distribution system is by far the biggest player in the PC gaming market; so entrenched is the use of Steam that we rarely step back and examine it. Yet, with every discussion that crops up about how terrible Origin is or Games for Windows Live or even with the recent catastrophe that was the original Xbox One statement (now rescinded), I can’t help but wonder, why aren’t we scrutinising Steam in the same way? Today I want to talk about the less discussed aspects of Steam, and why as consumers, we should be more aware of what we’re buying into and how our economic decisions affect the industry.
(small note: I know both Sony and Nintendo did their E3 stuff today, but my comments on Nintendo’s Direct will come out tomorrow, since I don’t want to flood my blog with too many posts in a day)
For this post, I’m trying a different format from the Microsoft E3 post, and I will only comment on the stuff that I feel qualified to talk about (i.e. games of genres I play and sequels of games I’ve played). Firstly because I think it’ll be more informative this way and secondly, because there was so much content shown at Sony’s presentation that I just couldn’t mention everything. So if I missed out a major title that you care about, I’m so sorry, but you probably wouldn’t want to hear my uninformed opinion anyway.
What’s this? Two posts in one day? Well, I was just so excited to share with you my thoughts on Microsoft’s E3 presentation that I couldn’t resists. That and because I wanted to be one of the early things you might read on the topic, because by tomorrow, this topic will have been covered to death. This is a slightly different format than my in-depth posts, but I just wanted to give a quick first impressions of stuff they showed. So without much ado, let’s begin.
The always online single player city builder
I wanted to do a blog post about SimCity. But then I realised that all I had to say about the game can be exemplified by this one story.
A few weeks ago, Virgin Media decided to throw a hissy fit and I didn’t have internet access in my flat for about 3 days. It was apparently a local disruption, which was first going to be resolved at midnight, then the next day at 6pm, then the next at 4pm and then the next at 2pm. Pretty typical of any ISP. Anyway, the initial disconnection happened whilst I was trying to load into my city on SimCity. As most gamers know by now, SimCity was met with a lot of controversy as it forced users to be always online for a single player game. As it turns out, if your connection drops whilst you are loading into a city, you will more than likely lose your city to the ‘SimCity could not load your city at this time’ error which means SimCity will never load your city ever again.