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Old 04-17-2018, 05:36 AM   #21
Chimpbot
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Originally Posted by VideoMike101 View Post
Steam is an online store, why does Valve have to do anything for you all other than show you shelf space?
Well, that's the thing: They don't, especially because they're a private company.

They don't owe anyone anything, really. Some developers and publishers grew dependent upon free user data they could exploit to leap on the latest trends, but that suddenly dried up...and now some folks are upset. The sort of information SteamSpy was providing is the sort of information retailers sell and exploit every single day, gleaned from things like discount cards. The difference is that every other industry has to pay for that information.

At the end of the day, Valve is a private company that isn't beholden to anyone other than themselves. They're going to do what they want to do. Regardless of the reasoning, they're making moves to keep customer data more private...so, I really can't complain about that.
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:07 AM   #22
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A lot of people are not aware of the EU ruling that is affecting all international software companies including game publishers and studios.

The important part of the ruling that probably is the root cause of this change is in the Data Security section. "Data protection by design and by default". The fact that being found not in compliance comes with a huge fine, up to 4% of annual revenue, and the fact that the law is vague means most companies are not risking anything and are being hyper aggressive on securing customer data. My guess is there was a meeting at Valve were they discussed how best to comply and this was the easiest, lowest cost way for them to hit the May deadline.

While I agree that Valve isn't very customer focused I try to not jump to conclusions to quickly especially when it seems like they didn't care for the past three years and then suddenly do.
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:20 AM   #23
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While I agree that Valve isn't very customer focused I try to not jump to conclusions to quickly especially when it seems like they didn't care for the past three years and then suddenly do.
Whether it was their intent or not, this is actually a pro-consumer movie on their part. The only people complaining - for the most part - are the ones who were exploiting that data for their own purposes.
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:23 AM   #24
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Will this stop Steam from being flooded by tons of indie garbage that no one in their right mind would waste 5 cents on never mind actual money? No? Wake me when that happens. Steam is a mess.
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:02 AM   #25
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Whether it was their intent or not, this is actually a pro-consumer movie on their part. The only people complaining - for the most part - are the ones who were exploiting that data for their own purposes.
You're absolutely right, but I take issue with the word "exploiting". Information wants to be free. With the removal of the only tool to survey the PC games market (NPD hasn't been doing this for almost ten years, and with the move to digital, European retail data is not reliable in any way), only the biggest international companies with the most games/customers have a chance to estimate actual sell-through numbers and discover potential market trends. To me, that's not exactly a step in the right direction. Also, Valve has rather strict non-disclosure agreements in place with all of their partners, so if you're an indie developer, don't expect to read any noteworthy success (or failure) stories on Gamasutra from now on...

If the reason for this move was the incoming GDPR (which is the most likely reason), I'm wondering why only the games list was made private by default, while personal information (user name, Twitter/Facebook links, location data) was left open for everyone to see...
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Old 04-18-2018, 03:29 AM   #26
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If the reason for this move was the incoming GDPR (which is the most likely reason), I'm wondering why only the games list was made private by default, while personal information (user name, Twitter/Facebook links, location data) was left open for everyone to see...
They still have a month left to comply with GDPR so maybe there are more changes coming.

For anyone wondering what GDPR is:
http://www.wired.co.uk/article/what-...ary-fines-2018
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Old 04-18-2018, 06:06 AM   #27
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You're absolutely right, but I take issue with the word "exploiting". Information wants to be free.
If information "wants to be free", don't complain too much if someone swipes your credit card information. This is too broad of a statement and not all information needs to be out in the wild.

You can take issue with the term "exploiting"...but this is what's being done. Customer purchasing trends are being analyzed and exploited in order to best determine what new products and ventures will be successful. Companies purchase this information from retailers all the time and what you and other developers were doing with SteamSpy isn't any different.
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Old 04-18-2018, 08:11 AM   #28
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Remember, if you are profiting from someone else's product, the moment that someone else realizes what you are doing you are screwed. If anybody has control over the item at any point and notices you are making a profit, you're screwed. See also Empires.
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Old 04-18-2018, 08:27 AM   #29
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If information "wants to be free", don't complain too much if someone swipes your credit card information.
At the risk of sounding like Terran: That's a beautiful strawman you built there.

Quote:
Companies purchase this information from retailers all the time and what you and other developers were doing with SteamSpy isn't any different.
Well, yes it was. Because you can't buy this information anywhere. There are several opt-in initiatives in the US and Europe, but they only cover about... I don't know... 5 percent of the PC games available on Steam? And only over the past 5 years or so. None of the smaller teams have access to the data, either.

However, this is a moot point now. What's done is done. Best case, the removal of reliable market data will discourage crappy companies from developing for PC, and drive them towards seemingly greener mobile pastures. Worst case, the opposite.
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Old 04-18-2018, 08:32 AM   #30
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Remember, if you are profiting from someone else's product, the moment that someone else realizes what you are doing you are screwed.
Only, Sergey Galyonkin had been given the okay by Valve, provided he only turned to Patreon and not set up a real shop. From the Eurogamer interview:

Quote:
When I launched Steam Spy, I was met with complete silence. I've only received one email related to Steam Spy from them.

What was that email?

Sergey Galyonkin: It was when I asked them if I could make Steam Spy a commercial enterprise. They said I would be fine on Patreon, but not with anything else.
Besides, I'm not worried about the guy. He's a paid employee at Epic and set up Steam Spy as a hobby...
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Old 04-18-2018, 08:55 AM   #31
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At the risk of sounding like Terran: That's a beautiful strawman you built there.
It's more like a ridiculously extreme example. Information is information, right? It wants to be free, right?

Quote:
Well, yes it was.
The difference is that you guys were getting this sort of information for absolutely nothing. What you did with the information was exactly the same.

Quote:
However, this is a moot point now. What's done is done. Best case, the removal of reliable market data will discourage crappy companies from developing for PC, and drive them towards seemingly greener mobile pastures. Worst case, the opposite.
I'm hoping it'll stem the tide of some of the copycat games produced by companies looking to cash in on the latest trends.
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Old 04-18-2018, 09:17 AM   #32
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I'm hoping it'll stem the tide of some of the copycat games produced by companies looking to cash in on the latest trends.
Dein Wort in Gottes Ohr! I'm fearing the opposite, of course, but I'm a negative person...
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