Valve In Control Of Shutoff? Developers Burned By STEAM?

Waking one morning ready to enjoy a freshly purchased game via STEAM, the client notified me of an update. Reading while it downloaded, the release notes stated yet another fix for the recently released Left 4 Dead 2.

Let me clarify before continuing. This was a STEAM CLIENT update just for Left 4 Dead 2, not a game patch.

Now, there’s been talk of this recently, geared more towards the developer side of things, but the recent string of Valve-game-only client updates have me pondering another side of the question:

Is STEAM “unfair”?

There was an issue with the STEAM CLIENT and how it handled the post-download installation on some recent games, like Bionic Commando and a few others. Basically, STEAM wouldn’t install the game, leaving many not able to play the game they bought. When was Bionic Commando released? July. When did the STEAM client update come out to fix this issue? October, almost three months after the games release. This is just one of the many times a client bug was preventing people from enjoying games that they bought.

But for Left 4 Dead 2, one of Valve’s very own, we’ve had almost a dozen updates for the STEAM client to fix issues JUST with the Left 4 Dead 2 demo/retail game. Just because STEAM is their baby, Valve can tinker with it to add functionality or fix the problems with their games just days(or hours) after they are discovered, while other companies games get client updates on “Valve time“, if at all.

Is my assumption biased or has my thought process ultimately led me next to the previously discovered land of Randy Pitchford?  Do you feel the king of digital distribution is stacking the cards in its favor?

About Zeiram Wing

Just your average neurotic bag of problems.

13 comments on “Valve In Control Of Shutoff? Developers Burned By STEAM?

  1. Did you thoroughly think this out before you wrote this? Because honestly this makes no sense and doesn’t have enough evidence/cases to support it.

  2. Games have problems. Devs fix them. I dont see the problem here at all.

    • yes, devs fix problems with their games, not with STEAM. STEAM is Valve’s, and as such, if STEAM itself is causing issues with the game, Valve is the one responsible for the fix. Valve DOES update STEAM when there is a problem with other dev/publishers games, but if you look down the STEAM update history, they come out far later, and far fewer than when its their own game. Since its release, Left 4 Dead 2 has had a dozen STEAM CLIENT updates to fix issues it was causing with the game. how many other games have had that many STEAM CLIENT updates to fix problems?

      again, this isn’t an issue with problems with the games. that falls on the devs who made the game. this is when Valve’s STEAM CLIENT is causing the issue.

  3. You should really go back and look trough the list of steam updates, over half of them have an update in them for a game that is a non-valve game. When there is a problem and it is with steam they have to patch steam. If its their game or not that’s having the issue. Do some research before making yourself look like an idiot.

    • yeah, with the amount of other devs titles to Valve games, most of the client updates would be for non-Valve games. but look at the when the fixes came out, compared to when the games came out. now look at the disproportionate amount of updates when a Valve game comes out. Your not even going to question the fact that Left 4 Dead 2 has recieved a dozen client updates while every other game gets so few? Some of these issues affect more than one game too. wouldn’t that put it on a higher priority? the installation issue i spoke of affected more than one game, but it was 3 months for the fix, while Left 4 Dead 2 had a startup issue that prevented people from playing, and it was patched in days.

  4. I totally understand what the article says, and frankly can’t understand how all of you don’t.

    • same here, i have saint’s row 2 and the steam client is the problem, it consumes alot of resources (making the game unplayable), no fix in 11 months, i think Valve must have the responsibility of fair competition, otherwise biased updates might have a serious trouble in court.

  5. Umm, last time I checked it was up to developers to make there applications work with a set of specifications released by Valve to make a game work with steam, it’s not the other way round…. Steam people aren’t the people programing the game after all…

  6. It’s not unfair. It’s merely priorities. Valve is obviously going to put it’s own games first. Dedicating it’s programmers to their own games problems, then tackling the other games problems when they get the free time. Valve has an ever increasing amount of games it has to look after

  7. Seriously, I can’t tell if you guys are biased or if you have subnormal intelligence. Valve is obviously in the wrong here and some of you are refusing to believe that.

  8. so why do you use it?
    i cant believe how whiny and ball less people are these days.
    they bitch and bitch and bitch about something, but do absolutely nothing to solve it.
    you dont like steam, so why are you still using it?
    another example, australia and the R18 thing.
    theres so many posts on IGN about alien V predator being banned, but is anyone doing anything about it?
    theres a rally being held on next friday to try and spur up some attention, 50 bucks says not 1 of these bitches will turn up.
    as the saying goes put up or shut up.
    do something about it, or shut up, sitting behind a keyboard calling the OFLC ass holes aint going to fix the problem.

  9. Steam is a great service. That being said, if my customers are parting with their hard-earned cash, I should feel honored that they decided to do so with my services. When you buy something it should work- plain and simple. The only problem I have with Steam is the fact of some digitally distributed titles having issues NOT present in the ISO-based versions. That’s just weird. I guess everything has it’s pros and cons.

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