Origin Boss Says Steam Sales "Cheapen Intellectual Property"

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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Origin Boss Says Steam Sales "Cheapen Intellectual Property"


EA Vice President David DeMartini says gamers shouldn't hold their breath waiting for deep-discount sales to come to Origin.

Like it or not, there's no arguing that Origin [http://store.steampowered.com] - who wants to contend for that top spot would have to offer similar, or perhaps even better, deals to its customers. Right?

Well, no, at least not according to David DeMartini, EA's senior vice president for global e-commerce. "We won't be doing that," he said in an interview with GamesIndustry. "I just think it cheapens your intellectual property. I know both sides of it, I understand it. If you want to sell a whole bunch of units, that is certainly a way to do that, to sell a whole bunch of stuff at a low price. The gamemakers work incredibly hard to make this intellectual property, and we're not trying to be Target... we're trying to give you a fair price point, and occasionally there will be things that are on sale you could look for a discount, just don't look for 75 percent off going-out-of-business sales."

He also suggested that despite giving exposure and huge sales boosts to indie developers and major studios alike, Valve's approach could actually be doing the industry more harm than good. "What Steam does might be teaching the customer that, 'I might not want it in the first month, but if I look at it in four or five months, I'll get one of those weekend sales and I'll buy it at that time at 75 percent off'," he continued. "It's an approach, and I'm not going to say it's not working for Valve. It certainly works for Valve; I don't know if it works as well for the publishing partners who take on the majority of that haircut."

The reaction to DeMartini's comments thus far has been almost universally derisive, and while my initial intent was to play devil's advocate on his behalf, I just can't bring myself to do it. I can't even figure out how to do it, really; the drive to bottom-line pricing can be damaging to conventional retail markets, where big-box stores can use their clout to muscle out smaller, independent outfits, but the digital marketplace, with virtual product and effectively zero distribution costs, is something entirely different. I can see the rationale behind his desire to maintain a price point, but expecting gamers to pay a higher price because it's "better" for the industry is a pure pipe dream.

Even though Steam-style sales are off the table, DeMartini said EA has "got something else that we do believe in that we'll be rolling out" to attract customers. I can't imagine what it could possibly offer as an effective substitute for ridiculously cheap games, but I sure am looking forward to finding out.

Source: GamesIndustry International [http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-06-06-david-demartini-origin-wants-to-be-the-hub]


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Meight08

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Feb 16, 2011
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As much as i hate to admit it training gamers to wait 3 4 months before buying a game is not good in the short run only in the looooooooong run.
 

MrBrightside919

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Oct 2, 2008
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I swear i've heard this before...pretty sure the guys at GOG said the same thing...

...and I still don't think they're right...

Andy Chalk said:
Like it or not, there's no arguing that Steam [http://store.steampowered.com] sales don't offer tremendously good deals.
I think you meant "DO"...
 

Daemascus

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Mar 6, 2010
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Yet another reason Origin will never be able to truly compete with Steam. Besides the usual Origin issues...

And as to training people to wait for Steam sales... Maybe kinda true? Most people who want a new game want it NOW. If they wait, that probably means they cant afford to pay 60 bucks just to get something right away. So its giving them a chance to buy the game at a more affordable price at the cost of waiting. A cheap sale is better than no sale at all.
 

Meight08

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Feb 16, 2011
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MrBrightside919 said:
I swear i've heard this before...pretty sure the guys at GOG said the same thing...

...and I still don't think they're right...

Andy Chalk said:
Like it or not, there's no arguing that Steam [http://store.steampowered.com] sales don't offer tremendously good deals.
I think you meant "DO"...
If everybody buys games just because their cheap and not because their good,then yes that decreases value.
Also everybody waiting is not good for the dev´s who need money the moment their done with a game and not 5 months down the line.
 

Meight08

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Daemascus said:
Yet another reason Origin will never be able to truly compete with Steam.
Well their servers are better than steam´s and don´t crap out when you don´t want them to.
Also the games launch faster.
 

MisterShine

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Mar 9, 2010
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I haven't seen any devs express that these sales are really.a detriment to them.. I'm not too concerned what ea thinks about saving customers money
 

felbot

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May 11, 2011
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because thats what you do when you want your sale platform to succeed, you dont have any big sales.
(sarcasm in case you couldn't tell)
 

KevinFournier

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I bought Mass Effect 1 on impulse when it was $10 on Steam. I waited until Mass Effect 2 was $20 on Steam. I bought Mass Effect 3 for $60 as soon as I could. I don't have the money or desire to gamble on new franchises, but I'm happy to pay top dollar for a franchise that reels me in. Steam meets my consumer demand perfectly.

Let it also be known that the ONLY reason I installed Origin was because it was required for Mass Effect 3. The odds of me trying out new franchises exclusive to Origin are next nothing, especially given this announcement.

As far as I'm concerned, David DeMartini just told me not to even bother shopping on Origin.
 
Apr 28, 2008
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Hey, EA, remember how in 2007 you said games were too expensive for consumers?

Steam seems to be doing something about that with its sales, and from what I can tell, it's working out pretty well for Steam, the developers, and consumers.

What about you? What are you doing about it?

Also, the goal isn't to have the most expensive IP. The goal is to make money. Steam, and developers/publishers who put their games on sale, are making tons of cash from sales.

And it cheapen the IP? Because it costs less? Tell me, which IP is worth more, Mass Effect or Angry Birds? I'll give you a hint, it's not the one who's games cost $60.
 

Qitz

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*Translation* "Sales? The hell would we do that for? We wouldn't get nearly enough money if we did that!"

It's not as though gamers don't buy games right away or even pre-order them, anymore. They still do that, the ones that they'll wait for a sale for are ones they were skeptic of in the first place so without that sale you could argue there wouldn't be a purchase in the first place.

You could even argue that sales help increase the value of IP, not cheapen them, as more players will be exposed to the game and, should they like it, put their money down on the sequel earlier as well as adding more feedback for the developers to help produce a better product.
 

deth2munkies

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Reason number 347 that Origin can fuck itself.

I had that on my computer for all of 12 hours while playing ME3 and I felt dirty the whole time.
 

Fappy

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Poor EA. They aren't happy with Origin's competitiveness and now resort to throwing around weak criticism to boost their ego. They really are hopeless.
 

Eri

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Feb 21, 2009
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Translation: GIVE STEAM ALL OF YOUR MONEY...WE DON'T TAKE NO HANDOUTS
 

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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As if consumers didn't already have enough reasons to despise EA. Really, that's just more of their disgusting greed and arrogance.
 

Sixcess

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Oh EA, will you ever learn?

Between this and the latest round of HL3 rumours I'm sure Gabe Newell will be having a good laugh over his breakfast, before he goes for his morning swim in his pool of money.
 

WarpPhoenix

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Jun 6, 2012
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He seems to misunderstand what happens with Steam sales. The VAST majority of cases from personal experience and from people I know and talk to in and around the games industry do not wait for games to go on sale on Steam. They look at the Steam sales and buy the current on-sale item if it is low enough, without even checking out the game beforehand.

This means that the sale means it brings in a large amount of customers that were not even going to buy the game in the first place. And since another digital unit costs $0 to give to someone it is going to be pure profit to the developers. If someone is put off by the price of a game then sale or not they were, more often than not, never going to buy the game at that price.

I just can not trust EA when they try to talk to anyone about doing good by the developer. Maybe that's biased but I've heard some serious horror stories.
 

Daemascus

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Mar 6, 2010
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rolfwesselius said:
Daemascus said:
Yet another reason Origin will never be able to truly compete with Steam.
Well their servers are better than steam´s and don´t crap out when you don´t want them to.
Also the games launch faster.
Congratulations, your the first person I've ever heard say good things about Origin.
 

wrightguy0

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Dec 8, 2010
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Surprise Surprise, EA trying to Justify greed. And I thought they were going soft, especially with how their E3 Press Conference was so Humble and about being Indie and giving every origin gamer a free unicorn that vomits gold.

"The game you bought was the game you got" and now with EA it's not even that.

Jesus you would think being named the worst company on earth would make them at least a little bit more aware of how horrid they are, but i guess you don't get to be the worst company on earth without having skulls as thick as dragon scales. i mean For christ Sake even the thick bs they say is grating "The game you bought was the game you got" and now with EA it's not even that.


Everything this company does disgusts me, and I have not purchased a game from them in a long time because of it, there are better places to spend my money.