Steampowered.com is often seen as a website where gamers can get awesome games for cheap. That fact is true, although cheap can often mean lack of gameplay quality. The biggest flaw regarding Steam website is currency change as it puts discrimination of users depending on which country they reside in.
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Steam has thousands of games that can be played through companies own platform. Buy a game, download it, install and you’re ready to go. All games are saved on our computer, no need to pile CDs and DVDs around the room. There is a big downside to this as we as players have no control over games we purchased through Steam.
Good example is a game called Nexuiz. Those who bought the game on Steam are no longer able to play it ever since THQ went bankrupt. You got a product that doesn't work and you’re not entitled to a refund. How awesome is that.
Next not so good thing about Steam is payment conflict that might occur sometimes. If the conflict gets unresolved, Steam may block your entire account resulting in your Steam Inventory becoming unavailable. All your purchased games will start collecting dust, you cannot get a refund and you cannot access your purchased games.
Speaking of purchasing games on Steam, some games will not give a fair price when converted to euros and the UK pounds. I am currently outside the UK, but I am forced by Steam to pay in sterling. It wouldn't bother me much if I didn't find out that certain games have same prices in euros, pounds, and dollars. These games will cost you for example $10 if you are in the US, £10 if you are in the UK, and €10 if you are anywhere in Europe (outside the UK). Since when is $10 equal to €10?
Not just that, but some games have much higher price in euros. They haven’t been converted from dollars to euros to give us a fair price, if anything they cost lot more in euros.
It is said developers set pricing for their games on Steam, but Valve done the same with their game Portal 2. When it was first launched, the game cost some 18% less if you purchased in the US. You don’t get a choice in which currency you can purchase games, it is linked to your card and wherever the bank is that that is the currency that will be forced on you.
Steam Early Access might seem great because it offers games that haven’t been released yet. What do you as a player get for buying games on Early Access? Aside from bragging rights which lets you show off in front of your friends by telling them how you already played one of the new games, you are most likely to get an unplayable game.
DayZ is currently on Early Access. For €23.99 you get awesome rights to help developers fix bugs while game is still in alpha stage. You are paying to help them, to be a beta tester for a company so they don’t have to hire them. Developers gave a warning stating you shouldn't play a game unless you are prepared to actively support its development and handle serious issues. The only serious issue I see here is that they are charging gamers to do their work.
There are some good games there as well. Last one I played was The Banner Saga and that one was great. Flawless gameplay and didn't crash at all.
Early Access games are not the only ones with issues. Paying €49.99 for X Rebirth after it was released taught me an important lesson. I could have got one of the most popular games for that money and enjoy my gaming experience. Instead, I ended up trying to play a game that shouldn't have been released in the first place. No refund possible, so the game is collecting dust in my Steam Library. Lesson learnt is that I will never buy new games on Steam again until they have been proven to work.
Steam is a digital distribution service, but they sell new titles at full price. Normally digital price includes a discount as there’s no shipping cost and no physical goods that require time to be assembled together. This is just another fact that doesn't add to company’s favour.
With all that been said, Steam is still dominant when it comes to digital distribution of video games. Steam has huge sales and is one of the favourite places for Indie developers. After a little research you will find out that popular games might be cheaper on other websites like Amazon.
Most games will work fine and you won’t need to contact customer support. However, if you do need support from Steam don’t expect much. For simple things such as being able to purchase games when you are out of your country of residence, Steam support will be helpful. More serious issues such as purchasing a game that doesn't work as it had been advertised is something Steam fails to explain, or even give a refund.
Sure we will continue using Steam as it’s the largest digital distribution service of video games, but others like Amazon and GOG are gaining popularity all the time. Let’s not forget those websites that offer keys at cheaper price than actual game’s price on Steam.
Origin has better customer support, offers refunds, and much better offline mode. I guess it’s just not popular to like EA, even though their service is way less buggy. Valve gives us good service, but if they don’t change their stand towards customers they will face downfall very soon.
Dolores is SEO and Digital Marketing consultant who has been completely hog-washed into doing this site by KC.