[PCGamer] EA Senior VP criticizes Steam sales: “[...] Cheapens your intellectual prop

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http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/06/06/e...ink-it-cheapens-your-intellectual-property-”/



DeMartini, when asked about replicating Steam’s strategy of giving deep digital discounts:
“We won’t be doing that. Obviously they think it’s the right thing to do after a certain amount of time. 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 be Nordstrom. When I say that, I mean good value – 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.”
...What a complete idiot.

Originally Posted by Gabe Newell
But then we did this different experiment where we did a sale. The sale is a highly promoted event that has ancillary media like comic books and movies associated with it. We do a 75 percent price reduction, our Counter-Strike experience tells us that our gross revenue would remain constant. Instead what we saw was our gross revenue increased by a factor of 40. Not 40 percent, but a factor of 40.
 
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They want to be the gaming equivalent of Nordstrom when they aren't even at Walmart level...
Also, the senior VP of EA shouldn't use the words 'intellectual' and 'property' together when it comes to EA games.
 
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Well, to be fair, I really don't think EA should have "arts" in their name either.

Jokes aside, I don't see how selling an entire +15 pack of games for 75% is any different than going to a bulk store and buying 30 boxes of cereal for 60% less than the cost of a unit, per unit.
 

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I agree with him to a certain extent. Are we training people to wait a few months and get the game for a fraction of the price? I know that I personally have had the thought of "I'll hold off on buying this for two months and get it 50% off."
 
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If it is a good game or well known it will sell a great amount day one anyway. Look at Call of Duty, Diablo, World of Warcraft, and many other games. Yea, it may hurt some of the younger companies that put their game up on steam, but that is the way to start out now. I mean... Look at how Mojang did it. The founding members were offered jobs at Valve after they showed off their abilities with games. It's really a hit or miss in this case.

I mean I also sometimes think this way and I feel horrid for the way I did it to Saints Row: The Third recently. I know how bad THQ was hurting for money at one point... But the DLC thing for Saints Row just infuriated me.... It felt like CAPCOM all over again.


Let alone Valve does stuff with certain people to help out people preorder the game. Like the Hats and items for TF2.
 

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There are some games I was completely unaware of. Steam's sale ads brought them to my attention, and the whole mindset "whoa that looks cool, hey it's cheap so I'm not risking much." kicks in. Not to mention if I like the game, I tell my friends, or I'll just gift it to them to coax them into wasting time with me.

As terrible as Steam used to be (and kind of still is) it's amazing as far as promoting and distributing games.
 
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I agree with him to a certain extent. Are we training people to wait a few months and get the game for a fraction of the price? I know that I personally have had the thought of "I'll hold off on buying this for two months and get it 50% off."
It's funny because I did the exact thing with B3 over Origin. :p 2-3 months, paid like $20 :p Like Eon said, Steam is such an accomplished platform in game distribution and promotion.

But I think its a good business plan. If consumers haven't bought an epic game the first 2-3-4 months of its release, then they need the extra incentive. With that, Steam draws in consumers who probably wouldn't have bought it at all. And 50% out of something is more than 100% of nothing. Enter, DLC. Now more people are hooked to a good game, and when a DLC is on it's way (e.g. Skyrim) many more people are now playing the vanilla and the company can make more money out of the DLC than before.
 
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I witnessed countless examples where the 50%-75% off sale has actually promoted the game to the point that they will pay a full price on the next game to be released in that series or even next game made by the company itself.
 

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