Stropp's World

Games And Gamery

Steam Pricing Ripoff

Posted by Stropp on June 10, 2011

Time for another whinge about the ripoff pricing that Steam continues to inflict on Australian buyers.

The last time was back in March. Steam was pricing Fallout New Vegas at the extreme price of 90 US dollars, while charging US consumers $49.99 US. Even with the high Aussie dollar then (and now) the cost to Aussies was far more than US gamers are paying, and only marginally better than the cost of a box at EB Games.

Well, Steam is at it again with the long awaited Duke Nukem Forever. Compare. First we have the price from Direct2Drive.

Now we have the price from Steam for DNF.

Once again Steam is happy to rip off it’s Australian customers. And I thought digital distribution was supposed to be cheaper.

I tell you what, Steam is rapidly losing my confidence. I used to think they were a great service, even the DRM side of things didn’t really bother me as it was fairly unobtrusive. And I do like their sales, it’s hard to find cheaper games. But it’s unlikely I’ll use them for any AAA games again, their overpricing for Aussie gamers is simply wrong. Looks like it’s Direct2Drive for me.

It’s Been Cold. It Might Just Get Colder.

Posted by Stropp on September 4, 2010

It’s winter here in the land of Oz, and in my part of the country it’s been quite cold (at least cold in Australian terms, it rarely gets below 3 or 4 celsius.) But I suspect, even though it’s heading into spring, the temperature is about to get a whole lot colder, what with Hell freezing over and everything.

With the increasingly colder temperatures there will soon be flocks of pigs flying north to warmer climates and it becomes vitally important to use an umbrella at all times when outdoors.

Oh, and by the way, it looks like Duke Nukem Forever is due out next year according to RPS.

A Cautionary Tale: The Sad Case Of Duke Nukem

Posted by Stropp on December 22, 2009

There’s a particularly good analysis up on Wired on how the development of Duke Nukem Forever ended up living up to its name by taking forever to develop, and finally getting canceled. (Be aware, some of the article is NSFW.)

DNF was the major game release that I had been quietly waiting for since it was announced back in 1997. Having thoroughly enjoyed Duke Nukem 3D, and seeing some of the early screenshots, it was disappointing when they finally announced that the game had been killed. It seemed all those jokes about the DNF release date being a few days short of the heat death of the universe weren’t all that far off the mark.

Still, if you read the Wired article you’ll see the biggest failure was that of perfectionism.

That’s something that every game studio and developer has to be careful with. Actually, it’s the bane of an awful lot of creative individuals. The slightest flaw or shortcoming has to be addressed, and nothing ever gets completed. Here’s one of the key points of the Wired article.

Broussard simply couldn’t tolerate the idea of Duke Nukem Forever coming out with anything other than the latest and greatest technology and awe-inspiring gameplay. He didn’t just want it to be good. It had to surpass every other game that had ever existed, the same way the original Duke Nukem 3D had.

In the sad case of DNF, this meant that the team had to scrap a ton of work a number of times in order to cater to the whims of the so-called visionary.

The irony of the whole situation is that Broussard could have completed the game on the original Quake II engine and, if the gameplay was done right, would have had a huge hit on his hands. It would have been at least as big as the original DN3D and would have made 3D Realms hundreds of millions of dollars and paved the way for the franchise to continue for years to come.

Instead, we see a potentially great game cancelled and the developers, many of whom had worked on the same game for 12 years, shown the door.