• Game UK - Why these guys are ruining your consumer experience on Steam in the UK.
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[B]Update: Regarding games published by THQ, Game UK are [U]not[/U] behind the lack of new titles available on Steam.[/B] [B]Minor Update:[/B] When reading this article please don't think this only applies to preorders. I've seen a few places thinking that this is the case. This actually affects the ability to buy the game on Steam for at least up to a month [I]from release[/I] as well as preorders. In the UK we have a gaming store called Game (UK) and for as long as I can remember they've been around for years now (my earliest memory of first seeing them was when I was roughly 4) and they've never been that great, but they were okay. Now for many years most people went to Game to buy their Console and PC games. When it comes to consoles Game really have quite a thing rolling, even their smallest stores have their walls lined with console games and often even basic peripherals. Often they have demo console machines everywhere with the latest games on that you can play and their second hand baskets (or bargain bins) often have plenty of games in there, albeit not the best. What's fairly sad is that Game have never really been a PC supporter as such even with an evergrowing market. For years now they've kept the PC games (usually) in the back of the store with a small segment and usually their "top 10" of games. What's even worse is that these "top 10" games are built off Games' own sales figures. This means that games such as The Sims 3 and the vanilla version of World of Warcraft remain in the charts regardless of what new releases come out. This alongside selling PC games that are ten years old (no, seriously, you'll find games from 99-2001 easily) it doesn't make for a decent consumer experience and as thus a large portion of people that buy PC games don't buy them at Game. Now since roughly March this year UK Gamers have noticed that many games on Steam are "not available in your region" and it's left many wondering why this is occuring. The first game to be officially affected by this was Brink ([URL]http://store.steampowered.com/app/22350/[/URL] ) including any DLC pages related to Brink. Thankfully thanks to a minor bug with Steam many PC users were still able to preorder Brink up until roughly two weeks before the games launch when Brink suddenly became unavailable with no response from Valve or Bethseda (as they were publishing it) as to why this was the case. Some time around the start of this year Game started talking to multiple publishers regarding their games being on Steam. This was somewhat out of the blue and surprising however their Goal was effectively to gain some monopoly or power over Steam. Heck their message was a pretty straightforwards one. They basically want (at least) one month from release date where the game cannot be purchased by those in the UK on Steam.. And this applies to all games released by that publisher. This [B]doesn't[/B] include the time the game is up for pre-order either. If the publisher doesn't agree to (what I presume is a bluff as other publishers haven't done this) then they'll supposedly refuse to stock and sell that publishers games via their stores. What makes this worse is that UKers can't even place a pre-order on Steam for that game. We can only look at media related to the game (not including demos) [I]only[/I] if they have their own pages. Lets take Space Marine for example. Searching for Space Marine in Steam from the UK results in this - [quote][IMG]http://www.bbservers.co.uk/screenshots/2011-08-23_2005.png[/IMG][/quote] Trying to access the Steam page directly results in this - [quote][IMG]http://www.bbservers.co.uk/screenshots/2011-08-23_2008.png[/IMG][/quote] Although thankfully, if any UKers want to try the Space Marine demo, you can by clicking here - [URL]steam://install/55410[/URL] Steam is the [B]only[/B] online outlet affected by this. You can go to Direct2Drive, Gamers Gate or even other smaller outlets (such as G2Play.net) that let you put the keys on Steam and that'll work. I'm actually starting to wonder if this sort of thing is actually illegal (anti-comp laws etc) and so I'm starting to do some research into the issue, although I'm not a lawyer so any support anyone feels like giving would be great :v:. This really isn't fair on us in the UK because at the end of the day, it's Games own fault that many people don't want to buy their games from their stores. If they weren't so stupidly priced or daft about making the consumer experience actually worthwhile they would probably find that people would possibly start even buying from them again. I can provide some insight into which publishers and games are affected by this below (I'll keep the list updated as time goes on and if anyone else knows any other games affected, PM me or post below) - [B]Publishers that have agreed to this - [/B] - THQ - Bethseda [B]Currently affected titles I'm aware of - [/B] - [url=http://store.steampowered.com/app/55150]Space Marine[/url] - [url=http://store.steampowered.com/app/55230/]Saints Row the Third[/url] - [B][url=http://store.steampowered.com/app/72850/]Skyrim[/url][/B] [B]Games that have been affected by said actions - [/B]- [url=http://store.steampowered.com/app/22350/]Brink[/url] (confirmed, one month) - [url=http://store.steampowered.com/app/55110/]Red Faction: Armageddon[/url] (confirmed, unknown duration) - [url=http://store.steampowered.com/app/55100/]Homefront[/url] (confirmed, unknown duration) - [url=http://store.steampowered.com/app/50620/]Darksiders[/url] (confirmed, unknown duration) [B]Titles thought to have been affected but are currently unconfirmed -[/B] - [url=http://store.steampowered.com/app/43110/]Metro 2033[/url] (unconfirmed, unknown duration) Effectively I'm trying to spread the word and knowledge that this is what's going down and this [I]really[/I] isn't acceptable. I'd appreciate it (and I'm sure many others would) if you spread the word and hopefully we can see if they (Game UK) are really allowed to do this. It's a slippery slope if this isn't stopped soon or else we may end up with many games eventually not even making it to Steam due to stupid things like this. Sources thanks to [url=http://www.facepunch.com/members/89152-cheesedelux]cheesedelux[/url] (Give this woman a [img]http://www.facepunch.com/fp/ratings/heart.png[/img] or a game that we UKers can't buy :v:) - [url]http://www.mcvuk.com/news/41746/Retail-threatens-Steam-ban[/url] - [url]http://www.computerandvideogames.com/308337/bullying-retailers-reject-steam-enabled-pc-games/[/url] Not so much a source but still contains a tidbit of information - [url]http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1930156[/url] [B]Edit:[/B] It appears that [url=http://store.steampowered.com/app/43110/]Metro 2033[/url] which was released in March 2010 was the first game on Steam to receive this treatment. I can't confirm this myself at the moment so if anyone could get me more information on this via a PM or otherwise, that'd be great. I will add however that it seems that THQ weren't putting this into full effect until this year. These are the franchises(?) owned by Game UK - [url]http://www.game.co.uk/[/url] - [url]http://www.gamestation.co.uk/[/url] - [url]http://www.gameplay.co.uk/[/url] If you look at their games categories in general (special offers etc) you'll notice that there's a disturbing lack of PC games for a vendor that is attempting to effectively partially boycott Valve and Steam. [B][U]Update 24/08/2011 14:02 GMT[/U][/B] Space Marine is apparantly available on the Steam Store all of a sudden. ( [url]http://store.steampowered.com/app/55150[/url] ) [quote][img]http://bbservers.co.uk/screenshots/Screenshot-2011-08-24_14.01.38.png[/img][/quote] [quote][img]http://bbservers.co.uk/screenshots/Screenshot-2011-08-24_14.06.07.jpg[/img][/quote] As is Saints Row the Third ( [url]http://store.steampowered.com/app/55230/[/url] ) [quote][img]http://bbservers.co.uk/screenshots/Screenshot-2011-08-24_14.03.41.png[/img][/quote] Currencies are USD ($), not GBP as they should be (£) Both of these games are by THQ. Skyrim is still unavailable as it's being published by Bethseda. [B][U]Update 24/08/2011 14:14GMT[/U][/B] Games are once again unavailable to UK users of Steam. [B][U]Update 25/08/2011[/U][/B] Eurogamer ask Game for comment - Game deny everything - [url]http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-08-25-game-denies-forcing-games-off-steam-in-uk[/url] Interesting comment by Game - Hopefully not a misquote [img]http://www.bbservers.co.uk/screenshots/Screenshot-2011-08-25_15.39.02.png[/img] Full Article - [quote][img]http://bbservers.co.uk/screenshots/Screenshot-2011-08-25_15.41.24.png[/img][/quote] [B][U]Update 25/08/2011 17:00(ish)GMT[/U][/B] Head of PR for Game / Gamestation Neil Ashurst has posted [url=http://www.facepunch.com/threads/1119494-Game-UK-Why-these-guys-are-ruining-your-consumer-experience-on-Steam-in-the-UK.?p=31936428&viewfull=1#post31936428]here.[/url] (unverified if this is him though). [B][U]Update 09/09/2011[/U][/B] Regarding games published by THQ, Game UK are [U]not[/U] behind the lack of new titles available on Steam. So er apologies to Game UK for that. :v:
I don't believe Steam would even cooperate if there wasn't a chance of Game winning any lawsuit, so I guess what they're doing is legal. I just wish Game would make itself worth buying from to increase revenue instead of cockblocking other companies.
[QUOTE=Dave_Parker;31903422]I don't believe Steam would even cooperate if there wasn't a chance of Game winning any lawsuit, so I guess what they're doing is legal. I just wish Game would make itself worth buying from to increase revenue instead of cockblocking other companies.[/QUOTE] Well the idea would be that (hopefully) the EU would take on the case itself, as they did with the Microsoft one.
[QUOTE=Teddi Orange;31902880] [B]Currently affected titles I'm aware of - [/B]- Space Marine - Saints Row the Third [B]Games that have been affected by said actions - [/B]- Brink (one month) - Red Faction: Armageddon (unknown) [/QUOTE] We can't preorder Skyrim either and this is likely why, unlikely to be able to buy it for a while afterwards I'd imagine too. I'd still be getting the physical game for the preorder bonus map, though. But it's still an effected game. I do consider Game selling old games a good thing though, you can get two or three classics for £5/10 there. I used to go occasionally until I'd pretty much exhausted their reserve.
[QUOTE=cheesedelux;31903603]I do consider Game selling old games a good thing though, you can get two or three classics for £5/10 there. I used to go occasionally until I'd pretty much exhausted their reserve.[/QUOTE] Well that's another thing with Game, they only stock the same classics and never make an attempt to update their inventory. Some of the classics aren't even that great either, old Sierra games :suicide: Edit: I've added Skyrim to the list now.
Well this is shite.
[quote]Now I can't really provide credible sources for the following as no one has reported this,[/quote]
This does seem incredibly silly. If a business can't compete why are they allowed to mangle their competitor's ability to compete? It's like a mediocre restaurant with a modest selection and poor service being around for a while. Then a more expensive restaurant - with a massive range of food and excellent service run by a world famous chef opens up on the same street. And then the shitty place strikes a deal with the suppliers which means the new place isn't allowed to have vegetables delivered until they're at least two weeks old.
[QUOTE=markg06;31903747]-quote-[/QUOTE] No major outlets have. It's my word but hey, I wouldn't post this if I didn't think it was actually the case.
I always knew they were cunts but this is insane.
Why do they care about the PC market when they have 1 shelf full of casual games in the store. Also WoW
You're going to need hard-graft proof before anyone should start believing this. Come up with some, and I'll get the word out (because to be fair GAME are already a bunch of cunts, they bought out Gamestation quietly while the competition commission were busy looking the other way and now have a monopoly over UK retail game sales)
GAME here, at least the one I go to, is pretty good. A good 1/4 of the store dedicated to PC games, PC games only cost €50 and they've got a lot of classics. The Zavvi at the other end of the shopping centre on the other hand...
[QUOTE=leach139;31904029]You're going to need hard-graft proof before anyone should start believing this. Come up with some, and I'll get the word out (because to be fair GAME are already a bunch of cunts, they bought out Gamestation quietly while the competition commission were busy looking the other way and now have a monopoly over UK retail game sales)[/QUOTE] Which is what I'm trying to find :v:. At the moment there's the odd few bits here and there that Game is doing this. It also seems too much of a coincidence that two publishers are doing this to Steam and not any other outlets. It might not be Game behind this, but it is occuring and so far they seem to be the culprits.
I'm pretty sure this isn't the first time I've heard of Game doing something like this.
[QUOTE=xeonmuffin;31903985]Why do they care about the PC market when they have 1 shelf full of casual games in the store. Also WoW[/QUOTE] Their online stores ([url]http://www.game.co.uk/[/url], [url]http://www.gamestation.co.uk/[/url], [url]http://www.gameplay.co.uk/[/url]) do pretty well with PC games.
This is where I'd heard of this before: [url]http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1930156[/url] This seems reputable: [url]http://www.mcvuk.com/news/41746/Retail-threatens-Steam-ban[/url] But it would seem it's not just Game? [url]http://www.computerandvideogames.com/308337/bullying-retailers-reject-steam-enabled-pc-games/[/url]
That explains it. Thank you so much for giving me the link to the Space Marine demo...Just a shame that it seems I'll be forced to buy it retail.
[QUOTE=cheesedelux;31904268]This is where I'd heard of this before: [url]http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1930156[/url] This seems reputable: [url]http://www.mcvuk.com/news/41746/Retail-threatens-Steam-ban[/url] But it would seem it's not just Game?[/QUOTE] The SPUF post I've seen before but it's not really a source where most are concerned. The MCV article I haven't seen before, so thanks for that. I'll add it to the OP.
Have you guys from the UK noticed any problems recieving gift copies of these games? If not you could ask other people here to help. The Canadians and Americans here get especially good prices on games. Also check out that Ultimatum Games site (you can find the thread here in GGD). They sell dirt cheap and send the code in just a few hours.
Game gave me Deus Ex Human Revolution Augmented edition cheap though :frown: Even if their stores offer all but nothing for PC gamers.
Wait, so I won't be able to get Skyrim until one month after it's release on steam? And it's Games fault? [u] [b] I am seriously not pleased. [/b] [/u] [u] [b] NOT PLEASED AT ALL [/b] [/u]
[QUOTE=sade1212;31904570]Wait, so I won't be able to get Skyrim until one month after it's release on steam? And it's Games fault? [u] [b] I am seriously not pleased. [/b] [/u][/QUOTE] Its a Steamworks games so you can buy it elsewhere and then register it.
[QUOTE=FlakAttack;31904454]Have you guys from the UK noticed any problems recieving gift copies of these games? If not you could ask other people here to help. The Canadians and Americans here get especially good prices on games. Also check out that Ultimatum Games site (you can find the thread here in GGD). They sell dirt cheap and send the code in just a few hours.[/QUOTE] You can recieve gifts just fine I think. A friend of mine had to do it with Brink, but that was when the system wasn't quite 100% then so I can't confirm it yet.
You posted the same thread on BB Teddi. But yeah fuck the police.
[QUOTE=Doc Diddles;31904865]You posted the same thread on BB Teddi. But yeah fuck the police.[/QUOTE] Yeah well, figured we'd all like to discuss it there as well :v:
Wow, that is stupid. I remember them saying they were going to Boycott/stop selling PC games unless something was done about steam. Didn't think they'd actually do it.
so this is why i cant see SM on steam? well fuck you GAME last time i order from you!
This is pretty much a dick move by GAME.
I don't really give a fuck, I'll keep buying from GAME because they've continuously have had PC games cheaper retail by £5-£10 compared to Steam. The only games I ever buy on Steam are in sales and exclusives. Fuck Steam.
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