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Hi I'm Cosmic, a video game critic devoted to informative, fair and entertaining critique for the benefit of the consumer. I provide weekly content on YouTube which includes PC game reviews, editorials and a series taking a critical look at early access games. I grew tired of reviews that didn't help consumers, reviews that were simply 'here's what happened when I played'.

Video games are a unique medium and as such requires unique critique. Video games invoke the subjective by having the player become emotionally involved with the game. Thus by their very nature require both objective and subjective to be included in their criticisms. Ultimately I don't think consumers want totally objective reviews, they just want informative and honest ones.

SteamHow Dominant is Steam?

Steam as a brand name is now globally recognized and it’s fair to say that with over 100 million unique users, it’s almost in every household. It’s the household name of PC gaming and is slowly beginning to assert itself into other markets with the clear intention of becoming the most dominant digital distribution platforms in gaming.

But how dominant is Steam? Well, it’s hard to know, with Valve keeping all there statistics and data under lock and key. Valve are famous for being more secretive than most governmental intelligence agencies. With their user numbers it’s clear they are probably the most used digital platform available in the PC market. Back in 2011 Forbes suggested that Valves market share was a staggering 70 percent which if true is less dominant and more of a monopoly, this however is not likely the true figure.

In recent years more digital distribution platforms have begun to spring up each with their own respective success. GOG.com the platform created by The Witcher 3 developers CD Projekt RED has come on leaps and bounds in recent times. GOG opted for a heavily curated store with some very consumer friendly quality assurance on every product, particularly when it comes to older games.

Curation is key here because PC gamers have in the past few years complained about Steam’s now open platform policy. The days of the Steam seal of approval is gone, once there was a time that if a game was on Steam, you knew as a consumer it was a quality product. Now however people frequently get duped into purchasing unfinished, buggy and outright broken products on Steam due to a lack of curation. This problem has grown so bad that this year, Steam introduced a full refund policy after years of complaints and negative press attention.

GOGGOG: a rising star?

In fact GOG outsold Steam in the recent Witcher 3 release on their new platform GOG Galaxy with over 693,000 players using GOG over Steam of an estimated 1.3 million player base. This is a clear indication that Steam does not rule all in every corner. GOG has often been praised over Steam for its curation however it lacks the library of products that Steam provides. This means GOG can win some well places battles but still fall behind overall due to the sheer lack of games to sell.

Electronic Arts OriginElectronic Arts a falling star?

Electronic Art’s Origin platform remains the only place to pick up new and current EA published PC titles. EA decided to pull their games from Steam years ago growing tired of having to pay Valve a hefty cut of the profit. Interestingly enough while EA as a company is not well regarded, their digital distribution platform is with many gamers praising their far superior customer service compared to Valves nonexistent one.

Ultimately, Steam is massive and certainly not going anywhere. It no doubt has more active users and games than any other platform out there. Yet it has some serious competition growing in the form of GOG Galaxy and others. Other platforms are seizing opportunities where they can to gain market share and capitalizing on Steam’s weaknesses’ such as curation and customer service. More competition is not only good for the industry but good for the consumers as well.

Thanks for reading my article I sure hope you enjoyed it. For more go and visit my YouTube channel the cosmic engine.

Michael Brown

 

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