Thursday, February 10, 2005

Steam, By Definition, Is Constantly Evaporating.

So, honestly, the few times I've played anything this week, it's been Counter Strike or Starcraft. I've said various things to this effect before, but I'll say it again: If you're not familiar with those two games, you have absolutely no business reading obscure gaming weblogs. If you have to ask, you'll never know. That being said, the remainder of this post does have to do with CS.

So this week, it's all about Steam. As you may have noticed from a certain previous post, I'm certainly no fan of Valve Software. When it comes to Counter Strike, more specifically the Condition Zero version, I'll make an exception. So, for that one game, I'm forced to use a "service" that I'm very much against. Why, you ask? Read on, I say, read on.

Sure, I play CS online using Steam. After all, it's the only way you can play online. What I can't comprehend is how anyone with the mental capacity to understand how a computer works could purchase a product they intend on keeping via Steam. In that respect, Valve could not have picked a better name for the system. Within the recent connection problems lies a vision of the future. Buy a game through Steam and you're at their mercy. What has to be kept in mind here is that the game industry is quite volatile. I'm sure certain employees might want to think otherwise, but the fact of the matter is that Valve Software is not going to be around forever. No Valve, no Steam. No Steam, you're out 50(or 90, depending on the package deal) bucks.

If you have a box with a CD, you can be fairly certain that said CD will not self-destruct at the same time as the company. The exact opposite can be said about Steam. Not that I'd ever consider this(for reasons stated in the aforementioned previous post), but the only way to actually get a CD(or DVD, I'm not sure) and a box for Half Life 2 through Steam is to pay ninety dollars for the super duper "platinum package".

Everyone knows that with any online game supported by a central master server(which is pretty much all of them), it's all over the minute the developer decides to pull the plug. We accept that. What needs to be asked is: Can you really accept the same for an offline game?

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