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Region restrictions a selling point for Steam

Press release targets publishers :: November 6th, 2007 :: New products, Valve :: 6 Responses (Feed)

Valve have begun to use region restriction as a front-line selling point for Steam. From their latest press release:

Speedball 2 Tournament will be available via Steam at the end of November 2007 and in stores this fall. The retail disc will use the same authentication technology used for Valve’s The Orange Box. Valve’s authentication technology enables Frogster [Interactive, Speedball 2’s publishers] to use a single master for multiple languages, to time retail activation worldwide by region, and to control grey marketing and unauthorized activations.

The release is also the first time Valve have explicitly promoted Steam to publishers. This wasn’t done for the big fish like Activision or Take2, so it’s reasonable to conclude that they’re looking to attract smaller outfits now. It would certainly be a sensible move: exclusivity deals like this one are good business that larger companies would never agree to.

The press release also talks about the tournaments, leagues, clans, global leaderboards and matchmaking that are major features for Speedball 2. Hopefully these will be compatible with the Steam Community, but the release doesn’t go out of its way to suggest they will and with less than a month to go until release things don’t look too hopeful. Still, we may be surprised.


6 Responses to this post:

5 Comments

  1. Andy Simpson Says:

    I don’t know, we’ve never been suprised thus far.

    I still think that they’re probably shopping these features around to anyone that’ll listen, but I think they’re not getting uptake amongst the larger publishing houses because of the same issue – actually using these features means tying your game to the Steam client, and that’s still going to be unattractive.

    You don’t want to bundle a product with yours that’s stuffed full of promotion for games by your competitors. For small developers with a handful of games it isn’t an issue, because they only have the one game to sell, and then it doesn’t matter.

    If they did implement ways to use Steam features transparently, the uptake would be higher. At least that’s my hypothesis. A convincing counter-argument is that Valve must have surely heard these objections from their publishing partners, which suggests that either this kind of thing is planned, already in development, or Valve have a very good reason for not doing it.

    I’d love to know the answer to that one!

  2. Tom Edwards Says:

    A convincing counter-argument is that Valve must have surely heard these objections from their publishing partners

    Good point. I’m curious now too!

  3. Greg Says:

    So will steam be providing these match making functions or will it be built into the game?…

  4. Andy Simpson Says:

    Almost without a doubt built into the game.

  5. Tom Edwards Says:

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