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Moving away from Steam, looking for a new single vendor purchasing solution for games.

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Showing 1-25 of 28 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 May 2014 23:59:31 BDT
I have been using Steam for years but lately the support has been getting worse and worse to the point that recently I was sold a game that was (allegedly) misrepresented in advertising (it is with the advertising standards authority who are pursuing the issue after steam used test movies and videos to advertise the product just before Bandai dramatically slashed the quality. There are several other issues which can make it unplayable for many.

I had to raise the issue via regulators when Steam refused a refund claiming they override EU legislation governing refunds and providing products which work (not to mention sale of goods legislation) with their own T&C's. Anyway, I spend literally hundreds, if not thousands of pounds on games via steam and am looking for a single vendor (or near to it) solution for buying as there are many good releases incoming. Other disgruntled Steam customers with similar issues concerning Dark Souls II and I have started banding together to put together a join fund for action but at this point we are all waiting for feedback from the five different regulators now involved in different aspects of this from trading standards, consumer protection in both local markets and the EU and various advertising standards authorities.

I recognise one may need to register codes with origin or steam and so on but I do not want to pay anything to Steam and feel like a mug for doing it where there is any option. I am looking at Watchdogs, Evolve and a couple of other new releases to pre order right now but if I buy them from Amazon, can I download them immediately at launch or do I need to put DVD players in my gaming PCs and wait for them to be delivered? That wouldn't be a realistic option for me as I also live between two homes. If I buy games like those mentioned above on Amazon this is new territory for me. So would this work for games like those I mentioned above?

Posted on 8 May 2014 00:08:15 BDT
Last edited by the author on 8 May 2014 00:10:36 BDT
Nessy says:
All digital, instant codes, great prices, great reputation -

No one buys full price games directly from Steam, they are rip off merchants.

Posted on 8 May 2014 00:44:23 BDT
Not sure how you figure Steam is expensive considering all the amazing sales they have but ok.
As with anywhere there are pitfalls to buying ahead of release. I've fallen foul of a couple.
You take a risk with green light, kickstarter.. All of these.
Much worse, Steam/valve faces a difficult situation right now where they're inundated with terrible old games from the 90s. These are bought by third party troll companies and resold as new to a new generation of unsuspecting gamers.
What should they do? Manually vet every submission?
In both cases they just can't do that. Aside from it being a bit dictatorial, The cost of all the work would drive up the price of games on the store. We don't want that.

Posted on 8 May 2014 00:47:40 BDT
"What should they do? Manually vet every submission?"

Yes, they should.

Posted on 8 May 2014 07:09:17 BDT
"What should they do? Manually vet every submission?"


Posted on 8 May 2014 10:18:17 BDT
Last edited by the author on 8 May 2014 10:20:12 BDT
Dela says:
Why don't you stick with Origin?

Their catalogue is continually growing and they have a week return period on all games so if you make a purchase but the game ends up being gash you can return it

Also the horror stories about it being spyware after its initial release was just scare mongering - I find it to be an excellent platform with excellent exclusives

Prices are still shocking tho

Posted on 8 May 2014 11:51:09 BDT
Steve says:
Dont listen to him he is always wrong ;)

Posted on 8 May 2014 12:09:05 BDT
G. Hanks says:
"What should they do? Manually vet every submission?
In both cases they just can't do that. Aside from it being a bit dictatorial, The cost of all the work would drive up the price of games on the store. We don't want that."

I'd rather have prices go up slightly and have working games than shell out for stuff that's unplayable. Have you seen what some devs are getting away with on there? Check the Earth 2066 debacle (sure it's early access but full games can be bad too.)

Posted on 8 May 2014 13:48:18 BDT
They wouldn't go up slighty, they would go up a lot!

There is always an inherent risk in buying games, especially when pre-ordering or going into early access where the future is uncertain.

I would advise OP that if you consider Darks Souls II was falsely advertised, then that would be the publisher's doing, not Valve's. It's the same trailers, screenshots etc that would have been everywhere else, but I don't see other retailers getting it in the neck for selling the game.

A refund shouldn't be given just because you dont 'like' the product. For my money, Dark Souls II on PC is the best game investment of the year (and I didn't buy it from Steam).

Posted on 8 May 2014 15:30:14 BDT
How do sony and MS do it though?

They have quality control, they don't just let anything go on their stores.

Im not sure why a quality control test for all games should not be implemented, they make enough money they can do it.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 May 2014 15:40:12 BDT
J. Morgan says:
Because a console only has one level of performance common to all consoles of that type. A PC can be anything, just because something shows PC footage, does not mean that your PC will perform the same.

Same with stuff not working. If a console game does not work either the game is faulty or the console is. With a PC it can be any number of issues from drivers to compatible software.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 May 2014 15:45:22 BDT
Ok, but surely the base product could be tested?

Just to make sure it does what it says on the tin? at low specs?

Im not a expert on pc gaming so you will have to excuse my lack of knowledge in this area.

Posted on 8 May 2014 16:08:20 BDT
Do they at any point state that what they advertise is the game running on a low spec machine?

In reply to an earlier post on 8 May 2014 17:49:26 BDT
What I am looking for is a working single vendor holding my card details and less need for multiple platforms. Not enough companies are choosing not their products on EA's platform as they are a competitor and I havent seen games I like enough to try and deal with the technical issues I had previously when trying to buy BF4 through origin. T

I do like the fact that EA recently chose to comply with the 14 day returns policy (and perhaps even went beyond it ) virtually the opposite of Steam in fact. Could this be a different EA to the one that called all PC Gamers pirates? Well, now they scan my installed programs and hard drive on a regular basis they would know how wrong they are. Perhaps that is why they are starting to be a little nicer as I guess they have results of a year of data collection now. I think they started to believe their own pirate paranoia there for a while. On the other hand, their technical support is also abysmal. Not only was I fighting to try and buy something from them, they gave me to some clueless people from god knows where for hours at a time that added absolutely no value to the situation and I could barely understand (I think it was India but it could have been anywhere). In the end I found someone in the UK that was very helpful but they simply found some sort of systemic error which was taking so long to resolve I gave up.

I am less concerned about price in favor of technical support and customer service . Steam made their position clear in that regard. No further comment on that as so far there are five separate regulators reviewing different aspects of it.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 May 2014 17:52:14 BDT
I just accidentally voted your post down when I meant to up it. Very sorry. Mis-clicked it. Totally agree with you.

Fed up with paying for games that should never have been released. If a local company cant sell people a product they just made up from thin air or which doesn't work then why should they get away with it? It is anti competitive, ethically wrong and reduces the number of people willing to buy games. Potentially I would imagine it probably increases piracy which doesn't help gamers nor the industry.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 May 2014 17:53:07 BDT
Wish I could help you more, I think the pc savvy guys here could help you.

Ness, morgan, dela and a few of the other pc guys know their stuff.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 May 2014 17:53:16 BDT
Last edited by the author on 8 May 2014 17:56:18 BDT
J. Morgan says:
Well there are genetally two sets of specs listed. Minimum,which translates to "you're having a laugh" and recomended which are about the minimum required for a decent performace.

You can twiddle with all sorts of options to balance performance vs visuals on a PC so there is a pretty wide performance gap even if something works.

@Lee it's been years since I was a PC gamer :) I don't know anything with regards to steam/orgins etc. The only thing I play on PC now is MMOs.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 May 2014 17:55:35 BDT
Yeah I just don't know enough about pc gaming, outside of football manager I have never played anything on pc.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 May 2014 18:07:52 BDT
Last edited by the author on 8 May 2014 18:34:17 BDT
Thank you all for the responses.

My OP is about finding an alternative to Steam which gives another option as a single vendor gaming platform. I need something like steam in terms of being multi vendor / Multi publisher but more ethical. Any suggestions very much appreciated.

It seems Amazon might be the solution. Can i just check the following: So, when I buy off Amazon. I get the key basically? Then I can download the game (such as Evolve and Watchdogs etc) from either Amazon or the publisher? As long as I dont have to wait for an old fashioned DVD I can just use Amazon going forward.

In terms of the side issues people were kindly discussing here also (appreciate the interest btw).
Just to confirm - It is not tech support on Dark Souls II, I need from you guys here. Though I would be interested if someone had the same issue. It is support concerning amazons capabilities or some suggestions on something which more meets matches my requirements (basically a single vendor digital purchasing solution that doesn't put up a middle finger when they cant deliver). This not a computer specification issue. The PC I tried to run this on is a x79 chipset (rampage IV)- It is a 3960 (hexacore) CPU with SLI GTX titans installed currently. The rest of the spec is consistent with that. It isn't that the game doesn't try to run. It is that it will not let me access the content because the game will not recognize any characters I enter from the keyboard so it is impossible to create a character and actually play it. Everything on the keyboard triggers a "character not recognized re enter message". I have seen posts elsewhere on the same issue and it is believed to be due to technical issues due to the poor console porting. I cant comment on that as I never got to see it. Some with the same issue are still able to use a little workaround to get the numerical characters to work so just call themselves something random numerically but I am not even getting that. I do know I purchased a product that cannot be delivered and no one seem to want to support it.

In terms of the false advertising, this is not speculation if the interviews with the games developers are to be believed. Steam even changed the advertising quite quickly afterwards, but not until a huge number of people brought it due to the advertising. It seems the build advertised did not make release and the capabilities on the PC (particularly graphically were dramatically changed just at the general availability stage following beta). This is not speculation. There is a video developer where they actually confirm the beta build could not be released and they canned that build. The differences meant that PC gamers basically got console graphics and not even next gen looking from the comparisons I see. (Not that I have high expectations of "next gen" consoles either as they are still low rez and low dpi hence the poor field of view etc etc.) But this is my point, my expectations are reasonable, I just cant see if the game matches them because it cannot be delivered because the interface is so bad it will not let me past the character creation.

To the guy going off piste- I agree, a refund shouldn't be given because someone dislikes a product although several companies do.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 May 2014 18:12:05 BDT
J. Morgan says:
This is the link to the PC centric thread here.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 May 2014 18:39:31 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 8 May 2014 18:45:03 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 8 May 2014 18:42:18 BDT
Last edited by the author on 8 May 2014 18:45:48 BDT
If a company cannot say a product is fundamentally functional and actually works then yes of course they should test with reasonable diligence in order to be sure they can actually deliver the product or service or they shouldn't be trading. This is the fundamental principle of most systems of commerce and the laws which support them. You buy something, you get what you paid for or there is no contract of sale.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 May 2014 18:42:38 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 8 May 2014 18:44:52 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 8 May 2014 18:44:42 BDT
In this case its a terrible port and an issued shared by many. It appears to be a quality control issue. This isnt a matter of different specs showing slightly differently. They had to can an entire build with many of the PC enhancements. What was released was a manifestly different product which in my case, it totally inaccessible due to a bug rather than a difference in specs.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 May 2014 10:00:02 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 May 2014 10:01:01 BDT
This might be a silly question, but have you tried using another keyboard?

Also is a good place to get cheap game keys, although most of them will activate on steam/origin/uplay.
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Participants:  13
Total posts:  28
Initial post:  7 May 2014
Latest post:  12 May 2014

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