Saturday, July 27, 2013


I like Valve. I really do. They've given us meaningful FPS gaming when everyone else was stuck on Duke Nukem. They have helped minor map-makers, modders and developers gain legitimacy.

Steam, though? Steam ruins your karma, Valve.
Steam gets your heart and soul fed to Ammut.
Steam was not a deal with the morningstar, but the morningstar's dealing with you.

Steam is control.
Steam is every wrong lesson learned from Microsoft. Monopolize. Engulf. Burn offerings to a jealous god. Always look over your shoulder in a paranoid attempt to bring the internet to heel. Always look over your customers' shoulder to keep their eyes trained on your attempts at attention-grabbing. Intrude. Interfere. Impera.

Valve may have been a valid business, a creative enterprise, but Steam is corporate. It is blindly greedy, inefficient, outdated from the start and ravenously destructive of anything it touches. It's an insecure screaming brat demanding your constant attention, demanding to be always kept in your presence. It eats up system resources and bandwidth whenever and however much it feels like. It presents you with arcane rituals to trudge through its DRM requirements. It of course does not even include a "cancel" button on many of its processes because... well, how dare you interrupt our magnificent works you insignificant consumer speck of filth, sit back down and give us more money!
Look, ads! Aren't they shiny? Delicious ads. Consume, consumer.
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

I won't keep going. Steam has been, for years, a sad caricature of everything that's wrong with digital distribution. So it's painful to see better companies still throwing their lot in with Valve in this, for the sake of what? Publicity?

It's even more perplexing when the company in question develops its own download services. 
Elemental's latest DLC pack is available only through Steam. Elemental was developed and self-published by Stardock. Stardock created Impulse, which it later sold to Gamestop. Stardock has another independent download service already in place now.

So why? Whyyyyyyyyy, you idiots?

Why are you making me want your product less by detouring me through the most shameful and wasteful incarnation of online game distribution? What infernal pact could have justified this?

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