Lifting The Ban Hammer
For over 10 years I have been avoiding Steam, the digital distribution platform by Valve due to an extremely poor experience I had. When this boycott of mine first started, Steam was just barely starting to gain any traction. It was by far NOT the normal way to get games, or a thin that indie developers distributed on (as far as I am aware). For my own sake, progress and developments I am lifting the ban. Earlier last year I already lifted it slightly to allow distributing, but now the grudge needs to go.
Why I boycotted Steam
I had a few reasons really, but it primarily came down to having a really bad experience installing the demo of a racing game I wanted to try in late 2006. After downloading the demo and starting the installer things went normal until it required installing Steam. At the time, I had never heard of this Steam thing and was unaware why it would be necessary- it was the early days of digital distribution. But figured I’d get it installed and play the demo. Upon getting everything installed it was actually a bit unintuitive to get the game started, but I finally figured it out, played for an hour or so, didn’t like the game and promptly decided to uninstall the game and Steam. In this process the game and Steam were uninstalled, but MANY other games that I had at the time were also uninstalled in the process.
- Bad user experience
- Uninstalling other software (buggy or not)
- I didn’t care much for digital distribution
Why lift the Steam ban
Over the years a few titles stood out as games I really wanted to play, either for entertainment or inspirational purposes. AudioSurf being the first such game I never grabbed because it was only available on Steam. A few others I found other alternatives for, and/or forgotten about with time. Recently I’ve looked into a few titles for inspiration on my current rocket boosted racing game where Steam was required or best of choices and I failed to grab them. At this point it is now effecting my Indie Adventure, something I want more than most any thing beyond family/friends. To better myself and move forward with my indie adventure dream with the best chance for success, I am lifting the ban and allowing myself to use Steam.
- Digital distribution is here to stay.
- Many Steam only games can be used for inspiration / knowing target audience.
- To have the best chance of success with my indie adventure.
Times have changed and I must also change my mind to have the best possible chance in a tough marketplace.