Do people really want competition when it comes to digital games distribution platforms? I’m going to make a bold and contrarian statement and say “not really”.
The first complaint anyone anywhere on the internet makes when news of a new digital distribution platform comes to light is that it is another launcher they need to install. Another place where they need to store games. Another place to maintain games and updates and DLC. Another one. Not a lot of people seem to like the idea of another platform, yet many people are in favour of competition, stating that “competition is good”. And yes, while I completely agree to that statement, what good has any competition brought PC gamers?
While I understand that many people say that it is good for developers to get a bigger cut of the profits (I am one of them) it is not like us gamers suddenly have the developers best interests at heart with out sweet intentions and hope for higher income for them. It is in our best interests for most, if not all, games to be available on a single, easy to manage platform. And now that Steam is taking a smaller cut in some games profits, how are gamers going to react, by shunning any other platform in favour for Steam again? Perhaps this is indeed a good win from the perception of competition, but does it really make any difference to the lives of ordinary gamers? Do they even really care?
It’s also not like there isn’t any competition at all. EA Access to very well, but from the position of having a large library of very popular games. GOG is also extremely consumer-friendly, yet it’s market share is miles behind that of any idea of Steam. But nobody is reporting on a game not on GOG, or not on EA Access or Discord or any other kind of platform.
People are sheep. They don’t like change. And if they have the comfort of a system they’ve used for many years, and the convenience of a single platform for all their PC gaming needs, why would people change? Epic Games is the first platform to truly make a dent in the mighty and (almost) impossible to kill Steam, even if its just a needle prick. It is a prick big enough to stir some changes. But gamers don’t want change, and they don’t want competition. They want Steam to be the platform that every game is on.