Boomer
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So did Paradox get Steamed?

Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:12 pm

I just noticed that March of the Eagles release calls for Steam activation, so does the Gamersgate version. From looking at their catalog, it seems that most of their newer titles are all Steam games as well. I hate to begin a Steam rant, but come on. Little by little, Steam is completely taking over the PC gaming market, and now they're even rolling out the PR for these Steam PC gaming boxes that will be arriving soon.

I'm not against Steam, nor Origin or any other gaming network... er, I mean DRM. But to remove any options for players, to make it mandatory to use in order to play a game is just really freaking lame. What's wrong with releasing Steam and non-Steam versions for us old creeps who don't want to have to auto-patch and deal with hackers and every other bad thing about online networks? There's plenty of market left for non-online PC gamers. Just look at GOG, they're a perfect example that a market exists and can thrive in an increasingly networked and 'hooked in' sector of the computer world. Buy a game from GOG and you get the install setup file, lots of artwork and patches, everything you could want. Then you can burn or backup to your hearts content. No stupid auto-patching, no hackers or lame posers bragging about their achievements or massive friend lists. Some people just want to, you know, play games... not engage in fruitless debates with other users, watch servers go down, and micro pay for everything but the kitchen sink.

I knew they'd go online only for shooters and sim type games, but dammit, leave my nerdy strategy games alone. For Steam users, it's a non-issue, but we're not talking about someone whose computer can't play a game because it's not up to par on hardware, or a Mac user who can't install a PC game. This is just a network/DRM issue that is crippling users' choices. If you don't want to use Steam, you're basically locked out from about 60-70% of the gaming market now. Just makes me sick.

If these new titles going over to Steam is an indication as to where Paradox is going, I guess it will be one more of my favorite studios going over to the beast, just one more insta-ban from my pocketbook. Too bad. The kids think they know, but they just dance well. They never did learn the lyrics to that same old song.

vaalen
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Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:46 pm

Paradox has stated on their forum that all in house games will be steam only, forever.

Boomer
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Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:56 pm

Forever. That's a funny word. I remember a time when AOL was going to dominate the web... forever, and when DIVX was going to crush DVD and take over home video, forever. I also remember a time when networks were fickle and prone to market shifts and would one day just be gone, forever. The day Steam goes away, millions of PC gamers will cry out in terror.

But thanks anyway, Paradox. It was nice knowin' ya. You made some really fun games back in the day. I have no idea of what horrible headache you will have when you awake, but in the meantime sleep well, and dream of large women.

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Franciscus
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Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:14 pm

Thankfully we have GoG, Matrix, Slitherine and Ageod, and also the other independent devs like JMM.

Let's cherish and support the guys that keep the candle burning :thumbsup:

vaalen
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Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:25 pm

Franciscus wrote:Thankfully I have we have GoG, Matrix, Slitherine and Ageod, and also the other independent devs like JMM.

Let's cherish and support the guys that keep the candle burning :thumbsup:


Well said, Franciscus.

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Carnium
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Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:41 pm

vaalen wrote:Paradox has stated on their forum that all in house games will be steam only, forever.


Steam is like a virus, once you get it, its hard to get rid of it. More and more junk is running in the system background every year and then people complain of a bad performance on super-duper computers. I have Fifa 2013 and it needs Origin to install and run, for Total War series I need Steam...
Also it will be interesting to see what will happen to purchased games if one day Steam and other "required services" shut down.

Boomer
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Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:56 am

Franciscus wrote:Thankfully we have GoG, Matrix, Slitherine and Ageod, and also the other independent devs like JMM.

Let's cherish and support the guys that keep the candle burning :thumbsup:


Indeed. Supply and demand, so long as the demand is made by sensible people who think for themselves and don't just bleat out whatever PR garbage is sold to them by their 'user friendly' network pals. I've heard so many pro Steam users say 'well, I've got Steam and it works fine for me, what's the problem?' As if to say that because you're happy with a product that makes all other complaints or issues with it null and void. This is association bias to the hilt. It's like arguing over the merits of football or baseball with someone who is dedicated completely to a certain team. I'm not sure in the end what really annoys me more, Steam or Steam fanboys. Either way, it is good that Matrix, AGEOD and GOG and companies like that still exist. And so long as they do, I'll keep throwing money at them... not only to keep them in business, but to make a middle finger of defiance at the empire of evil that is taking over the entire gaming world.

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ERISS
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Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:00 pm

Yup, Paradox has become a Steam joy working woman. Maybe for others treat Paradox badly, for IIRC all (even GOG) are dependant from the Exchange. Steam is only dependant, owned, by big Gabbe.

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Narwhal
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Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:30 pm

This thread has a nasty stench of "We_Are_Better_Than_Them". This sort of stench is commonplace of too many "community forum", but so far we avoided this here and I wished it remained so.

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ERISS
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Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:48 pm

Narwhal wrote:This thread has a nasty stench, but so far we avoided this here and I wished it remained so.

Yes, I feel better than those who don't resist, for their sole pleasure, the grab of Gabbe on the pc games.
I think my passion about simulation games (table or pc) is an important thing, I don't feel that they are 'just games', I'm not someone who feel they are casual things, I care all about the games, and not only their selling price: their protection is part of the pc game.
So many games are Steam dependant, that is the bigger stench, and I hope we'll avoid this here.
Windows is already a DRM enough, there is no need to add other DRMs on top.

Boomer
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Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:05 pm

Narwhal wrote:This thread has a nasty stench of "We_Are_Better_Than_Them". This sort of stench is commonplace of too many "community forum", but so far we avoided this here and I wished it remained so.


Since I was the one who created this thread, I assume you're pointing that finger at me. Ok, I'll bite. I don't do facebook, I don't do twitter or any other social networking. A few of these small 'community forums' like this one here are the only places on the entire internet where I feel free and respected enough to even open my mouth any more, and I've been using the internet off and on since 1994. You have no idea how frustrated I've become seeing industries change, governments censor, and things generally move in directions that I disagree with. Did I start some kind of 'let's destroy Steam' petition? No. Did I take the holier-than-thou approach and say that Steam users are wrong, or that Steam shouldn't exist? No. I merely voiced my concern at issue over Paradox, one of our most beloved game publishers, was going to begin releasing ALL of their PC games on Steam.

I suppose I should just keep my mouth shut here too, huh? Just quiet down, accept the future, and either sign up and play ball or shut up and go home? Is that it? Wonderful discourse there. Well, even if I am forced out, at least I'll leave with everyone knowing my opinion. I'm not better than anyone else, nor am I making the case that anti-Steam people are better than pro-Steam people. I'm just stating that I don't care for Steam and now it has taken over yet one more game publisher, and I do not like that very much. Why is that uniform acceptance of something, even when it challenges the rights of a minority, is seen as ok, yet whenever there is a group of people in the minority who are trying to rally together to find common cause, their voices are immediately attacked as being divisive or threatening? I'm free market enough to accept the idea that large amounts of people might engage in certain commercial activities that I don't like. The more they do so, the more that sector of the economy changes to their way of doing things. I'm cool with that. But when competitors in markets win, they generally climb to the top of whatever industry they're in, and begin flinging rocks down on everyone else in order to keep their dominate position. Microsoft has done this, Wal-mart has done this, practically every company who has ever dominated a market has attempted to shut out competition and choice in order to fulfill their goals of staying on top, forever. Steam is doing this now with PC gaming and I don't agree with that. If you think a criticism such as that is pretentious or holier-than-thou, then maybe this is the wrong forum for me to discuss anything like this topic.

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Narwhal
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Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:35 pm

Actually Boomer, your opening post was fine, you merely stated your opinion (different from mine, but not by much - I refuse to pay full price on Steam as the service is "not as good" IMO, with only 1 exception in the last 2 - 3 years). It was not what I targetted. It went downhill afterwards.

vaalen
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Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:42 pm

Narwhal wrote:This thread has a nasty stench of "We_Are_Better_Than_Them". This sort of stench is commonplace of too many "community forum", but so far we avoided this here and I wished it remained so.

Narwhal, I do not see it that way. No one said we are better. Steam fanboys can be brutal, as I know from being personally attacked by them on other forums just because I asked for an alternative to Steam. Steam is taking over gaming distribution, and establishing a monopoly. Ultimately, Monopolies are always bad for consumers and industries, and many of us love these games and are passionate about them. Boomer made some great points, and is expressing his frustration with a situation that is a problem for many of us. I think he should feel free to express that frustration about this subject here, without fear.

May I also respectfully suggest that the word "stench" is inflammatory and not what I would expect to see on this forum. This is the nicest forum I have ever belonged to, and I very much want it to stay that way.

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Narwhal
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Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:45 pm

You are right on that Vaalen, "stench" was too big a word in the situation.

I ll let you all have the last word and go on other threads.

vaalen
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Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:17 pm

Narwhal wrote:You are right on that Vaalen, "stench" was too big a word in the situation.

I ll let you all have the last word and go on other threads.


Narwhal, thank you for your courtesy. I do not even want the last word, as I am not interested in "winning" the discussion.

And I apologize if I have caused any offense, as it is the last thing I would want to do here.

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Pocus
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Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:21 pm

Thank you anyway for the news about the Paradox & Steam marriage. If you can find the communique about their internal games & Steam?
Image


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Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:43 pm

Pocus wrote:Thank you anyway for the news about the Paradox & Steam marriage. If you can find the communique about their internal games & Steam?


Pocus, I would like to send you a link. However, the thread on the Paradox Forum that contained that statement has the word "moved" on it now. When I click on the thread, I get a message stating that I do not have permission to access the forum, even though I am registered on that forum and logged in. I cannot explain it, but I cannot comply with your request, as I cannot get into the thread anymore. Things were starting to get nasty, so maybe that is why it cannot be accessed.


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ERISS
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Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:09 pm


no, there won't be a non-steam version.. We had a huge forum-demand for a non-steam version of CK2, and it had an even less percent of the market than we had expected.

I was already so often own by DRMs (including Steam, see BloodBowl), that I didn't buy CK2 for I went suspicious because Paradox already had begun their Steam way with other games.
Paradox bring the fault on non-Steam players, but that's Paradox fault (and true wish I think), if non-Steam pc player no longer buy their games...

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Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:39 pm

I had found a more comprehensive statement of intent in another thread, in which someone from Paradox made it clear that all in house games would be steam only from now on, including March of the Eagles.

Which is said and implied in another way in the post found by Lafrite.

wosung
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Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:49 pm

Now imagine the two Phils would have stayed with Paradox: We'd get Steam only RTS by them ...

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Carnium
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Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:57 pm

Narwhal wrote:It went downhill afterwards.

I have edited my post and deleted my displeasure with Paradox as it does not belong here. Sorry again ...

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Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:58 pm

I am a long time lurker in various forums and have seen the occasional redacted post/thread (including Paradox in this case). Hey, all forums and companies need to do a little policing every now and then and can't blame any business for not cutting off their nose to spite their face (any more cliches?) -- haha

but deeds speak louder than words (even those that don't exist any more) and March of the Eagles is Steam only, EUIV will be Steam only and probably the next version of my favorite Paradox game (HoI4) will be Steam only. Even Inspector Clouseau could figure this one out.

I tend to agree with the concerns of being absorbed by the great digital commercial culture -- being a non-paid advertizement to all your 'friends', your life and its quirky twist exposed for the entertainment of others - I guess I just don't get it. And don't get how people can't see the fallacy the 'freedom' of the digital information age. It is the abject loss of privacy and the total selling out of the individual as corporate billboards. That banks and financial institutions can freely gather and sell our information and when that system is compromised by identity thieves, We as individuals are being forced to spend money to protect ourselves with (silent partnered??) data security firms when the whole system is corrupted with the motive of profit (at the user's expense - of course) ---

weeeelll, sorry I didn't mean to rant and ramble on, but the issues really are much broader than where we buy our games. Yes, we can make choices and with those choices influence the market place (I prefer the benefits of a regulated free enterprise), but Paradox is just a small, tiny player in forces that want You to behave in ways that profit them -- at what cost to us? at what benefit to us?

I don't blame Paradox. They are trying to put out a product and make a profit - no sin there. And I suggest don't attack the ones who have sold their digital souls. Discuss and educate if you can but realize some people can only see their convenience and benefit regardless of any other idea or concern and in the end, it is probably a losing battle. There is a reason in nature that there are far more antelope than there are lions.
(rambling on again... back to my lurker status)

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ERISS
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Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:09 pm

DanSez wrote:, we can make choices and with those choices influence the market place (I prefer the benefits of a regulated free enterprise), but Paradox is just a small, tiny player in forces that want You to behave in ways that profit them -- at what cost to us? at what benefit to us?

I don't blame Paradox. They are trying to put out a product and make a profit - no sin there. And I suggest don't attack the ones who have sold their digital souls. Discuss and educate if you can but realize some people can only see their convenience and benefit regardless of any other idea or concern and in the end, it is probably a losing battle.

Yeah, let shut our mouths and buy the games of poor little irresponsible childish Paradox. Resistance is futile.

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Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:54 pm

Franciscus wrote:Thankfully we have GoG, Matrix, Slitherine and Ageod, and also the other independent devs like JMM.

Let's cherish and support the guys that keep the candle burning :thumbsup:


Yes! :thumbsup:
Beta Tester HOI 3, EUII. AACW2 & To End All Wars!

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ERISS
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Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:41 am

Hey you forgot DotEmu! http://www.dotemu.com/

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Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:24 am

One thing not mentioned here about Paradox putting all of their new games on Steam: none of these games (CK2, MotE, or any of their other games on Steam) have the Steamworks DRM on them. You don't need to run Steam to play the game, only to initially download the game and to patch it. Otherwise, you can keep Steam closed and run the game through its normal executable, as you would do with any DRM-free game.

Not defending Paradox or Steam -- I personally don't have an issue with either, but I can understand why some wouldn't be happy with them -- but there is a difference between using Steam as a content-delivery service and using Steam as always-online DRM.

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Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:55 am

Like DaiMonPaul above states, Paradox games don't require Steam running. The games can be bought pretty much anywhere, but Steam is used to download the game and patching the game (if you so wish), but other than that I for one never have Steam on to run CK2 or MotE. If that makes me a Steam fanboy, so mote (no pun intended) it be.

One can ask why Paradox went the Steam way. In 2011 90% of their sales came from digital distribution, 95% of CK2 sales were through Steam. It is pretty obvious from a economic view it does not pay off to serve the small minority allergic to Steam, because the development and upkeep costs (wether the game is boxed or downloaded from somewhere else but Steam there are extra costs, not to mention the various methods require various patches which further increases costs) are just too high. I bet Paradox knows there are a few people who won't buy Steam versions of their games, but that still is a smaller loss than pour the money into other venues to sell the game.

Then there is the Steam developer tools. I won't go into those (as I bet Pocus and Phil are *way* more familiar with them), but they are nice for example in situations for companies where everybody working with the game isn't sitting in the same room. Steam isn't of course the only one providing such tools, but there is again the economic view.

Steam won't last forever, everybody knows that (nothing lasts forever). Unlike vaalen mentioned in this thread, Paradox has not said Steam will be their venue forever. Comments like that really are something I for one would not expect to see on AGEOD forums.
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ERISS
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Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:13 am

DaiMonPaul wrote:none of these games have the Steamworks DRM on them.

But other games, from other companies, may need it. That don't remove the fact that Steam is a DRM. It is just not enforced on Paradox games, someday they could decide to enforce it on all these steam-free games... (like it was recently did on BloodBowl using the Chaos edition).
And I try not giving money to companies, like Steam, using DRMs (like I try not giving money to MS...).

You don't need to run Steam to play the game,

And to install?

Jarkko wrote: the development and upkeep costs are just too high.

If true, Paradox would have bankrupt since its birth, for they were not on Steam. That's for they're rich enough that they can live without non-Steam players. By going at Steam they just want less work (I can believe that, not your version), and so more money. Don't cry on Paradox for they would become poor irresponsible child no longer able to manage their company without father Steam (or, thinking about, may they really had become mad?? would you be right?).

Boomer
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Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:28 am

Jarkko wrote:Like DaiMonPaul above states, Paradox games don't require Steam running. The games can be bought pretty much anywhere, but Steam is used to download the game and patching the game (if you so wish), but other than that I for one never have Steam on to run CK2 or MotE. If that makes me a Steam fanboy, so mote (no pun intended) it be.

One can ask why Paradox went the Steam way. In 2011 90% of their sales came from digital distribution, 95% of CK2 sales were through Steam. It is pretty obvious from a economic view it does not pay off to serve the small minority allergic to Steam, because the development and upkeep costs (wether the game is boxed or downloaded from somewhere else but Steam there are extra costs, not to mention the various methods require various patches which further increases costs) are just too high. I bet Paradox knows there are a few people who won't buy Steam versions of their games, but that still is a smaller loss than pour the money into other venues to sell the game.

Then there is the Steam developer tools. I won't go into those (as I bet Pocus and Phil are *way* more familiar with them), but they are nice for example in situations for companies where everybody working with the game isn't sitting in the same room. Steam isn't of course the only one providing such tools, but there is again the economic view.

Steam won't last forever, everybody knows that (nothing lasts forever). Unlike vaalen mentioned in this thread, Paradox has not said Steam will be their venue forever. Comments like that really are something I for one would not expect to see on AGEOD forums.


But if installing a game (say, a Paradox title) requires installing and setting up a Steam account, then it is by nature DRM, which a lot people will go to great lengths to deny. Having to run a third party account to access licensed software, by any name or logo, is DRM. If I purchase... I'm sorry, 'rent' a piece of software such as a game I should have do go through no more hoops than what is required to install and use that software on MY COMPUTER. Many valid questions about the long term shelf life of Steam activated software have been asked, and yet there is nothing but silence from the official Steam PR department. Their best response so far has been a vague, 'well, we'll address that with an offline legacy patch or something', without ever going into specifics. Do you really want to even imagine the horror and frustration that will erupt if the game changes, or if Steam goes out of business or gets bought out, and suddenly millions upon millions of customers are left with whole computers full of old Steam games that no longer work? Being a network based company, what if Steam was massively hacked and Steam got mad and said, 'from now on, only Steam games purchased from the now secure Steam shop will be allowed. No past games purchased through outside vendors or on any kind of physical media will work with the new and improved Steam secure shop.' What then? Hell, with that you'd have to have some wiz kid invent a Steam version of DOSBOX or something, which even then could probably be construed as copyright infringement and software tampering.

Point being, network based delivery systems are always bottlenecked by the need for network and communication resources. The army would train everyone to use a GPS, but in case of a bad situation where OPSEC might be limited or compromised, they also teach soldiers how to do basic map making and path finding. Steam is basically saying, 'No, GPS is great, it always works and will always be here.' And we know that just isn't possible in long term scenarios. Not only are you limiting your abilities, but you're dangerously reliant on systems of support that you know won't always be there. Hey, if you want to have $500 worth of software that will be unusable in 5 or 10 years, go ahead. But I know that non Steam games can be installed on a Windows 7/8 machine just as easily now as they could be 10 years ago on a WIN 98 or 2000 machine. Networks are linked. Sometimes links are broken. No more network. Pretty simple math there. This isn't God-net where everyone is hooked in to the almighty 24 hours a day with telekinetic powers and can the see through walls. This is a fragile human system we're talking about, one that can and probably will one day be gone.

Like the old saying goes, 'if ain't broke, don't fix it.' Steam is breaking it for the purpose of being the one who can be brought in and paid to fix what they broke. You know, like the old witch doctor that would occasionally slip a rattlesnake or two into the bush. So long as patients come in for snake bite treatment, his antidotes will always be in supply and demand. It's not a complicated way of doing things, but what is seen and isn't seen are not always what they seem and sometimes you gotta pop the hood to see what's inside. And what I see inside Steam... stinks.

But I'm done. I've been having this conversation with gamers since Steam reared its ugly heads several years ago. In the beginning it was 'yeah, it's not great but they're getting better.' Then it was, 'No, their software is much more reliable now. The network hardly ever goes down.' And now we're at 'Steam is the best. Steam is the only way to buy games. Down with Goldstein!' Long live Oceania!' All I ask is that people think for themselves. Do you use Steam because you like it? Do you use Steam because it's the only network for games that you trust? Or maybe do you use Steam because if you didn't you couldn't play ____ title game and would therefore miss out on all the fun? Tough choices. Deep thoughts. Your choice.

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