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Retailers speak out against Valve: “Steam is killing the PC market”

Thursday, 11 November 2010 09:20 GMT By Nathan Grayson

steamlogo

Gamers may – by and large – worship Valve as the rightful god of PC gaming, but multiple major retailers both online and off see a big ol’ pair of horns beneath the developer’s halo.

“Publishers don’t give a shit, they don’t care what happens to the customer. Which is the crucial point, because Steam do,” the director at a Steam rival told MCV.

“I’ve fought hard for my customer, and never before have I had to give my customers away. Steam is killing the PC market and it is no wonder digital retailers are failing.”

According to MCV’s report, at least two major digital retailers are calling for Steam-free SKUs of many PC games – so as to even the playing field.

Brick-and-mortar retailers, too, are feeling pressured by Steam’s unwavering presence, especially as they begin to move into the online space.

“If we have a digital service, then I don’t want to start selling a rival in-store,” the digital boss at one of the biggest UK games retailers said to MCV. “Publishers are creating a monster ­– we are telling suppliers to stop using Steam in their games.”

“At the moment the big digital distributors need to stock games with Steam. But the power resides with bricks and mortar retailers, they can refuse to stock these titles. Publishers are hesitant, but retail must put pressure on them,” the head of sales at a major digital outlet added.

Our first reaction: put Gabe Newell in a house with these guys and you’d have reality TV gold. Our second reaction: someone’s going to lose this showdown. And based on what we’ve seen here, they probably won’t be quiet about it.

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29 Comments

  1. Crysis

    Retailers have started slowly shortening pc games stock before Steam became mainstream, pc gaming is not dieing, these retailer are just complaining about loss of potential revenue.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Blerk

    Boo-hoo, retailers. Serves you right for scalping us all for so long.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Harry

    Given how little space my local GAME gives to PC games (or even older console games) they have no-one to blame but themselves.

    More and more they’ve been pushing consoles at the expense of PC gaming and it’s no wonder PC gamers are turning to a retail experience (albeit a digital one) where they feel valued.

    #3 5 years ago
  4. SunKing

    Valve are actually doing more to save the Windows/Mac market than retailers are. They’re just worried about being cut out, and rightly so.

    That said, a monopoly on digital distribution will likely not be good for the consumer.

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Zurtech

    I agree with all three above. Game and the like have really poor selections when it comes to PC games, and don’t get any wall space any more, they’ve been dumped in the isles with all the secondhand and “2 for” titles.

    As the other’s have said it’s their own fault. Personally if a game’s multiformat I generally buy it on PC, end up with higher frame rates and generally more stable gameplay, and with games like Fallout better graphics and the modding community.

    #5 5 years ago
  6. SwiftRanger

    Steam has in some ways done a lot of good for PC gaming and retailers failed to handle to get the same amount of buzz and income from PC games as with console games by their own fault idd.

    That being said, just one solution is never good, Steam still has plenty of issues (ethical, service, mod-wise) and Valve should definitely separate Steamworks from their Steam store client somehow. Retailers, brick & mortar and digital, all have a point by saying Steam holds back PC gaming just as much as it advances it.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. _LarZen_

    They day you cant find PC games in the stores is they day PC gaming truly is just for the hardcore fans. And we are getting there realy fast…almost no games in stores anymore.

    It’s like when the Amiga was pushed out from the stores by PC games back in the days.

    When people say stuff like this people always scream but we dont need games in the stores, everyonebuys digital..specialy on Steam.

    I have been watching the peek hours on how many players are online on Steam, it is beaten most night by 1 or 2 games on the X360 alone…

    Pc gaming wil probably never die, but its has gone from the big badass gaming platform to a “little” group of people compared to the big picture…the console gamers.

    End of story

    #7 5 years ago
  8. RoarrrUK

    Steam brings so many advantages to PC gaming. Without it, it wouldn’t be dead of course but it would be a lot worse.

    auto updates, friends, chat, demos, videos, achievements.

    It’s their own fault. No shelf space apart for the most absolute mainstream titles e.g. sims or wow.

    #8 5 years ago
  9. Old MacDonald

    I’m no big fan of Steam, but the brick & mortar stores have noone to blame but themselves. When they stock only a handful of new PC-games, mostly aimed at the The Sims crowd, no wonder PC-gamers are taking their business elsewhere. If they want to compete with Steam, they need to give the PC more shelf space so that we’re not forced to buy our games through digital distribution half the time.

    As for the other digital distribution channels, well, I can see their point (and it’s not new either). If they sell games that are Steam-based, they’re helping their main competitor. So yeah, publishers should totally offer Steam-free alternatives as often as possible.

    BTW, _LarZen_, two points: I’m one of the most active PC-gamers I know of (in real life), but most days I never even log on to Steam, because I play so many Steam-free games. So looking at the Steam stats is not a very accurate way of finding out how many PC-gamers there are. Secondly, don’t treat “the consoles” as one platform. They are three distinct platforms, and it’s not “consoles vs PC”, but “PS3 vs Wii vs 360 vs PC”.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. _LarZen_

    Seams people here and other places blame the retailers. But I think you are looking at this the wrong way, ofc retailers wants to sell PC games. And would use alot of shelf space on it IF people actualy came in the store wanting to buy PC games.

    As other mention all you can find is Sims and World of Warcraft and a bunch of old PC games in the stores today. Why have this in the store? Becaus that is what the general PC costumer buys…?

    If 200 costumers came in the store asking for PC games the retialer would ofc consider the marked and take in some PC games….the retailers aint stupid..they want to earn money.

    The PC gamers aint coming to the stores anymore, they are gone or replaced buy console costumers, that come in the hundreds in the stores leaving with a game and a smiling retailer.

    #10 5 years ago
  11. NiceFellow

    Steam is definitely not killing the PC market. Load of tosh. The shift to consoles for a lot of developers, marketing of console titles and space given to consoles has forced a change on the PC market and Steam (and similar services) are just part of that change.

    If retailers want to see a vibrant PC market they have to ask what part they need to play in supporting it, what value they offer to me as a customer and support PC gaming in general.

    This complaint is simply whining about a competitive channel that happens to be doing well as part of a market changing.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. fdelfino

    Bottom line: people are usually unhappy when the competition is doing better than they are.
    As mentioned above, developers use Steamworks for the advantages is has (auto update, achievements, etc). If other digital services want to compete, they should offer the same.

    #12 5 years ago
  13. brotherhoodofthewolf

    Xbox is doing a lot to kill PC gaming – or rather, monetising PC gaming for MS’s pockets – by bringing PC tech and styles of games to a console audience.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. SunKing

    I guess it’s not totally the retailers’ fault. I just bought CoD:BLOPs for the 360 because of the supposedly borked multiplayer in the PC version. I just can’t be arsed to wait for patches for badly cobbled-together PC versions anymore. :(

    #14 5 years ago
  15. SunKing

    Also, it was cheaper, and I get the impression that graphically there won’t be a huge difference aside from the resolution.

    #15 5 years ago
  16. scuz

    Talking from the bottom of their pockets. Fuck them and their non existent support for PC gaming. Steam is the only thing keeping PC gaming at the forefront of peoples minds.

    #16 5 years ago
  17. Freek

    Right now Steam is the best digital service around, that’s why gamers shop there.
    You want to change that retailers? Geuse what, offer a better service.
    Don’t sit there whining that you want things to go back to the way they were: innovate or die. You choose.

    #17 5 years ago
  18. Hunam

    Who the fuck buys PC games from retailers anymore? They hardly stock the games and have been ignorning the space for the last 5 years. Fuck ‘em.

    #18 5 years ago
  19. back_up

    retailers are crying :lol:

    #19 5 years ago
  20. blackdreamhunk

    we know pc gaming is like the Borg resistance is futile

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CN0fui9Nmg&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZEJ4OJTgg8

    ahahahahahahahahhahahaha :)

    #20 5 years ago
  21. Hunam

    Funny thing is, places like GAME/EB might have a problem with stocking games like New Vegas that are steamworks enabled, but i don’t think the supermarkets will have much of an issue and will happily pick up their sales :)

    #21 5 years ago
  22. freedoms_stain

    Given the choice of a game from retail without steamworks or the same game at the same price from Steam with steamworks, Steam every time.

    And if Steam costs more I wait til it doesn’t.

    #22 5 years ago
  23. artursz1993

    I HATE STEAM, BECAUSE THEY ARE THINKING, THAT 1 DOLLAR IS THE SAME AS 1 EURO! It’s CRAP! and they dont care about people!

    #23 5 years ago
  24. freedoms_stain

    @23, You never EVER get a direct currency conversion price on anything Europe vs US, largely because we pay way more in sales tax and Valve pay more in corporate tax to operate in Europe than the US and the final cost to customer is reflected in that.

    So your hate for Steam would appear to be rather irrational and misplaced.

    #24 5 years ago
  25. DSB

    Freek said it. Steam may not be perfect, but if anyone made the effort to match them on price and convenience, I’m sure a consumer or two could be convinced to make the switch.

    Brick and mortar retailers are dead and buried. Try to fight the internet – Good luck with that!

    #25 5 years ago
  26. osric90

    If there wasn’t for Steam, I would be buying pirate PC games because here in my country they retail them CRAZILY expensive or more simply… THEY NEVER ARRIVE. Steam lets everyone buy considerable cheap games that never get scratched or lost. If PSN was like Steam, I mean… WTF… It would be the most successful story ever. Imagine havbing all you PS1, PS2 and PS3 games in a single 2TB hard drive without having to take all your discs everywhere when traveling (or choosing) and without that huge risk they get scratched, ruined, etc.

    #26 5 years ago
  27. DuckOfDestiny

    These guys should fuck off.

    If you want to stop Valve raping your business, provide a better service than what they do. The only reason Steam is so popular is because it’s easy to use, some great prices and special offers and you don’t have to deal with crap DRM.

    #27 5 years ago
  28. DSB

    @27 Not true about the DRM sadly. Steam carries SecuROM, Ubisoft Online Services Platform and Games for Windows Live.

    The only one they don’t carry is Starforce, it seems.

    #28 5 years ago
  29. bpcgos

    Looks like “the big fish”(aka retailers) seems to be bothered by the “growing little fish”. Isn’t this usual matter in businesses?? When you leave something, there is always other replacing your position although with very different manner!
    By the way, PC Gamer aren’t like console gamer that love to rush something “new and too much hyped” in store! They tend to wait another pc gamer colleague to talk about the game they want to buy to judge is it worth to buy or not.
    But in the meantime, retailers have always thought that unsold PC game on the day one of its release means its not worth to be put on shelves and quickly replace it with another “too much hyped” game title! And then, when those poor Pc gamer come to retail store looking for the game he/she wanted to buy,he/she saw nothing there! It makes him/her comeback to its home,jack up his rig and look for steam/online distribution offer!
    So,who’s fault it is??

    #29 5 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Resident Evil: Revelations 2 has been patched to support online play in Raid Mode on Xbox One. The Xbox One version of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 lacked online support in Raid Mode for a long time. Until today. A new patch has been released to bring that version in line with the rest of them. […]

  • A section in Killing Floor 2′s EULA about cyberbullying is riling up some fans

    Killing Floor 2 has recently got into a bit of trouble with some fans due to a clause in its EULA that gives the developer the right to revoke a user’s license without prior notice. The Killing Floor 2 EULA – just like many others found in modern games, has a section dedicated to cheating […]

  • World of Tanks: 2,000 free tanks and in-game cash to giveaway

    To celebrate the World of Tanks grand finals this weekend we’ve got some great freebies to give away to new players. We have 2,000 PC invite codes to giveaway, with each one offering new accounts a T2 Light Tank, 100 Gold and 1 Days Premium worth around €8.00. All you need to do is enter […]

  • Marvel announces partnership with Telltale, first game due in 2017

    Marvel and Telltale have entered into a partnership that will allow the developer to work on a new game series, due in 2017. Telltale has announced that it has partnered with Marvel Games, Marvel Entertainment’s video games division, for the development of a new game series. No indication was given as to what the new […]

  • Destiny: Bungie is not saying no to a player trading system

    Bungie has not completely ruled out the idea of bringing a trading system to Destiny. Destiny does not offer any way for players to trade items amongst themselves. But ever since the game’s release, players have never stopped asking Bungie to add one in. While the developer does not have a satisfying answer, it’s still […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for April 24, 25 – MIDA Multi-Tool edition

    The weekend Exotics market run by Xur: Agent of the Nine is now open for business. Destiny’s bizarre vendor, Xur, has arrived at the Tower. Xur is your man if you’re looking for Exotic armour or weapons. Not only that, but he will also let you exchange your old Exotic gear for new, upgraded versions. […]

  • Warcraft movie delayed yet again

    The Warcraft movie will no longer hit theatres in March 2016. The release date of the Warcraft movie has been pushed back by three months. The movie was expected in March 2016, but Legendary Pictures announced yesterday that it is now due on June 10, 2016. No reason was given for the delay. This is […]

  • Destiny: Iron Banner returns on April 28

    Destiny’s Iron Banner PvP event will return this Tuesday. Bungie has announced that the Iron Banner, it’s once-every-few-weeks PvP event, will make a return with next week’s weekly reset. It was initially due this week, but because of the recent Crucible changes that were implemented with patch 1.1.2, Bungie wanted to wait and see. That […]

  • Deus Ex devs take the piss out of Black Ops 3

    Deus Ex developers have been having a bit of a laugh at the expense of Call of Duty’s official Twitter account. You would be forgiven to think that yesterday’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 ‘Ember’ teaser was part of an ad campaign for a Deus Ex game, with all the biohacking, wearable tech, augmentation, […]

  • Bungie weekly update: Commendations begone

    Destiny’s weekly update is here to determine the fate of all those Commendations you’ve been earning in the past few months. Bungie started off this week’s update with a recap of the details revealed during the recent livestream. There wasn’t really anything on this front that they haven’t talked about already. With the exception of […]

  • This GTA 5 trainer lets you play as almost anything and it’s the best thing ever

    Want to play GTA 5 as a monkey, a cat, a fish, a deer or some other non-human thing that we eat or keep as a pet? ScriptHook has you covered. Not only can you play as critters, it change other game values, according to an explanation from PC Gamer. These values include making changes […]

  • EA Sports moves Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR release date to July

    EA Sports has announced Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR will be released in July. Originally announced for June, the golf game will now release the same week as the Open Championship at St. Andrews, on July 14. EA also provided some more color on gameplay features such as the ability to customize the game by borrowing […]

  • Jason Voorhees joins Mortal Kombat X in May, Kombat Pack owners get first dibs

    Jason Voorhees will arrive for Mortal Kombat X players in May, NetherRealm Studios announced today during the latest Kombat Kast. Jason will be shown for the first time on Monday, May 4 during a special Kombat Kast. According to EventHub which watched the livestream, the developer will also show off the character’s move and Variations. […]

  • The Witcher 3: Nvidia heads to Poland for a behind-the-scenes look – video

    A video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been released, taking you behind-the-scenes with CD Projekt RED. Nvidia’s GeForce crew went to the firm’s studio in Poland to talk with the game’s executive producer John Mamais, who provides a look at the PC version of the upcoming RPG. CD Projekt, according to the video […]

  • Microsoft notes decline in Xbox unit sales for Q3 FY15 to 1.6 million

    Microsoft reported its Q3 FY15 earnings today, citing growth in Xbox Live usage as one of the contributing factors to the firm’s reported revenue. However, the firm noted a decline in units sales for its Xbox consoles during the quarter. Microsoft Q3 2014 (yoy comparison) Microsoft Q1 fiscal 2015 Microsoft Q2 fiscal 2015 The firm […]

  • Powerplay is a new feature included in the Elite: Dangerous May update

    The next update for Elite: Dangerous is coming next month and it includes a new feature called Powerplay. According to Frontier Developments, Powerplay allows players to participate in an ongoing battle that “enhances every aspect” of the game. Players can become allies with a number of galactic Powers and guide their strategy, pursue objectives in […]

  • Facebook says it’s “too early” to discuss large-scale shipments of Oculus Rift

    Facebook has said it is “too early” to discuss large-scale shipments of Oculus Rift as the VR headset is still in the development stages. Speaking during a call to investors, Facebook CFO David Wehner said the company had nothing to announce regarding the amount of stock it expected to ship. “We have not announced any […]

  • Battlefield Hardline’s first patch and rental server program hits next week

    Battlefield Hardline’s first patch has a release date for both consoles and PC. PC & Console patch and RSP for Consoles coming April 28th. Fixes include TDM spawns and more: http://t.co/BZYJeomPlr pic.twitter.com/27TCiY8hmf — Battlefield (@Battlefield) April 23, 2015 The update will include fixes to Punkbuster, Nvidia DirectX drivers, TDM spawns, contains weapon balance tweaks and […]

  • Modders can now earn money through Steam Workshop starting today with Skyrim

    Valve has introduced a new functionality within Steam Workshop which will allow mod makers to earn money for their creations, starting with Skyrim. The update will allow content such as mods, items, or maps to be sold through Steam Workshop for titles which have the feature enabled. A new “streamlined process for listing” has been […]

  • Play Skyrim for free this weekend on Steam and take 75% off while you’re at it

    Skyrim is free this weekend on Steam providing wanna-be Dragonborns who have procrastinated on wetting their blades with Stormcloak blood the perfect opportunity to give the RPG a try. Head over to Steam and download the game and play for free until April 26 at 1am PDT. The game is also 75% off if you […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 “Ember” teaser video released ahead of full reveal

    Activision has released a Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 teaser video titled “Ember” and you can watch it right here. Here’s the video blurb: “In the next 50 years, technological advancements will lead us into a world where only those who risk going too far, will find out how far we can actually go.” […]

  • Dragon Age Keep update includes more customizability and control

    Bioware has updated Dragon Age Keep after listening to community feedback. The update includes more customization and control over heroes, world states, career and more. Players can now customize hero portraits or delete Dragon Age: Inquisition heroes from the Hero section. They can also remove playthrough states from the World State Manager and keep up […]

  • Here’s a look at some Conker community creations in Project Spark

    Conker’s Bug Reunion releases today, and below is a video showing some of the community creations you will be able to download using the creation pack. Project Spark is a free download on Xbox One and Windows 8.1, and you can download the Conker Creation Pack today. It contains 350 assets in order for users […]

  • Rainbow Six: Siege video shines spotlight on the British Counter Terrorist Unit

    Ubisoft has released a Rainbow Six: Siege video which gives you a look at the British Counter Terrorist Unit which features “the best of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.” The firm said that over the next few weeks it will introduce the public to each of the units in the game. Rainbow Six Siege […]

  • Mario Kart 8 DLC and Mewtwo for Super Smash Bros. headline eShop update in North America

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with an update and new DLC for Mario Kart 8 and the Mewtwo DLC for Super Smash Bros. Other highlights include Mario Kart DS on Wii U Virtual Console, the continuation of International StreetPass Week and more. Full update is below. Nintendo eShop Mario Kart […]

  • Square Enix host E3 2015 conference this year on June 16

    With Final Fantasy 15, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided on the horizon, it should come as no surprise to learn that Square Enix will be hosting a dedicated E3 2015 conference this year. The presentation will take place Tuesday, June 16 at 9am PDT/12pm EDT/5pm UK. It will be broadcast […]

  • Final Fantasy 4: The After Years 3D remake releasing on Steam next month

    Final Fantasy 4: The After Years has been given a makeover and will be released on Steam of PC next month. You can now pre-order it on Steam and take 10% off for the time being. The game will be released on the digital service May 12 and will include trading cards and achievements. Thanks, […]

  • This Project Cars video shows off the racer’s multiplayer

    Project Cars developer Slightly Mad has released a new video giving you a look at the game’s multiplayer. The game is out next month, and if you would like to refresh yourself on the tracks included,  give this a look. While you are clicking links, here’s the minimum and recommended PC specifications which dropped last […]

  • Looks like Logitech is getting out of OEM mouse production business [Clarification]

    Logitech will no longer produce “low-end” mice, citing a decline in PC accessories. This story has been updated to include a clarification. According to a Reuters report, per MCV, the firm will instead focus on video accessories and streaming music, as its wireless Bluetooth speakers are now its best-selling product rage. This will help offset […]

  • Win! We have 1,000 Heroes of the Storm beta keys to give away

    Must have more MOBA? Win one of our 1,000 Heroes of the Storm beta keys and see if you’re more Blizzard than LoL. Can’t wait for June 2? Of course you can’t. We have 1,000 closed beta keys for Heroes of the Storm to give away this week, allowing you access before Blizzard’s MOBA goes […]

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X Nintendo Direct airs tomorrow, April 24

    A Nintendo Direct devoted entirely to Xenoblade Chronicles X will air this Friday, April 24. The video showcase will start at 11am PDT/2pm EDT/7pm UK. After the showcase, a new Nintendo Treehouse: Live presentation featuring the game will air. This is the second Xenoblace Chronicles X Nintendo Direct, but the first in English. The first […]

  • Blizzard will have 500 game stations set up at gamescom 2015

    Blizzard is heading to gamescom 2015 in August and it will have 500 game stations set up for attendees to get their hands on five of its titles. The developer will be set up in Hall 7 and those who stop by will be able to get hands-on with the latest content for Heroes of […]

  • PS4 price cut to £299 in UK

    Sony has dropped the price of the PS4 in the UK. For a limited time only, you can grab the console for £299.99 from Argos, Game, Tesco and Very. Go to Amazon.co.uk and you’ll get it for £289. You’ve only got until April 28, then it goes back up to £349. Go, go, go. For […]

  • Mad Max: first ever gameplay footage revealed

    Today, we get to finally take our first look at gameplay from Mad Max. Avalanche and Warner Bros. have shown off the first gameplay trailer for Mad Max today. The trailer below offers a look at melee combat, car combat, customisation and much more. Give it a watch below: There are a few new screenshots […]

  • Overlord: Fellowship of Evil has four-player co-op like we figured

    Codemasters has pulled the veil back on the next Overlord game, and its a four-player co-op game called Overlord: Fellowship of Evil. Rhianna Pratchett is back to write the story. The game may be co-op at its core, but it can still be played single-player. Each of the four playable character have strengths and weaknesses, […]

  • Update now available for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Pokemon X and Y

    Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire along with Pokemon X and Y are being updated by Nintendo to fix a few bugs and in-game text. There’s also the possibility of a few hacks and exploits being fixed. Per Nintendo Life (via Serebii), both patches are 250-270 blocks in size, and it’s a mandatory update which […]

  • Side-scrolling cover shooter Not a Hero gets a demo

    Not a Hero, the upcoming game from OlliOlli developer Roll7, has received a demo. The demo for Not a Hero was made available today on Steam. In the game, you play as Steve, the campaign manager for BunnyLord. A time-travelling rabbit who’s running for mayor of London. Think this is an absurd premise? This trailer […]

  • You have until April 30 to export your Green Day: Rock Band tracks to Rock Band 3

    Harmonix has announced that those looking to export their song collection from Green Day: Rock Band into Rock Band 3 can only do so until the end of the month. April 30 will be the cutoff date for anyone who wants to export tracks from Green Day: Rock Band into their Rock Band 3 library, […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight minimum, recommended, and ultra PC specs revealed

    Batman: Arkham Knight is looking like it’s going to be quite a taxing game. Nvidia has released a list of the minimum, recommended, and ultra PC requirements for Batman: Arkham Knight. Here’s the full thing: Minimum OS: Win 7 SP1, Win 8.1 (64-bit Operating System Required) Processor: Intel Core i5-750, 2.67 GHz | AMD Phenom […]

  • Bloodborne patch 1.03 is live, reduces loading times, fixes suspend/resume bugs, more

    Patch 1.03 is now live for Bloodborne. The patch reduces loading times, adds item descriptions to loading screens, and fixes other various bugs. From Software has pushed update 1.03 live to all Bloodborne owners. As promised, it reduces loading times by approximately 5 to 15 seconds. Another new addition is showing item descriptions instead of […]