Valve permitting devs to control pricing on Steam to drive PC game prices to mobile levels – Lovell

Tuesday, 4 March 2014 22:02 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Nicholas Lovell, author of The Curve and founder of Gamesbrief, is of the opinion that Valve allowing developers to control game pricing during Steam sales will drive prices to mobile levels.

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Lovell also feels this will in the long run provide Steambox a pricing edge over traditional consoles.

“The thing that drives the cost of products down, particularly in the case of digital products with low marginal costs, is competition, not piracy,” he wrote. “And by removing itself from the pricing process on Steam, Valve has just made its platform hyper-competitive.

“But what if [Steambox’s] unique selling point had thousands or tens of thousands of games for free? What if it competed with consoles by taking the Steve Jobs’ approach of an open platform with the price set by developers (and hence likely to tend to free, according to Bertrand Competition).

“What if Steam wants the PC market to go to free because it will be a powerful competitive weapon as it battles the console manufacturers?”

Lovell said if that is indeed the case, he would expect Valve to open Steam to “many more developers (Greenlight) to make games available fast (Early Access) and to give the market control over pricing (developers set their own sales).”

Thanks, GI International.

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