I was going to write you about this a long time ago, but figured, “meh”… but you keep going on about Steam, so I figured I throw in my two cents.
I long ago came to accept Steam as nothing more than an indefinite game rental service. I won’t pay for a Steam game anything more than I’d pay for a game rental… and that maximum is set hard at $7.50. Most games it’s not more than $5. The average price I’ve paid per game on Steam is about $2.92.
To me, at those prices, it’s worth it. It’s just a rental. And after I’ve had my fill of a particular game, there’s a chance after a while I might want to come back to it, and there’s a good chance then I’ll still have it available to play.
The games I truly want to own (which are few and far between anyway), I will actually buy through retail.
However, I agree that PC gaming is dying due to Steam. The one game which I would consider buying, Company of Heroes 2, has only been announced for Steam; no retail package announcement yet…. it breaks my heart, but I just won’t be able to play that game until I can pay an affordable rental price for it… that, along with the atrocious DLC model the recent Relic games have adopted, are just terrible….
So, to answer your question on your blog, yes, I think every gamer “has a price”… and for me, it’s the price I’d be willing to “rent” the game at…
What really bothers me is that consumers of other mediums are showing us how much smarter they are than PC gamers. Music fans rammed the DRM back up the Industry’s you-know-where. I expect better from PC gamers. Only PC gamers put up with all this DRM crap.
I’ve noticed the big Steam fans are not far removed from the PC Junior systems of PlayStation and Xbox. They probably think they are now ‘big boys’ for playing PC gaming. Steam is not PC gaming. Steam is console gaming on the PC.
If Gabe Newell was smart, he would open up more and more Steam titles to being DRM free. Perhaps even price them slightly more. Steve Jobs did this. Steve Jobs is smart. The only reason why Gabe Newell does not do this is because he’s not half as smart as people claim him to be. Steam offering DRM free games would destroy the digital store competitors and bring in a huge amount of gamer goodwill. It is nothing but win-win. The fact that he doesn’t do this, and has no plans on doing it, suggest a more malicious intent.