The Game Haus

An Eye on Marketplaces with Gearbox and Steam

This is a paid guest post.

The move made by the entertainment world into the online realm was, by and large, a positive one. Offering far more choice and convenience than ever before, players can now find entire libraries of games at their fingertips, direct to their digital door. However, like any market in its relative infancy, there are still some noteworthy complications with these marketplaces. By using some demonstrations for video games and relating them to the entertainment offerings of jackpot bingo, we want to examine potential shortcomings, and what might come next.

Let There be Games

When games first appeared on digital storefronts like Steam, complaints were often centered around viability. Asking to download a gigabyte of data, at the time, could be unreasonable, taking dozens of hours on a 56k. Yet, despite these complaints, Valve never wavered. They saw that digital delivery offered advantages too significant to ignore, as the pattern in existing systems like online casino games had already shown.

Since 1996, online casinos games like jackpot bingo had been operating on a download-only basis. As smaller programs of only a couple of megabytes max, this both made sense, as was entirely acceptable to the average user. The same could be said for other online Flash games of the time, which were a revelation in quick-play action.

Looking at this industry, Steam saw that an entirely online marketplace for their hosted video games might have been inconvenient for many then, but this was just temporary. Eventually, higher data caps and faster speeds would render what was a deal-breaker for many into a non-issue. With this, they trudged on.

Can Videogame Providers Learn from Bingo Sites?

As Steam saw so much success, it was only natural that it would inspire imitators. While competition in this once monopolistic business was great for the overall market, it did have complications for the individual. In many cases, the newer online marketplaces such as Epic’s Game Store and Ubisoft’s Origin sought to confine their games to their own platforms, at least temporarily. This has proven a frustration for users, who have to deal with a collection of separate login information to play what they love.

Compare this to how modern casinos offering bingo games with jackpots work. Rather than having an enormous concern on their own games (as casino websites rarely produce any), these host websites instead incorporate a range of software like Playtech, Blueprint Game, IGT, and more. This means games like Rainbow Jackpots and Arcade Bomb, which are shared on other online casinos with the same licenses, in a much more consumer-friendly way. In other words, rather than trying to succeed through exclusive access, casino websites succeed through their individual merit. The service is what sets it apart, and this is a lesson we wish more video game marketplaces would adopt.

There Is Hope for the Future

Of course, not all video game marketplaces are operated by developers. In fact, arguably the best regarded of them all, Good Old Games (GoG), operates by rules similar to what we see on bingo jackpot casinos. GoG does not make games, rather they collate them in a way that puts most other forms of access to shame.

We have to hope that, in the future, the environment might change enough to make platforms like GoG the standards rather than the standouts. After all, the ultimate goal of gaming is to have fun, and when companies like Valve or Epic get in the way of that for nobody’s benefit but their own, we can’t help but find ourselves disappointed.

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