While I don’t disagree that there’s a lot of childish responses out there, I feel you are being overly dismissive here. “Get with the times old dudes!” is ageist as hell. PC gamers welcomed quite a bit of competition to Steam, including itch, gog (before the crappiness of its management became clear), discord and even twitch’s storefront. What those have in common is that they hit a desirable niche that added something net new to the often weird and experimental world of PC gaming.
I mean, I get that it’s cool here on waypoint to dunk on Valve and Steam, and there are good reasons for that, but their product is good y’all. I have a box that sits in a corner and I stream to my tv’s and tablets and play PC games in a way that really suits me. They’ve had time to figure out what it really takes to make a windows gaming box a really nice experience, right down to making sure you can customize your controller for every game you have.
And sure, we’re talking about minor inconveniences, but enough annoyances add up. I mean this is hobby stuff, there’s a limit to how much annoyance is worth dealing with when it’s about spending free time. It isn’t a real parallel, but there’s a case to be made for looking at how the fragmentation of video streaming services has put an end to the “golden age” of streaming video. In some ways, yeah, video streaming is better than ever, if you are willing to pay more. But it’s also worse, because answering the question of “can i stream it” is getting annoying enough that sometimes, it just isn’t worth it. I mean, this is a place where we talk about games respecting our time. A proliferation of launchers and updaters does not respect my time.
I really hope that competition will get Valve to dial down its cut, and improve some of its policies, I really do. But I kind of hate what it’ll probably take to get there. My annoyance here is less about Epic (though I do see them as pretty shady these days) and more “storefront, launcher, and updater fatigue” combined with being old enough to remember when exclusives were a rule, rather than the norm, and that sucked, I do not want to go back to that.