gabe-newell

Don’t Like the Idea of ‘Always-Online’? Blame Gabe Newell

Last night we learned that some people in the Games Industry don’t care about people’s resistance to the idea of an “always-online” game console. They want you to just shut up and “deal with it,” because this is the path the Industry is going to follow. As we saw in our comments section, a number of people are rather vocally upset about this.

But here’s the thing that critics fail to realize. A lot of them have been supporting the ideas that have pushed always-online to the forefront for much of the past generation…by supporting Steam.

People may complain about online DRM, but let’s face it: Steam is one of the greatest perpetrators of all. Steam has to be present, has to be running, and has to be online to install, manage, and even play games.

“But Steam has an offline mode!”

Sort of. Steam’s offline mode still requires that you jump through the online DRM hoops for it to function. Your games (as well as Steam itself) have to be authenticated and usually up-to-date. And offline mode credentials aren’t permanent. In other words, it’s still inherently based on using an Internet-connected client in order to access games.

“But that’s still not the kind of ‘always-online’ we’re hearing about for the Next Xbox!”

In the sense that at least Steam has a concession for offline mode, yes, that’s true. The Next Xbox is rumored to require an Internet connection to start games period, and that’s not absolutely true for Steam.

However, it was Steam that began the Crusade for providing gamers with “better service” by requiring them to make use of the Internet. It was Steam that advanced the idea that “online” could be the default setting for games.

The amusing thing is, people have been buying into the idea that Steam is the good guy, but DRM – which consumers hate – is the bad buy. They’ve been buying into Gabe Newell’s statements about how Steam is just about making things better for the customers:

One thing that you hear [Valve] talk a lot about is entertainment as a service. It’s an attitude that says ‘what have I done for my customers today?’ It informs all the decisions we make, and once you get into that mindset it helps you avoid things like some of the Digital Rights Management problems that actually make your entertainment products worth less by wrapping those negatives around them.

It all sounds nice and gamer-friendly, but this is an incredibly misleading statement. Yes, Steam does come with some gamer-centric services. Yes, there are DRM-free games on Steam. But Steam itself is actually a DRM client as much as it is a games service. Besides, the really meaningful way in which those DRM-free Steam games are DRM-free is that they can be played totally independently from Steam.

Valve has been getting away with this kind of scheme all generation. Why else do you think companies like Ubisoft, Blizzard, EA, and now apparently Microsoft think they can try to push the “online service” model even further?

One of two things must be true. Either consumers don’t really care that much about online-dependent services and DRM – that’s the truth that Microsoft is banking on if the rumors are true – or they make special exceptions for Steam and all the other games they really want to play (which, incidentally, also suggests that they don’t care that much).

In other words, they’re willing to “deal with it.”

You can’t have it both ways. Either increasing dependence on online is bad, or it is not bad. And if increasing dependence on online is bad, then logically-speaking Gabe Newell and Steam – being the pioneers of this approach – are the source of the problem.

  • Guest

    It’s less of a problem for PC gaming as many always-online PC games allow users to host their own servers. For this reason alone there are still servers for Quake 1, UT, Tribes, etc. Console gaming does not allow this.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Mounce2 Jason Mounce

      Not to mention that on PC, you don’t have to buy annual subscription fees ONTOP of the internet you’re already paying for….

      Durango/720 will likely keep the Subscription fees for online services – Microsofts only trump card against this is if they introduce like, that Gold is Free and a ‘New Platinum’ service goes up above Gold in which it mimics Sony’s optional-style more. That is their ONE and only trump card against this disaster.

    • Adrian Estrada

      Funny that almost all console multiplayer server do not use dedicated servers, instead, one player actually hosts a server on their console. Even Halo does that, and you still have to pay a subscription fee for it on the Xbox 360.

  • disqus_gjBtsVzL6t

    It’s less of a problem for PC gaming as many always-online PC games allow users to host their own servers. For this reason alone there are still servers for Quake 1, UT, Tribes, etc. Console gaming does not allow this. Custom servers on consoles are rented from the host, and if the host decides to shut down the servers the game becomes unplayable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jugglaj91 Joe Onley Jr

    But Steam has an offline mode that works, as long as its up to date. I do not mind getting online to download a patch, but to be online to play the game is bogus. I know of a couple service providers who do maintenance and take their internet service down for a few hours a night once a month. Sure its like 3 am but if I cannot sleep and I want to play a game I would be screwed, not because I did not get with the times but because my ISP is dumb. I switched form them but what about people in other countries with metered connections? They won’t even be able to play because they would have to use bandwidth to do so. I bought the system. I bought the game. I should not also have to pay for internet to use them both.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000770949977 Liam Joseph Mania

      I rely on being able to play video games to occupy my mind from my panic/stress anxiety disorder, everything youre saying is true. If I cannot play something to keep my mind off of my uncontrollable anxiety then I sure as hell am not going to buy the console.

  • Guest

    pretty much ANYONE that pc games has an internet connection.. the same cant really be said a bout console gamers.. comparing PC gaming and Console gaming in THIS topic is like apples and oranges

  • Guest

    the only real reason i never really had a problem with steam was because of all the deals that they offer. literally about 80% my games on steam were purchased from some sort of crazy steam sale. Yes i was aware that they had some form of DRM and always online restrictions but the fact that i can access games on any computer via my user account + implementing cloud saves made it worthwhile for me to use. Playing offline isn’t much of a chore either, i take my laptop on the go all the time and offline play has been very much possible,

    What i see Microsoft and Sony doing however, is the same thing UBISOFT did their Draconian DRM with Assasin’s Creed, those games did terrible for that reason and i can see their consoles failing for the same reasons. Then they are also doing this without considering a fanbase who may not even have access to good if any internet connection at all. I still know people who do not have an isp and just bumm off their neighbors connection which is unstable because range, how do they expect people like that to take advantage of a online only structure? We just aren’t at that point where we can be dependent on that tech yet.

    Mind you the games you will be buying will still sit on the $60+ price point with very few good sales and no used games to offset the ridiculous price tag they throw on each game.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Vask8219 Andy Vasquez

    the only real reason i never really had a problem with steam was because of all the deals that they offer. literally about 80% my games on steam were purchased from some sort of crazy steam sale. Yes i was aware that they had some form of DRM and always online restrictions and i cant sell them but the fact that i get such a big discount offsets the cost of buying a game and trading it in. Also the fact that I can access any of my purchased games between my computer and laptop via my user account + cloud saves makes an awesome service for me to use. Playing offline isn’t much of a problem either, i take my laptop literally everywhere on the go all the time and have been in tons of situations where i had only offline play as an option and ran into few problems so that is very much possible as well,

    From what i can see, Microsoft and Sony doing it would be the same concept as UBISOFT did with their Draconian DRM with Assasin’s Creed and Blizzard did with Diablo 3, those games did terrible for that reason and i can see these consoles failing for the same exact reason. They do this without even considering the fanbase who may not even have access to good if any internet connection at all. the last thing i want to hear is that “everyone is connected”, even to this very day I still know tons of people who do not have an ISP and just bumm off their neighbors unstable internet connection because of poor range or interference how do these console makers expect people like that to take advantage of a online only structure? download huge files ranging from updates/games and play a B/C without getting kicked out of the session. We just aren’t at that point where we can be dependent on that tech yet.

    Mind you the games you will be buying will still sit on the $60+ price point with very few good sales and no used games to offset the ridiculous price tag they throw on each game.

  • http://www.facebook.com/connor.turner.39 Connor Turner

    This ENTIRE article was a huge waste of time. Steam’s “Offline Mode” ONLY requires you to have shut Steam down properly prior to starting it in offline mode, and having it up-to-date. Also, PCs are almost always connected to the internet. And when they aren’t, there’s steam’s offline mode, OR ANY OTHER FUCKING GAME ON YOUR PC. Think of it this way. Steam is only one service. If you want easily accessible offline games, there are HUNDREDS of places to go.

    This article serves absolutely no purpose, other than to try and make sense of this horrid “always on DRM” that Microsoft is implementing. Please just delete it.

  • Tensei

    Tennous link. If I exeperience an internet outage I still have access to all my single player games on Steam in offline mode with no “hoops” whatsoever.

    When I brought AC2, hackers attacked the servers and I could not play AC2′s single player campaign thanks to Ubisoft’s intrusive DRM. Steam’s DRM is not intrusive like this. PC gaming and console gaming are fundamentally different. Console gaming is primarily about convenience and I tell you if an AC2 situation happens on the NeXbox there will be bloody murder. Consumers wont stand for it.

    Alex, you are either ignorantly defending Microsoft’s bad anti-consumer policy or you are trying to drum up traffic. I’m guessing it is the latter, but if I wanted that kind of nonsense I would go to IGN.

    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

      I think ALL online-connected DRM schemes are anti-consumer. I’m just identifying Valve as a good example of anti-consumer practices not being enough to actually deter customers when there are enough games behind them.

      • Erik

        Alex Plant, has got it going on.
        He knows what’s up. And he simplifies it for the masses.
        For that I thank you.
        I also apologize for my bretheren who still can’t get your message.

  • Nevan Lowe

    I think ALEX PLANT hates Valve and loves the new Xbox. But I don’t think that’s possible

  • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.lefebvre.161 Aaron Lefebvre

    I can deal with it… by buying a PS4, and Wii-U.

  • Terrak

    Difference is that Steam is Optional, and not mandatory. For PC owners they have a choice if they want to use the service or not. This means Valve has to work to make the Steam platform as enticing as possible for gamers. They cant just force things on gamers that they dont like, other wise they can go elsewhere. So when you have steam the user CHOOSES to do so. If you want offline play, you can just buy the retail version of the game.

    However if microsoft is doing what is rumored 720 owners are FORCED to use the service. There is no choice, no competition (on the xbox 720) like there is on the PC (Steam/Origin/Retail copies etc). Also with no competition on the xbox 720 platform microsoft doesnt have to work hard to keep the platform enticing for gamers. Its the only option you have so what every they do or charge you dont like it? Too bad there is No alternative (on the console im not talking about other consoles here). So its not really the same. So if you want Offline play your only option is to get a Wii U or ps4. There is no option on the next xbox.

    While its true that Steam may have started it its not exactly the same as what microsoft is doing. With PC there are multiple ‘platforms’ to choose if you want Offline play. With the next xbox if you want offline play well (apparently), you just have to get a competing console.

    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

      Steam is just as optional as the Next Xbox. If you want the games available on the Next Xbox, you buy them for the next Xbox. If you want games available on Steam, you buy them through Steam. And if you don’t want them on that platform, and they’re available on others, you can buy them through other means. But if they’re exclusive to that platform, then you’re stuck with all the online DRM requirements of the platform. But the thing is, most people have demonstrated (through their BEHAVIOR) that they’re willing to put up with online requirements if it means access to more games.

      The situation is more parallel than most are willing to acknowledge.

      • Terrak

        I realize that you can change to another console. Im talking about the difference. First off let me make it clear i am in no way criticizing microsofts rumored decision (i dont have a problem with it personally). I think its inevitable this will happen. However what i wanted to show there are key differences.

        I know that buying the next xbox is an option too but i was referring to the platform itself. You see steam isnt the only choice to game on PCs. If i have a PC i have many online gaming services i can choose from, not just steam. That internal competition within the PC gaming platform means that Steam has to do its best to appeal to its PC customer. It cant just assume PC gamers will accept everything they do. So they need to think carefully what they do or dont do with their online gaming service.. Within the xbox 720 platform you only have one option to get your games. Think of it this way I can still buy a PC and not use Steam. But if i buy the xbox 720 i am still stuck with the no offline gaming service. This is the key difference i was referring too. Gamers are happy the way steam is which is why they still use it and love it. It will be interesting how xbox gamers will feel about what microsoft is apparently doing with the next xbox, and from initial reactions are anything to go by not good is the general consensus i am seeing.

        having to be online all the time is BS, especially if you must do this with single player games. Atleast with steam you just need to log in then you can go to offline mode. This is great for my laptop gaming, i simply use my phones for Wifi, link to steam, log on, then go to offline mode and turn off my Phones Wifi. I can play single player games no problems almost anywhere anytime as long as i have a 3g connection ( for the initial login only not to actually play). If the next xbox can do that then fine, if it cant well its not the same. Thats cr@p and something i certainly wont accept. I dont feel im alone on that either.

        • Axe99

          Aye – +1 to this. There’s also the fact that Steam as a ‘platform’ has a marginal cost of a tiny download, while I’d say it’s very unlikely that the next Xbox will be free! As you say, if you don’t like Steam there’s always Gamersgate (actually DRM free, or was last time I looked), Origin, Impulse (or whatever it’s called these days), GOG and so on.

        • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

          Everything you say points to “if you don’t like Xbox 720, seek an alternative” which is the same thing as “if you don’t like Steam, seek an alternative.”

          Just because the PC space has more alternatives doesn’t make the situation that much different (the home console space also has alternatives).

          • http://twitter.com/jasonxe jasonxe

            The problem with your logic is that it doesn’t apply to the topic. It’s true that if you don’t like X then go to Y. But the topic is about Always Online with Steam and “Deal with it” attitude. it isn’t relevant to pc gamers because we can choose whether or not to use steam. So I don’t need to deal with it as the topic insists.

            it’s not as detrimental nor as noticeable as for people who only play on xbox. Going to the PS4 or Wii u isn’t exactly helpful either. They may want exclusive games, or other features. Some may not have the money to afford multiple consoles. As for pc, the same notion the author implies doesn’t translate over. Steam isn’t the pc platform.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000553061212 Adam Xen

        Or get a PS4.

        But your reasoning is STILL stupid. I wouldn’t exactly call spending hundreds of dollars to play games on a competing/alternative hardware platform a viable “option” or “choice” for most people.

        • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

          Spending money on a console in the first place is a choice. If you don’t like the console, don’t buy it.

          What I expect is going to happen is that the anti-always-online noise is going to wind up being mostly just noise, and plenty of people will buy Xbox anyway as long as there are compelling games there, just like the anti-DRM noise didn’t keep people away from Steam.

    • XavierLeromeLangham

      i would agree that steam is optional if it wasnt for the fact that many pc games won’t run w/o steam

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000770949977 Liam Joseph Mania

        there are ways to bypass that, which i use after LEGALLY (Eg: DVD/SteamPurchase) aquiring the game

        • XavierLeromeLangham

          lol besides downloading Cracks for games there is no way to play a game w/o steam running

    • Jonesy89CFPD

      I bought the retail version of Half Life 2 and was forced to download Steam and validate it online. I had no choice in the matter aside from choosing not to play the game. The same was also true when I bought Half Life 2 Episode 1.

      • Jeremy Abrahamson

        While your point would be more valid if you used, say, Skyrim as an example, as it installs through steam, it’s important to note that you just used two examples of games FROM the company that owns steam, made by it’s own devteam. The vast majority of steam games, in fact, with only a few exceptions, can be bought elsewhere without steam. Many of them could be bought on GoG, getting both digital distribution and DRM Free. Of course a game developed by the same people as the DRM would include it, when you think about it. That’s how they marketed it in the first place!

        • Jonesy89CFPD

          How about this, then: I just tried to install a physical copy of Spec Ops: The Line. It also is forcing me to bond it to my Steam account. I went out of my way to avoid this kind of crap, and I still got shafted.

          • Jeremy Abrahamson

            Acceptable counterarguement. That I have no problem with. I’d check whether that game has Steam-exclusive publishing, like Skyrim. Depends on the game. Still, they are rarities, games only available on Steam, with so many competitors these days. Don’t quote me on that, I’m probably wrong, I buy most of my games on Steam anyway, so I don’t have the background to check box copies. All I know is that games like Diablo, Starcraft, and most EA PC games don’t require steam for hard copies, because they have their own DRM, and some, say, Assassin’s Creed, are DRM free online legally.

            • Jonesy89CFPD

              Not exactly sure where to start looking to find out if it is or isn’t… can you give any pointers? Really hoping to play this without looking into a console purchase.

              • Jeremy Abrahamson

                In the case of Spec Ops: The Line in particular, Amazon has it for direct download. Amazon itself is trying, and generally failing, to be a steam competitor, with direct download games. Doesn’t really have any DRM not included with the game, but some good deals. Got Bioshock 1 and 2, also published by 2k, from there for five bucks total, and it didn’t force me to use steam. Did give me an install code that I promptly used in steam however.

                • Jonesy89CFPD

                  So even Amazon DD isn’t Steam free? Unbelievable. Tempted to keep the copy I have since I got a refund and try to find some way to bypass steam, but the DMCA has made that illegal as hell, so I might wind up giving this one away.

                  • Jeremy Abrahamson

                    No, it’s steam free. I just chose to use the install code in Steam, because I like keeping my games in one place. Amazon DD is steam free, at least in the 2k games I’ve bought so far, admittedly only one series, though Spec Ops the Line has a better chance of being steam free than non-2k games. But they give you a code so that you have the option of using steam if you so choose, as I did. You’re free to install those on your own.

                    • Jonesy89CFPD

                      Odd; the page I looked at said that it required Steam to activate.

                    • Jeremy Abrahamson

                      As I said, I haven’t bought Spec Ops the Line, I’m just going by what I have bought on Amazon, which was Bioshock 1 and 2. Which are the same company, so I was taking a gamble they’d be done the same way.

  • Grim

    LOL…my internet connection got cut off for a few second when I tried to make this reply about always online DRM.

    No. Please, no. Dragging in Steam into MS’s mess is just low and cheap. Yes, Steam was the one who made online activation mandatory and yet you don’t see it gone the ways of Spore (EA again) and Ubisoft’s own always online DRM couple of years back.

    When Steam came out it gave consumers the option to play their game fully online or in offline mode. The DRM that the rest of the competing publishers presented doesn’t.

    I’m not a hardcore Steam fan because there are times when offline credentials would mysteriously gone missing thus forcing me to go online. Even so Steam still offered a better experience than the rest (except for GoG). The second you got Steam online you immediately go back to offline mode.

    I’m willing to deal with Steam because it’s a better DRM because it’s not exclusively online.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000553061212 Adam Xen

    “Either increasing dependence on online is bad, or it is not bad.”

    There’s a concept called “happy medium.” You might want to look into it, Mr. Black-and-White.

    “…Gabe Newell and Steam – being the pioneers of this approach – are the source of the problem.”

    That may very well be true, but that doesn’t mean that Steam, in its current form, is bad… yet.

    • Jeremy Abrahamson

      And Steam is alot better than it used to be. Went from an early form of the bloated DRM we have these days on Ubisoft and EA games to a viable marketplace that augments gaming, and they’re even adding sharing.

  • Stranger On The Road

    People who own Xboxes don’t necessarily own a gaming PC at home, therefore Steam never mattered to them! But there are those who own a gaming PC at home as well as an Xbox 360, and they are fine with an ‘always-online’ nextBox.

    Another thing, Steam has its own fanbois who will -like their console counterpart- turn a blind eye to its faults and insist that it is great. Just take a look at EA’s Origin installation requirement; people are upset that they need to install Origin instead of the game being available on Steam (ignoring the fact that Steam removed EA games). Yet they are fine with Valve games requiring that you install Steam to use them!

    Note, believe it or not, but to many people the reason that they opted for a console instead of a gaming PC is: the internet connection. The DRM didn’t matter since they don’t see it, but cheap and fast internet isn’t as widely available as many people seem to wrongly believe.

  • Aiddon

    interesting theory. I’ve never bought into Valve being my buddy or anything (which is why I wish Newell would drop his “I’m one of you!” act) which is why I roll my eyes at them being some sort of haven for gamers

    • dakan45

      Really? name one fucking company that embraces mods and doesnt say “stop using our assets, you violate our copyrights” Name one company that has taken mods and turn them into games, name one company that has greenlight to get gamers what they want on the platform. Infact i doubt there are any other deals like steam.

      Gabe was a gamer and practicly got MS up and running.

  • Lemondish

    Once again, game journalists miss the whole bloody point. Steam does not REQUIRE you to be always online to access your games. They offer an offline mode that is pretty easy to deal with. Furthermore, Valve has shown they are capable of maintaining the service under heavy load.

    Remember, the issue isn’t our Internet connection, it is their servers. Keep those up, and nobody would worry about it. Sadly, Diablo 3, Ubisoft DRM, the Playstation Network, and Sim City have all shown how horribly wrong things can get if that simple task isn’t maintained perfectly. An always-online REQUIREMENT essentially bricks the system if the servers are down.

    Should Microsoft implement an always-online component, I could then easily predict which system will be purchased by me (and guys and gals like me) deployed overseas.

    • dakan45

      EXACTLY is not the problem of the individual as much as it is the problem of their own fucking servers handling the load.

      This tech is not viable now or in the near future.

      They cant take 1 million users on pc. You think they can take 50 million on consoles?

    • Jeremy Abrahamson

      This isn’t much on topic, but I keep reading the first two words of your third paragraph, “Should Microsoft”, as “Shigeru Miyamoto”. Guess my subconcious is telling me what system to buy, eh?

  • http://twitter.com/Talespin1234 Bryan Stamper

    I’d be curious to see if publishers will sell games cheaper on the 720 since they’d be able to verify all games played were legitimate. And if they are able to sell the games for $5-$10 cheaper, then it’s an automatic win for MS this generation in my opinion. It’s really only us hardcore gamers that care about “always on”, DRM, etc. Parents don’t know or care. If the systems are similarly priced and Mrs. Robinson sees that they games are cheaper on the 720? Game Over.

    • http://twitter.com/Cueil Daniel Lawson

      I’d imagine they could sell for significantly less… at least 10 dollars and there is no reason that Microsoft doesn’t have massive sale like Steam does

    • dakan45

      Ofcourse not. They will hunt down used sales just like piracy saying it threatens the industry.
      Chepaer you say?

      The only reason games cost 60 bucks is becasue each game must pay royality fees to microsoft and sony. On pc games are 50 bucks…Sometimes, you see the online drm doesnt stop publishers to price pc versions the same as the console versions like they got to pay royality fees when they dont.

      So no, the prices wont go down. They will fuck up console gamers worse than pc gamers till the industry crashes all in the sake of profit.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000553061212 Adam Xen

        Wrong. Console games were $50 in the PS2/Xbox era, and there were ALWAYS royalty fees for the console makers. The $60 increased price was to cover “increased development costs” for modern AAA games. The only reason most PC games are still only $50 is because PC gamers are used to that price, and also because piracy is a much larger threat on that platform, causing publishers to be wary of increasing PC game prices. Piracy on PC, as well as poor sales on PC, are the reasons you can get new games like Crysis 3 or Tomb Raider for ~$20 only a few weeks after launch. Console gamers are willing to pay $60 for games (in many instances), so publishers can get away with that price.

        • dakan45

          WRONG pc games have always been cheaper.

          “and also because piracy is a much larger threat on that platform, causing publishers to be wary of increasing PC game prices.”

          Not at fucking all, they dont give a fuck, they will drm, crap port and dlc the crap out of everything there is zero respect for the pc platform, it is a wonder that anyone even buy pc games these days.

          If anything games on pc should be 40 since they are ports and not the actual version they try to sell.

  • Russell Gorall

    Good piece.

    Interesting to see how the Always Online Microsoft shitstorm will play out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/champey69 Gregory Champey

    What happens to people that don’t have internet? Sometimes people can’t afford it all the time, What happens to people that can’t afford $60+ for a game? Without used games to help drive down the price they will stay high dollar for far longer. There is a reason mobile gaming exploded, people want a small investment low risk option. Wanna know how to run your gaming company into the ground? See what happens when Xbox Live gets hacked like PSN did this generation and goes dark for two plus months. At least when PSN went down you could still play all your games offline and still use it as a DVD player and such. If your Xbox requires an internet connection and Xbox Live gets hacked and shutdown, all you basically have is an expensive paper weight.

  • duffman

    i protest agianst steam too they take 4 hours to download the rest of your game i stear clear of steam because of that i dont want to take all day to be able to play a game i just want to play it straight away .

  • http://twitter.com/Dragonflare_921 Brandon Warner

    The thing is, Valve operates Steam in a manner that is non-intrusive on the end user. It runs in the background (very reliably) and doesn’t throw you out of your single-player game if your room-mate knocks the router off of the shelf. Yes it is DRM, but it is DRM done well. SimCity was DRM done badly. “Always Online” solutions are DRM done badly. Implement a way to not bother you in the middle of your game when your shoddy internet connection cuts out, and that will be DRM done well. This is the approach Steam takes. If you were connected at some point after you ran the application, you are fine. You can access all of your games while offline, even if it is a little touchy. I have played numerous games through Steam while on a flight. It works.

    • http://twitter.com/bleah3 Red Dotter

      this one thousand times.

  • bakasora

    But steam has insane deals in the holidays, xbox live don’t, lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001819144743 Danny Javier Splittstoesser

    I have played PC games through steam without being connected many times… Also, isn’t it kind of obvious you would have to be online to download something?

  • Truthbot

    Ignorant article. Steam doesn’t require you to be always online, and the DRM is seamless. Things only become annoying when Rockstar, Ubisoft and other companies slap additional DRM.

  • SierraKhaar

    to dear Alex Plant: Valve put new life in the PC gaming industry, giving devs. stats that most people don’t buy new hardware etc.

    So please don’t compare.

    And as said, I can deal with it by not buying xbox again.

    PS3 I kind of regret buying (but some of the exclusives was so good), if PS4 is much better, same great exclusives then bye bye Xbox.

  • chizmad

    DRM isn’t a big deal on PC, it prevents piracy.
    on consoles however… casuals and meme trenders got so butthurt about it (even if they wouldn’t have bought the xbox one ever) they cant stand the new idea, it really isn’t any big deal, game prices could drop because of a rise in demand (or vice versa)

  • Julian Morales

    Always online is not really saying much for a home computer.

  • rhetoricmonkey

    My ISP caps my bandwidth. I am currently looking for an alternative to Steam so I can play my games when my ISP punishes me for consuming too much.