this post was submitted on 22 May 2024
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[–] [email protected] 4 points 1 month ago (1 children)

Imagine a timeline where this happens.

What if there was an open source Steam clone, where everything is federated, and you could add repos like on KDE Discover, GNOME Software or F-DROID's Android client?

This would be awesome.

[–] [email protected] 3 points 1 month ago (1 children)

It would be!

The big issue would be getting game developers onboard. The service valve provides is both to developers and to consumers.
The appeal to developers is that they can toss the game on steam and valve will manage putting it in front of players and getting them to buy it, and all the associated payment processing that entails.
Developers like steam because it has all the users and does a good job of "based on your games, buy these too".
Users like it because it has all the games, installation is inevitably trivial, and it does a good job offering them games they could plausibly like, often on sale, and there's a feeling of platform security: valve won't screw you over.

Any new distribution system will have a tough time breaking in. Just look at the difficulties epic has had despite giving away games constantly and offering extremely generous developer revenue shares.
Valve aimed to make steam $30-60 dollars more convenient than piracy, and that seems to extend to other forms of free as well.

First step is figuring out secure decentralized credit card payments. 😊

[–] [email protected] 2 points 1 month ago (1 children)

Imagine plugging Flathub into this as a starting point. Also, if everything is federated, developers could sell directly. That's one way to get them onboard.

[–] [email protected] 1 points 1 month ago (1 children)

Well, I don't think they're interested in selling directly. There's a lot of overhead in handling credit card payments and dealing with the jurisdictional issues of sales tax, currency conversion, and regional age and content restrictions.

Your notion sounds perfectly lovely from the consumer side, but from the creator side it's not much different from not using the system at all.

[–] [email protected] 1 points 1 month ago (1 children)

Yes. But those would be able to chose whatever distributor fits them better. Humble, GOG, itchio, whatever... For the user it would all be the same.

[–] [email protected] 1 points 1 month ago

I could see a federated recommendation engine/ranking system/the social parts of game ownership, but I just don't see it panning out for the actual commerce part.
Those parts benefit from being able to control your own data and who it's shared with. I don't think there's a reasonable way to federate giving a specific individual money and them authorizing you to download or access a resource they control.