Have you ever loaded up Steam and saw that Call of Duty: Ghosts was being advertised next to Game Dev Tycoon? Some gamers might find it empowering that an indie game can make it next to a AAA title. They might even argue that ‘generic shooters’ should make way for more passionate, indie titles. And a few might go as far as to say that the multi-million, best-selling Call of Duty franchise is somewhat copy-and-paste. A lot of gamers have been there. Steam, however, seems to understand what a lot of gamers are forgetting.
Steam tends to give equal attention to indie titles and those developed by large studios. A lone developer can develop a game, then put it up on Greenlight to try and get it onto Steam. This is extremely powerful. But what gamers forget when they hear these success stories is that AAA developers started indie and are built on success. Somewhere along the lines, those developers did something right and stuck with a proven formula. A little risk every now and then might be nice, but big name developers have worked to get to where they are.
Steam acknowledges that big name developers have already proven themselves successful on the market. Say what you want about the Call of Duty franchise, but Black Ops II sold 7.5 million copies by the end of its launch day, according to Activision. Steam understands that 7.5 million is a much larger number than the handfuls of people who are against it.
Even knowing this, though, Steam does something that many gamers are not willing to do: compromise. The employees at Steam know that it is hard for indie developers to get their big break. So, Steam offers huge support for the indie community. At the same time, Steam allows games from big developers and publishers like Ubisoft and Activision to be featured on the front page! Steam does not discriminate (like many of its gamers do).
Steam’s employees get it. Gamers cannot afford to live in such a polarized system of expectations. Call of Duty is built on huge success, and it is here to stay. But Game Dev Tycoon is welcome to be featured right alongside it. Gamers need to accept the reality that games are just games, no matter where they originate. Gamers need to start judging games based on their content again, and not on how big or small the developer who produced them is. Steam gets it, and gamers should too.