One thing that is becoming increasingly clear about the gaming community on YouTube is that these people have power. With power comes responsibility, and with responsibility comes the choice to do what one will with that responsibility. And it seems for NerdCubed, AKA Daniel Hardcastle, he seeks to do his best to rival Steam by opening his own curated Humble Store. Part of this push to disassociate himself with the digital retailer is to dismantle his Steam Curator page, which was one of the highest ranking curator pages on the service with over 100,000 users subscribed.
In association with Humble, NerdCubed seeks to abandon his affiliations with Steam. Just like the majority of PC gamers, NerdCubed primarily did a lot of his gaming via Steam. And while it’s a great service with lots of features, he has often been very critical of Steam in the past.
Steam used to have [a high bar of quality, which was]a reason for developers to take a 30% cut [of profits]. Because if it was on Steam… you made it. Now if it’s on Steam, you’re one of a million-billion games …. It’s incredibly frustrating… because we don’t know what the fuck we’re getting on Steam anymore… developers are getting a huge cut taken out for practically nothing. Steam used to be a bastion of fantastic games, and now it’s a pile of early access games, greenlight bullshit.
Now that isn’t to say that NerdCubed doesn’t like Steam. And to that point, Steam remains one of the best (albeit, one of the only) interactive digital distributors of online games. Steam is the only service with a downloadable client that sells all games – unlike Origin which focuses on EA games and those that purchase rights to sell there, and other services like UPlay which are directly supporting particular game companies (and are notoriously buggy). Even the second most popular site for purchasing games, Humble Bundle, gives away Steam keys for their downloads. GOG.com, Steam’s largest direct competitor, is already in the works on their own digital distribution platform known as GOG Galaxy, although GOG has silently missed several milestones toward their release date (expected late 2014, although this was never confirmed) as they work on the service in-house. Other services like Amazon and resellers like G2A exist, but none has the functionality, interconnectivity, nor ease of access. And besides, how can anyone resist a Steam sale which easily butchers everyone’s wallets?
But what NerdCubed hopes to accomplish with his disassociation from the service is to make a bold statement. With a notoriously horrific customer service, huge percentage cuts taken from developers, frequent outages, and infamously silent public relations, NerdCubed has good reason to be critical. NerdCubed joins the ranks of many other prominent voices in the industry criticizing the bastion of Gaben, including the likes of Jim Sterling and Totalbiscuit. The problems are vast, and it is no doubt that so many prominent voices speaking up has made waves within Valve, as recent upgrades to the UI, recent additions of Steam Curators, and additions like the “tags” and “funny reviews” features have all been in response to calls of cleaning up Steam.
As for NerdCubed himself, his new storefront which will be on the Humble Store eventually will be taking no profits for himself. It it nothing but a symbolic gesture to distance himself from Steam. All money purchased through his referral storefront on Humble will still go straight to the developers, charity, and Humble itself. Good on you for not sneaking in a quick cash-grab and setting a good example for those famous gamers who want to follow in your footsteps, NerdCubed! You deserve all the high fives.