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PC Games (Games) Games

How Steam Revived a Dead Game 234

Posted by Soulskill
from the price-is-right dept.
Ask Stenum writes "Rock Paper Shotgun has an interesting write-up about how Unreal Tournament 3 has risen from the dead after Epic Games patched it, made a deal with Valve to put it on Steam and making it available for free for a weekend. It's interesting to see how a multiplayer game that's almost one and a half years old suddenly has become what it never could be; a game with multiple players. What other (maybe older?) online multiplayer games would you like to see make a comeback?" UT3's resurgence was mentioned here briefly last week as part of our discussion on the future of game pricing.
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How Steam Revived a Dead Game

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  • Advertising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kelbear (870538) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @12:39AM (#27237251)

    Advertising is key for game sales. Great games have come and gone virtually unnoticed without sufficient marketing (ex. Beyond Good & Evil).

    Good quality racks up great word-of-mouth(which takes time to circulate!), but these big bursts of sales only come when there's enough people aware of the game so that they can take time to consider it.

    The free-weekend though was a fantastic idea. Getting to see exactly what you're paying for relieves a lot of the doubts that a potential buyer may have.

  • Re:Advertising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anenome (1250374) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @12:46AM (#27237307)
    Great game + great advertising = long-time sales. Great game + No, or inadequate advertising = Sleeper hit. Bad game + Great advertising = Over-hyped P.O.S. Bad game + Bad Advertising = Daikatana :P
  • by RichPowers (998637) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @12:55AM (#27237375)

    UT3 is worth $12 and not a cent more, IMHO. I'll probably play it for a few weeks and move on (I purchased it during Steam's holiday sale and finally installed it to check out the update). So the cost/entertainment ratio is pretty good.

    Truthfully, most games aren't worth $20, let alone $50. I was browsing Steam the other day and noticed that EndWar -- a months-old console port with an attractive 67/100 Metacritic rating -- is being sold for the same price as Empire Total War and Dawn of War II. Hell, you can buy World in Conflict Gold for $30. So why on earth should I pay $50 for EndWar? Don't get me wrong, EndWar could provide a few days of stupid RTS fun, but it's simply not worth the asking price.

    Anyway, thanks to Steam, Impulse, Gamersgate and GOG, I can buy 5 (maybe more) games for the same price as a new one. Good games are always good, ya know? So not only are publishers competing with current games, they're competing with dirt cheap oldies, too.

    Enough with the arbitrary $50 price point. Some games are absolutely worth $50; most are not.

  • UT3 was just at tech demo.

    They completely failed to stay with the feature that made UT2004 a joy to play: pacing. UT2004 is manic. You run fast, the game-flow is fast. There's no room for error, and you get the feeling that standing still for even a second is a fatal mistake. When I first played UT3, though, it felt like everything was slowed way down. They lost the frantic twitch aspect, and therefor lost the feature that make their franchise distinctive.

    It's something that started with DOOM/Quake1, really - the "throw realism to the wind, let's just make it fast and fun" theory. UT seemed to be following in that style - doom3 certainly wasn't - but that's over now it seems.

    Hell, if they just remade the UT2004 gameplay straight into the UT3 engine, that could be a major win right there. Maybe they'll figure it out from the slow-sales of UT3. Well, one can hope...

  • by bonch (38532) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @02:57AM (#27237967)

    I hear you, brother! FUCK the developers at Epic who worked on the games to make a living! FUCK their rights! Artists are our slaves.

  • Re:Advertising (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bonch (38532) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @03:02AM (#27237993)

    HALOHALOHALOHALO
    *cough*

  • Re:Advertising (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Cowmonaut (989226) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @08:59AM (#27239785)
    No. Halo is really not a "damned excellent game". The story nor the gameplay compares to other games. Course I could be biased as I tend to think Half Life and System Shock are two of the bestests games ever. Halo was marketed to your stereotypical frat boy rather than 'hardcore' gamers. Really, its one of the big reasons gaming has taken off (expanded the player base) but it is a very, very mediocre game and this is coming from someone who had an okay time playing BREED for crying out loud.
  • Re:Advertising (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PaganRitual (551879) <splaga@@@internode...on...net> on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @09:39AM (#27240273)

    The gameplay is meh, but the story far outstrips anything that came before it, including System Shock, and especially Half-Life.

    Give me a break. The story is trash sci-fi at best. And you can't possibly be standing around here protecting it if you don't have a hard-on for the 'gameplay', bad-example-of-a-console-FPS as it is.

    Half-Life doesn't have a story, by the way, it has around about a sentence. System Shock doesn't necessarily have a proper story that plays out in cut scenes, but the events that occur provide quite the experience, and I believe it likely that you've never played it.

    My point is, though, that because so many people think it is an excellent game, and a game's excellence is purely subjective, it is an excellent game. End of story.

    This right here. This is the type of person that Halo was marketed to. If you read this and thought "yeah, this makes sense", then Halo is probably your game.

  • Well (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @12:17PM (#27242931)

    I think part of that depends on your perspective on it. From a console standpoint, it was pretty amazing. From the standpoint of someone who'd been playing games like Quake and UT, it wasn't nearly so amazing. I remember all the console gamers I knew carrying on about how revolutionary the multiplayer was and all I could think was "I saw this years ago." It's not a bad game, don't get me wrong, just had it been a PC game I don't think it would have made all that big a splash.

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