|Not what you expect to see
when you open Civilization
To be honest, I was annoyed that I had to install this just to play a game. A closer look at the Civ V box confirmed that Steam was required: my bad for not reading more thoroughly.
According to Wikipedia, Steam is a digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications platform. It comes with built-in chat and game play tracking capabilities. It sounds big and scary and omnivorous, as if it will consume all my CPU cycles and leave my PC whimpering for relief.
With many sighs and eye rolls, we went ahead and installed Steam. And immediately learned that Civ V had been on sale for 75% off. Sad, we had just purchased it at retail, but not too sad as full retail was pretty cheap too, it’s not a new game anymore. And it meant I could buy a second copy for another PC for $8. So I did, and we’ve been networking the game ever since.
I’ve gotten used to the fact that Steam is involved. I can see how many hours I’ve spent playing (ouch! that many?) while we can both keep track of each other’s achievement unlocks and so forth. There is additional downloadable content (DLC) available on Steam too, nothing compelling, but nice to know it is there if we ever get bored with the standard version of the game. Best of all, no complaints from the CPU. No resource hogging. No memory leaks. It really does just stay in the background, quietly, efficiently.
And so it seems to be with Steam. Not as pernicious as expected. Kind of convenient actually. Whatever game you want, likely there it is, downloadable and playable on demand, often at a dramatic discount. Not bad.
Imagine my surprise last night as I opened up Civilization only to be confronted with a DDO ad on Steam! Is it my guilty conscious? Shaming me for being on Civ when I should be farming Knicker’s epic dwarven axe?
Nope, I am not hallucinating, it’s legit: DDO is now available on Steam. Interestingly (scarily?), Steam is aware of the fact that I have DDO already, and even more interestingly, that my girlfriend does too even though she is not even logged in at the moment. TMI?
There is even DDO DLC. Perhaps there has to be? It appears to be a Steam standard. Right now, the featured DLC is Half-Orcs and 500 Turbine Points for $9.99. Not a great deal but not horrible. Competitive with regular DDO Store specials.
But what does it all mean?
Steam has crossed into the mainstream as a game distribution and marketing system. According to this Gamespot article, Steam has over 40 million users. Think about it, 40 million! And all of them are seeing that DDO is now available. All of them can now download DDO using Steam’s built-in download manager: bye bye Pando Media, won’t miss you at all.
- We get a better download method
- We get one more avenue for DDO Store-type purchases
- Turbine gets an audience of 40,000,000 gamers
It’s one more sign that Turbine is swinging for the fences with DDO. Six-years old but still fighting to be mainstream. You go Turbine! Hit that home run!
But please don’t forget to keep being Dungeons & Dragons in the process.
🙂 😀 🙂