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Old 07-21-2010, 11:52 AM   #1
NerdusMaximus
 
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Why Alien Swarm is Free...

Hopefully people will read why Alien Swarm is free, and quit with the endless threads asking the same thing, here you go

When many of us played Alien Swarm, we immediately thought "Why is such a good game being released for free?". If Valve had sold this for $5, it would have been more profitable, right?

Nope. Valve really knew what it was doing when it released this game for free. And here are the reasons that they did it.

The Game isn't a Full Game
Currently, it only has one complete campaign that can be beat in an hour or two. Yes, it has plenty of replay value, but not enough to place a price-tag on it. Before Valve spends more resources on the game, they want to see that it is successful.

It Builds Brand Loyalty
Gamers like free stuff. Gamers also like good support. Releasing a game for free makes people love Valve (hell, it works for me). Valve also releases free content and support for past games, which leads to the same effect.

It Encourages Modding (ie free content)
This game is a modder's dream come true. It was created by a team of former modders that Valve hired. This gives current modders a sense of hope that their mods will be appreciated and picked up by Valve, which increases modder output. More modder output means more content for Valve games without any development cost for Valve. You can tell that Valve is counting on modders for Alien Swarm given the release of the SDK and the open nature of the game.

And last, but definitely NOT least:

It Showcases Steam to New Users
This game is designed to be played with your friends. When I first discovered Alien Swarm, my initial reaction was to tell all of my bros how awesome this deal was. Many of those friends had never used Steam before. One friend had given up on Steam a few years back, and told me that this game was "A reason to go back to Steam again". This reaction is precisely what Valve wants. They want gamers to see all the new features that Steam has to offer for free. They want to show how easy it is to install a game using Steam. They hope that Alien Swarm players will browse the store and think "Damn, these are some good deals!". More Steam purchases=More money in Valve coffers.


It's an awesome deal for everyone- Steam users get a free game and more friends to play games with, Modders have more tools to mod with, and Valve has more paying customers.

And that, my friends, is why Alien Swarm has come to us free of charge.

Last edited by BrokenArts: 07-21-2010 at 04:23 PM. Reason: Clarity
 
Old 07-21-2010, 12:00 PM   #2
link.2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NerdusMaximus View Post
When many of us played Alien Swarm, we immediately thought "Why is such a good game being released for free?". If Valve had sold this for $5, it would have been more profitable, right?

Nope. Valve really knew what it was doing when it released this game for free. And here are the reasons that they did it.

The Game isn't a Full Game
Currently, it only has one complete campaign that can be beat in an hour or two. Yes, it has plenty of replay value, but not enough to place a price-tag on it. Before Valve spends more resources on the game, they want to see that it is successful.

It Builds Brand Loyalty
Gamers like free stuff. Gamers also like good support. Releasing a game for free makes people love Valve (hell, it works for me). Valve also releases free content and support for past games, which leads to the same effect.

It Encourages Modding (ie free content)
This game is a modder's dream come true. It was created by a team of former modders that Valve hired. This gives current modders a sense of hope that their mods will be appreciated and picked up by Valve, which increases modder output. More modder output means more content for Valve games without any development cost for Valve. You can tell that Valve is counting on modders for Alien Swarm given the release of the SDK and the open nature of the game.

And last, but definitely NOT least:

It Showcases Steam to New Users
This game is designed to be played with your friends. When I first discovered Alien Swarm, my initial reaction was to tell all of my bros how awesome this deal was. Many of those friends had never used Steam before. One friend had given up on Steam a few years back, and told me that this game was "A reason to go back to Steam again". This reaction is precisely what Valve wants. They want gamers to see all the new features that Steam has to offer for free. They want to show how easy it is to install a game using Steam. They hope that Alien Swarm players will browse the store and think "Damn, these are some good deals!". More Steam purchases=More money in Valve coffers.


It's an awesome deal for everyone- Steam users get a free game and more friends to play games with, Modders have more tools to mod with, and Valve has more paying customers.

And that, my friends, is why Alien Swarm has come to us free of charge.
It is also advertising for some of it's games
Hat trick achievement and one of the achievement icons is a cake
you see the hat trick thing -> you're interested in TF2 -> check it out on one of the free weekends or ask a steam friend who has the game as a lot of alien swarm players will also play TF2 because they recently migrated there -> you'll get a positive impression of the game or positive response from the long time player -> you want this game -> Gabe Newell laughs as your ~20$ are added to his money pile
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:01 PM   #3
Bonzar
 
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I'm so glad you didn't say anything about paid DLC, bringing that dead horse into arms reach again and . . .

me.
 
Old 07-21-2010, 12:39 PM   #4
NerdusMaximus
 
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If they wanted DLC, they wouldn't have provided developer tools. So I don't think we have to worry about that.
 
Old 07-21-2010, 12:40 PM   #5
Undead
 
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It's free because it was released under the Freeware License.
-.-*
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:42 PM   #6
Hat Overlord
 
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Well,the only thing I dont like,is that the game doesnt get into your purchases list,so if you reinstall steam,it will disappear from your account.
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:44 PM   #7
TheJCS
 
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NerdusMaximus"Obvious".

Ok, I agree with everything you said, but the most important thing is that the game is experimental. It's like Portal. "New concepts" (at least considering that this is a VALVe game) are being testeds (map editor, "custom" classes, unique POV, etc)

I wouldn't be surprised if we get another Alien Swarm game (paid) in a few years.
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:46 PM   #8
Turrnip
 
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Or maybe its was just a nice gift from steam to us!
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:47 PM   #9
Kirche
 
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It's clearly an experiment like portal was.
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:47 PM   #10
Echonian
 
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Well, considering that this game is fully moddable and already somewhat advanced (just with little content), releasing a paid alien swarm game likely would be a poor choice when there is a free one. Unless they made it completely revolutionary.
 
Old 07-21-2010, 12:50 PM   #11
Undead
 
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Alien Swarm was created by a 3rd Party Developer Team that created Alien Swarm 2K4 which is free for Unreal Tournament. The only reason VALVe hired them, because they liked the talent of this developing team and decided to pretty much "sponsor" their project. It was never meant to cost more nor will it ever be used to cost more. BlackcatGames is based around the Freeware License and will not ever create something to sell.

Simple as that...
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJCS View Post
NerdusMaximus"Obvious".
I wouldn't be surprised if we get another Alien Swarm game (paid) in a few years.
You mean like...a movie sequel but--for GAMES?!?!?! THAT would be completely new in the industry Those DEVILS!!! They have planned out everything!
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:02 PM   #13
Cymen90
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Undead View Post
Alien Swarm was created by a 3rd Party Developer Team that created Alien Swarm 2K4 which is free for Unreal Tournament. The only reason VALVe hired them, because they liked the talent of this developing team and decided to pretty much "sponsor" their project. It was never meant to cost more nor will it ever be used to cost more. BlackcatGames is based around the Freeware License and will not ever create something to sell.

Simple as that...
But those guys developed L4d 1 and 2...and now the same guys are working on Portal 2! They're not just here for Alien Swarm, you know....
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:20 PM   #14
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Oh, this thread just got Sticky'd
Mybe this will end all the conspiracy and trolling threads...
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:22 PM   #15
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I guess TF2's Polycount Pack taught Valve some new tricks pertaining modders.
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