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Monday, April 24, 2017

The Pros and Cons of KingsIsle's Steam Game Releases


Today, KingsIsle announced that it is looking to launch its newest mobile game, EverClicker, using the gaming platform Steam. But what exactly is Steam, and what does this all mean for KingsIsle and its gamers? I'll give you an idea of the basics and talk about the pros and cons of using Steam.


Steam: The Rundown

Steam is a gaming platform which acts as a distribution channel for developers to release games as well as a community and management system for gamers and the games they love to play. Some of the unique features include being able to connect with friends and see who's online, logging how many hours you spend on a game, and the ability to gift games to others.

What would that mean for KingsIsle? If all of their games ended up on Steam, you'd be able to see who's online even if they're logging into Pirate101 and you're playing Rise & Destroy. It also means you can log the number of hours spent in KingsIsle games. You could track how long it takes you to complete a world, for example.


What is KingsIsle's Plan?

KingsIsle is looking to launch their newest mobile game, EverClicker, on Steam using a program called Steam Greenlight. You can read more about it here. KingsIsle made the announcement that they'd be seeking the green light on their project on the forums. If successful, they may offer future games on Steam. In order to go down that path, EverClicker first needs to make it onto Steam. It has its own Greenlight page here.

One of the potential challenges faced is that to "upvote" this by choosing "Yes," you will need to have spent at least $5 on Steam. Only those that meet this minimum threshold will be able to interact with several of the features.



Disadvantages

New Interface

If you plan on playing one of KingsIsle's games through Steam, or if they decide to release any of their games exclusively through Steam, which seems to currently be the case with EverClicker, you'll need to familiarize yourself with the new system and interface. If you want to use any of the features such as adding friends, you'll have to spend at least $5 on other Steam games, assuming KingsIsle offers theirs for free.

Unmoderated Comments

It is my understanding that Steam uses its own system of volunteer moderators. This would mean that comments placed on KingsIsle game pages on Steam may not be held to the same family-friendly standards as comments on, say, the official forums. Technically, users must be at least 13 to sign up for Steam, so that is one potential protection.

Steam Bugs & Support

When a game like Wizard101 and Pirate101 would be released on Steam, that doesn't mean it's going away. Games like Town of Salem are released both independently by the developer as well as on Steam. This would also likely be the case for KingsIsle's MMOs, meaning you could totally avoid ever using Steam. 

However, if you choose to, or if new players use Steam to access their KingsIsle accounts, they must use an additional layer of login information. Some players have concerns over the security of Steam accounts (though KingsIsle accounts would not be made susceptible simply by having a game hosted on Steam), but the real issue is that if Steam encounters any bugs or problems, you will have to address them with Steam support instead of KingsIsle support.



Benefits

Multiple Platform Options

Steam would not be required to play either Wizard101 or Pirate101 if either of the games were to be released there. Steam simply allows a greater diversity of players different ways to access KingsIsle games. For gamers who frequently use Steam, they may find it more user-friendly and easier for use with their favorite KingsIsle MMOs and mobile games. This also means that some games which may have traditionally only been available on mobile devices may now be playable on your laptop or desktop computers.

Community & Gaming Tools

Steam will allow players to track their number of hours spent on various games, with some of the potential uses having been discussed above. Gamers will also be able to more readily connect with friends both in and out of the KingsIsle community, and see who's online regardless of whether or not they're playing the same game.

Large Player Base

I think that one of the biggest reasons KingsIsle is looking to release EverClicker on Steam is the hope of attracting more players. Steam has a large community of gamers, and is constantly promoting different titles to players. It could be a key part of expanding the online worlds KingsIsle has created, which is good news for all players regardless of whether or not they play every KingsIsle game and regardless of whether or not they use Steam! Drop by their page here to support the release.


What do you think of KingsIsle's plan to release EverClicker on Steam?

Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!


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