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Shagger

Valve CAN afford quality control for Steam. Easily...

4 posts in this topic

Steam is a mess, we all know that. The big problem is, of course, that the storefront is flooded with digital diarrhoea covering all the legitimately good and worthwhile indie developer's work and thus they simply can't get noticed and recognised. It's gotten to the point where indie dev's are preferring Nintendo to Steam. Last year more than 4000 games released on Steam, almost half of it's entire library at the time. This year, with December still to go, there has already been more than 6000.

 

Some people will twist the meaning of these figures to say "look at all the choice Steam offers" or "That's because of how much Steam and PC gaming has grown", but we know the truth. It would be very easy and correct to blame the legions of dickhead developers and asset flippers for using Steam as the dumping ground for all their rancid piles of shit. However, as some will well know, I don't blame the ones who are taking advantage of this opportunity to deploy their get rich quick schemes, I blame the ones that are clearly quite happy to open the door to these bastards in the first place, Valve.

 

This company makes money faster than paper can even be printed, and are yet unyielding in there insistence that the one thing that would immediately negate these problems can't be done. That being employing actual eyeballs with actual optic nerves to attach them to actual brains certified as actually sane inside actual head's that are parts of actual human beings to do actual quality control. Instead, they depend on a $100 entrance fee (what a deterrent that is) and nice, cheap algorithms that don't work. And that's being kind, I actually believe that Valve lets this happen because of the money they make as result of all this, but that's speculation and I want to stick to actual facts.

 

There are people who will defend Valve buy saying "To many games get released on Steam every day to check each one" or "Hiring the sheer number of quality control staff to do this work would cost to much money". Well, I am going to test those theories.

 

First, lets get some base numbers. To say again, 6000+ games released this year minus December. So, that's 6000 games over 334 days (that's the 365 day year minus December) meaning per day the average number of games released on Steam this year has been...

 

(Apologies for the size of the images. I'm on my tablet and can only use screenshots from my calculator app and the always annoying imgur as file host. Don’t worry, I'm not going to use these screenshots to prove every sum, just the important ones.)
 

ipnKOGl.png

 

...so, close enough to say 18 games a day.

 

Really? 18? They can't eyeball 18 games a day on average? And that's the highest its ever been. Obviously there will be days with more that, but there will be days with less to. There's also employee holidays, weekends and sick days to consider, but if Valve were to implement this there would almost certainly be a stated QC period between when a game is presented to them and being approved for sale (maybe 48hrs, for example) to help accommodate such delays and time zone discrepancies. So, 18 a day is a fair average to me to deal with these games quickly. I'm gonna assume for this a game is approved or not approved within 24hrs.

 

On to the next issue. Cost. I am not gonna just look at how much an individual gets paid for doing this kind of work and build my calculations on that for three reasons;


            1.    I don't know what people in that profession get paid.
            2.    Even if l did know, I'm not gonna expose another persons salary without permission.
            3.    That wouldn't be an accurate estimate to how much an employee costs an employer anyway. There's more to it than just wages.


So I'm going to approach this a different way. What I'm going to do is imagine a certain amount of people doing this job, analyse the workload so that we know that it's within reasonable parameters for both sides and consider this against the money taken in for that $100 fee per game because that's where that money should go in my opinion. So I am taking 0% of the money made from sales of games, DLC, movies, soundtracks, trading cards and everything else. Just that $100 fee.

 

First, I want to take that 18 game a day average and apply it to December so we can get an annual figure for games released as an estimate;
 

 

XTiD7pW.png

 

So adding that to 6000 makes a total of 6558  but I'm gonna round that up to 6700 given that at the time of posting we're still in November plus I think December will be a "busy" month given Christmas and all.

 

Since Valve are to stingy to even employ one person to do quality control, so I'm gonna keep the number of people in this hypothetical scenario down to literally a handful, 5. Not 500, not 50, 5.

 

So these 5 people doing 40hrs per week is a total of 200 man hours per week, multiply by 52 weeks that's 10,400 man hours per year. Divide that by those 6700 games and;
 

 

kJP0mIf.png

 

... that's around 90 minutes each employee has to check each game. That may not sound like much, but when comes to games that are not of adequate quality, are non-functional or barley functional, more obvious violations of copyright, offensive or overly obscene material, asset flips and other such dross, one could figure most of these out much more quickly than that. As an average, that's plenty of time, and this is with just 5 people remember.

 

Speaking of which let's figure out the budget per employee to maintain this scenario between these 5 testers (Valve already have the management in place to remove games and offending developers, so they have the management in place for this already, so managers don't count). If all they have is the money form those $100 fees, then the annual budget per tester in $US is;

 

BRwqZgA.png

 

... oh, fuck you Valve! FUCK YOU!!!

 

How do I see this? Well, I think Valve know damn well that if the did do proper QC, it would lead to less games getting published on Steam making even this hypothetical QC more expensive per game in the long run. THAT is why they refuse to do it. They WANT this dross all over Steam. It all comes down to money. So despite everything I just said, I'm wrong. QC would cost more money, but that much more? I say no. Valve just doesn't value their pride, there storefront, their customers nor the indie' development community enough to make these changes, not against the bottom line.

 

But I'm leaving that and well as my figures open to the jury. Please share your thoughts below
 

Crazycrab and Psykogrl like this

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These companies seem to think that algorithms are the best way to go because using Artificial intelligence is just SO much better (what they really mean is cheaper of course) than hiring ACTUAL intelligence.  In some cases it is necessary like YouTube where 300 hours of video is uploaded every minute which is obviously way to much for people to handle on their own.  The system might be broken there to but what needs is to be improved rather than replaced.

 

But as Shagger has proven here Valve only to need to employ about 6 people to manually review each product that gets uploaded and then maybe another 6 to cover legal, clerical and management duties to solve this problem.  It's absolutely ridiculous that Valve go to this little effort when it comes to QC, they'd rather let Steam groups like Sentinels of the Store do it for them and to their credit they do a fantastic job of warning potential buyers of asset flippers, meme games and con jobs.  The problem is they can only act once it's already uploaded to the storefront.  With just a dozen people on Valve's payroll they would almost never get there and groups like Sentinels of the Store wouldn't even be needed.

 

Well..... we might as well end this with Jim Fucking Sterling Son talking about how shitty Steam still is.... have fun!

 

 

Psykogrl and Shagger like this

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You should email Jim Sterling... He's always making videos about Steam, first with Steam Direct and now with Greenlight, about how they don't give a shit about the garbage that is being posted to their storefront b/c they are getting their 100 bucks, plus whatever cut they get of sales. With all the math done out like that, it kind of drives the point home even more that Valve just doesn't care about anything w/ this process except the $

Crazycrab and Shagger like this

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53 minutes ago, Psykogrl said:

You should email Jim Sterling... He's always making videos about Steam, first with Steam Direct and now with Greenlight, about how they don't give a shit about the garbage that is being posted to their storefront b/c they are getting their 100 bucks, plus whatever cut they get of sales. With all the math done out like that, it kind of drives the point home even more that Valve just doesn't care about anything w/ this process except the $

 

Thats very kind of you to say, and maybe I will send him an e-mail, not that I think much will come of it. But still, thanks.

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