Tom's Hardware Steam Giveaway - The Witcher 3 + DLC Season Pass

Jsimenhoff

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General Info on How To Enter

  • ■ These giveaways now span 2 full weeks instead of 1. This means there's more time for you to enter!
    ■ There are now two ways to enter to win! Each person can only win once.

    • 1. Enter the raffle via the gleam widget. All we ask for there is a name and a contact email. There will only ever be 1 copy of the game up for grabs with this method.

      2. Take part in the discussion in this thread! A discussion prompt will be provided each time. Just answer the prompt to be eligible to win! Eligible participants will be randomly selected to receive a copy of the game.
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Hey everyone! We've got another great Steam giveaway for you!

This round, we're bringing you three (3) copies of The Witcher III, including the game's Season Pass! As always, one will be awarded via the raffle (found below) and two will be given away to participants in the discussion.

A quick plug before the discussion prompt: for the first time ever Tom's Hardware sent the Community Team to cover E3. Our goal was to give you, our wonderful members, an all access look at the expo, as if you were there! If you haven't seen any of articles or video walk throughs you yet, I strongly urge you to do so.

The discussion prompt for this giveaway is pretty simple:

Is VR exclusivity bad for consumers and devs, or is it a necessary part of doing business? Excited to hear your thoughts on this somewhat controversial discussion prompt.

The contest will run until 12 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 1st. The game will be awarded to the winner as a Steam gift. A Steam account is required to receive the prize and play the game.

Good luck and happy gaming!
 

cpmackenzi

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Exclusivity is bad for gamers, but probably good for companies. Gamers want all the options before them so they can buy one system and play all the VR games. Exclusivity may help companies if they latch onto a certain winner of a game, so gamers have to buy their VR.
 

SinxarKnights

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It is bad for devs right now for sure. It is like releasing a game exclusive to Ferrari owners. The consumer base is so small that there is no other option than to lose money unless the product is extremely low quality that cost nothing to develop.

From the reviews of every VR exclusive title, this seems to be the case.
 

glez13

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It is a necessary part of doing business for device makers since it creates the illusion of unique offer and thus increase demand. So for gamers it isn't really a good thing, since this PR maneuver basically blocks us from getting content in a single device.
 

ZeroRequiem

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VR exclusivity is bad for both of them. Developers have to develop games for smaller audiences obviously and consumers have to spend more on devices.

 

EvilFlash

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In the present situation, where VR is still not readily available to the masses, I think exclusivity is pretty bad for the consumers as well as developers. Gamers may think twice before buying an entire platform just for a few games. Sometime down the road, when VR is pretty much common, exclusivity may seem a good way to boost sales. But really not right now.
 
It is very bad for consumer due to high prices vr companies practices, and if you have 3 games which requieres 3 different hardware systems then you got to have fat bank acount or else you just salivate at others how they play......i dont get the exclusive stuff you can sell more machines if it is compatibles with more stuff.
 
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Personally, I get why exclusivity is advantages for VR devs, or at least easier, but I think that it's like any other market: there's what will be better in the longer run and what will be better in the shorter run. Don't think these categories are self-exclusive though. My opinion is that for the moment it's an essential part of doing business, but that someone needs to find an incentive for devs to work across all HMDs.

To give an example from real life: some chocolate factories are starting to pay a premium for properly sourced cocoa beans, because they can in their turn charge slightly more for their product. In the past, nobody cared (economically speaking of course), but now they do this because we, the consumers, have expressed an interest and willingness to pay slightly more for the commodity. This needs to happen in the VR community as well, perhaps not with us paying more, but maybe something could be done to make cross-platform development advantageous, for example the devs start a poll, and if enough people sign an agreement that if the game releases on their platform, they will preorder or buy it, then maybe that would help.

To sum up: I'm not a fan of exclusivity and would rather cross-platform development be the priority, so as not to have a situation similar to how consoles are now, but I understand why it exists.
 

nimbian

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Exclusivity can only benefit gamers in one way and that is such that a developer is able to fine tune a game for the specific system. In general Systems have become so similar that it makes that past point mute. The interesting thing about the VR exclusivities is that with the VRs you have peripherals and as we've seen with the Kinect or PS eye they almost demand exclusive titles. Long story short I do not agree nor like exclusive titles however I believe it is going to be the nature of the beast when it comes to VR has long as you have varying peripherals and ultimately end goal experiences for the VR headsets
 

iapascual

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I think exclusivity is bad for anything tech related. As some people said before, I can understand the reasons behind exclusivity (in VR case, or PS/XBox/Wii, or Win/Mac, etc), the developer can focus on fine tuning the software for the platform where it will run.

It works on short term and small scale. Years ago exclusive titles where very common, think about Sega/PS1/N64. Come closer in time (and to a massive market) and now you find that almost all titles are cross platform.

I think that will happen with VR, it starts with exclusive titles, probably the only way to give a polished work. But eventually (maybe 4 or 5 years, otherwise the market won't grow) titles will become cross platform.
 

jpatrick2

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Friday, June 24th?


This topic is a double edged sword. The Vive is superior to other VR platforms right now in that you get full 360* viewing and two remotes that allow you to interact with the environment. It would suck if devs didnt take advantage of that in the interest of developing cross-platform titles. At the same time, the consumer base is so small right now that if devs focused on more cross-platform titles, it would give the consumer more content for these expensive HMD's. I suppose eventually it will work similar to xbox/PS...we will mostly have cross-platform games, with some exclusive titles, like Halo for example.

In the end, I would say the situation currently is good for no one. Anyone who has invested in VR gaming spent an assload of cash to do so (I know I did...). From the development side, I would not be surprised if sales were lacking due mostly to the tiny consumer base that VR currently has (this all goes back to cost of VR gaming). Even the highest rated VR games only have a couple thousand downloads.

The new AMD GPU's will help soften the blow of VR gaming, and hopefully open up a larger consumer base. Once VR gaming begins to become more lucrative for developers, I believe we will begin to see much more impressive content.
 

Maarsch

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Exclusivity is good and bad for all parties involved. Consumer, producer, but also the technology.

It's bad if you choose the wrong horse. In this case I think the comparison between Betamax and VHS rather than xbox vs PS is more appropriate considering the infancy of the technology. Currently we have 2 major players (waht is this psvr anyway) and I suppose they can strike a balance, but with the costs of entering this market chances are one of them goes down. If you own that hardware there won't be much use for it in a bit of time and if you've spent money learning to develop for it you're also at a disadvantage.

It's bad because the best technology won't win, the company with the largest bank roll will buy the exclusives and that will determine which technologic approach gets adopted.
And because it is new technology, a major monopoly by a certain company/technological-interpretation may very well stimy new companies/technologies from emerging. There is a fairly sizeable investment made on Oculus/vive. Just because ultra-VR-lightning-babe is better in every way doesn't mean facebook/HTC won't want to see a return on that and they can (and probably will) use market/economy/lawyer tricks to make sure that tech does not reach the market (although most likely they'll buy them out and incoporate it in Oculus/HTC v2.0).

It's good because it is new technology and the future is uncertain and this way there's more financial incentive (which is a biggish sorta driving force) to create games, which will drive sales and uptake of the technology, which will allow games to be created, which will drive sales etc.
And while this is going on actual people actually programming fo rthe Oculus now are getting paid, for sure. Which is a good thing.
 

koss64

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I believe that exclusivity for VR can be good for developers and consumers for the reason of simplicity. On the consumer side when someone not as tech-savvy ,purchases a VR product they want to know that the experinces sold to them can and will work with little fuss beyond the initial setup of the device.Having to worry about getting patches and knowing about workarounds to get a certain experience working because it was not designed for the device is a big turn off.

For the developers it can make things easier knowing that you have one specific set of hardware to work with. Focusing on one device I believe makes it easier for them to focus on tailoring a experience unique to that device and can work effortlessly with it, as opposed to having to worry about how its going to function on three different devices, not to mention the increased development time and cost in developing for those other platforms.I think that the VR market is fortunate in the fact that each device out now is clearly demarcated in what they offer as such I do not believe that's its necessarily a good thing for one experience to be tailored to several devices.

Look at what happened in the last console generation when developers had to make a Wii version of a game, it was often the worst version as after focusing on either the PS3 of Xbox360 version they had to make a completely new version of the same game to work on the Wii with its completely different hardware. When they tried to make the same game they made on the PS3 for instance on the Wii it would look and/or play horribly because they tried so hard to make it fit in the mold they were familiar with and not take into account the characteristics of the hardware they were dealing with.
 

jakjawagon

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Oculus's main defence of their exclusivity was that they provided some or all of the funding for the games' development. This basically puts them in the role of a publisher. They also produce (primarily) gaming hardware, and have a digital distribution platform for games.
Microsoft also fits these three roles, and still have 19 games published on Steam. They wouldn't do this if it weren't profitable, so why can't Oculus do the same?

The Vive hardware can do things the Rift can't, and tools like ReVive show that the Vive can generally handle Rift games pretty well. These headsets aren't cheap, so buying both is not a great option. if Oculus can make a profit as a publisher for the games it has funded, which I believe it can, then there's no good reason to lock the games to their hardware. At most, make it exclusive to their digital distribution platform (like EA Origin) and/or put a warning that it has only been tested with the Rift (similar to some Android games that state they are only guaranteed to work on certain phones).
 

MacroWave

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exclusivity is a necessary part of business. with VR devs can focus on ways to make ppl enjoy a game or a movie in different ways than it is possible with just a screen. at e3 you could see a game of ppl flying birds in vr and fighting each other to get their prey to their nest. those ppl really looked like they enjoyed it, i doubt it would be that cool on a normal pc.
 


It depends on what you imply...

Hardware: If you are going to lock people on hardware, then it's a "no way" in my case. The PC is supposed to be a non-restricted platform for hardware; even when you can actually do it, I just don't like it. When you try to impose a lock on hardware that means you are forcefully trying to alienate the user base of PCs and leave part of the competition outside of it; that is a practice I don't like. Specially with peripherals that are not *hard* to make. Case in point: VR HMDs are not hard to make in terms of what technology you can use and differentiation is hard to accomplish, so why even lock out people from using your HMD with other combinations of software? Is you HMD *so* special that you really can make a case for it's "uniqueness"? I really doubt it. The history in PC backs me up on this. For each hardware lock, exists a workaround or way to "unlock" it. The extreme I would accept is "console level". If Valve or Oculus develop a *full* platform: computing, HMD, controls and custom interfaces, then it's a more fair approach. You're not using "standards" to create your thing and then force exclusivity, in this case you are creating something that can be called "unique" from head to toe (sort of speaking).

On the Software side, although I really don't like it, I accept it. Software is not easy to create; specially games and even more with VR. It's uncharted territory and Devs aren't really prepared yet. Big companies might not have many problems with money to fund their own projects (think EA, Ubisoft, etc), but Indies do. If Steam, EA or Oculus gives them money to develop software that is exclusive to their respective stores, it's valid. They will get recognition and actually get the experience to, if they decide to, move onto a non-locked platform. It's an acceptable trade-off in my eyes for the Dev and Publisher/Backer.

So yeah, I would really like for all VR makers to play ball with each other, but that is not how Companies "think". Specially big ones that don't take part closely in the creation or dev process; yes, I am pointing the finger to Facebook.

Cheers!
 

kireato

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The problem is that there aren't many consumers yet. VR has a cost of development associated to it (because it's so new) and a cost of access for consumers (because the headsets and PC needed to run VR games are costly) so it's hard for a developer to justify making a VR game when they are unlikely to make any money on it. So the headset makers will fund the development of VR games and publish them in order to grow the consumer base, and obviously they'd want the VR games they published to boost the sales of their VR headset. Exclusives are a means of differentiating their platforms and locking in the user. In that sense, they are necessary in business.

But, this is terrible for consumers who end up either paying into each platform or not being able to access certain exclusives.

Developers on the other hand can make selling the exclusivity of their VR game worthwhile. If a studio can find funding for their game, that means everyone working on the game has ensured their livelihood for that period of time.

I would by far prefer for VR headset makers to compete on the quality and price to performance ratio of their products rather than trying to tie certain content to their hardware. Because the latter sets a barrier to entry for new headset makers that has nothing to do with their headset. It is in the best interest of consumers to ignore hardware makers with such practice.


 

acabrino

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I find it somewhat difficult to understand the concept of exclusiveness, in a hardware maker's mind it should work to enhance the sales of their system, in reality, I see few people spending on a lot of stuff just to play exclusives, instead of choosing the one hardware that fits their pockets or liking.
Kinda like making a game exclusive to working on an AMD or Nvidia video card, but I might just shut up instead of giving them ideas hahaha.
 

IMTECH

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Exclusivity is bad only for consumers (usually gamers). A similar topic has been discussed many times - console exclusivity. If it weren't for that, most people would even bother with them.

By having exclusive titles to your system you also "buy" a portion of consumers. Of course, having your own system and titles will increase your profit. Why share that with the others when you can hog it all up for yourself? Typical business model, nothing new.
 

duckandchicken

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Exclusivity is bad for gamer, why the hell I have to buy a PS4 or XB1 when I have much better PC (cause all console now are custom PC x86)....but it is a way to do the business .....some developers cant make games without investment form Sony, M$...
But VR is now booming...competitive make better products, and exclusive is an option...then only the best can stand.
 

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