Assorted links


Steam is a great service. Its great for game developers and great for consumer. Easy to install, works great for gifts (as you have wishlists) and you can easily transfer games from one computer to another. Also the in-game chat and community functions are useful. There're websites dedicated to following price changes over time (1). I use them to make a guess when to buy. Since they run sales every now and then (marginal cost being very low), its pretty important since the price can drop like 75%. I think Valve is aware of this, and probably use some game theory to make their pricing decisions.

On the downside, I guess they don't face enough competition so they charge quite hefty margins (usually 1=1 eur/usd exchange rate) and some products cost more as a physical product.

Valve does sales like no one else, and what always goes unspoken is the way they stole this market from MS (PC games) and they own this space utterly, albeit it's built on someone else's property. The sales thing I have seen somewhere else (Wired) in more detail. They've made the point that having a sales increases sales AFTER the sale at the higher price point. So lots of brief sales is probably the most lucrative strategy with such a large, varied catalog, and indeed, they seem to switch sales every day, and then have the largest on the weekends (which gamers are presumably the busiest).

Also unsaid is the new indie game world that parallels the iOS games pricing. Now there are a ton of simple PC games for $1-$10 that are selling very well on Steam, since transactions and delivery are as simple as on Itunes. That's very much pricing pressure on certain genres of games (puzzle, adventure and family) that were once Japanese mainstays on consoles. So each console now has affordable, small downloadable games that appeal to the price conscious without threatening retailers unduly.

So what of Steam in the new Windows 8 world? Will Sony have to partner with them, given the trouble they have in software? Will Nintendo need them, given that they barely do online at all? Can they survive on Windows and Mac OS as they both have their own app stores and games platforms?

Does the "larger shopping cart = more purchases" result mentioned in the 3rd link mean more purchases per trip (though possibly fewer trips), or more total purchases? I tried clicking through and my guess is it's just more purchases per trip, but I couldn't be sure

I've yet to see a rational explanation of why Merkozy rejected Cameron's modest terms. One participant was quoted as saying that what Cameron wanted was "peanuts". So why not give him them?

It's all about the German voter being convinced that the deal is tough enough and the French voter needing someone to blame, city of London speculators are always a good blameworthy target to distract debate from the real issues. Also, to do with negotiating dynamics, Merkozy had most of the room convinced to take the deal, if they had spent too long arguing with Cameron, the risk was that arguments would start to come out that would unravel the deal, and they probably knew that there was no chance that the British Parliament would pass such a deal anyway. The whole episode is to me a powerful example of the power of group think and the Milgram effect, it is just amazing the amount of sovereignty that was willingly given up based on one long nights discussion.

It feels like most of Europe (the leaders anyway) knew that someday they'd get more united, and a crisis would be the impetus. So here it is. They talked it out and said time for the next phase of the long plan.

There will likely be another similar episode in 10+ years, and they'll integrate further.

Sarkozy didn't want a Treaty revision, he wanted an intergovernmental deal of the type the Cameron veto implied. And as a bonus he isolates the perfidious Albion etc.

Merkel: not sure, given that she wanted the Treaty revision. She might have been outmanouevred by Sarkozy. She might be playing some longer game.

I still can't believe people think the German debt brake is even going to be implemented, much less across Europe. I stick with my argument- the deal was only designed to get the ECB committed deeply enough that it can't extract itself. Merkel was played by Sarkozy. It is still possible that the Germans will eventually put a foot down, but by then it may be too late. Watch the terms of this debt brake, country to country. You can be sure debt purchases of the ECB will come long before any country has to meet the terms of deficit control.

Does Newell mean Demand for the game is UNIT ELASTIC when he says that when price changes gross revenues do not change, implying an elasticity of 1? Just askin'....

Given that the marginal cost per copy is zero. Newell says that he gets pretty much the same profits if he sells his games for a dollar than if he sells them for 60.

And yet, unlike the competition, his service does extremely deep, early price cuts. Nintendo will charge full price for an item for years, while Valve will have a 50% off sale within six months

honest, i am hung like a pencil.....

2. Stealth money printing was always the most likely solution to emerge from the Euro technocracy. It will last about as long as it takes the German electorate to figure out they've been swindled.

Trying to diversify from the government sector, are we Virginia? Good luck with that.

Isn't the more interesting point in the wolverine article that:
"There were also plenty of grizzly, moose and cougars, which, after years of avoidance, now routinely use the structures. "

Weren't these wildlife passage structures roundly criticized for being useless (as in, no animals were using them) years ago?

So this is an example of a system that is working.

The article was great, highly recommended.

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