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ashecitism
Member
(06-16-2014, 08:07 PM)
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Of course they could use other people, dedicated "grunts" for things like Customer Service, server/network business, etc, but this thread isn't about that.

This started as a conversation in the Steam thread which was sparked from today's Steam security risk/ETS2 dev issue (which almost assuredly Valve won't address). Thought would make a thread about it. Basically things for Valve haven't been going well (at least on the outside) for a while now, like Diretide, Steam Universe, storefront issues...yet Valve remain silent.

Originally Posted by ashecitism

Not sure what's up with Valve this year. Not a lot of good news are coming out regarding them and their public perception also isn't at its best. Do they even care?

Originally Posted by jshackles

There are some really great and passionate people at Valve. But with their odd corporate structure, it's like everyone there forgot that things like public perception are important to your brand.

What they really need are people who can interact with the community directly, and be responsible for making statements - you know, PR. Every time an issue comes up, and Valve is silent on it, Valve loses a lot of goodwill and furthers user's perception that "Valve doesn't care."

Originally Posted by ashecitism

Yes, I think a decent (or couple of, each for their games) Community Manager would do wonders for them. At least mitigate issues such as Diretide you know? I mean Valve interpreted that incident as "We didn't give them Diretide", when in reality it was mostly about Valve not communicating with their fans. And as you said, everytime something comes up like Heartbleed or Steam being down they stay silent.

RPS tried to grill them about their silence back at CES, but they just came up with excuses like "We don't have a PR dept!" , "We read our forums!".

Originally Posted by LurkerPrime

At the same time, I think a proper PR structure would destroy a lot of what makes Valve unique.

Suddenly all of their community interactions, promotions, and public decisions would be spearheaded by PR. They would be just like every other company, with their "games you'll actually play" promotions, "we'll tell you if we ever announce Half-Life 3" announcements, and a distinct lack of both crowbars and Gabe Newell in Kickstarter videos.

Originally Posted by ashecitism

No one said they should go full on with PR. The fact is Valve aren't good with communicating with their customers. Not even close. They think that working behind the scenes instead of saying anything whenever an issue comes up is the way to go. It isn't. It riles their fans up and gives wrong impressions.

Originally Posted by jshackles

I firmly believe that Enhanced Steam's popularity to-date has been the direct result of community involvement. I gather ideas from the community, I let people know what I'm working on (and why), and I like to think that I'm pretty responsive when people have questions or issues about the software.

Valve needs someone like that, that has the inside information on what's going on, to be able to communicate and disseminate that information to their customers. So when something like Heartbleed happens, that person can stand up and say "Hey guys, we're working on rolling out a fix for that as soon as possible." Or when Steam goes down they can make an announcement like "Just a heads up, we had a router crash in one of our upstream providers, and it should be back online in a couple of minutes."

Instead we get silence and have to assume the worse. With Heartbleed, DAYS went by where people were still asking "Is it safe to log into Steam yet?". If I recall correctly, Steam's servers were all updated within 8 or so hours of exploit being publicized. Having an announcement made in an official capacity after it was fixed would have ultimately resulted in an increase in customer trust, rather than the opposite.

Now this has been a thing for years. But the bigger their service/games become the less they should act like this. Like the storefront issue. They've been getting shit for it from gamers, press and devs, yet they don't address it. We know they have plans for it from outside sources and it's supposedly good, but how far is it and I'd like to hear it directly from Valve. Their silence isn't reassuring anyone.

Of course Valve have come up with excuses for their no PR approach before, like their corporate structure/culture; people preferring devs working on problems instead of talking about them; talking to customers would take away a dev from working on the issue, etc

Hogwash.

This is such a no-brainer. People like to be reassured, they like to be acknowledged, they like confirmation. It's simple. I don't need huge PR text or stage shows. Simple, concise messaging would be enough. Valve always pride themselves on their community and communication with them, but it's so subpar. They should stop treating their customers as air, and should care about their rep.
Last edited by ashecitism; 06-17-2014 at 02:13 PM.
MrNyarlathotep
I find your lack of holistic synergy overviews disturbing
(06-16-2014, 08:10 PM)
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The world would be better off with fewer marketers, not more.

If Valve want to stake their reputation on the quality of their product: good for them.
zroid
Member
(06-16-2014, 08:11 PM)
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GAF is Valve's community manager ( ͝ ͜ʖ͡)

jk
ElFly
Member
(06-16-2014, 08:12 PM)
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I am not sure my opinion of Valve will improve with a PR manager.

I like them because they have made a few kickass games, and because they run a kickass store. PR won't improve this.

I dislike them because they are slow to release sequels to their kickass games and because they are delaying their hardware. Pretty words from PR won't change these facts.

Maybe they need better customer support? but I really haven't needed customer support so this really doesn't concern me.
Dmented
Member
(06-16-2014, 08:13 PM)
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I have to agree. I get that people tend to trust them, and for good reason IMO, but that does not justify their silence on certain big issues. Valve was way more community friendly some years ago, it seems they've really taken the "let's not say anything at all about Half-Life 3" on to general Valve/Steam issues as well.

Personally, I don't mind their approach because I do trust Valve. I have not had a reason to not trust them. But others may not see it like that.
Orca
Member
(06-16-2014, 08:13 PM)
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Basic communication with customers doesn't need to be "PR" so there's really no excuse for how slack they've been. They need better communication on issues, and it's way past time they addressed that.

Originally Posted by MrNyarlathotep

The world would be better off with fewer marketers, not more.

If Valve want to stake their reputation on the quality of their product: good for them.

What does that have to do with informing customers on things like Heartbleed and it being safe to log in, or what's up with servers?
Last edited by Orca; 06-16-2014 at 08:16 PM.
Coxy
Member
(06-16-2014, 08:13 PM)
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Valve need QA, for both steam and game approval, instead of just hoping both developers and the community will take care of everything
GregLombardi
Member
(06-16-2014, 08:15 PM)
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They're one of the most well respected gaming companies out there, and generally they've gone pretty much dark for years in many regards on all the topics that consumers are most interested in, except DOTA 2, Steam Boxes, and hats.

They need PR, or at least statements about their direction and intents.
valouris
Member
(06-16-2014, 08:15 PM)
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Sounds like they need some VR... PR

I'll see myself out
Dmented
Member
(06-16-2014, 08:16 PM)
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Originally Posted by Coxy

Valve need QA, for both steam and game approval, instead of just hoping both developers and the community will take care of everything

That's what they did at one point. Now they are moving away from that completely. The last that was heard regarding this is that they want to make Steam completely open. No Greenlight, no nothing. The community handles everything including creating their own curated store pages.
khamsinvera1
Junior Member
(06-16-2014, 08:17 PM)
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Better customer service - sure
Better PR - I think Valve's fans are its best PR service
Zeyphersan
Member
(06-16-2014, 08:19 PM)
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Originally Posted by MrNyarlathotep

The world would be better off with fewer marketers, not more.

If Valve want to stake their reputation on the quality of their product: good for them.

It's not marketing, it's someone who can answer question and interact with the community. Increasingly important, yet Valve continues to not give a shit
The_Lump
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(06-16-2014, 08:19 PM)
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Originally Posted by MrNyarlathotep

The world would be better off with fewer marketers, not more.

If Valve want to stake their reputation on the quality of their product: good for them.

Came to post something similar. I agree with this, although a little more connection to fans wouldn't hurt.
Bo
shoot bullets from her arse
(06-16-2014, 08:20 PM)
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They really do. Find someone passionate for the job, fill it.
Nzyme32
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(06-16-2014, 08:20 PM)
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Originally Posted by zroid

GAF is Valve's community manager ( ͝ ͜ʖ͡)

jk

You're kind of right in a way. That and JShackles.

To me at least, it seems that in recent times, Valve keep quiet until there is a large enough issue that is consistently debated by the community - there staff changes, CS:GO VAC data concerns, Diretide etc. As they now deal with a larger community and take on more work and projects while remaining similarly staffed, it seems inevitable that they will start to lose touch. However, I get the impression that they won't do anything different at all until they fail something, hard, and piss off the community. Either that or their silence is necessary for whatever reason, which I sincerely doubt.
HK-47
Oh, bitch bitch bitch.
(06-16-2014, 08:20 PM)
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Originally Posted by GregLombardi

They're one of the most well respected gaming companies out there, and generally they've gone pretty much dark for years in many regards on all the topics that consumers are most interested in, except DOTA 2, Steam Boxes, and hats.

They need PR, or at least statements about their direction and intents.

When they tried to go dark on Dota 2, the whole Diretide fiasco happened.
antitrop
does not much care for
anti-shooter bias
(06-16-2014, 08:20 PM)
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Originally Posted by MrNyarlathotep

The world would be better off with fewer marketers, not more.

If Valve want to stake their reputation on the quality of their product: good for them.

So you don't know what a Community Manager does, got it.
ashecitism
Member
(06-16-2014, 08:23 PM)
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Originally Posted by MrNyarlathotep

The world would be better off with fewer marketers, not more.

If Valve want to stake their reputation on the quality of their product: good for them.

This isn't about marketing. Read what I wrote.

Examples

Valve: "Hey Dota fans, heads up, but we won't be shipping Diretide this year, because we were busy with something else."

Instead what did we get? They let the community run amok, before putting up a blog post about how they fucked up.

Valve: "Steam is having problems, we're fixing it"

Instead we get people yelling "Is Steam down for anyone else?"
Freeman
Member
(06-16-2014, 08:23 PM)
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Valve is just heartless.

Seriously tho, they made some of my favorite games, but they moved on, I don't think they are interested in the same things anymore. They are all about user generated content, new business models, whales, multiplayer, f2p, etc. They also don't seem to care much about Steam being a polished product, for the size of the service they don't seem to invest enough into it at all, their costumer service is ice cold(one of the worse I ever seen).

Maybe Steam should be its own company separated from Valve.
Last edited by Freeman; 06-16-2014 at 08:34 PM.
Kade
Banned
(06-16-2014, 08:25 PM)
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Originally Posted by MrNyarlathotep

The world would be better off with fewer marketers, not more.

If Valve want to stake their reputation on the quality of their product: good for them.

Do you know what Public Relations is?
LurkerPrime
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(06-16-2014, 08:28 PM)
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Originally Posted by Dmented

I have to agree. I get that people tend to trust them, and for good reason IMO, but that does not justify their silence on certain big issues. Valve was way more community friendly some years ago, it seems they've really taken the "let's not say anything at all about Half-Life 3" on to general Valve/Steam issues as well.

Their community and workload was much smaller back then, so it seems natural for them to have had an easier time handling it.

Nowadays, they control the largest digital distribution storefront with Steam, they are making inroads to a console-like, Linux-based hardware business, they are developing a handful of games, and they are also working on new ways to monetize their users (remember Valve has an economist, their decisions on cap-based economies, cards, and crates are no mistake.)

Steam has also exploded in size and popularity, and there's no way Valve's growth has kept up. That said, Valve actually seems to have a plan, but it has nothing to do with them.

To me, Valve's end-goal has been to off-load their workload to the end-user. Even right now, they are working to make everything community-based; They have created Steam Greenlight, Steam Workshop, and Steam Marketplace as a starting point. In the future, it seems they will offload almost all aspects of game creation, marketing, and selling to their customers. Everything will go through Valve (for their standard fee) but will be handled by the community Valve has curated since Steam's inception.

Valve seems to want to become the ultimate middleman, taking a cut for creating an ecosystem that they started, but now do not fully own. Their Steambox enterprise is the final goal in achieving a userbase large enough to accomplish this, and basing it on Linux will give them the freedom to control everything they wish.

So, Valve will resist having PR people because it does not suit their end-goals. It would be wasteful and fruitless for them, when their entire being is working towards a single point.


(Unfortunately I've gotta right now, so hopefully I'm not making any huge oversights or mistakes.)
MrNyarlathotep
I find your lack of holistic synergy overviews disturbing
(06-16-2014, 08:28 PM)
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Originally Posted by Zeyphersan

It's not marketing

Originally Posted by antitrop

So you don't know what a Community Manager does, got it.

Originally Posted by ashecitism

This isn't about marketing.

Originally Posted by Kade

Do you know what Public Relations is?

Community managers, PR, and Marketing all have the same job; "managing expectations".
jelly
Member
(06-16-2014, 08:30 PM)
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Doe anyone at Valve want to be a community manager ?

They develop steam, post feature, bug updates. Anything more important gets told.

Apart from Steam issues, lack of new game updates and support issues, they do fine. Don't think they could say much else. They seem to try things and see if it sinks or floats. Greenlight is getting a bit long in the tooth though and Valve wanting Steam to be open and it's own thing without much oversight doesn't help matters.
Spineker
Member
(06-16-2014, 08:30 PM)
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I love it how people assume Valve have an obligation to communicate with them.
JaseC
gave away the keys to the kingdom.
(06-16-2014, 08:33 PM)
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I'll be your community manager, Valve. GAF's Steam threads are collectively my resume.
fritolay
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(06-16-2014, 08:33 PM)
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I honestly have no idea what their next big game is, or when it's coming out. Also hardware wise their steam boxes LOL!

The controller, it's changed and now I don't know what version we are on anymore. Then I hear on some non-gaming web site they are using it's touch pads to make a 5inch portable gaming machine from E3?
ashecitism
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(06-16-2014, 08:37 PM)
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Originally Posted by Spineker

I love it how people assume Valve have an obligation to communicate with them.

They're not. But they're running services.Don't you think their customers deserve some heads-up here and there?

Originally Posted by fritolay

I honestly have no idea what their next big game is, or when it's coming out. Also hardware wise their steam boxes LOL!

The controller, it's changed and now I don't know what version we are on anymore. Then I hear on some non-gaming web site they are using it's touch pads to make a 5inch portable gaming machine from E3?

That's fake. Some spanish guy put up the website.
Dolor
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(06-16-2014, 08:37 PM)
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The thing is, you can't just do a little PR because as soon as someone is doing it, there will be follow up questions and then you need meetings about how much to tell the outside world and then all of a sudden you've just wasted a bunch of time that could be used to make their products better.

I would love more communication, but not at the cost of inferior products, and I think that would ultimately be the tradeoff.

I guess part of it is I have too much other stuff going on to need constant assurances from a video game company. I don't care that they inform me about what they are working on - only that the ways I interact with the company are top-notch.

And so far, service issues aside, it has been.
Freeman
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(06-16-2014, 08:37 PM)
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Originally Posted by Spineker

I love it how people assume Valve have an obligation to communicate with them.

They sold people games on the promise to finish a story, I feel they actually have a moral obligation to at least communicate with those people. Having decent communication while running a service like Steam is also essential and would have being expected from any other company.
Intheflorsh
Member
(06-16-2014, 08:39 PM)
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Valve has been used to getting nothing but compliments from the press and the community up until this year. I think they simply don't know how to respond to controversy.
Deadstar
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(06-16-2014, 08:39 PM)
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The thing is Valve has taken our souls already and all will be forgotten once the steam sale starts later this week.
Spineker
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(06-16-2014, 08:43 PM)
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Originally Posted by ashecitism

They're not. But they're running services.Don't you think their customers deserve some heads-up here and there?

Originally Posted by Freeman

They sold people games on the promise to finish a story, I feel they actually have a moral obligation to at least communicate with those people. Having decent communication while running a service like Steam is also essential and would have being expected from any other company.

You nailed it to begin with, Freeman. It's much more about peoples desire to know about Half Life 3 than it is about anything to do with Steam. If there is a perception out there that Valve don't talk to the STEAM community enough, then that's fine.

When it comes to Half Life, as much as it annoys me as well that it has been so long since we've heard anything, they never actually promised us anything. We can try and spin it by saying "oh, but they have a story they need to complete"...Well no, they don't have to complete it. It's their story.
TucoBenedictoPacifico
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(06-16-2014, 08:43 PM)
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Originally Posted by Kade

Do you know what Public Relations is?

Professional bullshitters, mostly.
Murrah
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(06-16-2014, 08:45 PM)
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I agree. I'm mostly a Nintendo and PC (aka mostly Steam) gamer, and Valve is just as frustratingly silent towards its fans as Nintendo was a few years ago. And now Nintendo's pretty much completely turned that around with Miiverse and this past E3 and the Smash invitational and so on, and look at how positive people's perception of them has been this past week, despite all their other problems remaining in place.

Of course community managers and PR people don't fix delayed games or broken promises or anything else. But the idea that people's thoughts and concerns are actually being heard by people who can at least pass on the message is extremely comforting, regardless of if it actually helps change anything.
dave is ok
aztek is ok
(06-16-2014, 08:45 PM)
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Valve don't want to hire plebs.
HK-47
Oh, bitch bitch bitch.
(06-16-2014, 08:45 PM)
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Originally Posted by Spineker

I love it how people assume Valve have an obligation to communicate with them.

A company that preaches about a games as service future, yet has terrible customer service and communication.

Thats an oxymoron.
dorkimoe
Banned
(06-16-2014, 08:46 PM)
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they need a better customer support center thats about it though
Calabi
Member
(06-16-2014, 08:47 PM)
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With the way Valve is run, the community manager would probably end up doing something else.

Valve should have something, they are direction less, think they have no responsibility. They have responsibilities, they are obligated to speak when things go wrong and it is there fault.

The longer they hide in there little bubble the more likely they are to misstep.
Espi
Banned
(06-16-2014, 08:48 PM)
Valve doesn't care and why should they? For the longest time everyone wanted Steam monopolization. They finally got it, now Valve can just sit back and do nothing because you essentially have no alternatives. Even the sales that made everyone want monopolization are lacking, and they're often outdone by Amazon and GMG.

They make more money doing nothing. If my math is correct they made over 30 million dollars for releasing a compendium.
Spaghetti
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(06-16-2014, 08:49 PM)
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they do really need better communication with communities. you sometimes get valve employees coming in to say stuff or whatever, but they need a small handful of people just to really absorb, analyse, and disseminate information to and from the community.

of course, valve is very hard on their policy of needing people to fill multiple work roles, but they really need to relax that in some specific places to have effective public relations.
Freeman
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(06-16-2014, 08:51 PM)
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Originally Posted by Spineker

You nailed it to begin with, Freeman. It's much more about peoples desire to know about Half Life 3 than it is about anything to do with Steam. If there is a perception out there that Valve don't talk to the STEAM community enough, then that's fine.

When it comes to Half Life, as much as it annoys me as well that it has been so long since we've heard anything, they never actually promised us anything. We can try and spin it by saying "oh, but they have a story they need to complete"...Well no, they don't have to complete it. It's their story.

They don't have to do anything sure, but going by that logic no other company has to do anything either.

Their communication is absolutely frustrating and stressful. I guess they achieved their goal and very few people still have the energy to ask anything to them. It just sucks.

The decency of finishing HL before moving on with their F2P/service stuff is all I wish from them.
Last edited by Freeman; 06-16-2014 at 10:19 PM.
Nzyme32
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(06-16-2014, 08:56 PM)
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Originally Posted by Intheflorsh

Valve has been used to getting nothing but compliments from the press and the community up until this year. I think they simply don't know how to respond to controversy.

I'm pretty sure they were utterly pummelled publicly by both community and press when steam first came out, and when they failed to deliver HL2 when they claimed they would. They are no stranger to it, but times have changed and situations are different now. There is a bigger community and a larger reaction than back then.
MrNyarlathotep
I find your lack of holistic synergy overviews disturbing
(06-16-2014, 08:57 PM)
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Originally Posted by Espi

Even the sales that made everyone want monopolization are lacking, and they're often outdone by Amazon and GMG.

This is massively reductive, but whatever.
Sales start on the 19th, bump this to bitch about how bad they are then.


Benefits of Steam as a benign dictatorship monopoly:
- all games available in a single library, not scattered across multiple storefronts
- single universal client and username, bringing a 'universal login' service connecting all Pc gamers to Steams social functions
- Single account reducing security concerns of having multiple username / passwords for multiple sites, and multiple attack vectors to be concerned about
- consolidated game userbases; how many people playing x on steam right now = representative of game active userbase
- guarantee that all games are patched / updated concurrently, rather than waiting for a patch from one service and being unable to connect to those patched from another
- pressure on publishers to maintain operability of titles or risk delisting, and being unable to get around that by selling on alternate storefronts
- DLC parity, and DLC purchased in local currency / steam wallet rather than moonbucks
Trojita
Member
(06-16-2014, 09:02 PM)
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I'll be Valve's community manager.

Gaben, call me.
shagg_187
lapdance transform pants
(06-16-2014, 09:03 PM)
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Valve needs to get their head out of their ass. Even 3D Realms didn't survive with all the backing of all of its fanbase.

Save us, real Gaben!
THEBONDIGTY
Banned
(06-16-2014, 09:05 PM)
We need more games from valve, that's it
ThaGuy
Member
(06-16-2014, 09:08 PM)
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I want my left4Dead. That game will make me purchase a X1 or a PS4 instantly. One of my favorite games last gen.
XANDER CAGE
WELCOME TO THE XANDER ZONE
(06-16-2014, 09:10 PM)
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Originally Posted by Spineker

I love it how people assume Valve have an obligation to communicate with them.

Consumers aren't obligated to continue doing business with a company that frustrates them. It's in Valve's best interest to evaluate the way they engage with their audience.

They're not "obligated" in the sense that sure, they can do whatever they want. But they run a service, and it's pretty important to have good communication surrounding that service.
The Jackdog
Member
(06-16-2014, 09:13 PM)
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This is why I hope GOG Galaxy is somehow just amazing, and blows steam out of the water in terms of quality. Just to give Valve a reason to do....something.

Im pretty sure this is GAF blasphemy, but...i much prefer origin as a store to steam. Like if I was just talking purely interface...origin is just more responsive and idk better to me. customer support has been quality (but i might be in the minority here for sure) or at least markedly better than steam's non-existent support.Obviously game selection and all that, steam has. Plus big picture.

Im fairly new to PC gaming, having built mine in january of this year. I bought wayyyyy to many games on steam, having been waiting to do so for so long. And man does it come short in a lot of areas lately.
Big_Al
Member
(06-16-2014, 09:16 PM)
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The bigger Valve/Steam becomes the less capable they seem to be at dealing with how big their service actually is. I was absolutely shocked when JShackles said that the Steam/Customer Service part of the company is by far the biggest part of Valve. Honestly you wouldn't think it. It's like they can't admit they need extra help and could do with the extra help/form a customer support service specifically for Steam. Whilst I have no knowledge of the inside workings of the company it always feels to me that the Steam development part of the company is very 'cliquey' and don't want to listen to others as to what improvements they could make. Enhanced Steam is such a great addition to Steam it seems strange to just completely ignore what it brings to the table.

I could be entirely wrong with what I've written above, that's just how it feels to me anyway as a customer on the outside.

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