Game Guru said:
I actually disagree with this assessment. If something like this actually worked then Apple would've experienced it already. There isn't much difference between iTunes and Steam except that Apple makes profit on hardware like the iPad, iPhone, and iPod while Valve makes profit on games like Left 4 Dead. Now this isn't to say that Steam can't decline, but it would be because of either a superior service or a service that appeals more to the mainstream. This is the thing both MySpace and AOL experienced.
People will want all their media on one service, and no matter how much the gaming industry tries, they aren't going to convince most people to have a multitude of services.
How do you define a superior service? It's who has the best content right? We've had leaks that suggest Activision Blizzard will be opening up Battlenet to something closer to Steam, and selling non-ActiBlizz games. We see EA making a significant push with Origin.
Once you have the first and second biggest publishers pulling Steam support, the second tier, Take Two, Ubisoft etc, are bound to follow suit, once the precedent has been set that consumers should be going to the specific publisher for that content.
This could of course not happen. If BF3 bombs EA would probably go back to supporting Steam, maybe that'd be enough to discourage Acti even trying, if not and they did, but their big titles were bombing on PC they'd probably stop trying to. But I don't think that's going to happen, I doubt anyone is going to really care that much beyond complaining online.
The way the industry is going, especially on PC, constant direct access to your player base is going to be a top priority for publishers.