Steam has been a product that I’ve used from time to time to purchase the occasional game when I’m lazy and don’t feel like driving down to a local GameStop or Wal-Mart to pick up a game. As of this weekend I will no longer be purchasing any games off of Steam due to their third party support. Last week I purchased Call of Duty: World at War on Steam as it looked exceptional and possibly worth the outrageous fifty dollar price tag. As I purchased it on Steam and the download began I was able to get the game in under an hour using my broadband connection. Once the download completed I started the game up and started to play the offline version of the game to get a feel of the controls. The game was great and I was able to kill plenty of those darn Nazi soldiers. After I played for a while I realized I was good enough already to go online and battle against the real world. I closed the game and then opened the multi-player version of the game through steam. To my dismay upon launching the game I noticed on the bottom of the screen that the game was telling me that I was out of date. Thus. I said maybe I need to download the patch for the game on the call of duty site. I downloaded the patch which was 500 megabytes plus and then began the update process. After waiting a few minutes for the installer to decompress the update, the install said that I could not use the updater due to the fact that I had a DRM protect version of Call of Duty.
After googling the issue I ran into a forum item talking about how steam had not offered the update and how there was no real solution to applying the update. This was outrageous, how could steam provide a game service if they are not going to promptly update the game? After hearing this I emailed Steam support asking for a return. After a day of waiting they emailed me back saying that I must email the third party to get a return as it was out of there hands at this point. I began to laugh at this point and sent them an email back saying that I wanted a return from steam as I had just purchased the game and did not know they were going to sell unpatched games. Another day went by and they emailed me back saying that I could purchase another game of the same or greater value and they would refund me this way. At this point I was furious and just done with the situation. Another day passed and finally the patch was released to steam. This was over a week downtime for players who had previously purchased the game on steam and had been playing.
In the end, I kept my purchase as everything was finally working. That being said I will no longer purchase any third party software from Valve ever again. I can’t conceive how Steam and the third party can solidify not patching DRM and retail versions of there games at the same time. This makes no sense to me and luckily I realize it now and won’t have to deal with these issues again.