I've been arguing with some reps from a few of the other big up-and-coming distributors in games about this... players don't give two shits about having an "integrated" distribution platform if it means losing all the game-focused features of the less integrated platform.
Single-player games may do well on the App Store, but (without any numbers to back it up at this point, just an edumacated guess) I'm willing to bet that multiplayer games do way better on Steam.
And as a side-note, I'm really really damn happy I bought the last Deathspank on Steam on my Mac Mini instead of via the App Store, because it turned out that Deathspank is utterly unplayable with the newer Apple mice that don't allow both buttons to be pressed simultaneously. It was very nice being able to just redownload the game on my desktop after I found that out (first non-laptop Mac I ever bought, and bought the game the day I got the Mac Mini, so I wasn't yet aware of how useless that mouse is). Then it was doubly nice because Steam Cloud let me pick up and continue playing on my laptop computer whenever I was out and about and bored, and of course move that game back onto my desktop when I got home.
These are the kinds of features that differentiate distribution platforms from the users' perspective.
The only thing that matters to the game makers is the exposure. Steam is a lot nicer for advertising and getting users to look at your game that the App Store is, especially if the developer/publisher takes advantage of the incredible power of Steam sales.
Eh, their sketchyness is why I've never bought anything from them, I would though if they put out their entire backlog via http://www.gameolith.com/ or http://www.desura.com/
Steam for Linux again? Thats it, form now on every time you mention it I'm mailing you a cute baby animal in an airtight container.
Also, am I the only one that put a bounty on the tax collector?
Price: 8.19 €
Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim - 2000 (Windows) 2000 (Mac)
Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim: Gold Edition - 2002 (Windows), 2003 (Linux)
"Majesty Gold was never ported for the Mac, but you can restore OS 9 compatability using the SheepSaver emulator:
Otherwise, you're out of luck, unless you want to use Boot Camp to install Windows."
"Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim is a real-time strategy video game developed by Cyberlore Studios and published by MicroProse for Windows in March, 2000. MacPlay released a Mac OS port in December, 2000. Infogrames released the expansion pack Majesty: The Northern Expansion for Windows in March, 2001, and Majesty Gold Edition, a compilation for Windows bundling Majesty and The Northern Expansion, in January, 2002. Linux Game Publishing released a Linux port of Majesty Gold Edition in April, 2003."
"Majesty: The Northern Expansion is an expansion pack to the real-time strategy game Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim. It was developed by Cyberlore Studios and published by MicroProse for Windows in 2001. In January, 2002. 'Majesty Gold Edition' was released for Windows bundling Majesty and The Northern Expansion. Linux Game Publishing released a Linux port of Majesty Gold Edition in April, 2003. "
Who ported Ankh1+2, it's not listed on their website.
The last I bought are X2,X3,Ankh1,Ankh2,Sacred Gold. They are quiet expensive and have those damn shitty drm (login/password +internet to start the game after first installation) but you can do as many installations as you want.
Gabriele Greco - Programmer
"Gabriele Greco was born in Genoa, Italy 29/9/1974, he started early with programming aged 10 in 1984 on Commodore 64, he left C64 for Amiga in 1990 and had a 2 years collaboration with Simulmondo in 1993/1994, where he contributed to the development of Dylan Dog and Tex videogame series for AmigaOS and MS-Dos as tool programmer.
In 1994-97 he worked on various AmigaOS non gaming shareware software and in 1998 he developed with Daniele Caramaschi Eat The Whistle for Amiga platform. Eat The Whistle was the first Amiga commercial game with powerpc support. In the next year he contributed to the Amiga gaming scene with the AmigaOS port of the SDL multimedia library. In 2001 he released Eat The Whistle as open source under the GPL licence for Windows/Linux/OSX/MacOSX. In 2002 he was contacted again by Epic Marketing and made the Linux / OSX / AmigaOS version of Robin Hood, Legend of Sherwood.
In 2006 he wrote the Mac/Linux port of Ankh for Runesoft (new name of Epic Marketing).
In 2007 he wrote the Mac/Linux port of Ankh 2 - Heart of Osiris."
Linux Game Publishing ported X2, X3 and Sacred Gold to Linux and they use DRM only in these games:
"Currently, LGP has published eight games that contain their DRM technology:
Majesty Gold (r2)
X2: The Threat (r2)
"1: Do I have to be online to install?
No, not at all. You can install the game without an internet connection.
2: Do I have to be online to play?
No, not at all. You can play the game without an internet connection."
The same with LGP, once the drm protection is on the CD/DVD they sent out, it's hard to remove it.
Several AAA titles are pirated soon after gold master is out, but i personally don't see the large number of lost sales. Only very few ppl could afford buying everything they get this way, also some see it just as full functional demo. The "funny" thing is that the copies are without drm hassle and the official ones are restricted, you pay for copy protection that is usually broken since day 1. At least for multiplayer games online verification of serial numbers are a simple but mostly working way to stop pirates playing on official servers. Usually a game thats not pirated is a flop, call it what you want, the interest is just too low to break the drm. The real question is if you dont use drm at all do you sell more or less copies? For singleplayer it could be really hard to guess, but it always has to do who many ppl you can attract. When you look at lgp games, those are often years (sometimes a decade) too late. When the same title for 10 bucks or less is available for Win which might already run fine with wine, why should Linux users buy the native game for the full price (and might already own the win version). Due to the huge price diff i can understand that only very few copies will be sold and when you see the game for free on certain sites you could get really angry as Linux gaming company. But using drm is definitely not the solution, reaching the mass market with low price (or pay what you want) is certainly better. When the price is so low that it does not justify the afford to get it from a "bad" place you sell much more. Maybe bundle some games, make a LGP bundle or whatever.