Steam Drops the Ball on Bioshock Release

August 21, 2007

“Play the game the MOMENT its released!” says Valve, in inviting users to purchase Bioshock through Steam.

Well, its almost 5PM on the release date, and its still not playable.

2 days ago I pre-downloaded Bioshock for the PC through Steam, which insisted that users would be able to play it literally ‘the moment it is released’.

Well, yesterday us Steam users found out that, in ValveWorld, Bioshock would not be released until 4PM Eastern time on Tuesday.

Which is very odd, because according to my calculations, I could have purchased this game this morning at 9AM from a brick and mortar store, installed it on my computer, and have the 20-hour game 1/3 of the way completed before then.

But thats not the real insult.

Now that its here, and I have purchased it, some interesting things happened after it accepted my credit card:

1. Nothing. In my games list, Bioshock switched to ‘downloading’ – no other information, no progress – didnt I alread preload the entire 1.8 GB already? I thought we had gotten this out of the way!

2. So I tried to start the game just to see if it were mistaken, and I got the error message ‘Cannot contact key server’ – whaaa!??

3. Desperately, I restarted Steam, which seemed to indicate that it successfully decrypted the game files – COOL TIME TO PLAY!

4. Unfortunately, the status then switched to ‘Downloading…80%’, with a download speed of about 26 KB/s – and its been that way for the last 20 minutes!! If you think its my connection thats slow, wrong again, I am on 25 MBps Verizon Fiber, and the initial preload was a breeze at between 512k-1MB/s.


I do not know how many bytes are left to download, but according to my calculation (because it just went to 81%), it will finish ‘Downloading’ in SIX HOURS AND TWENTY MINUTES, or around 11PM tonight.

I was able to get on the choked forums long enough to read others complaining about the same exact thing.

Luckily, I have just enough time to call my credit card company, issue a chargeback, and drive to Best Buy and get the CDROM.



I managed to register and validate on Valve’s Bioshock forum, but do not have posting ability! – how convenient!

Now it will be very difficult if not impossible to tell how many people this is affecting.


My download speed just jumped to 660-880 KB/s (now 90 minutes into the download) – yay!

I’m so glad I didn’t just drive down to Best Buy.


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