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  1. #1
    The Lightbringer KOUNTERPARTS's Avatar
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    Exclamation Valve facing New Lawsuit over 'Steam' Digital Dominance

    SOURCE: https://www.ign.com/articles/valve-f...gital-monopoly


    A game developer and two other people are challenging Valve with a lawsuit over the company's dominance in PC digital games distribution.
    On a blog run by Wolfire Games, CEO David Rosen revealed that he is leading a class-action antitrust lawsuit representing game developers against Valve Corporation. He asserted that the near dominance of Steam on the PC games market increases the prices of games due to Valve's service taking a 30% commission from the sale of each game. He also stated that any attempts to diverge from that system would result in a game being “removed from Steam”.


    Rosen said that his motivation for the lawsuit, which was filed on April 28, is that “gamers and game developers are being harmed by Valve's conduct”.


    “While I am taking on significant personal risk, I am not doing this for personal gain," said Rosen. "If there’s any monetary recovery, it will be distributed to all developers and gamers in the class”.


    Rosen added that he is not the only developer that has run into issues when publishing on Steam: “I believe that other developers who charged lower prices on other stores have been contacted by Valve, telling them that their games will be removed from Steam if they did not raise their prices on competing stores." Rosen claims that this approach breaches antitrust laws, which has led to him filing the lawsuit.


    Rosen is seeking a resolution where Valve stops “interfering with pricing on other stores, and allow gamers and developers to make their own decisions”.


    Wolfire Games developed the game Overgrowth, and originally launched it on Steam, only to see new PC store platforms emerging that charged a lower commission. When he asked Valve about putting the game onto one of these other storefronts, the company responded by saying “that they would remove Overgrowth from Steam if I allowed it to be sold at a lower price anywhere, even from my own website without Steam keys and without Steam’s DRM”.


    According to Law360, two gamers have also joined and are supporting the lawsuit: William Herbert of Florida and Daniel Escobar of New York.

    The link to the blog in the article doesn't work. Was trying to read it myself.


    Law360 link.


    If Steam is the "biggest game in town" for developers to put their games up on and have their best chance, I can understand the disdain towards the 30% cut. However, Steam isn't the only game in town.

  2. #2
    While I don't disagree with the spirit of the message, the person conveying it made me laugh. He had a game on Steam for about 5 years making money off of something little more than a tech demo, where else would he been able to do that?

  3. #3
    I would argue that it isnt only steams fault, you get all/most of the other companies (GoG, Epic, W/E Other distros) having put in all sorts of data collection, and people don't want their data collected (Main reason i never installed Overwolf). While yes i understand everything is gathering and selling your data nowadays.

    Steams Also been around a hell of a lot longer than all the up and comers, you cant launch your game distro and expect to be top dog within a year. the 30% is quite outrageous. Like the only reason i have an epic account is because i didnt want to wait for Satisfactory to get on steam
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  4. #4
    The Unstoppable Force Super Kami Dende's Avatar
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    Steam is widely used because it works better than literally any other Platform and it had years of consumer trust by the time other launcher popped up.

    It's dominance is purely due to its competition being mostly trash.

  5. #5
    Lol it's nowhere near a monopoly. Powerful yes, monopoly no.

  6. #6
    Yeah lets punish Steam becouse its the only platform which isnt total trash, lets show everyone that half-assing stuff to save money should be rewarded.

  7. #7
    i don't think steam will get broken for "market dominance". there are other stores. though i'm guessing the epic store will be one of the examples of it not being realistic because of the mass amount of losses.

    though steam threatening to remove their game for using a competitors store, i'm pretty sure that is illegal and could get valve in trouble if it's true. this will be an interesting lawsuit.

  8. #8
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    Steam will continue to be the top dog where developers can actually make money long term because it's clear that their competitors can't create services that rival it. Market dominance by Steam is merely a byproduct of Valve creating a robust but relatively lightweight distribution services with a myriad of features that their competitors lack. They've also been around for almost 20 years, so I think they've learned how to make the best platform through trial and error, while also setting standards that consumers should expect out of any e-commerce platform these days such as user reviews and a shopping cart.

    Meanwhile you have the EGS bleeding hundreds of millions per year and likely won't start turning a profit before 2024 if they are lucky, as they are expected to lose half a billion dollars this year. And that just shows how much they struggle to actually sell games, especially when they are spending millions to buy exclusivity but the quantities sold are never enough to counteract the exclusivity deal cost.

    And we all know UPlay and Origin are just attempts at creating walled gardens for Ubisoft and EA games, same goes for the Activision-Blizzard launcher. None of those services can really compete with what Steam offers in terms of all around features, security and the vast quantity of games available. They make it easy for developers to sell their games and if it wasn't a profitable venture for the developers to use Steam because of the cut they take, they'd go elsewhere.
    Last edited by Rennadrel; 2021-05-09 at 03:41 PM.

  9. #9
    Don't expect this to go anywhere at all. There are other options then Steam and expecting you to not sell your stuff in another store for cheaper is not an unreasonable position.

    Steam does not have a monopoly, they just happen to be the biggest store.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by aceperson View Post
    i don't think steam will get broken for "market dominance". there are other stores. though i'm guessing the epic store will be one of the examples of it not being realistic because of the mass amount of losses.

    though steam threatening to remove their game for using a competitors store, i'm pretty sure that is illegal and could get valve in trouble if it's true. this will be an interesting lawsuit.
    selling their game for LESS in a competitors store.

    That is a massive difference from what you wrote.
    It ignores such insignificant forces as time, entropy, and death

  10. #10
    Elemental Lord Kithelle's Avatar
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    30% does sound a little steep
    #WithoutRespectWeReject

  11. #11
    The only restriction in Steam's public policies is selling Steam keys (that bring Valve 0%) for lower price on other platforms. I've seen multiple examples of games not having price parity between Steam and GOG and none of them were removed from Steam.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Kithelle View Post
    30% does sound a little steep
    It does, but a big part of that is that steam also enables almost any indie developer to distribute their games through their platform. Steam is big because of well made platform as well as how it promotes development of games. If that justify 30% I don't really know myself. But I think it's a big bullet point of how "easy" it have made distributing games for almost anyone.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Gorsameth View Post
    Don't expect this to go anywhere at all. There are other options then Steam and expecting you to not sell your stuff in another store for cheaper is not an unreasonable position.

    Steam does not have a monopoly, they just happen to be the biggest store.

    - - - Updated - - -

    selling their game for LESS in a competitors store.

    That is a massive difference from what you wrote.
    using a competitors store is using a competitors store. the price really doesn't matter.

  14. #14
    Elemental Lord Kithelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kumorii View Post
    It does, but a big part of that is that steam also enables almost any indie developer to distribute their games through their platform. Steam is big because of well made platform as well as how it promotes development of games. If that justify 30% I don't really know myself. But I think it's a big bullet point of how "easy" it have made distributing games for almost anyone.
    I get that...but they put no work into the games and they're taking almost a 3rd of the profit
    #WithoutRespectWeReject

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by aceperson View Post
    using a competitors store is using a competitors store. the price really doesn't matter.
    It does. If someone sold a product through you for 50$ then went to another person and sold it for 30$ and everyone started buying it from there, would you just stand there and be like "well ok, I'll just let them fuck me in the ass like that I guess" or tell them to fuck off?

  16. #16
    This reeks of Epic pushing them behind the scenes.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by aceperson View Post
    i don't think steam will get broken for "market dominance". there are other stores. though i'm guessing the epic store will be one of the examples of it not being realistic because of the mass amount of losses.

    though steam threatening to remove their game for using a competitors store, i'm pretty sure that is illegal and could get valve in trouble if it's true. this will be an interesting lawsuit.
    The "amount of losses" is mainly them buying game releases to force people unto their inferior platform, instead of actually creating a platform people wants to use.

    "I keep spending money and it costs me money" is hardly an example of steam being a monopoly

  18. #18
    Legendary! Ealyssa's Avatar
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    As long as they don't attack Xbox and Playstation, their case don't have much points.

    It's pretty much the same move as Epic is trying on Apply. And it doesn't make any sense.
    Don't want to pay their cut, to be on their plateform.
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  19. #19
    I don't see how this is a legal issue in such a transparent market. There are several very potent competitors on the market, and you can very easily compare the prices you pay for the game you want.
    And with Microsoft now reducing their developer's cut to the same level as Epic it's pretty much only a matter of time before Valve follows.

  20. #20
    Titan Charge me Doctor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kithelle View Post
    I get that...but they put no work into the games and they're taking almost a 3rd of the profit
    they put all the work to market and deliver your game tho. It's not like steam is a game publisher that takes all the profit from developer
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