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Here we go again, yet another lawsuit has been filed against Steam developer Valve Software over an alleged abuse of their market position with their 30% cut. This time around it's a noted developer, Wolfire Games (Overgrowth, Receiver), along with two individuals William Herbert and Daniel Escobar "on behalf of all others similarly situated".

According to the documents, the argument is similar to one we've heard before. They're claiming that of the huge market that PC gaming is, "75% flow through the online storefront of a single company, Valve" and that "Valve uses that dominance to take an extraordinarily high cut from nearly every sale that passes through its store—30%" which results in "higher prices and less innovation" and that Valve can do this because of their market position so developers "have no choice but to sell most of their games through the Steam Store, where they are subject to Valve’s 30% toll".

One of the cited people is former Valve developer Richard Geldreich, who famously tweeted:

Steam was killing PC gaming. It was a 30% tax on an entire industry. It was unsustainable. You have no idea how profitable Steam was for Valve. It was a virtual printing press. It distorted the entire company. Epic is fixing this for all gamers.

The suit also mentions clauses Valve have that prevent developers selling at cheaper prices on other stores, "Valve blocks pro-competitive price competition through two main provisions—the Steam Key Price Parity Provision and the Price Veto Provision".

It goes even further to mention the likes of Microsoft, EA and more companies that tried and "failed to develop a robust commercial strategy away from the Steam Gaming Platform" arguing that it shows how vital Steam is and so the behaviour is anticompetitive. On top of that it even pulls in the Steam Workshop and the Steam Market, to claim this keeps developers even more tied to Valve and Steam and that Valve takes a big cut.

What are they hoping to achieve with this lawsuit? On top of damages and the usual, they want "injunctive relief removing Valve’s anticompetitive provisions" to "bring competition to the market and benefit the public as a whole".

Article taken from
Tags: Misc, Valve
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Purple Library Guy May 11, 2021
Quoting: Protektor
Quoting: Purple Library GuyThe pharmaceutical industry comes fairly close. There are large up-front costs to developing new drugs. As compensation, companies are given a monopoly (patent) on drugs which they invented did the clinical trials for, and charge orders of magnitude more than the cost of production. The resulting compensation tends to be wildly out of proportion to the costs of development--but also, that mismatch between fixed development cost and per-unit revenue leads to perverse incentives. Companies gain hugely if by any means they can sell more units of a given drug rather than start over with a new drug; hence they tend to aggressively push to expand what a drug can be prescribed for whether it's appropriate or not, tend to spin the data to discount dangerous side effects, and pull various tricks to extend the life of their patents. Not to mention the genesis of the opioid crisis. If the drug companies were instead paid lump sums for the drug development, but then were not awarded a monopoly but had to compete, the prices of drugs would fall towards the price of production, and drug companies would gain little from misrepresenting a given drug's capabilities, arranging for it to be prescribed inappropriately, and so on.
Actually that is incorrect. If you look at all of the pharmaceutical companies you will find they spend more on advertising than they do on R&D. Also if you look at their end of the year filings for those that are public, not only will you see R&D costs versus advertising, but you will see how much they are feeding at the federal trough to develop these medicines and working with Universities that are government funded as well. So pharmaceutical want you to think they spend tons on R&D to develop drugs but most of that money isn't their own money. They feed very heavily at the public/government trough. I have many family members in medicine who have told me all about this and how the pharmaceutical companies wine and dine them and give away drugs to them in order to get them on a doctor's preferred prescription list as well. If a doctor tells you that you need a $300 drug most people just assume, okay that is what I need and I will just have to hope my insurance pays for it.
I know all that. It doesn't contradict anything I said, so I'm not sure what you are saying is incorrect. Indeed, I glanced at that stuff when I said "The resulting compensation tends to be wildly out of proportion to the costs of development" . . . that just didn't happen to be what I was talking about.
You appear to have been so busy having a bee in your bonnet about things which I myself have argued strongly when that was the topic, that you did not bother to follow the argument I was actually making.
Purple Library Guy May 11, 2021
Quoting: Protektor
Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: ProtektorI find it hilarious that you think just because something is digital that is somehow special and different
But it is. The cost of a copy approaching zero makes a fundamental difference. When it comes to physical goods, scarcity is real and costs are based (more or less) on cost of production. When it comes to digital goods, costs are arbitrary and scarcity is entirely a social construct which we have created because we don't understand how to do any other models and anyway we fear trying other models would undermine the status quo.

So what you are saying is people price digital goods like physical goods but in reality are cheaper to produce because they aren't physical and thus don't have to use natural resources to make a copy and expensive shipping and stocking and middle men. Instead they can make 1 or 100 million and costs are exactly the same. Yea digital good are special....NOT! Customers shouldn't be screwed just because you or anyone else thinks digital goods are special and that companies should be able to wave away warranty of fitness and wave away right of first sale. Yes right of first sale is a consumer right in the US. We have the RIGHT to sell stuff we won't want or need anymore that we bought. Software companies are not the first to try that bullshit. Music, books, movies and all kinds of other stuff have tried that in the past but the courts didn't let it fly. Now companies have paid off judges to be friendly to them and convinced judges and people in general that some how digital media is special and different from everything else out there. It isn't and that is a modern corporate invention or what I call a modern corporate lie.
Dude . . . I'm a lot more politically radical than you, I'd wager. So if you want to look down your nose at someone for not being contemptuous of corporations, you might want to try someone else. You appear to be assuming something about me, extrapolating that into what you assume I must be arguing, and so ignoring the actual line of argument I'm making and its actual implications. I suggest you take a couple of steps back and think about what I'm actually saying, and if you don't get where I'm taking it, maybe you could ask me.
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