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Recently we wrote about how Wolfire Games (Lugaru, Overgrowth, Receiver) engaged in a legal battle with Steam owner Valve in regards to alleged anti-competitive behaviour.

Wolfire's David Rosen has now written up a blog post to explain their feelings on why. It's worth noting that Rosen was one of the original founders of the Humble Indie Bundle, later spun off into its own Humble Bundle company and then sold to IGN. Rosen then, you would think, has a reasonably good grasp on how all this works on the business side. It's somewhat amusing that the blog post starts with "Dear gamers", which probably isn't going to do them any favours in such a legal battle.

Rosen mentions how they felt they had "no choice" as they believe "gamers and game developers are being harmed by Valve's conduct" and they're not doing it for personal gain. Rosen said after wanting to have Overgrowth listed at a lower price on a newer store, they "personally experienced the conduct described in the complaint". Speaking to Valve, Rosen said "they replied 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" and so that "would make it impossible for me, or any game developer, to determine whether or not Steam is earning their commission".

So the problem here isn't specifically the 30% cut Valve take but rather Valve forcing price parity, or developers face being removed from Steam.

Rosen believes that Valve are "taking away gamers' freedom to choose how much extra they are willing to pay to use their platform" and that it's believed "this is part of why all competing stores have failed".

We did reach out to Valve yesterday for a statement to no reply.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Meta, Steam, Valve
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86 comments
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mirv 7 May
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Quoting: kuhpunkt
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: kuhpunkt
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: kuhpunkt
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: kuhpunkt
Quoting: mirvAgree or not with Valve's price parity clause (disclaimer: I don't agree with that) but at least look at it on its own merits.

If there even is one...

Have you read the lawsuit?

And this topic is about a blog post of someone who is in a position to know if there is this clause or not. He's seen the clauses.

Unless you're calling him a liar. In which case I'd say that David Rosen has far more credibility than you do.

And I have quoted Chet Faliszek (ex-Valve employee), who said that such a clause doesn't exist.

Great. Show me the quote.

https://www.gamingonlinux.com/2021/05/david-rosen-of-wolfire-games-explains-why-theyre-taking-on-valve-in-a-lawsuit/comment_id=202951

Yeah....that doesn't say what you think it says. Someone is asking explicitly about price parity and there is, at the time of writing, no response to that.

If that's not the main point, what is?

Welcome to the world of manipulative language.
Most of the lawsuit is, in my opinion, full of it. But the price parity for places where there are no steam keys involved, is possibly quite serious, so it pays to be extra explicit about it.
kuhpunkt 7 May
Quoting: mirvWelcome to the world of manipulative language.
Most of the lawsuit is, in my opinion, full of it. But the price parity for places where there are no steam keys involved, is possibly quite serious, so it pays to be extra explicit about it.

What manipulative language?

The blog post is about price parity and that he claims that Valve would kick him off Steam if he would sell the game at another place for less money.

Chet said that this isn't true and that a clause, that would forbid it, doesn't exist in the agreement.
@mirv I posted the relevant part of the Steam agreement on the previous page.
Quoting: kuhpunkt
Quoting: mirvWelcome to the world of manipulative language.
Most of the lawsuit is, in my opinion, full of it. But the price parity for places where there are no steam keys involved, is possibly quite serious, so it pays to be extra explicit about it.

What manipulative language?

The blog post is about price parity and that he claims that Valve would kick him off Steam if he would sell the game at another place for less money.

Chet said that this isn't true and that a clause, that would forbid it, doesn't exist in the agreement.

Both of you. Stop - read the post I made on the previous page that actually contains the relevant text from the Steam agreement.
kuhpunkt 7 May
Quoting: rustybroomhandle
Quoting: kuhpunkt
Quoting: mirvWelcome to the world of manipulative language.
Most of the lawsuit is, in my opinion, full of it. But the price parity for places where there are no steam keys involved, is possibly quite serious, so it pays to be extra explicit about it.

What manipulative language?

The blog post is about price parity and that he claims that Valve would kick him off Steam if he would sell the game at another place for less money.

Chet said that this isn't true and that a clause, that would forbid it, doesn't exist in the agreement.

Both of you. Stop - read the post I made on the previous page that actually contains the relevant text from the Steam agreement.

Yes, but that applies only to the keys - not for example selling the game for $30 on Steam and $20 on the Epic Store. That's what he complains about.
Quoting: kuhpunkt
Quoting: rustybroomhandle
Quoting: kuhpunkt
Quoting: mirvWelcome to the world of manipulative language.
Most of the lawsuit is, in my opinion, full of it. But the price parity for places where there are no steam keys involved, is possibly quite serious, so it pays to be extra explicit about it.

What manipulative language?

The blog post is about price parity and that he claims that Valve would kick him off Steam if he would sell the game at another place for less money.

Chet said that this isn't true and that a clause, that would forbid it, doesn't exist in the agreement.

Both of you. Stop - read the post I made on the previous page that actually contains the relevant text from the Steam agreement.

Yes, but that applies only to the keys - not for example selling the game for $30 on Steam and $20 on the Epic Store. That's what he complains about.

I have yet to find anything in the documentation about that. Still reading though, there's a LOT of it.
kuhpunkt 7 May
Quoting: rustybroomhandle
Quoting: kuhpunkt
Quoting: rustybroomhandle
Quoting: kuhpunkt
Quoting: mirvWelcome to the world of manipulative language.
Most of the lawsuit is, in my opinion, full of it. But the price parity for places where there are no steam keys involved, is possibly quite serious, so it pays to be extra explicit about it.

What manipulative language?

The blog post is about price parity and that he claims that Valve would kick him off Steam if he would sell the game at another place for less money.

Chet said that this isn't true and that a clause, that would forbid it, doesn't exist in the agreement.

Both of you. Stop - read the post I made on the previous page that actually contains the relevant text from the Steam agreement.

Yes, but that applies only to the keys - not for example selling the game for $30 on Steam and $20 on the Epic Store. That's what he complains about.

I have yet to find anything in the documentation about that. Still reading though, there's a LOT of it.

I don't think you will find anything. This claim has been made before by others in other lawsuits, but we never got any evidence that such a clause exists.
mirv 7 May
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Quoting: rustybroomhandle
Quoting: kuhpunkt
Quoting: rustybroomhandle
Quoting: kuhpunkt
Quoting: mirvWelcome to the world of manipulative language.
Most of the lawsuit is, in my opinion, full of it. But the price parity for places where there are no steam keys involved, is possibly quite serious, so it pays to be extra explicit about it.

What manipulative language?

The blog post is about price parity and that he claims that Valve would kick him off Steam if he would sell the game at another place for less money.

Chet said that this isn't true and that a clause, that would forbid it, doesn't exist in the agreement.

Both of you. Stop - read the post I made on the previous page that actually contains the relevant text from the Steam agreement.

Yes, but that applies only to the keys - not for example selling the game for $30 on Steam and $20 on the Epic Store. That's what he complains about.

I have yet to find anything in the documentation about that. Still reading though, there's a LOT of it.

I'd be very interested in the contents, but it's probably best to say if you have/haven't found something relevant, and not post any contents. I'd assume it's NDA'd somehow, or it'd be readily available online already. In other words, don't get yourself in trouble.

But anyway, I'm just saying that people shouldn't discount everything because Valve paid money to some FOSS projects, but rather remember that Valve isn't doing anything for altruistic purposes. Doesn't mean price parity as stated in the lawsuit is true, doesn't mean it's not.
dibz 7 May
Price binding and frankly the entire lawsuit aside, I am curious about the whole "Steam doesn't earn it's cut" thing making the rounds lately with this being the instigator.

I mean, does virtually anyone come across a game where they don't go to Steam and read the reviews + view the rating for regardless of where they actually make the purchase? I know not all games are on Steam, but I know I've often looked at a game, proceeded to google said game, then used the steam result to have another look at said game. Does anyone else do this? It's easy to break down the pluses and minuses, of which there are plenty of both, to someone doing this -- but the fact is, they still do.

Frankly, being invited to the party is part of Steam's value in the end. You can just flip the script and ask a slightly different question to see why -- if they chose not to sell on Steam, would if negatively effect sales on any platforms they do decide to sell on? My crystal ball would say severely reduced sales likely. If that's not "value", I clearly don't know what is.

*** Let's be clear that I'm not necessarily in favor of the current situation of things in general, I'm simply being frank about the "what is" versus the "what should be".
Quoting: dibzI mean, does virtually anyone come across a game where they don't go to Steam and read the reviews + view the rating for regardless of where they actually make the purchase?

I even heard about people asking for support on Steam forums for games they bought on the Epic Store.


Last edited by Mohandevir on 7 May 2021 at 6:33 pm UTC
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