Support us on Patreon to keep GamingOnLinux alive. This ensures all of our main content remains free for everyone with no article paywalls. Just good, fresh content! Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal, Liberapay or Buy us a Coffee. You can also buy games using our partner links for GOG and Humble Store.

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
14 Likes
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG and Humble Store. See more here.
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
See more from me
86 comments
Page: «9/9
  Go to:

mirv 11 May
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: MohandevirIf that is the case, I just hope that Valve are thinking about taking steps to sue these liars (because that's what they are) and send another message: "You can't damage a reputation on false claims whitout consequences."

(Apologies for snipping the long quote, just saving space)

How Valve has such a good reputation though, I don't know. They were forced into allowing refunds, have quite often update user agreements (if you don't agree to the updates, you lose access to your entire library), refunds can only go to your steam wallet too, there's been the whole fiasco over selling user mods (I hope we all remember that), the monetisation attempts of Artifact when it first came out, Valve basically tried to claim they didn't do business in Australia and so the ACCC rules didn't apply to them (yes, the _laws_ did, and do, apply to them), there's been outright gambling mechanics, the csgo skins marketplace, no quality control on the store, etc.

That's why I wouldn't put this past Valve to do something shady. Again, not saying they are, but there's enough history that it kind of fits their MO.
dibz 11 May
[quote=mirv]
Quoting: Mohandevir...no quality control on the store, etc...

I hate to pick on a particular point / do the partial quote thing myself, but can you imagine the shit storm if they DID start enforcing some sort of quality control beyond what they already do (they do, it's just only rather extreme examples that ever get pulled). I think most people would love it, but talk about asking for it. The persecution-complex-social-media-campaigns would go through the roof and nobody would ever be allowed to hear the end of it.

Unless you mean like, "does this windows game actually work on windows 10"... then yeah, that could do with some love. None of the stores really do that, but being the biggest-store-in-the-room the problem shows the most there. That's a pretty common issue w/ like GOG too, and I believe uPlay has some questionable compat issues as well. No clue about the rest.
tuubi 11 May
I'll do another partial quote:

Quoting: mirvrefunds can only go to your steam wallet too
I'll stay out of the bigger discussion, but I'd like to point out that this part isn't actually true. You can choose to get the refund to your Steam wallet or the original payment method (credit card / Paypal). I think this is required by law in at least my part of the EU. I don't know if this applies to partial refunds or complete transactions only.
mirv 11 May
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
[quote=dibz]
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: Mohandevir...no quality control on the store, etc...

I hate to pick on a particular point / do the partial quote thing myself, but can you imagine the shit storm if they DID start enforcing some sort of quality control beyond what they already do (they do, it's just only rather extreme examples that ever get pulled). I think most people would love it, but talk about asking for it. The persecution-complex-social-media-campaigns would go through the roof and nobody would ever be allowed to hear the end of it.

Unless you mean like, "does this windows game actually work on windows 10"... then yeah, that could do with some love. None of the stores really do that, but being the biggest-store-in-the-room the problem shows the most there. That's a pretty common issue w/ like GOG too, and I believe uPlay has some questionable compat issues as well. No clue about the rest.

Yes, I think if they did that now I'd agree. Comes back to the refund point I suppose - probably not such an issue if you buy something, it turns out garbage, you get a refund. I know that comes back on developers though, where it actually costs them money (i.e not getting a payment vs actually costing them, net negative overall) because of the way refunds work, so some who don't deserve it will get hit.

I still think Valve could do a lot more to control the quality of the games on Steam, but yeah, Valve are hardly exclusive on the matter.
mirv 11 May
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: tuubiI'll do another partial quote:

Quoting: mirvrefunds can only go to your steam wallet too
I'll stay out of the bigger discussion, but I'd like to point out that this part isn't actually true. You can choose to get the refund to your Steam wallet or the original payment method (credit card / Paypal). I think this is required by law in at least my part of the EU. I don't know if this applies to partial refunds or complete transactions only.

Fair enough. I couldn't the last time I tried to get a refund, but it's been a while since I wanted one so things can easily have changed by now. Some other methods are obviously only going to steam wallet because there's no way to go back to the original payment method (e.g paysafe cards).
Laws like that (assuming that is the case here) exist for a reason however, and companies wouldn't do such things if they didn't have to. I can only imagine some of the things Apple might have buried in their agreements if they weren't forced to behave as well.
thedukesd 14 May
Again Steam/Valve can try to inforce their silly policy but there is a legal way to make Valve/Steam unable to do anything about it. Here is an example:

I own A that made the game X. My wife created B. I give the right to B to sell my game X to whatever price B wants (both A and B can sell the game X and have identical rights on game X (trust me there are enough countries where such agreement is possible)). B is basicaly made of a single person: my wife. B is selling the game only on Steam and nowhere else. In this situation A can sell the game X at whatever price it wants because there is no legal agreement between A and Steam/Valve.

In this situation Valve/Steam can't remove the game X from their store when A will sell it elsewhere cheaper, because they have no agreement with A, they have with B and B only sells on Steam. If Valve/Steam actually removes the game X from their store they will lose in court and end up paying more.

Sure this is a nasty way to do it but it's as nasty as their behaviour so I see no problem to answer in same way.
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Patreon, Liberapay or PayPal Donation.

This ensures all of our main content remains totally free for everyone with no article paywalls. We also don't have tons of adverts, there's also no tracking and we respect your privacy. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
Login / Register

Or login with...
Sign in with Steam Sign in with Twitter Sign in with Google
Social logins require cookies to stay logged in.

Livestreams & Videos
Community Livestreams
Latest Forum Posts