Wolfire versus Valve antitrust lawsuit gets dismissed

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Well this was very much expected wasn't it? A judge has ruled in the case of Wolfire versus Valve to dismiss the case.

As a brief reminder of what's been going on - Wolfire Games took Valve to court over a couple of things like: the 30% cut Valve take, and an apparent clause that forces developers match their prices on Steam to other stores if they release their game elsewhere. Valve of course moved to have it dismissed and now a ruling has been passed down.

In the new filing on November 19, the judge has dismissed and denied the case in part, giving Wolfire leave to amend their case, which going by the documentation Wolfire requested and it has been granted, so we might see Wolfire back again with an amended case at some point (they have 30 days).

Going over why it was dismissed, the ruling makes it pretty clear, mentioning that Valve's store fees have remained a constant, even with competition and even when they weren't the "dominant" force in the market. It additionally mentions an older case with Sommers v. Apple, where Apple had a 99 cent music download fee:

"There, as here, the price remained the same throughout, even during periods of intense competition in the marketplace."

It also notes that other stores have charged less than Valve and failed:

"The market reality, at least as plead in the CAC, is that, in spite of Defendant’s 'supracompetitive' fee, others who charge less have failed, even though they had significant resources at their disposal."

When looking to the footer notes, the filing brings up the "substantial" consumer base on Steam and favoured features on Steam, noting the backlash that generates when a developer chooses to release elsewhere and not on Steam. It wasn't named directly but they're hinting at things like the Epic Store here, which is interesting to see it used like this, so it's actually clearly helped Valve's defence here. Competition is good, obviously.

On the subject of the apparent most favoured nation clause, which is what Wolfire claimed Valve used to force prices to remain the same on Steam as other stores, the documents state the complaint lacks the allegations to actually back it up. Not only that but this too:

"If anything, the facts provided by the CAC, at least with respect to output, suggest the opposite—a consistent increase in the number of games available in the market and on the Steam Platform."

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Meta, Steam, Valve
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mirv 21 Nov, 2021
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Quoting: rustybroomhandle
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: rustybroomhandle
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: mirvValve don't really provide marketing
They have millions of pairs of eyeballs they can put your game in front of, and they've invested heavily in putting it in front of the eyeballs of customers that are likely to buy your game, as well as providing detailed sales data about which regions are interested in your game and when interest is generated. If you have a better term for that than "marketing," please share.

Except Steam doesn't put a person's game in front of the eyeballs of customers. It could be argued that way long ago, but not anymore. Steam provides the marketplace, but a developer must still do their own marketing to make it stand out from the rest.

--edit
Again, which is really inconsequential - I don't believe Valve officially offer marketing in general for their normal cut, though obviously will have agreements with certain publishers. That's special case I would think, not part of the generic 30% (or less, if you're one of the bigger publishers that will move enough units).

Steam Next festival

Sorry, but is there some point you're trying to make?

Yes, in response to your "Steam doesn't put a person's game in front of the eyeballs of customers" which I have demonstrated is just not true. There are also other mechanisms within Steam that are constantly being developed like recommendation systems, etc.

Well Steam doesn't. The developer/publisher still has to make it happen. Steam is a marketplace - it provides the infrastructure, but don't confuse that with actively marketing someone's game for them. And those other mechanisms all rely on gobbling up existing user data, moving it through some algorithms, and feeding the output back to the users; it's the typical case of Valve having the customer base do such work without Valve needing to put much effort in. Is there some kind of problem with that I'm not aware of?
If Valve put a title up front & centre on their store, then that won't come out of the 30% cut. That's from something extra.
somebody1121 21 Nov, 2021
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNzdyx5Vj00

This is a good video about that 30% cut and looking through the payment methods
Mal 21 Nov, 2021
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Nobody could have anticipated that.
kuhpunkt 21 Nov, 2021
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: rustybroomhandle
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: rustybroomhandle
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: mirvValve don't really provide marketing
They have millions of pairs of eyeballs they can put your game in front of, and they've invested heavily in putting it in front of the eyeballs of customers that are likely to buy your game, as well as providing detailed sales data about which regions are interested in your game and when interest is generated. If you have a better term for that than "marketing," please share.

Except Steam doesn't put a person's game in front of the eyeballs of customers. It could be argued that way long ago, but not anymore. Steam provides the marketplace, but a developer must still do their own marketing to make it stand out from the rest.

--edit
Again, which is really inconsequential - I don't believe Valve officially offer marketing in general for their normal cut, though obviously will have agreements with certain publishers. That's special case I would think, not part of the generic 30% (or less, if you're one of the bigger publishers that will move enough units).

Steam Next festival

Sorry, but is there some point you're trying to make?

Yes, in response to your "Steam doesn't put a person's game in front of the eyeballs of customers" which I have demonstrated is just not true. There are also other mechanisms within Steam that are constantly being developed like recommendation systems, etc.

Well Steam doesn't. The developer/publisher still has to make it happen. Steam is a marketplace - it provides the infrastructure, but don't confuse that with actively marketing someone's game for them. And those other mechanisms all rely on gobbling up existing user data, moving it through some algorithms, and feeding the output back to the users; it's the typical case of Valve having the customer base do such work without Valve needing to put much effort in. Is there some kind of problem with that I'm not aware of?
If Valve put a title up front & centre on their store, then that won't come out of the 30% cut. That's from something extra.

Valve specifically puts on sales for certain games. They are for example planing a "Games from Germany" event that will happen in a few months.

It's their incentive to do that... to sell more games. To sell more games you gotta put them in front of people.


Last edited by kuhpunkt on 21 November 2021 at 2:18 pm UTC
grigi 21 Nov, 2021
I worked for a largish online internet shop, internet payment methods alone took anywhere from 2.5%-10%, and indirect payment methods such as gift cards was more expensive.

According the the video shared, that value is around 15% range.

So, if Steam needs to drop their cut, to stand on its own, they would need to have variable payment rates. This would cost them then extra, negating some of the potential cut.

Also, if a currency exchange needs to happen, the exchange rates will eat a further ~2% of that margin as well.
mirv 21 Nov, 2021
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Quoting: kuhpunkt
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: rustybroomhandle
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: rustybroomhandle
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: mirvValve don't really provide marketing
They have millions of pairs of eyeballs they can put your game in front of, and they've invested heavily in putting it in front of the eyeballs of customers that are likely to buy your game, as well as providing detailed sales data about which regions are interested in your game and when interest is generated. If you have a better term for that than "marketing," please share.

Except Steam doesn't put a person's game in front of the eyeballs of customers. It could be argued that way long ago, but not anymore. Steam provides the marketplace, but a developer must still do their own marketing to make it stand out from the rest.

--edit
Again, which is really inconsequential - I don't believe Valve officially offer marketing in general for their normal cut, though obviously will have agreements with certain publishers. That's special case I would think, not part of the generic 30% (or less, if you're one of the bigger publishers that will move enough units).

Steam Next festival

Sorry, but is there some point you're trying to make?

Yes, in response to your "Steam doesn't put a person's game in front of the eyeballs of customers" which I have demonstrated is just not true. There are also other mechanisms within Steam that are constantly being developed like recommendation systems, etc.

Well Steam doesn't. The developer/publisher still has to make it happen. Steam is a marketplace - it provides the infrastructure, but don't confuse that with actively marketing someone's game for them. And those other mechanisms all rely on gobbling up existing user data, moving it through some algorithms, and feeding the output back to the users; it's the typical case of Valve having the customer base do such work without Valve needing to put much effort in. Is there some kind of problem with that I'm not aware of?
If Valve put a title up front & centre on their store, then that won't come out of the 30% cut. That's from something extra.

Valve specifically puts on sales for certain games. They are for example planing a "Games from Germany" event that will happen in a few months.

It's their incentive to do that... to sell more games. To sell more games you gotta put them in front of people.

Valve has a sale != Valve will market my games for me.
rustybroomhandle 21 Nov, 2021
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: rustybroomhandle
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: rustybroomhandle
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: mirvValve don't really provide marketing
They have millions of pairs of eyeballs they can put your game in front of, and they've invested heavily in putting it in front of the eyeballs of customers that are likely to buy your game, as well as providing detailed sales data about which regions are interested in your game and when interest is generated. If you have a better term for that than "marketing," please share.

Except Steam doesn't put a person's game in front of the eyeballs of customers. It could be argued that way long ago, but not anymore. Steam provides the marketplace, but a developer must still do their own marketing to make it stand out from the rest.

--edit
Again, which is really inconsequential - I don't believe Valve officially offer marketing in general for their normal cut, though obviously will have agreements with certain publishers. That's special case I would think, not part of the generic 30% (or less, if you're one of the bigger publishers that will move enough units).

Steam Next festival

Sorry, but is there some point you're trying to make?

Yes, in response to your "Steam doesn't put a person's game in front of the eyeballs of customers" which I have demonstrated is just not true. There are also other mechanisms within Steam that are constantly being developed like recommendation systems, etc.

Well Steam doesn't. The developer/publisher still has to make it happen.

Wrong. What does the developer have to do? Enlighten us.

1. The recommendation systems are data driven and automated.
2. Sales you *can* do yourself, but for the regular Steam sales, Valve sends an email with a link when there's an upcoming sale and all a dev/pub has to do is opt in and define the allowed discount percentage.
3. If you are referring to devs streaming their games during festivals as the devs having to do everything themselves. That'd bs because if you don't do streams, you still get in the listings, people can still play the demos, etc.

Stop arguing your wrong opinion.
mirv 21 Nov, 2021
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Quoting: rustybroomhandle
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: rustybroomhandle
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: rustybroomhandle
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: mirvValve don't really provide marketing
They have millions of pairs of eyeballs they can put your game in front of, and they've invested heavily in putting it in front of the eyeballs of customers that are likely to buy your game, as well as providing detailed sales data about which regions are interested in your game and when interest is generated. If you have a better term for that than "marketing," please share.

Except Steam doesn't put a person's game in front of the eyeballs of customers. It could be argued that way long ago, but not anymore. Steam provides the marketplace, but a developer must still do their own marketing to make it stand out from the rest.

--edit
Again, which is really inconsequential - I don't believe Valve officially offer marketing in general for their normal cut, though obviously will have agreements with certain publishers. That's special case I would think, not part of the generic 30% (or less, if you're one of the bigger publishers that will move enough units).

Steam Next festival

Sorry, but is there some point you're trying to make?

Yes, in response to your "Steam doesn't put a person's game in front of the eyeballs of customers" which I have demonstrated is just not true. There are also other mechanisms within Steam that are constantly being developed like recommendation systems, etc.

Well Steam doesn't. The developer/publisher still has to make it happen.

Wrong. What does the developer have to do? Enlighten us.

1. The recommendation systems are data driven and automated.
2. Sales you *can* do yourself, but for the regular Steam sales, Valve sends an email with a link when there's an upcoming sale and all a dev/pub has to do is opt in and define the allowed discount percentage.
3. If you are referring to devs streaming their games during festivals as the devs having to do everything themselves. That'd bs because if you don't do streams, you still get in the listings, people can still play the demos, etc.

Stop arguing your wrong opinion.

Wait....you're saying simultaneously that someone is wrong, but it's an opinion (which by definition is subjective and therefore wrong/right do not apply)? And what, exactly, are you saying I'm wrong about? Are you actually suggesting that a dev just puts their game on Steam and....magically Valve take care of the marketing for free?

Actually I'm not even sure what you have a problem with. I'm guessing, and purely a guess at this point, that you might perhaps think that Steam sales count as marketing, and holding sales is a service that contribute to part of the 30% cut Valve takes? That doesn't seem right. Please be specific.
kuhpunkt 21 Nov, 2021
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: kuhpunkt
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: rustybroomhandle
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: rustybroomhandle
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: mirvValve don't really provide marketing
They have millions of pairs of eyeballs they can put your game in front of, and they've invested heavily in putting it in front of the eyeballs of customers that are likely to buy your game, as well as providing detailed sales data about which regions are interested in your game and when interest is generated. If you have a better term for that than "marketing," please share.

Except Steam doesn't put a person's game in front of the eyeballs of customers. It could be argued that way long ago, but not anymore. Steam provides the marketplace, but a developer must still do their own marketing to make it stand out from the rest.

--edit
Again, which is really inconsequential - I don't believe Valve officially offer marketing in general for their normal cut, though obviously will have agreements with certain publishers. That's special case I would think, not part of the generic 30% (or less, if you're one of the bigger publishers that will move enough units).

Steam Next festival

Sorry, but is there some point you're trying to make?

Yes, in response to your "Steam doesn't put a person's game in front of the eyeballs of customers" which I have demonstrated is just not true. There are also other mechanisms within Steam that are constantly being developed like recommendation systems, etc.

Well Steam doesn't. The developer/publisher still has to make it happen. Steam is a marketplace - it provides the infrastructure, but don't confuse that with actively marketing someone's game for them. And those other mechanisms all rely on gobbling up existing user data, moving it through some algorithms, and feeding the output back to the users; it's the typical case of Valve having the customer base do such work without Valve needing to put much effort in. Is there some kind of problem with that I'm not aware of?
If Valve put a title up front & centre on their store, then that won't come out of the 30% cut. That's from something extra.

Valve specifically puts on sales for certain games. They are for example planing a "Games from Germany" event that will happen in a few months.

It's their incentive to do that... to sell more games. To sell more games you gotta put them in front of people.

Valve has a sale != Valve will market my games for me.

It's putting the games right on the storefront with a popup. What more do you want?
mirv 21 Nov, 2021
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: kuhpunkt
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: kuhpunkt
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: rustybroomhandle
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: rustybroomhandle
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: mirvValve don't really provide marketing
They have millions of pairs of eyeballs they can put your game in front of, and they've invested heavily in putting it in front of the eyeballs of customers that are likely to buy your game, as well as providing detailed sales data about which regions are interested in your game and when interest is generated. If you have a better term for that than "marketing," please share.

Except Steam doesn't put a person's game in front of the eyeballs of customers. It could be argued that way long ago, but not anymore. Steam provides the marketplace, but a developer must still do their own marketing to make it stand out from the rest.

--edit
Again, which is really inconsequential - I don't believe Valve officially offer marketing in general for their normal cut, though obviously will have agreements with certain publishers. That's special case I would think, not part of the generic 30% (or less, if you're one of the bigger publishers that will move enough units).

Steam Next festival

Sorry, but is there some point you're trying to make?

Yes, in response to your "Steam doesn't put a person's game in front of the eyeballs of customers" which I have demonstrated is just not true. There are also other mechanisms within Steam that are constantly being developed like recommendation systems, etc.

Well Steam doesn't. The developer/publisher still has to make it happen. Steam is a marketplace - it provides the infrastructure, but don't confuse that with actively marketing someone's game for them. And those other mechanisms all rely on gobbling up existing user data, moving it through some algorithms, and feeding the output back to the users; it's the typical case of Valve having the customer base do such work without Valve needing to put much effort in. Is there some kind of problem with that I'm not aware of?
If Valve put a title up front & centre on their store, then that won't come out of the 30% cut. That's from something extra.

Valve specifically puts on sales for certain games. They are for example planing a "Games from Germany" event that will happen in a few months.

It's their incentive to do that... to sell more games. To sell more games you gotta put them in front of people.

Valve has a sale != Valve will market my games for me.

It's putting the games right on the storefront with a popup. What more do you want?

Are you suggesting it does that for every single game? Puts every single game right in front of you? Because if marketing is included in a 30% cut from every developer, then surely that applies to every game, right?
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