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Class action lawsuit against Valve/Steam

  • 8

Wolfire Games, LLC

(in case you don't know: " The Humble Bundle concept was initially run by Wolfire Games in 2010, but by its second bundle, the Humble Bundle company was spun out to manage the promotion, payments, and distribution of the bundles. In October 2017, the company was acquired by Ziff Davis through its IGN Entertainment subsidiary, though operates as a separate subsidiary. " https://wiki2.org/en/Humble_Bundle)

is filing a class action lawsuit against Valve/Steam complaining about their monopolistic business pratices. If you're interested in any of their games move fast as they might be removed from the Steam store as a retaliation on Valve's side.

" Of those sales, approximately 75% flow through the online storefront of a single company, Valve. Valve’s online game store, the “Steam Store,” dominates the distribution of PC games. And Valve uses that dominance to take an extraordinarily high cut from nearly every sale that passes through its store—30%. This 30% commission yields Valve over $6billion dollars in annual revenue. For everyone else, it yields higher prices and less innovation. "

and further down

" For example, Valve has set up visibility in its Steam Store to focus on games that are nominally “on sale” to gamers. Knowing that the best way to reach their audience is through discounting, game publishers must artificially inflate their list prices so they have headroom for discounting. But the “sale” price is not consistently available, and therefore some gamers pay an artificially inflated list price for the game. These supracompetitive prices increase Valve’s cut, force gamers to overpay, and prevent publishers from setting the most efficient game prices theycould in the first place. Even worse, these supracompetitive prices are transmitted across the broader market by the contractual restraints discussed above.*

Please discuss

@Cap.Lazorface WF hired Quinn Emanuel so they mean serious business and seem to have the money for a top law firm. They claim Valve dominates the market with a 75% market share.

https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/competition-guidance/guide-antitrust-laws/single-firm-conduct/monopolization-defined

 

Edited
Replies • 13

Well, RIP Wolfire...

Valve being a completely private company, i don't really see this going anywhere...

Just like Epic Games battling Apple, difference being that WF Games only has a miniscule fraction of Epic's resources.

I mean, there's so many stores that you can do business with, itch.io for example, takes likes 10%...

But publishers won't sell there, they know exactly where the money is. Thing is that steam in particular is the most successfull platform because it has everything gamers need, and gamers will also choose to keep steam as their preferred platform of choice.

I don't think you can call that a monopoly. But hey, i'm no lawyer, let's see.


Cap.Lazorface said:

Well, RIP Wolfire...

Valve being a completely private company, i don't really see this going anywhere...

Just like Epic Games battling Apple, difference being that WF Games only has a miniscule fraction of Epic's resources.

I mean, there's so many stores that you can do business with, itch.io for example, takes likes 10%...

But publishers won't sell there, they know exactly where the money is. Thing is that steam in particular is the most successfull platform because it has everything gamers need, and gamers will also choose to keep steam as their preferred platform of choice.

I don't think you can call that a monopoly. But hey, i'm no lawyer, let's see.

Do not ever underestimate the power of any small or big lawsuit by any small or big person/personalities/brands 


This isn't going anywhere. It's braindead, you're not forced to only distribute on steam, there are no steam exclusivity deals, as that's not what Valve stands for, never did.

Steam gives developers a choice on whether they want their game to go on sale or not.

Steam gives ample of resources for the developers, you can literally get free servers, easy multiplayer join integration and the likes. Steam offers good and quality services and asks 30% of your revenue. It's not a problem on how they spend their money, as they spend it well, on new research, projects, system upgrades and maintenence.
Say what you want about Valve, but it's a good company, no matter what was happening inside a couple of years ago (talking about the toxic incidents that happened to new workers, caused by older ones)


" In the end, courts will decide whether the monopolist's success is due to "the willful acquisition or maintenance of that power as distinguished from growth or development as a consequence of a superior product, business acumen, or historic accident."

And you'll just need to look at everything valve has given to the PC gaming community to come to the realization that Steam is in fact the superior platform...

It's all about money, i'll bet that even if WF games could manage to reduce the cut valve takes, costumers wouldn't see that difference, as usual.

Those guys won't stand a chance.


Just did the biggest eyeroll I've done in a while.

Yeah, everyone should get their fair share. But you live in a capitalist world. These companies having slapping fights with eachother on who deserves to get to more money from consumers is just stupid.

If a company could actually become competition towards Valve and Steam, then hurry up and do it. Buying exclusives from Steam like Epic does doesn't do anything.

Stop whining and lawyering up and yelling at eachother and quoting 1984 if you aren't going to actually make your product even remotely close to what Valve has done with Steam.


SpectorTM said:

Stop whining and lawyering up and yelling at eachother and quoting 1984 if you aren't going to actually make your product even remotely close to what Valve has done with Steam.

I just have the slightest suspicion that WF games is doing this pretty much riding the epic vs apple controversy, wich is about the very same thing...

Add to that microsoft just so generously cutting down their cut down to 12%, you'll get visibility alright... Time will tell if it's good or bad, i'll place my bets on it being the latter, but hey...


Cap.Lazorface said:

I just have the slightest suspicion that WF games is doing this pretty much riding the epic vs apple controversy, wich is about the very same thing...

I definitely wouldn't say that apple has almost anything superior. Apple is a shit company, greedy, manipulative, offer over-expensive services and, of course, products.


TheMartyn said:

I definitely wouldn't say that apple has almost anything superior. Apple is a shit company, greedy, manipulative, offer over-expensive services and, of course, products.

As much as i loathe apple as well, on their case they own the devices and OS to go with it, as well as the unescapable apple store...
And besides all that, people can still install fortnite on their ipads and iphones, just not through the apple store.
Wich makes that whole legal battle kinda a waste of resources, imo.
Apple did spend years developing their hardware and the echosystem to go along with it.
And they sure as hell don't have the monopoly on mobile devices, fortunately.

It all comes down to "I don't want to pay the 30% cut"


Cap.Lazorface said:

As much as i loathe apple as well, on their case they own the devices and OS to go with it, as well as the unescapable apple store...

Normally these practices will get companies sued and get fixed, but it's sad that people think that it's normal now. Sometimes you just feel like you should forgive them for not living in a country where consumers have rights. But then again, they are happy to tell other people they don't have those rights just because they don't have them. We will just forgive you.

And besides all that, people can still install fortnite on their ipads and iphones, just not through the apple store.

I like your phrasing. In other words, apple tells everyone they can only play fortnite on ipads and iphones through the apple store. That sounds like a bad apple.

Anyway, people can NOT still install fortnite on their ipads and iphones. Maybe one or two people. Definitely not millions. If there is a normal people jury on the case, I'm pretty sure that not all of them can do it.

Wich makes that whole legal battle kinda a waste of resources, imo.

Battles are always waste of resources, and fortunately some battles are worth fighting. Then again, you agree with me that everything in your comment was really incorrect and I can expect no resistance from you about that, because it's a waste of resources. I won't dwell on this anyway, as I have no problem people like you take that stance.

Apple did spend years developing their hardware and the echosystem to go along with it.
And they sure as hell don't have the monopoly on mobile devices, fortunately.

No one has a monopoly on everything. But they can have a monopoly on smaller markets. Saying that they don't have a monopoly on all mobile devices sounds like you know thet have a monopoly in other places, like the apple stores. Then again I know you know it. And it's fine, and you don't need to come out for it.

It all comes down to "I don't want to pay the 30% cut"

And, the problem here is that, normally, it's fine to accept a 30% cut to one store. Then they just raise the prices on that one store with 60% to compensate the lost, but they then sell it on other stores with normal prices. But now, because they are a monopoly, they also ask for "30% cut", and you are not allowed to sell them on other places for less. "People" can read this in the apple or steam agreement. (Obviously not everyone can read this but I'm copying your use of "people" here.)

And again, I am sorry for you living in a place where consumer laws don't matter, and think that people all around the world should accept that too.

 


everythingisred said:

And again, I am sorry for you living in a place where consumer laws don't matter, and think that people all around the world should accept that too.

You assume too much.

Afaik, valve nor apple have been found guilty of effectively abusing their positions, yet.

And do you know why steam has that rule of not allowing the sale of steam keys on other stores? There's a big difference.

That was put in place to stop dubious devs from undercutting valve on other stores, then using steam frameworks to get free servers, community market, workshop etc, essentially pocketing the profit, while taking full advantage of other people's work, namely valve.

Do try and convince me how is that "abusing their market position"?
At least on this instance.

As much as I'm enjoying playing the devil's advocate, i can't really defend apple, except on the part where they can do whatever the hell they want, it's their platform, as long as it operates within the bounds of Law.

Vote with your wallet if you don't like the company.