13 votes

Valve argues anti-Steam suit lacks “the most basic elements” of antitrust case

25 comments

  1. [24]
    teaearlgraycold
    Link
    Valve absolutely does not have a monopoly. They are just a market leader.

    Valve absolutely does not have a monopoly. They are just a market leader.

    17 votes
    1. [7]
      knocklessmonster
      Link Parent
      Basically what I was going to say. I'd say they did have a monopoly back in the late 00s, early 10s, but GoG and Epic have emerged to be competitive (Origin was basically EA's answer to BattleNet:...

      Basically what I was going to say. I'd say they did have a monopoly back in the late 00s, early 10s, but GoG and Epic have emerged to be competitive (Origin was basically EA's answer to BattleNet: little more than an update/distro platform for their games).

      11 votes
      1. [4]
        cfabbro
        Link Parent
        Don't forget Humble Store itself, and the Xbox app/Gamepass for PC now too. There are lots of totally viable and successful alternatives to Steam now, which makes the timing of this lawsuit...

        Don't forget Humble Store itself, and the Xbox app/Gamepass for PC now too. There are lots of totally viable and successful alternatives to Steam now, which makes the timing of this lawsuit incredibly weird IMO.

        13 votes
        1. [3]
          Wes
          Link Parent
          Humble Store is a competitor to Steam the storefront, but not the platform, as they sell primarily Steam keys. The same is true of almost all third-party storefronts (GreenManGaming, GamersGate,...

          Humble Store is a competitor to Steam the storefront, but not the platform, as they sell primarily Steam keys. The same is true of almost all third-party storefronts (GreenManGaming, GamersGate, Fanatical, et al).

          I agree the timing is weird though. 3-4 years ago they had a much stronger monopoly in the PCDD space. GOG, Origin, Uplay, Epic, and Windows Store now have reasonably-sized competing platforms. Even as others have failed (Discord, Desura), Valve's monopoly has lessened in recent years.

          6 votes
          1. [2]
            cfabbro
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            That's because most games require Steam these days due to them utilizing Valve's anti-cheat, Steam workshop and the like. Even physical copies often come with Steam keys these days because of...

            That's because most games require Steam these days due to them utilizing Valve's anti-cheat, Steam workshop and the like. Even physical copies often come with Steam keys these days because of that. But there are an increasing number of other games (both digital and physical) that come with Origin, Uplay, and Epic keys instead, for similar reasons. And worth noting is that the Humble Store also has a slowly growing collection of platform independent DRM-free games now too, so they actually are starting to compete as a platform unto themselves now, and not just acting as a third-party storefront for other platforms.

            3 votes
            1. Wes
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              I actually feel like Humble has sort of given up on DRM-free. They've really slowed on Humble Indie Bundles, which were the breakout bundles that required games be DRM-free (usually in addition to...

              I actually feel like Humble has sort of given up on DRM-free. They've really slowed on Humble Indie Bundles, which were the breakout bundles that required games be DRM-free (usually in addition to a Steam key). Also, their own Trove has lost a large number of the games since its introduction. Even titles published by Humble themselves are not available in the Trove today (eg. Forager).

              I think GOG is the only one seriously competing on the DRM-free front these days.

              7 votes
      2. [2]
        vord
        Link Parent
        That basically was what Steam was for early on. Third party devs didn't come around till 2005ish

        Origin was basically EA's answer to BattleNet: little more than an update/distro platform for their games

        That basically was what Steam was for early on. Third party devs didn't come around till 2005ish

        4 votes
        1. knocklessmonster
          Link Parent
          Oh yeah... I came to Steam in 2006 and it'd already started getting a lot of third-party stuff.

          Oh yeah... I came to Steam in 2006 and it'd already started getting a lot of third-party stuff.

          4 votes
    2. [14]
      vord
      Link Parent
      I think the only way it could be remotely justified is if a game can't exist on another platform, like perhaps with deep workshop or anticheat integration. Hey Devs! If you don't like Valve, put...

      I think the only way it could be remotely justified is if a game can't exist on another platform, like perhaps with deep workshop or anticheat integration.

      Hey Devs! If you don't like Valve, put your game up on GoG without DRM. I'll happily pay a premium there so I can actually own a copy of the game.

      6 votes
      1. [7]
        Protected
        Link Parent
        I'm a big fan and customer of GOG (65 owned games) but I also like Steam. Steam is a benevolent player in the market, not a malevolent one. They release open devices and platforms, invest in VR,...

        I'm a big fan and customer of GOG (65 owned games) but I also like Steam. Steam is a benevolent player in the market, not a malevolent one. They release open devices and platforms, invest in VR, support Linux, and allow "essentially DRM-free" games on their platform should the developer choose it. I've had better customer support from them (in Europe) than from GOG. I feel like they're on my side.

        I want Humble Bundle and other competitors to remain viable, and I'm all for more exposition and better margins for developers, but I have a hard time imagine another market leader would be as well behaved.

        8 votes
        1. hungariantoast
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I remember years ago, 2013? 2024? I emailed Chris Park of Arcen games for a DRM free copy of AI War that I could play on my laptop without Steam. He sent me a copy of the game and all the DLC, but...

          I remember years ago, 2013? 2024? I emailed Chris Park of Arcen games for a DRM free copy of AI War that I could play on my laptop without Steam.

          He sent me a copy of the game and all the DLC, but kindly informed me that the copy of the game Steam downloads for you can just be launched without Steam, auto-updates like the "DRM free" version he just emailed me, and even includes executables for all the supported operating systems, not just the one your Steam install is on.

          Guess who now buys Arcen's stuff day one?

          But yeah, it's totally possible for games bought through Steam to be launchable without launching Steam itself, and some of them, like AI War, can even self-update. It's up to the developer to implement though.

          5 votes
        2. [2]
          vord
          Link Parent
          Don't get me wrong I'm a big fan of what Valve is doing as well. They provide the most value for that DRM compromise, moreso than anyone else trying to do the storefront thing. I appreciate GoG...

          Don't get me wrong I'm a big fan of what Valve is doing as well. They provide the most value for that DRM compromise, moreso than anyone else trying to do the storefront thing.

          I appreciate GoG for DRM free nature of it, and it's a shame they don't also go all-in on Linux, as there's likely a large overlap in userbase. But the fact I can download a game and have it install offline for eternity is a huge value-add for singleplayer games.

          My thoughts are the devs have no right to resell steam keys (outside of valve's terms). If they don't wanna pay valve's cut, find another distribution platform.

          4 votes
          1. teaearlgraycold
            Link Parent
            And PC is the easiest platform to self publish for.

            And PC is the easiest platform to self publish for.

            2 votes
        3. [3]
          raze2012
          Link Parent
          my problem is that power corrupts. I would have said the same for Google in the late 00's (maybe out of naivete). Specifically Youtube. They made it easier and easier to upload videos, removed the...

          Steam is a benevolent player in the market, not a malevolent one

          my problem is that power corrupts. I would have said the same for Google in the late 00's (maybe out of naivete). Specifically Youtube. They made it easier and easier to upload videos, removed the 15 minute cap, had built in editing tools for quick videos, and then it even got to the point where they'd compensate for videos. Sounded great knowing I could potentially live off of making funny memes.

          ...but we know how that story ends. Some due to legal reasons and some financial that goes against the consumer's best interest. And now we're more or less trapped since there's nothing else like Youtube.

          I don't want Valve to end up unchecked the same way. You never know who or what will change tomorrow, and the best backup plan is a strong competitor to keep them straight.

          2 votes
          1. [2]
            Adys
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            With an incredible treasure trove of content star trek characters would be jealous of, free to watch and consume, for educational and entertainment purposes alike. Let's remember the upsides as...

            but we know how that story ends.

            With an incredible treasure trove of content star trek characters would be jealous of, free to watch and consume, for educational and entertainment purposes alike.

            Let's remember the upsides as well, not just the downsides. YouTube, as an aggregator, is one of the most valuable things humanity has ever produced.

            Google as a whole has produced several of humanity's most valuable tools. Maps lets you explore the world and solves the problem of getting from A to B in a myriad of ways, allowing you to find anything around you no matter where you are in the world. Search's existence has created countless opportunities due to its speed and the increased productivity that comes with it, and even allowed millions of businesses to be created and thrive on an online marketplace.

            I don't like the Google of today but it's really hard to come to grips with the incredible advances they have brought to civilization.

            9 votes
            1. raze2012
              Link Parent
              I'd certainly hope Star Trek would nail a reasonable balance of creative freedom and unabuseable copyright protection. So maybe not completely jealous. yes, they are great upsides, but at this...

              I'd certainly hope Star Trek would nail a reasonable balance of creative freedom and unabuseable copyright protection. So maybe not completely jealous.

              yes, they are great upsides, but at this point they feel like incredibly fragile ones given how the business operates. they can more or less alter the way users perceive the world with a few adjustments on what they allow to be ad funded or what algorithm filters they apply behind the scenes. They have a policy change on how they accept videos or compensate creators and it becomes the new defacto standard for video creation, not just "a private company". And ofc their data collection means they may know more about an individual than their closest friends.

              im not saying there will be a perfect, uncorruptable alternative. Just that having some competition would self check the greed and morals, just a tiny bit.

              3 votes
      2. [5]
        vektor
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        EU/German Copyright law: You bought it, you own a copy. Easy as that. Or did the button in the shop say "rent"? No, it bloody didn't, so you own it. Slightly hot take: That allows you to pirate...

        EU/German Copyright law: You bought it, you own a copy. Easy as that. Or did the button in the shop say "rent"? No, it bloody didn't, so you own it.

        Slightly hot take: That allows you to pirate the game as you please. Steam servers go down or restrict your use of the game unreasonably? Fuck that. Arrr, sail the data seas.

        I am, of course, not a lawyer.

        7 votes
        1. [4]
          Tardigrade
          Link Parent
          That would require you to keep the recipts from your steam purchases as proof.

          That would require you to keep the recipts from your steam purchases as proof.

          1 vote
          1. [3]
            cfabbro
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            https://store.steampowered.com/account/history/ Mine goes all the way back to my first ever purchases on Steam in 2008... Team Fortress 2, quickly followed by Garry's Mod, and Left 4 Dead. :P So...

            https://store.steampowered.com/account/history/

            Mine goes all the way back to my first ever purchases on Steam in 2008... Team Fortress 2, quickly followed by Garry's Mod, and Left 4 Dead. :P

            So that page might be worth exporting/saving every once in a while if you're in the EU. Your credit card and/or bank would likely also have records of your transaction history with Steam as well. And although the charges from Steam don't specify the exact product being purchased (AFAIK), your transaction history could at least corroborate the backed up account history.

            8 votes
            1. Eylrid
              Link Parent
              They also send email receipts.

              They also send email receipts.

              2 votes
            2. Tardigrade
              Link Parent
              Thanks for that link. You'd hope valve would keep that up at least if the rest went down. Most people have bought keys from other places and have it on Steam so wonder how that works.

              Thanks for that link. You'd hope valve would keep that up at least if the rest went down.

              Most people have bought keys from other places and have it on Steam so wonder how that works.

              1 vote
      3. TheJorro
        Link Parent
        The strange thing is that Wolfire has already done this. Their games were in some of the first few DRM-free Humble Bundles.

        The strange thing is that Wolfire has already done this. Their games were in some of the first few DRM-free Humble Bundles.

        1 vote
    3. [2]
      raze2012
      Link Parent
      where's the line drawn? I'd be inclined to argue that there's a case of a monopoly had Epic not started to play super hardball the past 3 years (despite disgruntled consumer reaction to such...

      where's the line drawn? I'd be inclined to argue that there's a case of a monopoly had Epic not started to play super hardball the past 3 years (despite disgruntled consumer reaction to such tactics). Gog was starting to teeper out (removing various niceties like regional pricing matching) until the pandemic hit, and origin/uPlay have been more like publisher stores than a general storefront.

      3 votes
      1. teaearlgraycold
        Link Parent
        I think you're right. But Epic and GoG are around as of the submission of this suit.

        I think you're right. But Epic and GoG are around as of the submission of this suit.

        2 votes