It was a matter of time and finally someone came in to dare to sue Gabe Newell’s company, which has been accused of something many won’t know but which made the free market in PC games impossible: to be the most profitable. Of the industry game price. That’s why Valve is facing a lawsuit for Steam in the United States.
The lawsuit is a bit more complicated than that actually, but basically it’s all about how Valve sets the prices and the terms it demands from developers who want to sell their games on Steam, something that leaves no room to competition and which still positions the company as a coercion of the industry.
The lawsuit against Valve: possible illegal conduct that would force the Steam monopoly
How precisely will Valve engage in monopolistic conduct? Well, because of the prices and conditions you demand for your store. Been Wolfire Gaming the one who, after the judge’s decision of the 6th of this month, will continue the litigation initiated in April where Valve is accused of keep 30% of game sales so that it remains in the Steam store.
This wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t for the fact that Steam, hand in hand with Valve, forces developers or distributors to do something very curious: they won’t sell their games. at a lower price outside of the Steam platform.
You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that nobody can compete with this, since everyone will have more costs compared to Valve and their platform and therefore Steam exerts a dominant pressure on the market where there is no free competition, since the minimum price will always be in the Gabe Newell store.
This has another negative effect, and that is that no one is more cost effective than Steam, i.e. no one can even set the same price as what is marked in the Valve store because the costs l prevent this and it forces the competition to always have the most expensive games in order to be able to make money with them.
Justice Coughenour explains it briefly as follows:
The company “allegedly enforces this regime through a combination of written and unwritten rules” that imposes its own terms on how games not compatible with Steam are sold and priced. These allegations are sufficient to plausibly allege unlawful conduct.
We will see if finally Wolfire Gaming is right and if Steam is forced to change its terms, which could have very advantageous terms for users if other platforms can start selling even at a loss but in high volume, generating lower prices with developers and being profitable over time.