The fines levied against Valve PC 7.8m EU digital single have many implications for the game publisher and consumer. Here we look at the fines, the impact on Focus Home Interactive and other game publishers, and how they will affect consumers. We also explore the impact on the PC market and its potential for future innovation.
Fines for Valve pc 7.8m eu digital single
Valve, the video game publisher behind Steam, has been fined by the European Commission for breaking antitrust rules. The investigation involved over 100 PC games and found that Valve had used geoblocking to prevent customers in certain EU countries from buying their games. Valve had agreed to distribute geoblocked codes that could only be activated in the region in which they were purchased.
Valve is also accused of blocking adult-themed games because of their sexual content. The company has apologized for the delays, and has said that it will reassess its policies on adult-themed games in the future. However, many users feel that Valve isn’t being transparent enough. The company has not disclosed why it blocked the game, but it did say that it would take a more hands-on approach with adult-themed games in the future.
The company claims that the games violated intellectual property rights. The company has the authority to remove such games from its storefront, though the games can still be downloaded by users. However, games with expired licenses may no longer be sold on Steam. The most recent case involved Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, which Valve removed from its storefront.
As a result, Valve has taken the decision to hire more customer service representatives to handle customer complaints. It also publicized the number of customer service requests it had received in the past 90 days. It reported that it received about 75,000 customer support requests a day, with refund requests accounting for the largest portion. The company also claims it was able to resolve account security and recovery issues in a matter of hours.
Impact on other game publishers
Valve is one of the five major PC video game publishers. However, the company has been under investigation by the European Commission since 2017. The European Commission alleges that Valve engaged in anti-competitive behavior by geo-blocking product keys and blocking access to European Economic Area countries. These practices are against EU competition laws and are illegal. The company also faces potential sanctions from other EU member states.
Previously, Steam received a flat 30% cut of sales from direct Steam sales. But in October 2018, Valve changed its policies and reduced this share to 25% for games sold through their storefront. The policy change was meant to encourage small and mid-sized developers to stay on Steam. Small developers, however, were still able to benefit from the change.
Valve initially sued Sierra Studios for distributing its games on PC cafes. Sierra responded by countersuing Valve for breach of contract, as well as offering a competing digital storefront. Valve later removed the anti-competitive service from Steam’s website, and Sierra filed for bankruptcy.
Valve also made changes to its Greenlight service to accommodate smaller game developers. The new service allows developers to post non-gaming ideas for free. These votes are not visible to other users, so they’re private and only seen by the developer.
Valve also claimed that the September 2019 Discovery update would improve the visibility of niche games and lesser known games. However, it was not immediately clear whether this change has actually improved the visibility of these games. Some indie game developers reported a significant drop in exposure and new wishlist additions. Some games even made it to the “Discovery queue” or “More Like This” pages.
The new version of Steam is also a step toward a subscription-based gaming service. In June 2021, the software company plans to allow multiple developers to produce bundled bundles of games. This will give other publishers more options to promote their products.
Valve is also looking to improve the Steam Library and Steam Game Profile. The new pages are designed to make it easier for users to find their games, showcase new content, and communicate special in-game events. For example, the revamped Library page will feature a section for live streaming.
Impact on consumers
Valve is challenging the findings of the European Commission and has promised to appeal against the fine. Although Valve cooperated extensively with the European Commission and provided evidence, it did not admit breaking the law. While Valve is dismayed by the fine, the company is determined to fight the decision.
Valve is one of five PC video game publishers currently facing anti-competitive charges by the European Commission. The EC alleges that the five companies violated EU anti-trust laws and harmed consumers by geo-blocking their products. These anti-competitive practices allowed Valve to sell PC games only to specific regions of the European Economic Area, or EEA. This impacted users of Valve’s Steam service, which allowed them to buy games through a third-party reseller. Valve provides the activation keys free of charge, but does not get a cut of the sale price of games sold by third-party resellers.