Valve refuses to change despite EU used games ruling

/ 4 years ago

Despite a European Court ruling just last week stating that consumers under European law are allowed to resell digital games if they wish, Valve remains defiant. Stating that it will not change the way it operates, which is a very brave move in the fact of Europe’s most powerful court. The statement was made by Valve’s director of business development, Jason Holtman, saying “we don’t have any plans to change”.

Steam’s refusal to change is interesting, the court ruling states that digital copies of games can be resold despite what any legal or user agreements state. However, the ruling’s coverage of digital distribution services like Steam is very cloudy. We do not know whether the European Court ruling would cover Steam owned games and ultimately we will probably never find out until someone decides to propose a legal challenge to Valve over it.

While Valve is safe for now, if it opposes the sale of used digital games or could face itself subject to a lawsuit. In addition other companies that try to impose DRM onto games as well as selling online passes to a game (preventing the used games from being sold on for a market rate) could find themselves subjected to anti-competitive punishments from the EU because of this ruling.

If Valve were to be forced into allowing the sale of used digital games it is possible they could still benefit from it, by demanding a cut of the used game sale (much like how ebay would do for selling an item) Valve could benefit from the resale of used steam games. That said it could still lose out in those cases where a customer buys a reduced price used game over a higher priced new one.