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Submitted by Wedge1082 707d ago | news

Valve: Accept New Steam Subscriber Agreement Or Disable Your Account

Earlier this month Valve updated the Steam subscriber agreement to include language that prevents customers with disputes from filing lawsuits against the company, and instead forces them to agree to the decisions of a Valve-paid-for “independent” arbitrator. As bad as that is, we are now getting reports that users are being told that they have to either submit to the new terms or have their accounts permanently deactivated, and in the process lose access to all the content they purchased through Steam. (Industry, PC, Steam Valve)

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TiberiusGill  +   707d ago
Wow. Now that's messed up.
Is there any way that the article could include a link to the support forum where this post appeared, however? Would make verifying the story a little easier for approvers.
Pandamobile  +   707d ago
It's like this with virtually any piece of commercial software. If you don't accept the TOS, you can't use the software. It's as simple as that.

Not that I agree with what Valve is doing though; but it doesn't affect me in any way.
#1.1 (Edited 707d ago ) | Agree(20) | Disagree(10) | Report | Reply
adorie  +   707d ago
Doesn't matter. I don't think Valve is going to start stepping on the toes of their community.
They have a good reputation and this could be seen as a pre-emptive against trolls wanting to sue for a BS reason.

Besides, free will is still here... if they EFF you over, sell your Steam account and be done with it.
Although, they have not done any wrong to me and are usually willing to work with us... this does not affect me either.

Now, back to Torchlight.
so If gabe killed my dog I can't sue him?
BattleAxe  +   707d ago
I don't have much of a problem with the ToS. If Valve ever starts to do something that affects me and I don't like it, I won't buy anymore games from them....simple as that. I doubt I would go out of my way to sue them anyway.
ronin4life  +   707d ago
@adorie
You can't sell your steam account outside of Europe.
da_2pacalypse  +   707d ago
Not sure why people are making a big deal out of this... It's valve, come on guys... they're like the nicest company in the gaming industry
nukeitall  +   707d ago
I trusted Valve, but this ain't good! Disabling your account and access to your games? Seriously?

This is as bad as EA, and I hope it is wrong!!!
SilentNegotiator  +   707d ago
Steam is DRM. And bad DRM....because freaking ALL of your games are tied to it.

But hey, if something went wrong, I would just pirate all the games I purchased. I wouldn't even feel remotely bad about pirating under those circumstances.
#1.1.7 (Edited 707d ago ) | Agree(12) | Disagree(3) | Report
BaconBits  +   706d ago
I agree with finding the games other ways but I would still lose ability to play online right?
FredEffinChopin  +   706d ago
Actually it's not at all like this with any piece of commercial software. Most software is a piece of merchandise itself, with an agreement attached that is made upon purchase. Steam is a free service where people have *already paid lots of money* to "own" products that may no longer be accessed unless you agree to new terms that were not present when you originally made the deal. It's similar to what Sony did, except instead of being prohibited to use the PSN in the future as on the PS3, anyone here who doesn't agree with the terms loses everything they already paid for. I honestly see this as ground for a suit. But anyway, yeah, they're nothing alike. I think the crux of your statement though, whether you realize it or not, is right here:

"Not that I agree with what Valve is doing though; but it doesn't affect me in any way."

Let me ask, will it then be worth discussing if it happens to step on your own personal toes one day?

*edit* Also your comment is "not a reply". Sorry, but it isn't. People just commenting to the top comment for visibility is one of the things that makes the comments here such a mess to navigate. 80% of the replies on an article to one comment...
#1.1.9 (Edited 706d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(1) | Report
Irishguy95  +   707d ago
Kind of annoying in that way...I mean, what about all the games I've payed for on Steam up until now, if I don't want to accept the new agreements do I lose the games too?

I mean...I don't mind so much I don't care about new Tos because it doesn't affect, it's just annoying the way business gets done if you know what I mean.
#1.2 (Edited 707d ago ) | Agree(9) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
TiberiusGill  +   707d ago
It's all take and no give. "We want things this way, and if you don't agree, don't be our customer."
You've gotta meet consumers half way and Steam don't care for that, apparently.
SilentNegotiator  +   707d ago
"It's all take and no give. "We want things this way, and if you don't agree, don't be our customer." "

Worse than that, it's...

"Agree with our terms or lose your hundreds/thousands of dollars worth of paid games"
Fierce Musashi  +   707d ago
Nasty. *sigh* Should I expect more things like this down the road? -_-'
Sony360  +   706d ago
This is why the new EU law is good. Whatever you have purchased is yours, and they have no right to steal it from you.
snipes101  +   707d ago
Another reason why I am very leery of digital distribution. They bought those games under the OLD TOS. Now, if they don't want to accept the new one (for whatever reasons) they get screwed out of games that they paid for. Doesn;t seem right to me.
Ducky  +   707d ago
Steam is a form of DRM, so if you bought a game from steam (or one that uses steamworks), you'd have to comply with their new TOS. Doesn't matter if that game was originally bought as a physical disc or not.

If you bought your games from other digital distributors that don't use DRM (such as GOG), then you'll never run into this kind of problem.

You can similarly be locked out of online portions of your games on consoles if you don't comply with PSN/XBL TOS, or the game publisher's own TOS. (Although that isn't as bad as locking you out of the game completely like steam)
So the issue here isn't really about digital distribution.
#3.1 (Edited 707d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(5) | Report | Reply
vickers500  +   707d ago
Yeah, it still is. You may be locked out of online portions of your game on a console, but there's no way the publishers or devs can physically come to your house and take the disc away from you.

With discs, you can still play at least some of the game. With digital distribution, you wont be able to play any of it.
Ducky  +   707d ago
^ As I said, the issue isn't digital distribution itself, it's the DRM that is on it.

There are digital retailers like GOG and GamersGate that don't use DRM, and as such, you'll always be able to play your game.

Furthermore, in the case of PC gaming, it wouldn't matter if you had a physical disc or not. EA, Blizzard or Valve don't need to snatch a physical disc from my hand, they'll just disable the account that the physical game was activated on (and that renders the entire thing unplayable).
#3.1.2 (Edited 707d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(2) | Report
snipes101  +   707d ago
Just because "that is how it is" doesnt make it right. If you paid for it, there should be no if's and's or but's about it. They should not have the right to just take it away from you like that - DRM or not.

Even if there were rules like this back in the PS1 and N64 days, at least the companies couldnt wirelessly lock you out of your shit if they decided to change policy and you didnt agree to it.

How are you okay with any of this?
Persistantthug  +   707d ago
@FatOldMan.....I think you're missing the point.
The point is, is with physical copies, you still have some power left.
You can still buy, sell, trade the copy at your own free will and leisure.

With digital, you pretty much forgo all of your power, such as with this....."DO WHAT WE SAY, OR WE'LL TAKE AWAY ALL OF YOUR SH17".

I'll keep my physicals, thanks.
#3.1.4 (Edited 707d ago ) | Agree(6) | Disagree(2) | Report
Ducky  +   707d ago
@Snipes

When did I say I was ok with any of this?

I'm just saying that the issue here isn't digital distribution itself.

If you want to argue about if it's right or not, then steam's agreement has always said that they reserve the right to change the terms and conditions at any time.
Whenever you buy a game, you are reminded of those terms, and you have to agree to them.

So since day-1, you have agreed that Valve can change the terms at any time, and you'd be fine with it. So why the surprise?

@Persistant

My point is, that in digital distribution, you don't necessarily have to do what they say.
#3.1.5 (Edited 707d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(2) | Report
snipes101  +   707d ago
I never agreed to anything because I dont use steam because I dont like digital distribution.
vickers500  +   707d ago
"There are digital retailers like GOG and GamersGate that don't use DRM, and as such, you'll always be able to play your game."

Until developers start making their games exclusive to a single distribution platform like Origin or Steam. Larger devs might look at EAs origin and make their own unwanted but necessary distribution service. Then most, if not all (probably not all, but most) games you would be forced to use their drm if you want to play the game.

"Furthermore, in the case of PC gaming, it wouldn't matter if you had a physical disc or not. EA, Blizzard or Valve don't need to snatch a physical disc from my hand, they'll just disable the account that the physical game was activated on (and that renders the entire thing unplayable)."

With digital distribution, devs can take away both sp and mp, with physical media, devs can only take away online, at least when it comes to consoles. With PC they can just implement drm onto the disc, so there's that problem, but I'm talking about a digital distribution future as a whole, not just for pc games. Digital distribution as a whole poses many problems.

So the issue still is with digital distribution, because if gaming goes DD only, then digital distribution and DRM will become one in the same, at least for most titles. You can get into technicalities like "it's drm/devs that's the problem, not dd", but the fact is, most big devs will force DRM into their games if digital distribution ever becomes the norm.
Ducky  +   707d ago
^ Well, on PC, the dark future is already here. Blizzard, EA and Valve have their own respective platforms, while some publishers (Rockstar and Ubisoft) have their own DRMs.

Buying a game digitally or physically doesn't matter on PC because you end up in the same place.

Now, the reason I like to keep a distinction between DD and DRM is that one leads to the other, but you have it backwards. Devs didn't force DRM after DD, rather, they forced it before everything went digital.

If digital was to take over on consoles, then I think that DRM would have to arrive first, and that's where you'll lose your rights. Of course, I could be wrong and things might just directly go digital, but based on history, I have a feeling DRM-like practices would be first.

We're already seeing something similar on consoles now where it's becoming increasingly rare to just insert a disc and play without entering some code, whether for some locked single-player content or multiplayer.

Piracy was used as an excuse on PC. Used-games market is now used as an excuse for increasingly draconian measures on console games.

Other than that, it isn't impossible for Valve to allow people to keep playing their games under old TOS. Valve could allow users to sell their games too. They can give users the same freedoms as the Atari days. It's not an inherent element of DD to impose those restrictions.
#3.1.8 (Edited 707d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report
vickers500  +   707d ago
By itself, digital distribution doesn't necessarily mean DRM, obviously, but if the DD-only future comes, it's not coming alone, it will definitely be coming with DRM. It's kind of pointless to talk about both of them as if they were separate entities, because they wont be.

It will be up to the developers to decide whether or not you will get screwed over.

Digital Distribution in a perfect world would be fine, but we don't live in a perfect world, we live in a world full of greedy assholes who will do everything in their power to milk every last cent from the consumer that they possibly can, which is why you have to assume that DRM will come with the DD future. DD-only will bring about these service locked games, but at least with the physical media that we've already purchased on consoles and some pc games, we can still play those at any time we want(the single player aspect), and devs cant do anything about that, but if things were to switch over to digital distribution, I could lose the ability to play any of the game that I've purchased on my digital titles.

Digital only future is bad for gaming, at least in the world we live in.

I myself am actually fearing that one day, all those games I bought on PSN (like 300 dollars worth of stuff) will someday be taken down because they're old and Sony wont want to spend the money on the servers to keep the content up for download.
#3.1.9 (Edited 707d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report
Sony360  +   706d ago
The problem isn't digital distribution, it's that they shouldn't have the right to block or change anything that you have paid for without your permission.
Elwenil  +   707d ago
Exactly. I think it's odd how people agree to a contract in good faith and then suddenly one party changes the contract without your permission and you get screwed and yet so many people think that is ok. Valve just lost me as a customer and probably a lot of other people as well.
Farsendor1  +   707d ago
didn't sony do something like this a few years ago?
PirateThom  +   707d ago
Yes and people complained, but you could still play your games offline.
Wedge1082  +   707d ago
Yes, but Sony let people opt-out.
beerkeg  +   706d ago
You can play your games offline with Steam.
Ocelot525  +   706d ago
but you have to login after three days,

on the PS3 you never have to login to play your games
#4.3.1 (Edited 706d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report
Farsendor1  +   706d ago
that is one thing origin does do better then steam.

yes steam you can use offline mode it is iffy though sometimes it works sometime it don't
beerkeg  +   706d ago
You know what, I didn't know that. I was under the impression that I could still play all my games even if I didn't have the internet anymore.

My attitude has changed tbh, that's pretty shitty. I've got most of my games through the sales, and I'm damned if I'm paying full price for anything from Steam anymore if this is the case.

EDIT:I'm sure I've used offline mode for more than 3 days before. I'll have to look into this, but I was off the internet for a few weeks last year and I could play every game I had installed.

Hmm.
#4.3.3 (Edited 706d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report
shaun mcwayne  +   707d ago
Yeah you should be able to play the games you have already purchased without accepting new terms, If you dont accept new terms you cant buy new games.
ninjahunter  +   707d ago
Well, sucks to be the 50% or so that this actually affects, well about 1% of that 50% but whatever. Sides when was the last time you wanted to or tried to sue valve? Never i presume.
ExCest  +   707d ago
People are making too big of a deal out of this. There is no reason to hate Valve and sue them. No reason at all.
pandehz  +   707d ago
Something bad is bout to happen and they need the law on their end when all hell breaks loose.

Another account/money details hack incoming or something?
brish  +   707d ago
They are using a broken legal system to take away your rights. Something bad did happen!
ronin4life  +   707d ago
I bet it has to do with the recent ruling in European courts that you can resell digital Licenses.
Anyone here good with law? Could valve block any attempts of a court here to follow the EU(or whichever country it was) by keeping individuals from suing and claiming the new EU law as precedence?
rufusman91  +   707d ago
Physical copies will always be better then digital downloads
AnarchistAbe  +   706d ago
I have physical copies that demand Steam...
ggc94   707d ago | Spam
ACEMANWISE  +   707d ago
It's called online control. Most abuse it. Some won't. These companies seem to be trying to offer a service and nothing else. If one could keep games then their services would no longer be needed. This is why they keep positioning themselves with these constantly updated legal agreements. It allows them more leverage to keep their service industry going....and they achieve this leverage by threatening the consumer to agree or take away their game access. If one were to think this through they would realize that there are two options: Agree to lose them slow or agree to lose them now.
aiBreeze  +   707d ago
I wonder how long it will be before this becomes the norm with all forms of games? It's going to get worse before it gets better.
Tsuru  +   707d ago
This is their way to prevent class action lawsuits for the new European law that was passed. Just accept it and move on.
Ducky  +   707d ago
Actually, the prevention of class-action lawsuits only really holds in the US.
Most places including the EU have laws that prevent companies from restricting consumer rights.

If Valve was trying to avoid something, it would be the ruling that says that software licenses can be resold by users. New agreement refers to the games as a limited subscription, so they're not obliged to allow users to re-sell their steam games.
ronin4life  +   707d ago
That is kind of what I was thinking.
aviator189  +   707d ago
I don't use steam, but I can see how this would be frustrating.
ronin4life  +   707d ago
...You won't find this kind of problem with Nintendo ANYTIME in the near future...(if at all)

/BeingThatGuy
DarkHeroZX  +   706d ago
lol the moment you get comfortable with the way the big 3 handle things is the moment they can bend ou over and leave you a nasty surprise. Don't ever trust big business. Their only purpose is to make money not please you.
AnarchistAbe  +   706d ago
Yeah, because Nintendo is spinning in the shitter, and can't afford to lose any more customers.
RockmanII7  +   707d ago
Don't worry, if Steam shuts down access to your games you still have backups on ThePirateBay.
StayStatic  +   707d ago
I just accepted this blindly & could end up a humancentipad at this rate.
#16 (Edited 707d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
ChunkyLover53  +   707d ago
This is terrible, but this is sadly the future of gaming without physical media.
guitar_nerd_23  +   707d ago
It's potentially quite scary, if the agreement can change years after you purchased a game under a different agreement.

You should at least be able to play the games you own offline.
Wedge1082  +   706d ago
Agreed. Not that I'm wanting to join some class action lawsuit against them, but it sucks that they can just up and change the contract and tell me that I can pound sand if I don't like it.
vega275  +   707d ago
i have lost A LOT of respect for valve with this ToS and basically holding my games and profile hostage unless i sign away my rights. I've never had a problem with valve, in fact I've supported them in whatever they've done. But i have to say this is the most F@&CKED up any company could do. i expect this kind of s*&t from MS with GFWL or EA with ORIGIN,even $ony's P$N and M$ with live. but valve i held with great respect. now in my book they are growing to be one of the worst.

I've wouldn't have join a class action suit against valve since they've always help me with a problem in the past. but forcing me to sign(and i do mean Forcing me) this new ToS or lose my 165 games I've bought with no refund and no way of accessing them if i don't agree. is at a all time low for me.
#19 (Edited 707d ago ) | Agree(5) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
deadfrag  +   707d ago
Know imagine that 5 from 10 years from know steam goes down for good ....all those sweet licence games we all brought on steam go away!!That the reason we shoud not accept digital only,and support another média suport dvd,bluray....Iwant to be able to acess my games anytime and anywere from now till i die!
bloodtank  +   707d ago
Well, I just lost 500 games, but its time to say goodbye to Steam... Been wanting to for a while, its a dagger in my back, but a step away from communism we need to take... Later Steam, your one step closer to digging your own grave.
ExCest  +   707d ago
Why did you decline it?

If you really do have 500 games, that probably means you're a long time user. And if you were, you would know this won't affect you in any way.
aliengmr  +   707d ago
While the idea Valve can cut you off from your games is disconcerting, people need to be clear about what you are agreeing to.

You CAN still sue Valve. You CANNOT join a class suit. If you were going to sue valve for compensation, a class suit is NOT they way to go since you won't likely get anything out of it anyway.

I think Valve needs to make it so you have total access to your games minus the service they provide should you not agree.

At the end of the day Valve sells games. Entertainment. You aren't risking your life savings, your children's futures or your freedom. Just games. If Valve up and shuts down out of the blue, my guess is there will be bigger problems to worry about.
bloodtank  +   707d ago
Get the word out, this is a good wake up call that needs supporting.. time for new software laws and end this bullshit greed from publishers that are only trying to cease a 2nd hand market, Markets rule the world, fuck you and your greed!
Next thing ya know, I'll need to scan my friends credit card if he wants to come over and sit in my gaming chair.
aliengmr  +   707d ago
Weren't you just talking about communism? You want new laws imposed on the private sector and you want to step away from "communism"?

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say you don't know what you are talking about.
Captain Tuttle  +   707d ago
Next the TOS will require a yearly payment of $10 or you'll lose access to all of your games.
aliengmr  +   707d ago
And yet Valve has shown no inclination of doing so.

"Could" it happen, sure. But what about the negative side of such an action? You really think its as simple as Gabe waking up one morning and deciding to charge a fee for the service? Consider:

1. Why do that? Valve isn't in any financial trouble, in fact quite the opposite.

2. How would the publishers that use Steam feel about it? What effect will it have on their EULAs?

3. Will the inevitable surge in piracy be worth it?

4. Will 10$ a year be worth losing a large amount of customers? Will it be worth sacrificing all the trust they built over the years?

Its really easy to look at a company like Valve and assume they're just a heartless corporation who only cares about the bottomline. Its just as easy to forget what they've been doing for the past 7 or 8 years.

Point is, yes there are kinks in the DD system and I hope they are fixed, but I'll give Valve the benefit of the doubt. After all, 7 years of great service is worth that much at least. Not everyone has the same experiences, but based on Steam's popularity many would agree.
jjb1981  +   707d ago
One of many reasons why fully-digital gaming isn't ready....
harrisonxxi  +   707d ago
Goddamn people are stupid. All class action lawsuits are good for is paying lawyers. They are bad for consumers, they are bad for companies. Arbitration is almost always better for the consumer to begin with. Bind arbitration clauses also, gasp, happen to be the law of the land.
Xof  +   707d ago
I'm not sure how this changes anything. Steam customer support is bottom-tier AWFUL. I've had issues with the Steam application that took -years- to solve via Valve "support tickets."

Hell, on no less than three occassions I've had steam delete games from my account, and then REFUSE to add them back despite the fact that they showed up on my account statement, that I had reciept emails, etc., etc. The most recent one was Napoleon: Total War. After about a month of pointless back-and-forth with Steam support, I finally just contacted SEGA. They sent me a new CD key for the game inside of two hours.

Steam is just ass-backwards bad.
AO1JMM  +   707d ago
Disable my Steam account? How about you (Valve) give me a physical copy of my 50+ games I have in my library and I'll take my business else where!

But.......

I dont really care and accepted anyway. Lol
Awesome-Xanto  +   707d ago
And this would be why I won't accept digital downloads, and will leave gaming when it becomes the norm. It has nothing to do with them wanting to keep people from doing class action lawsuits, but it has absolutely everything to do with them thinking it's okay to take away something I payed for.

People need to wise up, your ridiculously giving services like Steam and Onlive the ability to control your purchases.

It's going to be one messed up future...
ALLWRONG  +   707d ago
I refused
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