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Submitted by andrewsimons 1029d ago | news

Valve sued in Germany over game ownership

The Federation of German Consumer Organizations (VZVB) has sued computer game distributor Valve because it prohibits Steam-gamers from reselling their games. (PC, Steam Valve, Valve)

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Knight_Crawler  +   1029d ago
Faith in humanity restored.

Thanks Germany!
jimbobwahey  +   1029d ago
Yup, a small victory for the consumer, albeit only in Germany. Hopefully other countries follow suit and prompt Valve to change their policy.
ChrisW  +   1029d ago
If they win against Valve, then we might be able to sell our old MS Windows or Mac IOS... Or better yet we would be able to sell our WoW accounts without fear of being banned...

Yeah, that ain't going to happen!
aliengmr  +   1029d ago
What victory?

In 2010 Valve was sued by the VZVB and the VZVB lost.

The CJEU said last year that selling "used" licenses is legal.

The VZVB just filed a new lawsuit in order to use the precedent.

That is all that happened. Valve responded to its customer complaints and decided to allow its customers to access the games they already bought if they choose to decline future changes to the EULA.

Personally I the ruling of the CJEU is very vague and could carry many unintended consequences. Valve has expressed interest in allowing users to trade used games, but they aren't in a position to do anything with third party software.

I really don't see how suing Valve will accomplish anything.
Somebody  +   1029d ago
Right around Sony and MS are starting the next gen war since it is rumored that preventing reselling games is one of the main functions of next gen consoles.
bozebo  +   1029d ago
Hmm... But people could have also chosen to just not buy things on Steam if not being able to sell games on is a bother. Most of the games I buy on Steam cost less than they would've for a 2nd hand physical copy anyway.

As long as they pass the reduction in distribution costs to the consumer then it's better for gamers and developers (devs get cash that is otherwise lost when a game is sold 2nd hand and also that cashflow means they can keep making games, that aren't AAA, because only AAA games work on a boxed retail model now).

Another point, if Valve were forced to allow 2nd hand sales on Steam, loads of developers would stop using steam and just self publish (to restrict 2nd-hand sales). Steam would only be attractive to tiny developers who need to appear on there for publicity, which again I feel self publishing can work especially because of their specific niche audience.
#2 (Edited 1029d ago ) | Agree(7) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
born2live  +   1029d ago
If I resell my car, is the car maker entitled to get money out of the transaction? Nope. Has it stopped car makers from making cars? Nope. Then why do I keep reading comments from people who believe developpers should get paid when I resell my games, because if they don't they'll stop making games? How does that make sense? I'm fed up with online passes, region locks, online DRMs and all those cheap tactics that are only meant to squeeze a few more dollars from us, the consumers. It should be illegal. Kudos to Germany, and I hope the VZVB wins that one. Heck, maybe I should start something in my country too...
Ducky  +   1029d ago
Games aren't cars. They're a different industries and you can't expect the same rules to apply across the board.

When it comes to digital content, allowing for the resale of used content is something that is quite difficult to accomplish.

Physical PC games can't be resold since the advent of CD Keys, so suing Valve doesn't make much sense.
That... and Valve isn't really the kind of company that abuses their customers.
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ChrisW  +   1029d ago
Most of the games that I bought on STEAM were on sale for 50 or 75% off. It's like buying them used in the first place. So I don't care if I can't resell them.

On the flip side, I do have a lot of games that I bought in packages that I will never play nor install and would rather *delete* them from my account since they are only cluttering up my Games Library.
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kevnb  +   1029d ago
cars are made to break over time, games arent.
matgrowcott  +   1029d ago
The point I think too many people are missing over this is that this isn't a Steam issue, it's just that Steam are the biggest digital distributor. If they are forced into allowing sell-back, every other digital distributor will have to as well.

It won't be a case of developers choosing whether to use Steam or not, it'll be a choice of selling their games online or not.
#2.2 (Edited 1029d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
born2live  +   1029d ago
Very true. Bubble up!
aliengmr  +   1029d ago
True. But I would caution people who think this is a good idea.
dennett316  +   1029d ago
Devs are not entitled to our cash purely because they make a game....they have to earn it by making a decent quality title. Rather than trying to nickle and dime people to death, they should try giving gamers incentives to buy new rather than going out of their way to punish those who don't.
Second hand sales often benefit developers and publishers, more than they'd care to admit I'd imagine. It's certainly a valuable resource for games that didn't do so well and thus received limited release, often second hand is the only way to get a hold of some games. A cheap second hand sale of a good game like Dead Space may well lead to DLC purchases and purchases of further games in the series upon release. Second hand game sales also are used to fund new game purchases - something that would no doubt be useful in the digital space as well.

I think devs and publishers are remarkably short sighted when it comes to second hand sales...especially in the financial climate we have nowadays. Treat your customers like the enemy, and they'll simply go elsewhere for their gaming fix.
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kostchtchie_  +   1029d ago
think people are not getting the whole picture its about OWNERSHIP of what you buy no matter if it is digital or retail, not just reselling for cash
kevnb  +   1029d ago
Im not sure I like this, as a programmer myself I dont want people reselling my code to each other. It doesnt wear out like an actual material thing. Whats going to end up happening is that programmers are going to have to make sure their code breaks eventually, just like engineers do with material electronics.
Insane087  +   1029d ago
it'll probably go nowhere they've got to have a ton of stuff in their terms and services about it... on greenman gaming you can trade in certain digital downloaded games never understood how that works tho do they just reset the key or something?
3-4-5  +   1029d ago
Kind of true.

If I buy a Digital Download for $20 I should be able to sell it used for like $5
Pandamobile  +   1029d ago
Used implies that it was actually used. Meaning it's no longer brand new. Digital games are not affected by age or wear and tear.
ShaunCameron  +   1028d ago
The funny thing is Valve doesn't own most of the games they sell on Steam. This ruling is not gonna go over well with publishers that support Valve's EULA.

Either they will comply with the law but lock out certain games from German clients by publisher request, or they'll just lock out Germany (and maybe Europe) altogether.
#7 (Edited 1028d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
aliengmr  +   1028d ago
But hey, lets do it anyway! /s

I'm all for being able to trade used games, but all I hear is people arguing for the ability minus any real discussion on how it will be done.

There seems to be no real consideration for any problems that might arise as a result. Be careful what you wish for.

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