Revenge of the Gamers
Oh Sh*t: Steam Sued Over Gaming Prices!
So first gamers take down Wall Street and now they're coming after the gaming giant Steam: Valve is being sued by five gamer bros that claim Steam is driving up the prices of games with predatory practices.
Ok, so let's try to get through this without any boring law & judiciary vocabulary, so you understand how f***ing cool this lawsuit actually is:
Valve owns Steam. Steam sells games for the PC. Valve has a contract with developers that makes them sell games on other platforms at the same price tag they have on Steam. This means that games can't be sold cheaper on any other outlet.
How Can They Sue Steam Over Their Gaming Prices?
The whole 'making developers sell their games for the same price everywhere' is called a 'Most Favored Nations' provision – or MFN for short. The problem with MFNs is that they lead to exclusivity and invite collusion. Not to complicate things, but the Department of Justice actually just held a workshop on MFNs. They're a problem and Steam is taking advantage of them and abusing their power.
So these five gamer bros filed a legit complaint in which they said that Steam is particularly F'd up for doing this during a pandemic that's made gaming bigger and more relevant before.
Basically, the courts now have to decide whether or not Steam is engaging in predatory conduct. Predatory. Yes. Sounds spicy, doesn't it? If the lawsuit is successful it would mean that other outlets can sell games at whatever price they see fit and create more competition in the gaming market.
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What Happens if the Gamer Bros Win the Steam Lawsuit?
If they win, then that's good for all gamers. It would mean that any other gaming outlet could sell games at whatever price they want. Steam, selling the new Far Cry for 60 bucks? Cool, maybe another company cuts a deal with Ubisoft to sell it for 40 bucks.
If the lawsuit is won by the gamers, it would create more competition for Steam and whenever there is competition within a market, the consumers win.
If you want to read the full story on the lawsuit, as well as see the full complaint that's been filed, you can do that here.
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