Valve Appeals French Court Decision. Why it Matters

   Four years ago, Valve got themselves in a bit of a pickle with a French consumer organization, UFC- Que Choisir. Essentially it was about the inability to resell games to other people from your library (even though you can technically sell and trade gifted games). The ruling would force Valve to change their terms of service and allow Steam users to resell their games or pay a fine of 3k Euro for up to 6 months (honestly for Valve, 540,000 euros doesn’t sound too bad). Four years later and the High Court of Paris gave UFC the greenlight, ruling in favor.

  Now while it would be nice to sell your old games you don’t play anymore, especially that of AAA games you stopped playing years ago, however this could be horribly damaging to the Indie game devs as it’ll be much more difficult to get revenue from Steam. They’ll have no choice but to go to EGS to make a living, and that’ll result in damaging Steam horribly as well. Valve plans to appeal the ruling. If it fails, this ruling stands across all of the European Union, not just France. Kotaku was told that the decision will have no effect on Steam while its in appeal.

   There are a few other things to mention in the ruling but not nearly as damaging as the reselling of games. For instance, UFC took a jab at the fact that Valve keeps users’ money in their steam wallets. So they’d also have to change to make the user to receive money from their steam wallet on demand. Valve also has to accept responsibility if an item on Steam caused them harm, even if it’s in beta. The most devastating one is that Valve’s rights to users’ modes and community content will also be diminished. This means that Valve cannot put any items in their games and will completely destroy the markets and communities of CSGO, Dota 2 and TF2 as well as the entire Steam Workshop. Dota 2 heavily relies on Dota 2 item sets made by the community, as they’re part of the many rewards in Battle Passes and crates. CSGO relies on the weapon skins, stickers and sprays that the community creates, they help fill up the crates and operation rewards. TF2 will be hit the hardest because a huge chunk of the game itself is carried by the community for the community. Hats, weapons, weapon skins, misc items, entire maps and even entire updates have been made alone by the community. Not only will these games be hit hard but many of the creators of items that depend on items will be screwed over entirely.

   This is to say that this ruling could completely fuck up Steam in its entirety. Not only will indie devs have very little monotization on Steam and move to EGS, but potential updates for Valve games will be completely ruined with no community input, thus crashing the entire economy. Hopefully Valve will successfully appeal or just pay the fine. Because accepting this law for Europe will surely destroy the communities and storefront that Valve has worked so hard to build. Say what you want about Steam and how it doesn’t benefit Indie Devs anyways, especially with Valve’s inconsistent ‘Hands Off’ Policy, but Valve has always worked hard to foster it’s massive communities (minus TF2), its servers (minus TF2) and storefront (besides fucking Steam Direct).