Why I’m No Longer Buying Games On Steam [Opinion]

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leavesteam   Why I’m No Longer Buying Games On Steam [Opinion]I don’t think anyone understood how important the Steam games service would become when it was released in 2003. The general mood, as I recall it, was skepticism. Valve was a great game developer, but opening a digital game store was an entirely different business with different challenges.

Steam is now approaching 10 years old. Its impact has been undeniable. Millions of gamers enjoy the service’s seamless community services, low prices and excellent selection. I have been one of them – until now. While I will be keeping my current Steam games (of course) I will no longer be buying products there. If a game is released only through Steam, I will not play it. Here’s why.

The Turning Point

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Valve recently released new terms of service that deny users the right to a class action lawsuit. This is, at least in the United States, entirely legal. The only way to resolve a dispute is through binding arbitration with Valve.

That’s a bad thing to do, but it’s also understandable. Every company has moved to exclude class action lawsuits ever since the United States Supreme Court struck down a California law that forbids companies from excluding class action suits in their terms of service.

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What really struck me, however, was Valve’s response to those curious about what would happen if they denied the updated terms of service.

Thank you for contacting Steam Support.

We can permanently deactivate your account for you, remove any stored payment information and clear your Steam games profile.

Disabling your account will not result in a refund, as explained in the Steam Subscriber Agreement.

The games in your account will not be accessible for future use. It is impossible to make your games available once your account has been deactivated and your information deleted or archived. Once we have permanently deactivated the account, we will not be able to reactivate the account upon a future request.

Yep. If you don’t want to accept the new terms of service you have the right to have all the games you purchased deactivated. Forever.

A Problem Of Precedent

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This is troublesome not just because of the class-action issue. It’s troublesome because Valve is saying it has the right to changes the terms of service at any time. If the user choses to reject the new terms, Valve will not give the user the chance to continue using games purchased under the earlier terms. Those games will simply vanish, along with the user’s account.

I’m not a legal expert, but as far as I’m aware, there’s no precedent in law that prevents Valve from doing this. You could sue, but there’s no guarantee you’ll win. Companies change their terms of service all the time, in fact, and this is okay as long as users are notified.

I’ve heard fellow gamers speak in horrified whispers about this exact problem, but most assumed it would happen only after Steam was bought out by another company. They haven’t been bought out, but those worst nightmares are coming true.

If Valve thinks it is okay to hold games hostage in order to force users to accept terms of service that deny their right to a class action lawsuit, what else might they do?

We’re In Deep

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In 2010 I wrote an article for The Escapist titled Steam: A Monopoly In The Making, in which I shared my concerns about Steam. I was troubled because Steam had such a large share of the digital distribution market, and that share seemed to be growing. This puts gamers in a position where Steam is sometimes the only choice or, because of the success of Steam sales, the only logical one.

The fact I’ve purchased titles through Steam since I wrote that article is a testament to the service’s strength. In many cases, I had no choice – the games were not available without a Steam account. If I were to leave Steam by disputing their new terms of service I would be giving up access to about 100 games that I have paid for.

Most of us are in deep with Steam, and we’ll only get in deeper as time goes on. This gives Steam additional leverage to use against us when they change the terms of service. The situation reminds me of the Penny Arcade cartoon that made fun of Microsoft’s subscription music service. Yeah, you can leave any time you want. So long as you don’t mind killing all your favorite games.

What Can You Do?

Leaving Steam isn’t really an option, and wouldn’t do anything besides destroy access to some of my favorite titles. I will, however, stop buying games from the service.

What are the alternatives? Well, there’s GOG. Formerly known as Good Old Games, the service changed its title because it no longer restricts itself to old games. They’re 100% DRM free. You need to log in to your account to download, but that’s it.

The Humble Indie Bundle and similar offers provide another solution. They can deck you out with numerous games for one affordable price (which you get to choose). Again, it’s DRM free.

And then there are the rare developers that release games entirely on their own. One example is 2×2 Games, whose recent strategy game Unity Of Command can be purchased directly from the developers.

I’m not saying this will be easy. There are a lot of games that I’ll miss out on because I don’t want to purchase from Steam any longer. But I think that, in the long run, it will be the better choice. I don’t want to have 100 more games tied to my account when Steam inevitably takes some other disruptive action that I don’t agree with.

What do you think of Steam games?  Will you be walking away from Steam?  Or are you sticking with them?  Tell us your opinion in the comments below.

Image Credit: Jason Jones, Keith Burtis, Penny Arcade

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104 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

rich

So have you had a lot of gaming class action lawsuits?

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Jason Frovich

WOW, i will also stop using steam after reading this, what a joke, and with Direct 2 drive gone. Guess i’ll move my gaming to my xbox 360

Ashesfaded

Moving towards Microsoft consoles is only an option until the next gen console is released. Theres mention of M$ implementing a system that limits game titles to a single console rendering rentals, and buying pre-owned games impossible. Can’t lend your games out or take them to your buddies house to play. Its in effect becoming the Origin or STEAM of the Console world ;(

Dario

I would be more warried if Steam changed policy of privacy and personal data (something that in example facebook is continuosly doing without no one concerned).

My main troubles with steam are about usability, why the f*** provide a “remember password” button if everytime I play I have to re-insert the password or going through a full password reset (not counting the times I had to re-install from scratch because something get corrupted and sanity fix didn’t worked).

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Daleus

As the gaming industry continues to change andmature, it seems we are headed toward an era when games will not be purchased or played in any other fashion. I am confident some other way to do it will come along, but it’s beyond my ability to see the future.

I certainly understand your point of view, regarding ever changing ever cryptic and legally complicated Terms of Service and EULAs.

However, while reading through this article I could not answer a fundamental question – why would you launch a class-action suit against Steam?

I am litigation challenged, so I hope you’ll pardon my ignorance.

Lee

I thought the same thing. Since Steam is just an online service, I can’t really think of anything that would warrant legal action. Maybe if something happened where you purchased a game but it didn’t download, but then you could just work that out with their support team. You’d only have to sue if they didn’t do anything to help or something, but even then, a $50 game is nothing compared to the prices of a lawyer and a lawsuit, so most people would just give up at that point and eat the price of the game. Other than that, I can’t think of anything else that you could sue over.

Matt.Smith

“You’d only have to sue if they didn’t do anything to help or something, but even then, a $50 game is nothing compared to the prices of a lawyer and a lawsuit, so most people would just give up at that point and eat the price of the game. ”

Man, that sounds like a problem. What would keep companies from randomly screwing people over, or just not getting a damn?

Hmm….maybe a lawsuit where individuals lacking the time or resources to dispute a problem individually could band together. Maybe you could call this group of people the class, and they could take action against the company together?

Ah, well, a guy can dream.

Joshua Sheffield

So reason for a class action lawsuit would be for one lawsuit, with multiple people affected to get an outcome. An example would be easily seen in the auto industry as of late regarding the faulty accelerator. Instead of each person having to take Toyota to court, one lawsuit happens and everyone piles on.

Why would you ever sue Steam in this fashion? It is easy to Steam growing and becoming a dominate factor in the gaming industry. So what happens when they control a majority of the market and start to control the prices? When Napster happened with the record labels, there was a class action lawsuit filed by the US Government against the record labels for keeping the prices artificially high. Interesting that got settled and CDs went from 20 or 25 bucks down to like 15. Or another reason would be the leaking of your credit card information on some fault on their own, or selling your information without letting you know? There are things the company can do that impact all of their clients or bulks of their clients.

The basic ideas I have is rights. You bought the game, it is yours by your rights. I think it is wrong that anyone can try and force you to not use your right of going to court. The whole reason there is a civil court is to have a fair system in place for conflict resolution between parities. I also think if you do not agree with it, that not allowing you access to items you have legally bought is wrong.

So while yes 50 dollars for a game is no big deal compared to a price of a lawyer. What you bought 10 games? 100 games? What if 10,000 people bought 100 games, at 50 bucks? That is where class action lawsuits come into play. To be honest though you have a better chance of going to a small claims court (not needing a lawyer) and winning with them not showing up to every single small claims court.

khalddrogo

That problem with that is somewhere in the terms of services with Steam it says you don’t own the game, but you “rented” a license to play it.

Varis

And the problem with THAT is that every game you’ve ever purchased says the same thing, as does every single piece of software. It’s called a license agreement.
It’s actually an extremely normal thing, even though people make a big deal out of it every time any kind of digital distribution/online gaming discussion happens.

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BlueBearr

The point isn’t that he wants to sue Valve. The point is that Valve has demonstrated that they are willing to unilaterally change their terms of service, and that if you want to keep using the games *that you’ve already paid for* that your only recourse is to accept the new terms.

What if Valve decides that they want to change their terms so that you have to pay a maintenance fee for any games older than four years old? What if they decide to limit the number of devices that you can play a game on, and once you reach that limit you can no longer play that game – irregardless of whether older devices even exist any more?

What Valve has done is shown that the users of their service haven’t bought the games – they have only leased them, and the true owner is still Valve.

Personally, I am not sure what I will do with Steam in the future, but I will make sure that my gaming friends are aware of this change.

Matt Smith

Yes. Exactly. This isn’t about what I want to sue them for, it’s about Valve denying us a potential form of recourse if they screw up and then holding our games hostage so we are forced to accept the new terms.

Habib Alamin

I stopped reading the article around this point:
“Yep. If you don’t want to accept the new terms of service you have the right to have all the games you purchased deactivated. Forever.”

That sounds like a dick move and incredibly fishy. So you pay for the games and agree to one terms of service, then they can change the terms of service for that game? You can’t change the terms after you’ve already paid, can you?

If this could work the other way, I’d be accepting any terms, getting the games I want and then denying them after, but keeping the games I paid for and if they want to take them back, they have to accept my new terms. That’s basically what they’re doing, but with the money, instead of the games.

Maybe if it was a subscription service, you could change the terms of service. But once you’ve paid for something and you’re not paying for it anymore, the new terms shouldn’t affect you.

Habib Alamin

Goddamn it, sorry about the lack of paragraph breaks. I’m putting them in, but they’re not coming out. I have no idea what the problem is. This is my second comment today like this.

Juan Carlos Espinosa Agudelo

After you’ve commented, you’ll see the comment without paragraph breaks, but when you refresh the page it has the breaks.

You’re comment has the breaks :)

Tina

The reason for this is that ‘showing the comment right after it was posted’ is a hack James created. Native WordPress commenting doesn’t do that, it just shows a thank you message.

Antony Gossett

“I’m putting them in, but they’re not coming out. I have no idea what the problem is.”

That’s what she said…

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David

The solution is simple, accept their terms — keep your games — and then stop using their service for new games where possible and just buy new games from a new provider or from a brick-and-mortar store. At least then you now have a physical copy of the game that steam can never take away. It’s a fine way to ‘vote with your feet’ without causing too much disruption to yourself.

Matt Smith

Watch out with physical copies, too. You have to read the fine text very, very carefully. Many physical copies require activation via a service (be it Steam, Origin or whatever).

Joshua Sheffield

This also does not work. I bought a game, Warhammer 40k Dawn of War 2 from a brick and mortar store. I have multiple CDs and the codes…still have to register through Steam to even be able to play them. So while I have a physical copy, they can find ways to get rid of it…and not to mention more games still forcing you to play single player through online. So if your power or internet goes out, that is wasted.

Matt Smith

Yea, actually, Dawn of War 2 is one of those games I was burnt on. I still have the box and as far as I can tell the only way you know Steam is required is by spotting the small Steamworks logo.

FistMarine

I had the same problem with Duke Nukem Forever in Christmas 2011. I was excepting the game to run normally but it requires Steam! I fucking hate the fact they put DRM on psychical copies of game! This is the dumbest thing I ever seen! I understand the fact you buy games from steam digitally and use steam but the fact they put DRM on psychical copies of games is just…stupid.
Plus that you can’t use the game on another account. To play without steam, find a non steam crack or something. Fuck Steam!

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Adriel Mingo

The Zune Service is different though. You got to keep your 10 favorite songs at the end of the month and the price for listening to all of that music is very reasonable.

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Kannon Y

Great article Matt! This is an excellent summary of the controversy surrounding Valve’s circumvention of our legal system. As you’ve rightly argued, it’s time for gamers to find other services.

I think a lot of readers might not see the significance of Valve forcing their users to forgo class action lawsuits – after all, you still have the right to arbitration. Unfortunately, arbitration will always rule in favor of valve.

Readers might be better informed if they were told that Valve is now incentivized to abuse their customers in ways that, up to now, were discouraged by the potential for a class action lawsuit. Without that threat, combined with a captive market, they will most certainly engage in the most egregious of behaviors.

Gamersgate.com
Amazon.com

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Anon

And they ask why people pirate games

Brandon Clark

Yarrr matey.

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Anon

And they wonder why people pirate games

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Ed

I can’t see a situation where I would need to enter into a Class Action Lawsuit with Steam. Personally, I think the USA is litigation-happy and this modification to the TOS is basically Steam protecting their business.

Given that I’m in Canada, I can’t realistically sue them anyway. I’m not worried about losing my payment info if they’re hacked. My CC absolves me of liability in case of fraud.

I get that people are freaking out about “losing their rights” to sue. Give me a break. Steam is a private company, not the US Government. If you think for a moment that Steam is taking away your rights, you’re gargling bong water. They provide VIDEO GAMES, not Amendments to the Constitution.

Put it in perspective and game on.

Habib Alamin

“this modification to the TOS is basically Steam protecting their business.”

That’s not even the worst part though. The worst part is that if you don’t want to accept the new terms, you can’t keep your old games that you paid for and agreed to different terms when you bought them.

VestedGamr (it’s a username, ok?)

That’s essentially the same deal with practically every service. If you don’t accept the new terms, then you are legally required to discontinue use of that service, including any software tied into it. Yeah, I agree it’s BS, but it’s the kind of BS that’s a part of the industry standard. There’s no avoiding it unless you completely stop using electronic devices.

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Jason Alexander

My Steam Games are limited, since I prefer hard copy (I’m one of those weirdos who doesn’t think it’s unreasonable to keep track of my game discs). So, I guess I’ll just go with what I did with Skyrim: find a steam crack, and enjoy Steamless gaming. I play Tribes Ascend, and a few others that don’t go thru Steam’s matching system, looking forward to Torchlight 2, and I’ll not miss anything by dropping them.

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Elijah Swartz

Steam has some pretty deep affection many many people online. People love those biannual steam deals. It’s pretty satisfying to get a game for 75%.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUo1PgKksgw
http://www.slixor.co.uk/

I would say that Steam or sort of the Netflix on online movie streaming, at least in the US. Netflix is extremely popular as is steam, and there are some alternatives out there too, but Steam is by far the most popular. Remember when Netflix decided to rise their prices? Remember when they got boycotted severely and ended up going back to what the consumer wanted? I think it might be the same for Steam. If they do something that is very disagreeable, they will get heavily boycotted and revert back just to please the users.

I am a big fan of gog.com mainly because the games are 100% DRM free. Why wants possible frustration to be bundled with your entertainment, right?

In one or two sentences, what is your biggest problem with or fear of Steam right now? I did read the article. What would be bad about agreeing to their TOS? What would be so bothersome to not agree to it? I never could have imagined suing Steam over videogames myself. Court and lawyer fees would be greater that all I have spent on games on Steam. If Steam decided to start scamming people blatantly, I would think that some government agency would step in and intervene.

Juan Carlos Espinosa Agudelo

Like someone above said, it’s not about suing. It’s about knowing that even though you bought your games with full right, they can take them away. Imagine that you’ve bought $1000.- worth of games and some problem would come up. You would lose $1000 dollars in games and you can’t do anything about it. Valve gets to choose if you lose that money or not.

Ryan

First off,

You never buy games or any media with full right. Second if you spent $1000 in games, and they disappeared off Steam, you do have every right to find out what happened and try to get them back. If you did nothing wrong and you logged in and they were gone with no message, you definitely do have the right to call them and get an explanation. If there is no message, it would probably be a system error or something else, and they would probably go out of their way to fix that issue. Don’t think because they have a right to do something, that if they make a mistake that they won’t fix it and choose to say, sorry, but we decided to not fix the problem, tough luck. Now if they sent a message with why its gone and its valid, then that is different. Here is some food for thought.. I have read every post and NOT ONE one here mentions Steam removing a game either wrongfully or not… I mean does that not say something?? People seem to love to jump to the worst conclusions, yet I never seem to actually see much if anything to back it up… Not one person with a valid missing game issue let alone a missing game that they may have caused… The best are the ones that believe since they bought the disk that the Game Company can’t take your right to play it away just as easily… those that think that because they have the disk that the company can’t easily stop them… they are in for a rude awakening.

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Tony

Then people wonder why the masses pirate. I would rage if I spent thousands of dollars on a library just for it to vanish because of some stupid T.O.S.

God bless bittorrent and the silliness it allows me to avoid.

Habib Alamin

“God bless bittorrent”

God bless piracy and DRM cracks! BitTorrent can be used for a lot of stuff and I use it for non-piracy related tasks (no, not just downloading Linux either).

WhineAboutGames

Well, some of us wonder why the masses pirate when we *sell DRM-free games* for reasonable prices and the masses still steal ‘em.

I have complete sympathy with people cracking games to get what they paid for, but I can’t pretend that’s the reasoning behind even half or a quarter of the piracy out there.

Tony

Because it’s free and easier. And you’ll always have it. Simple as that. Sure the developers might feel the sting of lost revenue, and yes it may hurt the industry in the long run, but meh. Most of us pirates don’t care. If the internet were turned off permanently tomorrow, I’d have enough entertainment to keep me busy for the next 50 years. If not, I’d just go outside.

WhineAboutGames

Yeah, see, people like you? Are the problem. You are ruining it for the rest of us. Not just the developers, but the players. You are actively trying to stop there from being any games for the future, and your response is simply ‘meh’. Cause hey, you got yours, so screw everybody else!

And you wonder why companies come up with stupid stuff like this.

WhineAboutGames

Also, I am impressed at the sheer hypocrisy of going “and they wonder why people pirate” when you admit that your stealing has nothing at all to do with them. :)

Tony

Piracy != Stealing. Piracy = Piracy. You can’t copy bread. 99% of the time, I wouldn’t have bought the game/movie/album anyway. And really, you hit the nail on the head, I got mine so screw the rest. The industry is imploding, and it’s like a car wreck, you can’t look away. This studio closes, that one lays off a bunch of people, etc. Don’t worry, there will still be plenty of people who aren’t smart enough to get it for free that will keep SOMETHING afloat, or those that think “morals” matter (Darwin will come for those ones next).

Even if it WAS stealing I’d still do it. No one’s ever sorry they stole, cheated or murdered. They’re sorry they got caught.

And well if you don’t like me for it, well boo-freakin’-hoo, someone on the internet doesn’t like me. Who’dve thought that would ever happen >.>

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Christian West

This happens a lot in the library-world. Although you think you are purchasing items (such as games), usually you’ll find somewhere in the TOS saying that you are purchasing access to the games for the duration of your account. In other words, you’re basically renting them for the period. If they update their TOS and you don’t agree, you can close your account and they can delete it all because you’ve just stopped maintaining your rental of their games.

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Pakuska

Meh, I doubt I will ever find myself in the situation of sueing steam. And im generally happy about them and their support they provide. However, I have over 400 games on my steam account. I’ve had it for well over 8 years now, and its just incredibly scary to know they could deactive my account and any games that I have on it. Since I bought them with my own money, they should be mine, forever… Which is exactly why people dont want to buy any digital games. Because you dnt got the physical copy, and if the company decides to screw you over you just have to take it. :|

Its all highly unlikely they would do that without a good reason, but its still incredible scary.

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Chris Hoffman

This is pretty much US-only, but of course it’s illegal in Canada where I am and probably other countries.

Pretty much every service out there reserves the right to change their EULAs at any time, too. It is pretty ridiculous. And it’s true that a service like GOG can’t prevent you from playing games you’ve already downloaded.

On balance, I’m still a fan of Steam (as a non-American), but I do see where you’re coming from. I’ve heard great things about GOG, and more competition in this space is always good.

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Mick

The truth is when you buy a game, you’re not actually buying the game, you’re buying the right to play a game, not own it.

Imagine having a NetFlix account and just paying 2 bucks to be able to be able to watch Pulp Fiction whenever you want. And then paying 5 bucks to be able to watch Avatar whenever you wanted, and slowly but surely you’ll be filling your library. You don’t own the movie, you paid to be able to access it whenever you want. Same deal with Steam.

As for the arbitration clause, those are never 100% enforceable and can be over-turned and denied by a court depending by a case

Spurlz

You missed the fact that most movies don’t cost $2 retail – you pay full price in a store if you want to own a copy of the movie.
I paid $60 on Steam for Black Ops II – the same price anyone pays to OWN the game on Xbox or PS3.
I didn’t pay a discounted rental fee – I paid FULL price.
I agree with many that it is unlikely that Valve will just start screwing everyone over – I mean, as far as corporations go, they seem to be one of the most upstanding.

Here’s what scares me – the rights they now have to do ANYTHING without the threat of any real repurcussion…
Even upstanding citizens can go mad when they are given access to that kind of wealth & power…
It’s just sinful human nature…

“Either you die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”
~Batman – Dark Knight

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Arron Walker

I’ll not be buying anything on Steam for a long time – and I’m only going to agree so I can keep playing the games I have… although it’s tempting to deactivate steam and just get them all back by pirating them :\

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Tim

Can Steam change their TOS to something ridiculous (e.g., making older games require fees per use)? I suppose, but I think you’re missing a couple points.

The first is, Valve is a business. They are not going to do something that would potentially drive away current or new customers, especially with other services becoming available (like Origin). Years down the road if Valve has become the only source for playing games this might be possible, but it’s nowhere close to that.

The second thing is, anyone who uses the Internet today is agreeing to one form of TOS or another, it’s the way everything is going. Google, Facebook, Amazon, Yahoo, etc all have stuff that if you don’t agree to, could result in an account deactivation. It’s simply a reality of the world we live in, especially with everything becoming more and more cloud based.

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Tommy

Absolutely agree! Nothing used to anger me more than to purchase a game, say at Best Buy, and learn that the only way to play it was through Steam/Valve. I have since learned to check the packaging closely and avoid any Steam products. I personally have never seen any benefit from Steam controlling the way I use a product I “purchased” ( rent hell! ).

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Kxking

The thing is, as other readers said, with Valve you don’t purchase a product per se but an access.

It’s like if you pay an access for a year to your local public swimming pool club or whatever. If they decide to change the rules, like to make swimming hats mandatory. After that, either you go by the rule, or you don’t have access anymore.

Same thing here. It sucks but that’s the service you signed for in the first place.

Ryan

This needs to be expanded… Its not only Valve… but if you read the license agreement with any software… Whether on Steam or though Best Buy on a DVD-ROM, you only buy the license to run it… the having the disk is a very false sense of security.

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Senor3000

It’s seems a bit weird that they can restrict access to something you paid for unless you agree to contractual changes. However, it seems the trend these days is that we pay for licenses and not games.

I don’t know how Steam works because I bought only one (1) game there – CSS. I never bothered to play it since, after a years brake I had to email then proof of purchase in order to play my own game. I did so but it left me with a very sour taste. I never went back there unless to check the Steam Stats (hah).

Maybe these are all moot worries and Steam will last forever, then again maybe not.

Valve has said that in case it ever goes under it will free up the games. Honestly, I don’t see that happening in a million years.

Either they go under and that’s it. Let’s face it, when was the last time a sinking company tried to make right with it’s costumers?
Or, they are bought out and snowball’s chance in hell they are ever liberating the client base.

In short, Steam/Valve owns your game collection. This much is fact.
If it will ever comeback to bite you in the butt, remains to be seen.

Let’s not kid ourselves though, no matter the outcome, it surely wasn’t Steam’s service strength that has brought us up to this point ;)

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GodSponge

I think I’m going to stop buying new games from steam unless I can’t get it anywhere else.
GOG, amazon and gamersgate for me.

i’ll probably buy super cheap games on steam sales though.

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wow

All major gaming related companies have the same exact rights as Valve now does.
Still you can use Steam to create nuclear weapons…Apple doesn’t allow that though…..why? Because just-in-case.
Steve Jobs probably didn’t know about it…nor did he care.
Gabe most likely had no idea about this either and their lawyers just thought it was a good idea since everyone is doing it.

What would actually be useful for everyone is to look at what actions the companies take.
Sony for example bricked everyones consoles that wanted to run linux on it…even though at launch they claimed they would support it. (and since linux users are mostly nerds, they DDoS’d and hacked Sony).
FYI Valve has revealed that steam will be coming to linux soon also.

The biggest thing Valve has done wrong according to the masses…is surprisingly….releasing a sequel too fast. (L4D2).

Also nice job pointing out GOG.
http://www.gog.com/en/support/policies/terms_of_use

“GOG may change, suspend, or discontinue all or any aspect of the Service at any time, including the availability of any feature, without prior notice or liability. ”

“GOG at its sole discretion, reserves the right at any time, to change, modify, add or remove portions of these Terms of Use.”

Every single company on the planet does it. Deal with it.

read more closely

GOG may have their own terms, but since the games are DRM-free, they cannot flip a switch and kill all your previously-purchased games and sit there smugly and say “nuh-uh, you can’t have them back ever” like Steam is quite clearly threatening to do.

Ryan

Actually GOG can contact you and tell you to Cease and Desist playing the game and to destroy all copies that you have, and you legally have to do so… Steam doesn’t have to ask you, but I ask you, when have you ever had Steam do this to you??

Just because they can do it, does not mean that they will do it…. There is a small price to pay to have one place that has the ability to sell such a range of games like Steam. The trick for them is to offer a large selection of games, both new and older, on one site and to try to respect all companies requests for some sort of DRM system. How many games on Steam have DRM if you buy it in store?? Most if not all would be the answer, some have CD checks, others end up having Install Limits or root kits, and yet those version’s of games on Steam, just have the typical Steam requirement that you install the game and activate it once on Steam and as long as you make sure off-line mode is checked before you exit, your done…

I think many of you long time Steam users tend to really forget what the real world was like before Steam… many like this guy complain about something that Steam can do… but its not something very often that I read of them doing… So he chooses to avoid them because of something they might do, and legally can do just like ANY software company out there can do as well, which is ask you to remove the software and either destory the disks, or ship them back to the company(which the company will pay for the shipping costs back) but not refund the software.. Again here he his saying he will never buy from them again because of what THEY may do… but how often do they do this (I can’t find one person who had their stuff deleted without proper reason presented, Have yet to read about software going poof with no notice, and no reason…)?? Yet, did this person buy Diablo 3?? Did they have their game deactivated and rendered useless by Blizzard and Battlenet?? Now here is a service that we all read shutdown many copies of users games over and over, and people kept buying new copies… or is this person one who modded his XBOX only to get caught and have his account and all his live games he purchased locked out??

I just find it funny that there is so little evidence or proof that Steam actually kills software by removing it from your list or revoking your license (which they can do like studios can do with DVD’s and artists can do with music, as people have to remember they don’t by the software, only a license to use it) and yet like the person who make this comment, they condem Steam, and yet, there isn’t many places to by software, especially in one place, which for me is nice… being able to by old and new software and have a GREAT online community that allows for chat in ANY game even for ones that you add to the list…

I’m willing to bet that most complainers are under 30… Some are older… no doubt, but I have a feeling many are under that limit, and Steam being 10 years old would put those right at the age to purchase software and games online… Thats why I bet most complainers are those from the instant gratification era of computing… They should call that gen, generation “instant”. Instant music, games, TV… they have to wait for nothing… bunch of impatient a$$holes.

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edwardh

Really? That’s what was finally too much for you?

Not the fact that
-) the Steam client can be very buggy and will occasionally have connection issues, issues with the game’s cache and whatnot
-) the Steam client itself may break once in a while and of course it’s never Steam’s fault but perhaps one of the 50 applications the client is for some reason incompatible with. Incompatibility like NO other application I know of has.
-) Steam has such a quasi-monopoly in the market that it can demand horrendous shares from game developers (I once heard something about at least 50% for indie devs) and reject games for no apparent reason (as happened here: http://www.computerandvideogames.com/364060/mutant-mudds-headed-to-pc-despite-steam-rejection/ )

You didn’t mention another very important alternative though: GamersGate.
Because like GoG, it is client-less and does not require DRM.
Unlike GoG, it also carries most newer and bigger titles. Of course that comes with the downside that many of them use Streamworkers or GfW. So… if you don’t want to support such systems, even using GamersGate won’t help. Still… it may be interesting for some titles that GoG does not offer and which are still DRM-free.

edwardh

“Streamworkers”? Did I really write that? Seems like some auto-correct thing. I of course meant “Steamworks”

Kobe

Some steam games allow free mods, like instant download, free, and all you have to do is find the mod, the only thing I hate about steam is transferring their games to another software. Like nexus mod community, they need you to move the game off of steam so their mods can work, an I also hate that if your downloading a game, takes like 2 hours

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Benjamin B. Welch

BOYCOTT!!!

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Raul

I only buy games without DRM requeriments, and that includes Steam, Origin and all that crap.

There are GREAT games without those online requeriments…Witcher 2 is just an example.

When I buy a game, I have the right to use, sell, give for gift, or play after 20 years…I collect great games like the Monkey Island series original…and I just want to continue doing so.

Digital games or DRM games? no thanks…I will not buy those games ever. Even if the industry changes at all (which I doubt) I have a fantastic collection of DRM free games to play for many years…

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mark

Over. My steam acc recently started shutting down after being on for just a little while, Here’s the kicker, I CAN’T EVEN LOG ON TO CONTACT SUPPORT! In NZ Theft is defined as intent to deprive the owner permanently. If my games aren’t restored there’s gona be hell to pay. This is insane. I still have the F@#$n DISCS! THEY ARE MY GAMES!

mitch

I JUST AM SO PISSED OFF AND MAD AT STEAM

mitch

all three of my comments go to the same

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Griffo666

I agree,,How many realise that valve can suddenly charge $50 per year to have your account…..Try having a problem solved they just send you their FAQ pages,,Then you are ignored…..Steam should have been stopped years ago….Like all dictators everyone allways says why didn’t we stop him earlier…..

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Meh

I find this disturbing from a gaming perspective and also from the view point of indy game makers, it literally binds everyone under a form of house arrest. How are these theatrics any different from actual DRM sales? At least with a DRM product I could throw it out the window!

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zippy

So how does steam work if you add your hard copy of a game to steam library using your key provided in the book?

I’ve done this with a few games that are not steam based.

zippy

Sorry to clarify I was referring to a retail non steam copy adding to steam using the key.

Or is this not available now?

Ryan

If you add your game after installing it to the HDD and then adding it to the library, you shouldn’t have any problems. I have added games to the library just so I can chat using Steams voice and text chat and having and any issues uninstalling it and installing it else where…

I think you will find honestly that most of the concerns and people complaining are really bitching about stuff that has little or no merit behind it… If you buy a game in the store and somehow manage to download the game in Steam and use your CD-Key you got with a copy of the game from say Target, you are fine..

What I have found is that games that you buy on Steam that have CD-Keys or DVD Key’s are just like those that you buy in Target… Unless the game is made by Valve, the CD keys and DVD keys are typically provided by the publisher to Steam to be handed out to purchasers.. once handed out, those keys are in the wild and are yours to do with, so as much as you can do with them per license agreements and such…

:)

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Alwin

I am not familiar with US laws. But I think its illegal for steam to deny access to games that you already own. You bought those games under a different ToS. \

I mean suppose you buy an airplane ticket. Once you took-off, a flight attendant comes to you and says, the ticket price has increased and you have an option to pay the additional sum or jump-off the plane. Is that legalor even logical?

Steam could change your ToS. If you dont accept the updated ToS, you wont be allowed to make any additional purchases or activation. But those games that you activated previously should be available to you (atleast for a reasonable period).

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alex

How about we just NOT get on steams bad side ehh? If all my games were to unaccesable I would be devistated, but steam is taking it too far on this all and all :(

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Arthur Dragon

I had the misfortune to have two run ins with Steam over the last year or so. In the first case something went wrong with some free “timed” DLC for Dungeon Defenders. The cost of the DLC when it became purchase only was a mere £2 but it became a matter of principle for me.

The chain of events:

I pre-ordered Dungeon Defenders and noticed that I would get the Halloween DLC free. The was no time limit mentioned. When the Halloween DLC appeared I downloaded it (at this point Steam mentioned that it was a timed release) but didn’t play the game after that for a week or so. When I did get round to playing the game the DLC was missing on mine and one of my sons computers but present on another.

I contacted Steam to ask what had happened.

Steam said that I hadn’t downloaded it in time and there was nothing they could do. I eventually found another user who had taken a screenshot of the original offer which showed that there was no time limit. Steam ignored this and refused to even comment on it. The simply re-iterated that it was timed and I hadn’t met the time limit (which I had anyway!). Eventually Steam refused to discuss the matter further!

The game’s developers themselves eventually supplied the DLC to a few people complaining about the problem free by issuing a key but they could not (it seems) make Steam do it themselves.

I contacted Gabe and several other senior people at Valve via email but never had a reply.

By way of revenge I did everything I could to boycott Steam for both myself and family for around 8 months which resulted (I would sincerely hope) in far more than a paltry £2 in lost profit.. not that they care of course!

The second problem I had within the last year was a pre-order I decided to cancel. This did go a bit smoother although on my initial contact the refund was rejected. The second time they grudgingly agreed as a “one off”. I then pointed out that under their own Ts & Cs getting a refund for an unreleased game was perfectly acceptable. They half apologised and retracted the one off statement!

Steam are very nearly a monopoly in my opinion. They operate as they choose as the judge and jury in their own court. It worries me that they may be only one step away from closing the account of a person or persons who have the audacity to complain about their practices.

Facelord

It already happened to me. They closed my 268-game account a few months ago and since then I’ve had suicidal depression, I’ve literally been diagnosed with depression by doctors and my psychologist(which I didn’t have previously). Antidepressants do not help, gaming on consoles and handhelds does not help. I am empty and I want to die.

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Facelord

I lost my 268-game Steam account because of a Steam Support employee not liking me. I literally might commit suicide over it, it’s like I lost the one hobby I really care about in life. I’ve tried to get back into handheld and console gaming but I still feel empty, I can’t refill that hole. Seriously, *I might commit suicide over this soon.* The panic attacks, stress and loss of interest in life certainly feel worse than death would, anyway.

Justin

Solution: Steam gives you the license key to most games so after you buy it just take the key and torrent an .iso for said game and activate it using the key. Bam no longer bound by steam

Facelord

Yeah, SuddenLink kinda gave me a warning about that after I pirated Crysis, which I owned on my Steam account. I guarantee that if I pirated the ISOs for all 268 games I lost they’d kill my internet connection for six months(it’s a three-strikes rule) and then start fining me hardcore(for anything after those three strikes).

I’m just through with PC gaming, and I feel really empty over it. At least the PS4 sounds like it’ll be $300 and release Q4 2013 with better specs than my $700 PC build. :<

r

268 games isn’t really that many.

Facelord

I really can’t tell if you’re sarcastic or not. 268 games eclipses all my other game collections for consoles and handhelds combined. 268 is a MASSIVE number of games, almost incomprehensibly so.

And I lost them. So yeah, screw Steam, it’s ruined PC gaming by taking away DRM-free retail choices.

Ryan

I would really like to get more details on this… I do have a VERY hard time that they just off and killed your account with this many games for one employee disliking… If this was true and you were a perfect gentleman with no name calling and no bad things sad to the support person and no personal digs and so on, and he did this, then I would be shocked but would guess that someone would have made this right on your behalf..

Thats why I feel like we are seeing only one side to this story… I have had to deal with Steam support only 2x when switching computers and I thought they withheld a game from me and they were VERY nice, very understanding and did all they could and I found that I didn’t buy the game from Steam but from Impulse/Gamestop online…

For someone to delete 268 games out of spite and dislike without a very large reason to dislike you seems hollow… I just have a feeling that a voice or a chat transcript would show a side of you that isn’t being shown here… another sign of supportting my assumption is your opening post of being suicidal and wanting to hurt yourself and then your quick change in moods….

Facelord

I never said anything rude or disrespectful to him, even after he deleted the account. I asked that he have one of his co-workers examine the situation(because he was breaking his company’s rules in doing it, but I didn’t explicitly state that), but he responded by telling me that he’d delete my account if I said another word about the matter. To be clear, I wasn’t spamming him with messages or anything. He just wanted me quieted.

Wouldn’t you be suicidal if you lost 95% of your game collection and were completely powerless to stop it? I’m as emotionally stable as anyone I know(moreso than most), but that didn’t blunt the impact at all. Don’t be so quick to jump to their defense just because you’ve had a few good experiences with them, I’ve also had a few good experiences with their employees not named Derrick. For the most part they’re decent guys, but Derrick’s wrongdoings clearly show a fatal flaw in the entire Steam ecosystem: you could lose everything to the whim of one of their employees, no matter how devoted you are to the service or how many games you own. Hell, I’ve read about people losing their accounts because a virus on their computer corrupted their game files just enough to make it look like they were cheating or hacking or whatever. From now on I just wanna purchase retail copies of games not tied down by DRM, that’s very hard as a PC gamer. I’d even be willing to pay extra to truly own my games, so console gaming it is for me.

I’ve left behind my Steam past and quit PC gaming, I’m a Playstation guy now. I’m thinking about trading a friend my gaming PC for a cheap HTPC build and a little money left over to get a projector or a PS4, that’d complete the transition. I’m happy with my hobby now, not as out-for-blood on that evil power-abuser Derrick anymore. He might get away with it without any retaliation on my part, I just wanna be happy again.

Facelord

Ahem, he said he’d delete my *support* account if I said anything else about the matter to the SS team. Covering his tracks, obviously.

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allen draucker

steam sucks i dont want it

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Phil Danson

I have no internet access for my gaming computer, I post online at an internet cafe. The stand alone gamer has been bent over the FSB and royally fudged!! Remember the days you bought the box and put in the CD key?

Ryan

So you have no access and you are posting about Steam which is an Online service and is known to be an Online service?? Why is the stand alone gamer being bent over?? Why do you feel the need to post when in reality your comment is as useless as certain appendages on a bull. Most games you still can by on DVD/CD that you can get on Steam… just not the older ones…. And if you have Steam and are logged on and want to play offline… GASP, you can.. before you quit, select the “Steam” menu item from the main screen, and select “Go Offline…” Now you can play offline..

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reeeech perles

Steam is so bad I still dont get how it works swell for others, I have an i& with 9GB or RAM etc etc…. my recent 2 cents are i ended up buying 2 hard copies of Skyrim= to get it going, and now after months of playing all of a sudden i get the “you should connect to internet” message from them, nothing else, ever.
Well I am connected to internet, lol, but since i just bought WITCHER 2, I am in heaven, fk Steam, every time i look at a game and see their logo or any hints about Steam, it is NO SALE for me.

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Mouse

If you were as legal-savvy as you make yourself sound here when you started using the service (STEAM), you would have realized that, should you at any point want to terminate your agreement with Valve for said service, you would lose access to all games tied to your account through STEAM. At which point, you can’t say this is a dick move by the company, since you’re the one who agreed to it in the first place.

On that note, to keep Valve from sounding like the banks with credit cards, they did give you a handy pop-up telling you about the change, which is a hell of a lot more than I’ve seen any other company do, regardless of what service they provide. Which leaves me still trusting Valve, since they haven’t screwed up yet. And as long as they continue to support gamers and developers alike, they can keep taking my money.

And knowing Valve, a petition by Steam users asking them to remove that ban on class action lawsuits would probably get them to do so. But then again, the smarter choice might be to keep it, since this is America after all and we can sue for just about anything.

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RichieLion

I experienced the arrogance of Steam regarding their power of making their own territories and experienced that there is not something like “buying” your copy of game. One pays money to Steam and as a gesture Steam lets you play their game. So it is not wherever and whenever you want, but wherever and whenever Steam wants you to play. I am living in Moscow at the moment and travel a lot. I let Steam change my currency to Rubles as that is more logic and I like the payment system they use here in Russia. It means also that you pay a little bit less for a game then e.g. in my mother country The Netherlands. BUT, for a lot of purchases there is a limitation to the Region I bought the game in. Not so much the games I bought in The Netherlands, but for the games I bought here in Russia. I will not be able to play them in France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, etc. So during my holidays abroad (THE time to play games now and then) I will not be able to play them. A solution was brought by the “Help”desk of Steam: just open a SECOND ACCOUNT (what? Yes a second account) and buy the game a second time. If you travel all over the world and want to play the game wherever whenever (these where the advertising words once of Steam), you should open an unknown amount of accounts at Steam and buy several copies of the same game! Welcome to 2012.

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C.G.C

It should be noted that when you buy any video game, you are the end user and as the end user you are required to take care of your health and safety well dealing with digital media. It is all part of the agreement made when buying it, they mostly did this to sort out and solve issues of people think because they some how got fat well playing their games and so on they think they got the right to pull a fat person against McDonald lawsuit.

As the end users long before this it was your responsibility to keep these items out of the hands of minors. Which yet again is another thing, I mean they mostly took his step because of issues like the left in content like the HOT COFFEE code the Grand Thief Auto game. I should not that Hilary Clinton took issue with this and ended up costing ROCK STAR GAMES over 250 million dollars. I am never going to vote for her, I understand it was partly their fault for leaving it. But I also believe that it is not a political persons right to demand censorship when the only way to get to the code and make use of it in most cases is for the END USER. I E you to VIOLATE the agreement you made when you bought the game in the first place!

This also helps companies like Valve because when people download a mod or alteration for their game and it some how messes up their computer or the game. IT IS NOT THEIR PROBLEM, it makes it clear and solid that IT IS ON YOU THE USER. It is just one more back up to the idea that THE END USER AGREEMENT MEANS SOMETHING. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for what you do with what they sell you to use. That is all this stance and ideal many suggests if you ask me as a legal stand point to what it really does and mean.

In case in point it makes me wonder how close any of you read the added information that comes with many products that you buy.

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Meh

I’ll be honest even though I am a recent steam user, I’m more a laid back casual type. I have never bothered playing games online via steam. I think steam is better than piracy, but beyond that I simply treat it like any other fraudulent system. Of course they will bind you to their EULA, of course they will hold the right to deny you service. Forget buying games via the service, you agreed to their terms the moment you installed steam as most of their efforts have been clearly in controlling accounts. Simple answer don’t be a douche bag and all will be fine.

Personally I think GOG is a better service!

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Moe

First of all stop complaining. Valve has been out with steam for more than 9 years, and has done nothing but increase and make life easier for online computer gaming. All you guys who are complaining aren’t even true fans, just people who hopped on the band wagon and ready to sue. Steam gives the best deals, and makes it easier to communicate with your gamer friends. You don’t like the new Terms? fine don’t buy anymore steam games, really no one cares. Buying games from steam and charging back after you beat them or sue if you don’t like the game is what ruins gaming companies and for true gamers. You screw the companies, they don’t make us products anymore. So please quit, stop using steam. No one likes whiners anyways.

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Max

I’m done with these damn computer games where if you buy it you don’t really own it. I’m going to just get a Xbox or somthing so I can acually own games no one can take a way from me.

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Nick

It’s a temporary thing. One good lawsuit against Valve, EA or any of the other homies resulting in even mild media exposure and the possibility of governmental sanctions, particularly within the EU, will put these fine gentlemen back in line very, very quickly. We’re dealing with very recent technology here that most people not only don’t understand, but aren’t even aware of. This will change eventually. For now we’ll have to rely on whistle-blowing

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Austin

I’m not going to lie, I really don’t like this article. I understand where you come from but understand that if Steam screws themselves over then it’s no big deal, us as customers will just take our money somewhere else. Obviously this is something they don’t want to do.

I can’t see taking any class action law suits against them either. Read the terms and services and quit for all I care. However, some of the oldest and best games right now are on steam. Not only that, they are supporting gamers and giving us the tools to make our own games and publish them on Steam! Steam is helping small time developers get their selves out there! Not only that, Steams sales are amazing, I hate going into a store and buying a game now a days, usually now a days, if I can’t find a game on steam and you can’t play it through my browser then it isn’t worth my time.

Either way, I am very biased towards steam, but also a lot of customers are, because we LOVE their service. We really don’t care about the terms of service. To be honest, if steam started holding my games hostage for a monthly payment, then sure why not? I mean they’ve been with gamers since 2003, every day they are adding new games. They have over 6 million players on at one time! 6 million!! The best place to get that kind of numbers is facebook. Should we start class action lawsuits against facebook for our status’s? No, it’s just stupid. We pay steam for our games, plain and simple, they make money, and they are happy. Anyways, I’m done here, I have over 100+ games on steam that I have purchased from them, and you know what? I never have to worry about a broken CD. Or having over 200+ cds laying around(assuming most of those games would take a couple CDs, or dvds to install).

Have a nice day. From the Steam community.

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Bob Geldof

If you no longer wanted to use Steam (but wanted to retain your games), couldn’t you just backup your steamapps folder…

C:\Users\(Your name)\Documents\Steam\steamapps\

…to an external HDD, deactivate/disable your account, uninstall Steam, copy the folder back to its original location, and launch the games manually via their respective executables (instead of through Steam)? Or would that not work?

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Tony

Personally I love steam. Sure there are some potential problems that could arise in the future, but so many of you are looking at this all wrong. First you have to honestly ask yourself how many of your older games you would really care about losing.

For me, I have done all I am going to do with most games in the first 2 months, if there is some good multi-player that may be a little longer.

For games I play for the single-player elements, most are just going to be a most 1 play-through, maybe less if its not very good or some replays on harder difficulties if it was good. Even of those that were good enough for more than one play-through I doubt there are many that will be worthy of an additional play-through in 5 or 10 years.

Don’t get me wrong I still like having access to all my older games, just in case, but in reality, while I feel like I would miss having access to them, there are only a few I would really truly miss,

Now lets think about what GoG.com initial business play was. They bought the rights to old games that did not work with current operating systems made what modifications were needed to make them easily work on modern computers and sold them cheap.

How many of their sales do you think were to people who had paid $50 for these games years ago and had still have the disc sitting in a box somewhere. Why spend hours digging through old shit to find a disc you hope hasn’t been damaged in storage and that is just the first half of the problems you could be facing in playing this old game again, next you have the task of getting it to work on a modern computer. Using Google to find out how someone else got it to work and then hoping the mystery patch you found on some unknown website is not really a virus.

Now lets talk about console games, I have my NES and Most of my collection of its games sitting in a drawer, but I remember how much fun those were to get working when they were new. I also have my Sega Genesis, SNES, N64 and PS2 and most of my games for them, including PS1 games, sitting in some drawers, the Genesis doesn’t have a power cord and luckily the SNES and N64 used the same one or one of those wouldn’t be playable.

If for any reason my PS2 breaks, i can still play my PS2 games, but i would have to spend some money to play those PS1 games again. I got my PS3 after they stopped doing PS1 compatibility.

I don’t care how you are purchasing video games there are risk you are taking in how long they will be playable for you.,,,

Physical copies can be lost, stolen, damaged, or even the hardware required to use them can become damaged or obsolete, you could lose a power cable, or in the case of my NES I am not even sure I have the connectors to connect it to my HDTV.

Digital copies can be re-downloaded if damage occurs to a disc drive, you could potentially lose access to your account because you forgot a password or were a victim of identity theft, but there are ways to recover your account, so you have some pretty good protection against loss or theft. That leaves the biggest threat to your games being with the company you purchased them from.

I don’t care which retailer you purchase from, you still risk losing a game forever. Any of them could stop supporting your ability to re-download at any point. If this happens DRM free or not your Digital copy has become a physical copy and it is now up to you to protect it.

The biggest threat to any digital copy is the company you purchased it from going under and we are talking about failing in a way so horribly that they are being bought by someone who was just taking them for their parts. As long as there is healthy competition among digital distributors none of these companies are going to do anything that is going to really piss off the majority of their customers.

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dan geiger

after reading their terms while installing [sniper] i cancelled the install. later i figured;i have the dvd-try it. installed ,figured out the interface,played single player only,did not have to pay $. but i will not purchase another game on or offline.Hate that it auto-starts [valve]with system os.this is beyond irritable to me!

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jason

Thanks. I just noticed this article while doing a search on a different topic of steam.

I’ve not read the current Terms of Service until…last night. It did trouble me that (a) whatever you buy on steam is a license, not the actual product and (b) I’ve never actually seen a Terms of Service that so explicitly spells out that you’re giving up your right to participate in a class action lawsuit.

I’ve grown accustomed to the ease of use, cheap prices, and ease of use of steam.
IF tomorrow Valve decided to charge $10/month to stay with Steam and I wasn’t happy with it, I’d lose about…$150-$175 worth of stuff. That’s not too bad so far, but your article solidified my particular concerns, and I’ll certainly have to think about what to do from here on out.

The people who have it the worst are the ones who have amassed a huge backlog of games that they haven’t played. Fortunately I am not one of those people, as I’ve mostly been sticking with disc releases for AAA titles.

But I am definitely in that situation when it comes to a pile of PSN titles (more of the independent stuff)…we’re all kind of dependent on this whole “in good faith” relationship with these companies that we’re all not going to one day get completely shafted.

DarkSider

Steam along with Origin pretty much have a monopoly over the PC gaming industry. It’s ridiculous already because, you can’t play your games offline with full capability as you would a console. With my PS3 Games, I can play my games, regardless of what account I have them on, and play them offline. That’s the beauty of console gaming. When you purchase a game, it’s yours, it’s on a hard copy, a disc. With Steam, you have to log into the same bloody account for the rest of your life, until you die. After that, the games are lost because you were the only one who had access to them. To support a point that has already been stated, Valve owns the games ultimately. You simply leased them. PC gaming has many advantages, but I feel that because they’re locked into steam, and online that ultimately, it’s just a money sucking industry that tricks people into putting their valuables into a system that controls everything. Buy a hard copy of your game on ps3 or xbox, make sure a PC game can be played without steam. I think I’ve decided to not buy games on steam anymore, and that I think I will choose to abandon my steam account. I don’t support Steam anymore, nor do I support PC gaming.

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YOHOHO!

Thank you Valve/Steam from now on i will be getting my games through torrents. Since i can no longer buy most of them from retailers. And now most of the games sold in stores require Steam. What a STEAMING pile of @#$%!

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Aquiles Baeza

Thats one of the answer to why the piracy of games and another things it’s too big

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Ryan

Ok, I read the article and read the comments. It seems that the author is thinking about suing for a BUNCH of WHAT IF’s… WHAT IF Steam decides to control the prices… WHAT IF Steam leaks your credit card. The favorite one that I have read and that people are so WRONG about is the one that, they bought the game and that it is theirs to do with as they please… that is where you are SO wrong. You buy the right to play the software, but you don’t actually by the software. Its just like music, you buy the CD, and while that gives you right to do what you want to the CD, like scratch it and stomp on it, buying it does not give you right to copy the music and distribute it like you see fit… its the same with DVD’s… So that is where that argument goes out the window.. With Steam you are forgoing the physical copy and buying the right to use the software.. you are basically buying a license to use the software as provided by Steam. I think Matt Smith is really smoking crack for the most part… Given that you treat software like that of a DVD or music, and that he proposed a class action for a bunch of WHAT IF’s are what leads me to my opinion.. he is the reason for increased software cost.. those that decide to take his opinion, sue on our behaves for things that we may or may never actually sue for, cost the company millions in court costs that the company must recover. Companies change the TOS all the time… heck banks change their TOS and give you basically the same options… the banks give me an option to accept their change or have my accounts closed.. now Matt will argue that Steam should be required to give me the games I purchased… but if you READ the agreement from DAY ONE, you will see that you only bought the license to use the software and that you agreed to when you opened your account… so if you change your mind and say no, then just like a bank, they close your account and remove those licenses….

Steam is doing nothing wrong… they are providing a great service, and they often charge much less then any brick and mortar store or online store than you will find. Also they have many games that you cannot buy anymore or cannot find anywhere except on… STEAM… The way your present it is as if it is a bad thing that they sell the software because you don’t like the fact that you don’t buy the physical games but only the licenses to those games.. and BTW if you READ the licenses with the physical games, the companies like blizzard or EA can revoke those licenses and you are supposed to destroy the physical game… and they don’t have to give you money for that… just like blizzard can with Diablo 3…. its NO different, but here you are trying to justify to yourself protections that you never had under the law…

So go back to the rock you attempted to climb out of… realize the fact that you don’t own the software you think you buy…. you never have… just like DVD’s and Music… and why pre-emptively sue Steam under a class action for stuff which Steam hasn’t done like over-charge for software… you seem to believe its your duty to sue for that to teach them a lesson that they will get sued if they do.. so I guess Steam will get sued for over-charging whether they are or are not… you will see to that, and why losers like you are the bane of the legal system… You may not agree with some things Steam does… but I don’t know where there is a place I can get better service… Monopoly?? I don’t think so as there is Impluse and Gamestops online service as well as Direct 2 Drive… If you read their initial agreements you will find that they are similar to Steams. If you read the TOS with your packaged software, you will see that you do not OWN the software you buy..

It is amazing what people think they know and what they believe, and what reality is… blaming Steam for offering great prices, and a wide range of software that can;t be had anywhere else, and end up being sued for someones perception of what you are offering changes… while even I don’t like the change of not going class action as part of the TOS, all Matt Smith HAS to do it read a little law and realize that while they (STEAM) adds this to the TOS, the courts have ruled in cases involving this very item with Cell Phone providers that just because this is in the TOS and just because you agreed with it, does not automatically prevent your ability to pursue litigation… the real reason its in there it because you just have to show real cause for class action ruling, and it shifts the burden of cost.. basically its harder for me to go get a pro-bono lawyer and start filing lawsuits like crazy… or if you had a law degree and thought you could make money by filing BS suits until one stuck, this TOS throws that out the window… if you try to go CA and go through the process, you will end up having to pay Steams legal expense unless your green lighted… Its basically a way for them to CYA and its not a bad one if you really think about it… if you have a really go case to go Class Action, you will get your day in court…. a TOS will not stop it… heck, even a signed contract as I mentioned in the case of the Cell Phone companies won’t stop it… My legal scholar friend said the reason the Cell companies added it, was to stop all the frivolus suits being filed under Class Action for distracted driving, cell phone cancer and so on…. now its a LOT harder to sue and get Class Action, but its not impossible…

So Matt, go back under the hole you crawled out, and sue and or not buy software from Steam, but you will see that you won’t be able to buy as many games as you are used to, as many are in print much shorter than movies and don’t stay in print when they are gone… that you have been spoiled by Steam and now think that games are out there longer is insane… I bet you are younger than 40 and probably don’t remember what life was like.. you are probably 27.. so steam was around Age – 10 years… so most of your life you have been able to bind contracts… don’t buy games from ANY online store… no D2D, no Impulse, no Ebay or Newegg, no Amazon… just stick to Best Buy, Walmart, Target… do that for 3 years, and then tell me what buying software is like… also get to know the REAL legal situation with software… Amazing…

Reply

DJ

The indie bundle usually gives you your games through steam

Reply

zz

Steam stole my account, I tried the new watch a third party play feature and found that my old account was deleted. When I tried to play it, Steam said I needed permission from the account they deleted. There “support” is send in a complaint to be deleted—no person anywhere in sight.

Fraud, real theft and Identity theft all at the same time. Obviously it is criminals in charge at steam===an on going criminal enterprise.

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Jenny

I HATE this ugly, hard on the eyes, stupid ass FONT I see pop up everywhere. Is it a mobile phone and tablet crap thing? Must be, it’s so ugly. I love Steam but I stopped buying games too, I go on GOG and Gamersgate.

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