Just two days before Apple went to court in California to justify the 30 percent app store fee – and two days after Microsoft canceled the 30 percent cut on the PC – gaming giant Valve is facing lawsuits against the 30 percent percentage cut and alleged anti-competitive practices from Through the Steam PC game platform.
Independent game developer Wolfire Games says in a lawsuit, “Valve is using its market power to ensure that game publishers have no choice but to sell most of their games through the Steam Store, as they are subject to a 30% Valve fee,” according to the verege.
And just like Epic v. Apple, the new lawsuit says the platform owner is using an effective monopoly of where people run their software (there’s iOS here Steam) to control and tax an entirely separate industry (alternative app / game stores), an industry that could theoretically thrive and produce lower prices for consumers. If not for Iron Fist (Apple / Valve).
Wolfire claims that Valve now controls “nearly 75 percent” of the entire PC gaming market, and reaps an estimated $ 6 billion in annual revenue as a result of those 30 percent fees alone – more than $ 15 million a year per Valve employee. Assuming the company still has somewhere near 360 employees it confirmed its existence five years ago.
Regarding how Valve misused its power, most notable was every other company’s attempts to compete with Steam to make an impact, although many offered developers a larger share of the profits, such as the 88 percent Epic Game Store earnings share, Steam does not allow publishers to sell Computer games and game consoles for less money elsewhere, which in turn means that rival gaming platforms cannot compete on price, preventing them from gaining a foothold.
Most of these rival game stores have largely given up, such as the way EA and Microsoft have brought their games back to Steam, and this ensures that Steam remains the dominant platform, as companies that would otherwise have become competitors are being reduced to either feed their games into the Steam engine or sell. Steam keys.
Wolver says the Humble bundle in particular has been a victim of Valve’s practices – the lawsuit alleges that “publishers are becoming more and more reluctant to participate in Humble Bundle events, reducing the quantity and quality of products available to Humble Bundle customers,” because buyers fear retaliation if they return Humble Bundle buyers sell their Steam keys on the gray market cheaply – and although Valve once worked with Humble Bundle on a direct keyless integration, the lawsuit alleges that Valve suddenly withdrew this partnership without explanation.
This is not the first lawsuit against Valve. A group of individual game buyers filed a somewhat similar complaint in January and I have included a revised version of that complaint below as well. But this earlier complaint has also accused game companies along with Valve – this new lawsuit is by a game company itself.