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Cacodemon345

French court rules Steam must allow goods to be resold

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Destroy? I doubt it. Valve could set up a marketplace for second-hand games, transferring the keys from one user to another, and getting their cut of the transaction in the process.

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14 minutes ago, Gez said:

Destroy? I doubt it. Valve could set up a marketplace for second-hand games, transferring the keys from one user to another, and getting their cut of the transaction in the process.

Obviously that can only be done if DRM is easy to implement. Stuff such as DOOM or Strife: Veteran Edition, where the IWADs are individual unencrypted files, are practically DRM-free. Second hand sellers would get free money.

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I can imagine the devs that do $1 sales for their $10 games people will just buy at $1 and sell it for $1.10... profit. Tiny profit that means so much in the countries with terrible economies like Brazil and Russia. There were people who did that with game copies back when you could hold them in your inventory. Even if you can do it with one copy per account... people will have 100+ accounts to do it.

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36 minutes ago, Gez said:

Destroy? I doubt it. Valve could set up a marketplace for second-hand games, transferring the keys from one user to another, and getting their cut of the transaction in the process.

Would that kill G2A? I hope it would. Man, someone should just fucking murder those guys behind G2A. Those motherfuckers don't deserve to live.

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If this happens, then it will take some time to be properly implemented. I suppose Valve could set up a second-hand/used games marketplace of some sort, no idea how though, especially for games with aggressive DRMs, that allow only a number of activations or something to that effect.

 

But indeed, I think this will affect developers more than Valve overall.

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Why is it European countries always coming up with these things? But to the point, I could also seeing this being abused if not properly policed or implemented.

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11 minutes ago, Armaetus said:

Why is it European countries always coming up with these things?

Because their laws were written to put the freedoms of actual human beings above the freedoms of abstract corporate entities; whereas in America it's the other way around.

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I imagine If this gets added refunds will be pointless, since there'll be less restrictions and you can just resell your game at pretty much the same price you got it (maybe slightly less if they decide that) or more if you get it from key resellers like G2A, If anything it'll just encourage getting more keys from key resellers and selling them at higher prices. devs will get even less money from it if the exact same game copy is getting played and finished by more than 100 people...etc

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7 hours ago, Gez said:

Destroy? I doubt it. Valve could set up a marketplace for second-hand games, transferring the keys from one user to another, and getting their cut of the transaction in the process.

Which would kill profits as the prices on the Steam market would inevitably rush to the bottom the longer the game is on the platform. This is exemplified by the in-game items available on the platform already, and would probably be even more severe. Finished the game? Time to put it on the market for cheap.

 

A way to bypass this would be to limit the price on the market to be at least as high as that on the actual store (whether that would be legal is another question), in which case the devs and Valve still would only get a partial cut of the sale. By consequence this would require a proportional price raise on the store for all games, so as not to lose profits through market sales.

 

Other options to mitigate the effects of this ruling would be: Develop games that use subscription-based models, free-to-play models or always-online live-service models.

Ultimately the possible outcomes here are looking bad for customers and bad for non-AAA game developers.

 

Edit: Also note that if we consider that Steam is selling a license to download a digital product, then this ruling sets a precedent that it is required for a digital online stores, whether it be Steam, the EGS, the Google Play Store, the ITunes Store, the Nintendo eShop or the Microsoft Store, among many others, to offer resale functionality for licenses.

Edited by Doom64hunter

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23 minutes ago, Doom64hunter said:

Which would kill profits as the prices on the Steam market would inevitably rush to the bottom the longer the game is on the platform.

There will always be a limited amount of games available on the second-hand market, by definition, and Steam doesn't need to go out of its way to make it easily accessible. E.g. you may have to go to the profile page of the seller to get the games they're reselling instead of just going to the store page for some game and seeing the second-hand options available.

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7 hours ago, Gez said:

There will always be a limited amount of games available on the second-hand market, by definition, and Steam doesn't need to go out of its way to make it easily accessible. E.g. you may have to go to the profile page of the seller to get the games they're reselling instead of just going to the store page for some game and seeing the second-hand options available.

It would only be a matter of time until someone develops a third-party database index to display which accounts are selling which games, sorted by price, sort of like it has already been done for TF2 items, or like Steam Spy. Then again, this would be less convenient to access as well.

 

I do think the market would be flooded with cheap games however, if it's easily accessible enough. There's tons of singleplayer games people have finished playing and no longer would want to touch, and once the second-hand buyers are done with the game it will re-enter the market, rinse and repeat. The license does not get consumed, is what I'm getting at.

 

This also doesn't consider sales or game keys bought through stolen credit cards, similar to what is happening on G2A.

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If it encourages game developers to make games with some replay value so people will want to keep them to replay through them later, who will complain?

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3 hours ago, Gez said:

If it encourages game developers to make games with some replay value so people will want to keep them to replay through them later, who will complain?

Even Singleplayer games with newgame+ options and a generally high amount of replay value are finite. And eventually people will get bored and move on to another game.

 

And there's another factor to consider -- let's take for instance the "Binding of Isaac: Rebirth", very popular, $15 on Steam, huge replay value. According to the achievements, 25% of all players have not even completed one single playthrough (of potentially hundreds to fully complete the game) -- and it's not even clear whether this includes all owners, or people who have launched the game at least once. This Ars Technica article from 5 years ago also states that roughly 37% of all games owned on Steam have never been played: https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/introducing-steam-gauge-ars-reveals-steams-most-popular-games/

 

These are all people who are prime candidates for reselling. Maybe the initial sales in the first few days of the game being on the store would not be strongly affected until at least a decently sized "population" of new licenses has entered the market, but I'm fairly certain that it would kill long-term profits. And I believe that it would be far more significant of an impact for less popular games than for the big anticipated ones.

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21 minutes ago, Doom64hunter said:

Even Singleplayer games with newgame+ options and a generally high amount of replay value are finite. And eventually people will get bored and move on to another game.

May I direct your attention to the fact that we're on a forum dedicated to a 25-year old game that has still a thriving player community?

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21 hours ago, FractalBeast said:

Would that kill G2A? I hope it would. Man, someone should just fucking murder those guys behind G2A. Those motherfuckers don't deserve to live.

You realize there are a lot more websites that do the same thing right? G2A just got famous at it for having Youtubers plug their website.

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5 hours ago, Gez said:

If it encourages game developers to make games with some replay value so people will want to keep them to replay through them later, who will complain?

 

Or it encourages them to cram in more micro transactions to decouple the number of sold copies and the revenue even more.

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2 hours ago, Gez said:

May I direct your attention to the fact that we're on a forum dedicated to a 25-year old game that has still a thriving player community?

May I remind you that Doom's moddability kept it alive? Which is absent from modern-day games?

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2 hours ago, geo said:

You realize there are a lot more websites that do the same thing right? G2A just got famous at it for having Youtubers plug their website.

Doesn't really matter. Kill them all. Put them up against the wall and open a monster closet full of chaingunners. Also, put those Youtubers that plugged key exchange websites against the wall too.

 

I have some contacts in the indie dev community and fuck everyone who uses those key exchange websites. Fuck them all with a fucking rusty pitchfork right up the colon, then twirl it around for extra damage.

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2 hours ago, Cacodemon345 said:

May I remind you that Doom's moddability kept it alive? Which is absent from modern-day games?

Sucks for them, then.

 

Still one shouldn't assume that 100% of game buyers will be game resellers; nor that 100% of game buyerqs will want second-hand copies. Here's a few things:

  • Collection. Nerds love to collect stuff. Even utterly pointless stuff they don't use anymore. Steam gives you a virtual collection.
  • Achievements. Related to the first point. You get rid of a game, you lose the associated cheevos.
  • Hassle/benefits ratio. Putting a game for sale doesn't mean you're actually gonna sell it, because you need a buyer. If you can set your own price, you can be undercut by other people reselling the same game. If the resale value is fixed by Steam, then nobody has any reason to buy from you in particular rather than any other reseller. So to get some bucks you'll have not just to click a button, but to actually go out and promote your virtual garage sale. All that for a rather meager sum. Remember, just because you're selling Goat Simulator and Shower With Your Dad doesn't mean you're actually gonna sell it.

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Am going to wait to see the chaos about what happens when you resell a game you bought micro-transactions for.

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And? Steam would be extremely stupid if they get themselves banned in Europe. You know; Their 2nd biggest income region with a lot of infrastructure in place.

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I see nothing whatsoever bad about this decision. A second-hand market for Steam games and the ability for people to sell off old games they're no longer playing sounds like not just a great idea, but a fundamental right that we all ought to have as consumers.

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29 minutes ago, Pegg said:

And? Steam would be extremely stupid if they get themselves banned in Europe. You know; Their 2nd biggest income region with a lot of infrastructure in place.

 

I'm saying the ruling would not apply to U.S. Steam users.  Also, doesn't the First Sale Doctrine exist under US law already?

Edited by Master O

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52 minutes ago, Master O said:

I'm saying the ruling would not apply to U.S. Steam users.

 

Which is equally stupid, if this happens it's going to be a for-all-or-none kind of a deal, not exclusive to people living in specific regions of the world.

 

1 hour ago, Pegg said:

Am going to wait to see the chaos about what happens when you resell a game you bought micro-transactions for.

 

Same. In the case of the games which have a marketplace set up for skins, cards, whatever to sell, you're probably going to still regain the ability to keep your items and sell the game bare-bones. Other games... no idea.

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