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Valve Adds New Clause to Steam Distribution Agreement, Could Block Epic Store Exclusivity

Shifty

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Well, one could argue that Steam is not a storefront but a stupid exclusive launcher already, as it gates your access to the games you've bought. But your point still stands. I wouldn't be a fan of advertising a competitive launcher on my launcher as well.
I would call that a pretty weak argument given that Steam does not enforce any kind of exclusivity. It's certainly a content gate, but developers are free to ship their titles on DRM-free platforms like GOG if they want to cover the part of the consumer base that cares about that.

Not so on EGS. It's their way or the highway, which makes it very easy to make the 'stupid exclusive launcher' argument.
 

Hudo

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I would call that a pretty weak argument given that Steam does not enforce any kind of exclusivity. It's certainly a content gate, but developers are free to ship their titles on DRM-free platforms like GOG if they want to cover the part of the consumer base that cares about that.

Not so on EGS. It's their way or the highway, which makes it very easy to make the 'stupid exclusive launcher' argument.
You and also DunDunDunpachi DunDunDunpachi are right. I have chosen my words poorly here. My point was not really the exclusivity stuff but rather more the launcher/gatekeeper stuff. Steam certainly doesn't enforce exlusivity (thank fucking god, it would be horrible if it did).

I have written that without thinking about just using DunDunDunpachi DunDunDunpachi 's figure of speech with the "stupid exclusive launcher" stuff. I should've just called it "stupid launcher". Mea culpa.
 
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Nikana

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I don't understand the free advertising argument on steam. Stream curation of content is the worst.
 

Shifty

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I don't understand the free advertising argument on steam. Stream curation of content is the worst.
They have a whole system whereby games get a spot on the front page when they first get added to the storefront, and pushed into peple's suggestion queues based on similarity to other games they've played.

Now granted, that system may not be great - I've seen plenty a dev complain that they get bumped off that all-important top spot all too quickly because of how many titles release on Steam - but they're still getting free exposure from it.
 
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JohnnyFootball

The Last of Us may be third person, but it is hardly third person.
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Steam once again reminds everyone that they are not gamers friend either.

All of those Steam sycophants hopefully realize that. Doubtful.
 
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GrayChild

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Steam once again reminds everyone that they are not gamers friend either.

All of those Steam sycophants hopefully realize that. Doubtful.
Preventing any abuse of your company's resources and tools, while also protecting your customers from cheap bait-and-switch tactics is truly a horrible, reprehensible, contemptible thing indeed.
 

Holammer

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There's indications this clause is old (2017), but everyone fans the flames to farm clicks from the outrage machine while it lasts or simply to push a narrative. Did anyone do their journalistic due diligence and ask Valve for a clarification? Now, if it says what people think it says, Valve haven't enforced it. Someone get an internet lawyer to interpret the legalese.

As it stands, it's fucking nothing.
 

Apexhell

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my only problem with steam is all the garbage games they recommend me. they are something I would see on newgrounds 15 years ago, or someone who did a highschool project that decided to just put it on steam. There are chinese games some look ok, but it says not in english so thats a ignore from me.
 

StormCell

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Valve should be a lot stricter about pulling out after using Steam to advertise. But, hey, it's PC, and it's not like the game isn't available for your hardware. You can still go and get the game.

But they should definitely put a stop to EGS exclusives getting free advertising on their platform.
 

Chacranajxy

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I mean... in practice, I don't think this will do much to stop Epic exclusivity. Good for consumers in that it'll theoretically reduce the bait-and-switch tactics, but that's about it.
 

Nikana

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They have a whole system whereby games get a spot on the front page when they first get added to the storefront, and pushed into peple's suggestion queues based on similarity to other games they've played.

Now granted, that system may not be great - I've seen plenty a dev complain that they get bumped off that all-important top spot all too quickly because of how many titles release on Steam - but they're still getting free exposure from it.
What do I care about garbage content that doesnt interest me in the slightest?
Who said anything about garbage content?
 

Tesseract

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this seems like a good test balloon to stop the fuckery, gj valve
 

TimFL

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Good. No more bait and switch.
This. I don‘t even know how this is up for debate, it‘s a long overdue addition to their agreements. When you use the steam store to promote your game you also have to ensure that you release it and not bait & switch your way to free advertisement / exposure.

The update / dlc portion is not „hostile“ either. It merely means that a dev has to support the game equally on Steam (one could argue that devs could simply release the base game and then never push out content updates or DLC to steam users to rack in more cash or bait payments by other stores buying your dlc/content exclusivity).
All it does is ensure that steam players get the same content that other platforms get. It makes perfect sense.
 

iconmasterX

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I'm not sure that clause means what people are saying it means.

"Thereafter, Company shall submit to Steam any Localized Versions and Application Updates (in beta and final form) when available, but in no event later than they are provided to any other third party for commercial release."

I read that to mean if your game is on Steam, you update it on the same schedule as you update it for other stores.

If you want to pull your game from Steam, though, you still can. How could Valve prevent that anyway? They could refuse to delete your game listing and files, but then you could just stop updating it on Steam -- violating Valve's terms, yes; so then they... pull your game?
 
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jshackles

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There's indications this clause is old (2017), but everyone fans the flames to farm clicks from the outrage machine while it lasts or simply to push a narrative. Did anyone do their journalistic due diligence and ask Valve for a clarification? Now, if it says what people think it says, Valve haven't enforced it. Someone get an internet lawyer to interpret the legalese.

As it stands, it's fucking nothing.
Precisely this. It's great that Valve maybe has some legal protections to lean on if they choose to, but so far they haven't chosen to.

Valve is walking a fine line because it's not like they're going to kick 2K (Borderlands 3) or Deep Silver (Shenmue, Metro Exodus) completely off of Steam just because their games were previously going to be coming to Steam and got shunted. Valve isn't going to throw away that sweet, sweet Civilization cash or Kingdom Come Deliverance money.
 

TheCockatrice

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I hate to burst your bubble, but it seems this clause has existed since 2017. Valve just didn't do anything about it.

Nothing bursted. This just proves Valve was even a more of a good guy than the haters on this thread thought. They could've easily sued the shit out of the Metro and Shenmue and whoever else pulled some bullshit.
 
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zeorhymer

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Woo. Good on steam. No more issues like Outer Worlds or Metro Exodus where they've been promoting it on Steam, just to yoink it away when it's about to come out. Also prevents things like Subnautica from leaving the platform, but yet being patched on Steam.
 
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XVision84

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Nothing bursted. This just proves Valve was even a more of a good guy than the haters on this thread thought. They could've easily sued the shit out of the Metro and Shenmue and whoever else pulled some bullshit.
It does reflect positively on Valve, I agree. The problem is that we still don't know if they will do anything about these last minute EGS exclusives.

Exodus and Shenmue faced a lot of criticism for their actions and it seems like companies took notice, so hopefully that will be enough to deter them.
 
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Sentenza

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Steam once again reminds everyone that they are not gamers friend either.

All of those Steam sycophants hopefully realize that. Doubtful.
I swear I read half of your posts as if it was your avatar speaking and it fits so well it's unreal.
 
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Serianox

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How will Epic find games to put on their store if they can't use Steam popular upcoming list anymore to comb through game releases that people are interested in? That is if Valve starts enforcing this rule at all.
 
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Kadayi

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How will Epic find games to put on their store if they can't use Steam popular upcoming list anymore to comb through game releases that people are interested in? That is if Valve starts enforcing this rule at all.
I know right? It means they'll actually have to do some work for once. Up until now, they've just been able to operate on the basis of Valves largesse, whilst bemoaning them at every given opportunity.
 

Barakov

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Seems like it'll stop the bait and switch tactics. That's the biggest problem I had with EGS exclusivity. It won't stop developers from taking money from Epic but as long as it stops the bait and switch I'm good with this decision from Valve.
 

Woo-Fu

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This is exactly NOT what people wanted. Well done Steam, for once again not having any idea about what’s going on or what players want. Stay classy.
What makes you think every decision they make should align with whatever you think players want?

This isn't about the players anyhow, it is about the developers entering into an agreement with Valve---consequently getting their game promoted on Steam for an indefinite period of time---and then backing out and going exclusive with EGS.
 
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dilbag

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my only problem with steam is all the garbage games they recommend me. they are something I would see on newgrounds 15 years ago, or someone who did a highschool project that decided to just put it on steam. There are chinese games some look ok, but it says not in english so thats a ignore from me.
the quality control for the steam store is terrible.
 
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checkcola

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The switchero stuff some people have pulled, just be upfront from the beginning about it in my view, and Steam's hub shouldn't be used to promote a product on another launcher. It'd be like expecting McDonalds to have Burger King products on their menu and directions to that place.
 
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Generic

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I would call that a pretty weak argument given that Steam does not enforce any kind of exclusivity. It's certainly a content gate, but developers are free to ship their titles on DRM-free platforms like GOG if they want to cover the part of the consumer base that cares about that.

Not so on EGS. It's their way or the highway, which makes it very easy to make the 'stupid exclusive launcher' argument.
That clause would forbid developers to release patches first on other platforms. Considering how much GoG already suffers with postponed patches (or no patches at all), it would be a massive "fuck you" from Valve to GoG, and non-Steam stores in general.
 
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Zog

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I'm more concerned about Steam not allowing developers to release uptades in other platforms first. If devs can choose to prioritize Steam, why can't them choose to prioritize other platforms?
Why would consumers want devs to prioritize a platform?
 

iconmasterX

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I hate to burst your bubble, but it seems this clause has existed since 2017. Valve just didn't do anything about it.


Seems like the original take is fake news. Notice that only Niche Gamer reported on this "development."
 
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Helios

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Seems like the original take is fake news. Notice that only Niche Gamer reported on this "development."
Yeah, they posted an update. I'll update the OP too.

Update (September 9th):

YouTuber SidAlpha posted a video, as a follow up to his earlier work on Steam’s “update” to their policies. In the new video, he states three sperate people informed him that the terms others had reported as “new” had been present for a long time.

SidAlpha then states he has a copy of the agreement from 2017, obtained via a Steam developer account “that may or may not exist.” The agreement from 2017 still has the same segment as mentioned below.

Continuing, SidAlpha states the terms would mean games such as Metro Exodus and Shenmue III would be in violation of the terms. As to why Valve has taken no action in those cases, SidAlpha proposes it may be Valve’s legal team are unaware of the clause (citing Valve’s allegedly unmanaged style of operation), or Valve choosing not to pursue it (due to not caring or fearing negative PR).
 
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michaelius

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If i recall MS did something very similar for indies releasing first on other platforms and it...err...it didnt work out very well.
Microsoft was in position of loser lagging behind competition.
Steam is a behemot of pc gaming.

Also it's only fair that devs who use Steam to advertise their games can't use it just to get higher bribe from EGS.

As someone who wouldn't mind moving 100% to linux in the future I like that Valve starts playing dirty.
 

Vawn

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So Epic continues to court developers by rewarding developers. Valve attempts to get developers by threatening and punishing developers if they don't do as they say.

And Epic are the bad guys?
 
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Davey

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So Epic continues to court developers by rewarding developers. Valve attempts to get developers by threatening and punishing developers if they don't do as they say.

And Epic are the bad guys?
Valve don't give a shit about developers putting games on other platforms... Epic ENFORCES game devs to go exclusive or go home unless such devs are big enough so that Epic can't seduce them...

Also OT, I've seen Valve going WAAAAAY too soft with Epic abuse, once I knew that Epic was owned in a big part by Tencent I had this "conspiracy theory":

What if they just don't want to compromise their chance to sell in China by molesting Tencent?

Tencent is a major shareholder in Epic and one of the biggest chinesse companies, therefore, the chinesse regime has their hands in them somehow...

IDK, something I came up with these days...
 

Woo-Fu

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Good on Epic for giving a fair revenue split. I hope it continues to bite Valve in the butt. 😎😎😎
If the revenue split is fair one wonders why every game isn't exclusive to EGS. If devs are still choosing Steam---and they appear to be doing so overwhelmingly---there must be some thing or things Steam offers that justifies the variance in split.
 
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