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What happens to everyone's steam library if Steam closes?

Jul 4, 2008
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This is something i've been thinking about. What happens eventually like in 10-15 years if Gabe and his crew leave Valve and a new management team takes over and decides they dont want to be in the game sales business or if Valve goes out of business? Since we don't physically own any of these games will we be unable to play them/redownload them once the servers are shut down? Also what happens if a new management decides they want to do mandatory 24 hour check ins to play games similar to Diablo 3 and Sim City?
 

epmode

Member
Jun 7, 2004
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We all download cracks for our games.

They have said in multiple interviews that have built in programs if the case arises that everyone will keep their games
Valve games, sure. I'm sure 3rd party lawyers wouldn't be happy with Valve stripping their precious DRM without consent though.
 

Cess007

Member
Nov 22, 2012
6,495
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Mexicali // Mexico
This is something i've been thinking about. What happens eventually like in 10-15 years if Gabe and his crew leave Valve and a new management team takes over and decides they dont want to be in the game sales business or if Valve goes out of business? Since we don't physically own any of these games will we be unable to play them/redownload them once the servers are shut down? Also what happens if a new management decides they want to do mandatory 24 hour check ins to play games similar to Diablo 3 and Sim City?
Why would they want to stop printing money with their service? Anyway, there's simple no way to *exactly* know what will happen, we would have to wait when and IF Valve ever shutdown Steam.
 

Zomba13

Member
Sep 27, 2009
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Didn't they pretty much say there is like a doomsday switch. They flick a switch and we can back up all the games we have bought on the service DRM free.
 

Durante

Member
Oct 1, 2006
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1) Valve representatives have gone on record saying they would perpetually activate games in such cases.
2) Some developers have already provided DRM-free executables for their Steam games, so for those there wouldn't be an issue in any case.
3) Since PC is an open platform, if both the above fail you can simply crack the games and keep playing them.

(Note that I consider the option that does not depend on the goodwill of a corporation the most reliable of these)
 

DICKS AHOY

Banned
Nov 4, 2010
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Permanent offline mode?

No clue why people during the XBone fiasco kept forgetting Steam lets you play everything offline unless the 3rd party publisher has implemented their own DRM.
 

dab0ne

Member
May 27, 2011
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I'm fine with losing my games considering I paid about $10 for each... which is the cost of a rental. I usually use Steam to check out multiplats then, if I love the game, I'll buy it used several years down the road so I can have a physical copy.
 

Fox Mulder

Member
Jul 1, 2009
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They have said in multiple interviews that have built in programs if the case arises that everyone will keep their games
I kind of doubt that would really be up to Valve if they were actually going under and maybe being bought by someone else.

But at least there's cracks.
 

coldfoot

Banned
Sep 14, 2010
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- You can trust Valve to disable all the DRM if something like that happens, and even if they don't you know it'll be cracked on PC.
- You absolutely cannot trust MS to do the same if they decided to leave the gaming business, and consoles are not open platforms so you'd be SOL unless someone managed to hack it.

Thankfully we don't have to worry about that with the Xbox 180 anymore.
 
Jul 4, 2008
20,829
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Permanent offline mode?

No clue why people during the XBone fiasco kept forgetting Steam lets you play everything offline unless the 3rd party publisher has implemented their own DRM.
yea but assuming you dont/cant have every single game you own installed on your pc. I don't see how they can guarantee there would always be a server running where you can download your games from.

Like what happens if Microsoft, Disney, Apple, Activision, etc. acquire Valve there would be nothing stopping them from eventually shutting the whole thing down if they see fit.
 

Patryn

Member
Dec 4, 2007
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I kind of doubt that would really be up to Valve if they were actually going under and maybe being bought by someone else.

But at least there's cracks.
It's probably part of the agreement for companies to list games on Steam that they have to allow that to happen.

yea but assuming you dont/cant have every single game you own installed on your pc. I don't see how they can guarantee there would always be a server running where you can download your games from.

Like what happens if Microsoft, Disney, Apple, Activision, etc. acquire Valve there would be nothing stopping them from eventually shutting the whole thing down if they see fit.
While I'm not saying it can't happen, remember that Steam is wholly owned by Gabe Newell, and he seemingly does not need the money he would get from selling Valve. At this point it's an enterprise that is self-sustaining, and there have been no signs he'll ever want to sell or go public.
 

Zimbardo

Member
Jan 21, 2011
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download all your games and use the Steam backup utility to back them up to hard drives, optical media, etc.

use cracks on them if necessary.
 

Screamapillar

Member
Apr 23, 2012
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It's like asking what happens when the sun goes supernova... the point is, when it happens, it literally won't matter. That's how little you should worry about it.
 
Feb 3, 2007
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Also what happens if a new management decides they want to do mandatory 24 hour check ins to play games similar to Diablo 3 and Sim City?
This hypothetical "new management" get to turn a company worth hundreds of millions of dollars into a worthless historical record database of people who used to use it but never will again.
 
Apr 8, 2011
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Society will fall apart, chaos will rule the lands, dogs will befriend cats, Games for Windows Live might actually be good. You know, the usual signs of the apocalypse.
 

Almighty

Member
Jun 4, 2010
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First I freak out and curse Valve's name, then I cry a little, then I accept that the world has ended, then I go crack the games I bought and have installed, torrent/crack the ones I bought and don't have installed, then swear that I will never buy into another system where games are tired to an account, and buy from GoG or like stores with no DRM from now on.

This is of course assuming that the whole "we will unlock games if this happens" doesn't pan out.
 

ThaiGrocer

Member
Apr 27, 2007
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The worst case is the DD market suddenly collapses and no other entity would want to continue the Steam train through acquisition. If Valve collapses, somebody will pick up Steam and continue it. Microsoft buys it? *shudders*
 

Almighty

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Jun 4, 2010
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GoG is the only DD service I have used where I was legitimately worried I might have lost out on my purchases when they did their retarded "we've shut down" PR stunt rebranding.
Well I forgot about that dumb, stupid, dumb PR stunt. I guess I really need to be better backing stuff up now that you mention it.
 

Mass Effect

Member
Apr 24, 2011
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1) Valve representatives have gone on record saying they would perpetually activate games in such cases.
2) Some developers have already provided DRM-free executables for their Steam games, so for those there wouldn't be an issue in any case.
3) Since PC is an open platform, if both the above fail you can simply crack the games and keep playing them.

(Note that I consider the option that does not depend on the goodwill of a corporation the most reliable of these)
This, word for word. If it absolutely comes down to it, there's always the last option.
 

jediyoshi

Member
Oct 10, 2009
30,023
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Valve games, sure. I'm sure 3rd party lawyers wouldn't be happy with Valve stripping their precious DRM without consent though.
Seeing as how 3rd parties don't retain ability to modify game ownership even after the game is removed from Steam, there's probably a stipulation in getting on to Steam in the first place that accounts for that.
 

Felix Lighter

Member
Oct 2, 2007
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GoG is the only DD service I have used where I was legitimately worried I might have lost out on my purchases when they did their retarded "we've shut down" PR stunt rebranding.
Yeah, that was really boneheaded. Well at least it was just a really really dumb stunt.
 

ElFly

Member
Sep 3, 2006
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It's probably part of the agreement for companies to list games on Steam that they have to allow that to happen.
I really doubt that this is the case; who the hell is going to sign a contract that says hey if our company goes under, your game loses all copy protection.

Besides, if this was the case, Valve would not allow publishers to roll their own DRM on Steam, cause Valve has not a way to provide a DRMless version of this if Valve dies, so your proposed clause is automatically void.
 

injurai

Banned
Oct 18, 2011
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They have said in multiple interviews that have built in programs if the case arises that everyone will keep their games
If they opt for a buyout I'm guessing part of the legal contract is the upkeep of Steam and the maintained permanent licensing of games to their owners.

If Valve goes under, (and Gabe said they would go out in a bang) they wouldn't sell out but leave a finite and grand legacy. Which would only happen with mal-management.

But that would only happen after gabe passes away, in which people who share similar philosophies could carry the torch. And the final game could end up keeping them afloat....





ya I am more confident in my digital purchases through them than any other distributor
 

faceless007

Member
Mar 11, 2008
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They have said in multiple interviews that have built in programs if the case arises that everyone will keep their games
Can you link to these interviews? The most I've ever seen is a screenshot purportedly showing a message board post from Gabe saying they had such a mechanism in place, but that was 1) not confirmed to be a real post, 2) completely vague and nonspecific as to the details of how it would work, and 3) from years ago, before Steam had any third-party titles and when the Steam software was far different from what it is today.

I've never put much faith in that supposed no-drm patch waiting in the wings.
 
Jul 4, 2008
20,829
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While I'm not saying it can't happen, remember that Steam is wholly owned by Gabe Newell, and he seemingly does not need the money he would get from selling Valve. At this point it's an enterprise that is self-sustaining, and there have been no signs he'll ever want to sell or go public.
Oh I didn't know it was wholly owned by Gabe but even then George Lucas wholly owned Lucasfilm and all his IP's and as unlikely as it was he did eventually sell it all to a larger company. Gabe could eventually feel the need to do that as well. Also I appologize being rude/morbid but in the event that God forbid something happens to him Steam would be at risk then as well.
 

2San

Member
Dec 11, 2009
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I'm expecting everything to be gone, but that's fine. I think this is a grey area where piracy is fine(for games that you bought). People talking about cracks no way in hell do you guys have your entire steam library backed up.
 

Jedi2016

Member
Nov 10, 2011
6,321
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Permanent offline mode?
This. They'll just download a small patch or something for all of your games, disabling the online check.

I'd be more curious about the games I purchased but don't currently have downloaded. Hopefully they'll give enough warning for an "exodus" to occur and I can get a massive hard drive and download every title I've bought.
 

Felix Lighter

Member
Oct 2, 2007
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I'm expecting everything to be gone, but that's fine. I think this is a grey area where piracy is fine. People talking about cracks no way in hell do you guys have your entire steam library backed up.
I imagine if Steam did suddenly disappear, it wouldn't take long before users organized to share the game files so people could rebuild their library.
 
Apr 24, 2006
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op i think you should be more concerned about having to rebuy your xbl, psn or virtual console games than trying to come up with highly unlikely scenarios
 

lvlzero

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May 17, 2013
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steam is a growing and retroactive service where as xbone is a fixed platform console with a limited lifetime, comparing a plaform to a very profitable service is silly as we all know the reason this thread is being made is in response to the 'what happens when microsoft shuts down the servers'

peoples response there was 'well they'll just patch the games' , why would they if they could charge a premium to import your old library over to the next console they produce?

either way most modern pc games on steamworks use the cdkey only for activating the game on steam the only protection it then has is steam side, which is why cracked steam api is the reason for so many new games being pirated so soon, while steam may not be able patch out everything, it would be a simple task to throw one last client update out there that basically does to the api dll'a what common cracks do.

either way can you seriously see steam dying when its so profitable and while everyones making such a huge stink about digital distribution being the future? because i sure dont.
 
Feb 3, 2007
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I've never put much faith in that supposed no-drm patch waiting in the wings.
I believe there are already 'no steam' cracks for the steam platform as a whole (as DRM) available, but when Valve are basically giving away AAA multiplayer titles for free, why would you bother and limit yourself to 'private servers' full of wall hackers and stuff?
 

LQX

Member
Dec 18, 2008
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Would it matter, seeing as how the internet would also cease to exist?
 

The Shift

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Sep 6, 2009
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Valve/Steam definition re licensing -

http://store.steampowered.com/subscriber_agreement/

A. General Software License

Steam and your Subscription(s) require the automatic download and installation of Software onto your computer. Valve hereby grants, and you accept, a limited, terminable, non-exclusive license and right to use the Software for your personal, non-commercial use (except where commercial use is expressly allowed herein or in the applicable Subscription Terms) in accordance with this Agreement, including the Subscription Terms. The Software is licensed, not sold. Your license confers no title or ownership in the Software. To make use of the Software, you must have a Steam Account and you may be required to be running the Steam client and maintaining a connection to the Internet.

Seems normal for a digital platform.
 

x3sphere

Member
Sep 24, 2006
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The chances of Valve going under are just about as good as the entire industry collapsing.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure Valve could strip away the DRM from a lot of titles no problem considering most use Steamworks these days.