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German Organization Sues Steam for Game Resale Policy

The Federation of German Consumer Organization (VZBV), a non-governmental, umbrella organization for 41 German consumer groups, is suing Valve over the Steam EULA, which prevents customers from reselling digital games.

Essentially, VZBV's issue with Valve is the fact that Steam ties keys to users, meaning users only partially own their games. "If I pay the full price for a game, then why am I not allowed to do with it what I want?" stated VZBV project manager Carola Elbright.

The VZBV warned Valve back in September and was asked to change the company's policy. Valve ignored the warning, hence why the VZBV is now taking legal action against the developer.

Valve, which apparently has yet to receive notice of the complaint, seems rather unconcerned. "[W]e understand the complaint is somehow regarding the transferability of Steam accounts, despite the fact that this issue has already been ruled upon favorably to Valve in a prior case between Valve and the VZBV by the German supreme court. For now, we are continuing to extend the Steam services to gamers in Germany and around the world," stated Valve director of marketing Doug Lombardi.

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  • tului
    Good luck German group. Steam is a pox upon us all.
    Reply
  • tipmen
    I see their point but normally I get the games so cheaply that I dont want to resell my keys. :-/ I like steam but this is a tough spot for some gamers.
    Reply
  • d_kuhn
    I like Steam... but I don't pay full price for games on it - not letting you resell doen't hurt nearly as much when you pay $19.99 for the title.
    Reply
  • even at full price I don't mind not being able to resell my games.

    I never ever ever buy used Pc games as to the serial keys usually are always still being used by the original owner for the multiplayer aspect.

    If they didn't use SERIAL keys, then I can see this as an issue.
    Reply
  • dark_knight33
    Even though I don't have the urge to resell my games in general, I'd at least like to have the option.

    In general, steam doesn't want it's users competing with steam on the service of selling games. Why would you pay steam's price for a game when another steam user is selling their copy for $5 less?

    The ONLY people in the gaming community that are happy about used game sales are consumers. Publishers & distributors like Steam don't like it because they don't get a "cut". If it were up to them, you'd have to pay even just to watch someone else play the game.
    Reply
  • neon neophyte
    it isnt like steam changed their policy after you bought the games. you knew what you were getting when you bought a game through steam.

    dont like it? go buy a physical copy and resell it. no one is forcing you to use steam
    Reply
  • bucknutty
    My 2 kids share a steam account. I have 1 copy of sonic, and 1 copy of magika. Because I only created 1 account the 6 year old can't play sonic becuase the 8 year old is playing magika. I have since made another account for the younger child but now I must rebuy the games for him. Its not really a big deal for me, but solving challenges like this will help steam get into the living room with thier steam box ideas.

    I guess this is sort of contrary to the console direction. You can sell games now, but your friend may have to buy an activation key to play the game on xbox live, or ps network. In the future I have the feeling games will be tied to you xbox "next" ID.
    Reply
  • bak0n
    I think out of my 50 games. I've bought 1 at "full price" that was borderlands 2 4 pack pre-release. I'm usually playing $15 or less for games. If I were to be able to "sell" them to others, I could undercut steam by 60% easy. How long do you think that business model would last them?

    Reply
  • neon neophyte
    10432881 said:
    My 2 kids share a steam account. I have 1 copy of sonic, and 1 copy of magika. Because I only created 1 account the 6 year old can't play sonic becuase the 8 year old is playing magika. I have since made another account for the younger child but now I must rebuy the games for him. Its not really a big deal for me, but solving challenges like this will help steam get into the living room with thier steam box ideas.

    I guess this is sort of contrary to the console direction. You can sell games now, but your friend may have to buy an activation key to play the game on xbox live, or ps network. In the future I have the feeling games will be tied to you xbox "next" ID.

    you could very well make one account per game, which would allow for easy sale and allow multiple people to play different games at the same time. you opted out of this option for the sake of convenience for one user.

    that was your choice.
    Reply
  • ibjeepr
    Overall I've found that the value of a used game makes it not worth my time to sell it. I can see how some that may power through a game quick and want any cash for the next game can be annoyed though.

    I love that last line of the quote "For now, we are continuing to extend the Steam services to gamers in Germany..."
    AKA if we were to lose the court case, you simply no longer get Steam.
    Reply