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Valve must face Steam antitrust litigation, could result in lower PC game prices for everyone

Now the real trial begins.
This article is over 2 years old and may contain outdated information

Valve will face litigation over antitrust concerns, the court has decided. The results of the case could have major implications across the PC gaming sphere, from Steam to the Epic Game Store to other virtual retailers.

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As Bloomberg Law reports, the litigation hinges on “most favored nation” policies on Steam. What that means is that developers agree to sell games on Steam and other PC storefronts at the same price. The argument against this is that other distributors like GOG or Green Man Gaming cannot offer new PC games at a lower initial cost. Without that discount, it’s very difficult to incentivize customers to try something other than Steam. Epic Games still gives away freebies on its store as a counter, but few companies are in a position to do so.

Valve initially tried to get this litigation dismissed, but US District Court Judge John C. Coughenour ruled that it must go forward. The future hearing could result in the most favored nation policy being eliminated, meaning that PC game price matching would no longer be necessary. This could then result in lower PC game prices all around, as undercutting other stores would be the norm. This case will be setting a major precedent one way or another.

Valve will almost certainly see success no matter how things shake out. Recently, the Steam Deck nabbed the number one spot on the Steam best-seller list. Not only that, but most customers are opting for the more expensive version of the device, prompting Valve to start working on a Steam Deck 2 already.


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Image of Tony Wilson
Tony Wilson
Tony has been covering games for more than a decade. Tony loves platformers, RPGs and puzzle games.