Wolfire Games antitrust lawsuit, Valve is Responding.
In a recent development, Valve has responded to an antitrust lawsuit that was filed by Wolfire Games back in April. Wolfire alleged that Valve uses Steam to engage in anti-competitive market practices, discourages competition, and extracts “an extraordinarily high cut” from sales made through Steam.
Wolfire accuses Valve of preventing its publishers and developers from selling their keys to other market fronts for a lower price. Wolfire argues that this harms the interest of both gamers as well as publishers because sellers have to keep their prices high to meet the 30% cut on Steam.
Valve rejects allegations on multiple points by saying that it “has no duty under antitrust law to allow developers to use free Steam Keys to undersell prices for the games they sell on Steam—or to provide Steam Keys at all.”
Valve further says that the only evidence put forward on non-Steam-enabled games is “a single anecdote of Valve allegedly telling one unnamed developer it shouldn’t give a non-Steam-enabled game [for] free on Discord’s competing platform if it charges Steam users $5 for the Steam-enabled version.”
Furthermore, Valve also added that its 30% commission cut is normal and is practiced by other platforms as well. Valve added, “Plaintiffs can muster only a generalization that economics predicts Valve’s 30% commission should have decreased over time.
Valve’s point is correct to extent that the 30% sales cut is surely a market standard. However, developers and publishers have recently grown weary of it. A recent example of it is Epic taking Apple to court over the commission and anti-competitive business practices.