Valve Corporation and a number of game developers & publishers, including CD Projekt Red and Ubisoft, are facing an anti-trust lawsuit that alleges violations of the Sherman Act.
The lawsuit filed against Valve Corporation and several other game developers & publishers largely comes down to Steam‘s pricing requirements. In short, the Steam Distribution Agreement mandates that you cannot sell a game at a different price than you do on Steam.
Included in the lawsuit is a list of several different games including The Outer Worlds, Gears 5, Oxygen Not Included, and others. A chart notes that many of these games are sold on Steam, the Microsoft Store, and the Epic Games Store, each of which charges developers and publishers a certain commission. (In most cases, Valve takes 30%, the Microsoft Store takes 15%, and the Epic Games Store takes 12%.)
The now-shuttered Discord Store is also cited. The lawsuit alleges that Discord aimed to provide games at lower prices, but developers could not sell their games any cheaper than what they were listed for on Steam.
Valve Corporation isn’t the only defendant in this case, either. Several other game developers and publishers are named:
- CD Projekt S.A. & CD Projekt, Inc.
- Ubisoft Entertainment S.A., Ubisoft, Inc., Ubisoft L.A., Inc.
- kChamp Games, Inc.
- Rust, LLC
- Devolver Digital, Inc.
Currently, this case is being considered by the court. We can’t say for sure whether or not it will go forward or not or what the results may be, but it could certainly prove to be very interesting for game prices in the long run.