When it comes to buying games digitally, Steam is one of the largest storefronts in the market right now. However, it seems that not everyone is thrilled that a company like Steam is controlling a large chunk of the market, so much so that a lawsuit has been filed against Valve, accusing them of using Steam’s market dominance to prevent price competition.
According to the lawsuit, it alleges that Steam uses what is known as a “Most Favoured Nation” clause. For those unfamiliar, this is a clause where suppliers treat a customer no worse than other customers, essentially meaning that all customers are treated equally, but it seems that such clauses are viewed with scrutiny by various governments around the world.
This means that when a developer prices a game on Steam, they are expected to maintain that pricing on all platforms, so for example if a game was being sold for $60 on Steam, it would need to be priced the same if they were to sell it on the Epic Game Store. This was pointed out in a documentation on Steam’s website which says that while developers and publishers are responsible for setting and managing the prices of their games, Valve will review those prices and will make “proposed pricing adjustments”.
This has led to some, such as Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeney, into believing that this means that Valve will ultimately get the final say. Valve has yet to officially comment on the lawsuit.