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Delicieuxz

Steam distribution policy prohibits Epic Games / Tim Sweeney from exclusivizing any Steam-marketed games

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Valve have updated [correction: the clause has existed for a long time - see bottom of this post for more information] their Steam Distribution Agreement terms to prevent Epic Games or another company from exploiting Steam's userbase and storefront by advertising and building popularity for an upcoming game on Steam and then forming an exclusivity deal that restricts the game to another platform while not delivering the game to Steam's users.

 

 

The new stipulation in the Steam Distribution Agreement requires that products for which a publisher has created a Steam store page must be released on Steam no later than they are released on other PC platforms. Valve's new policy also mandates that any patches for Steam versions of games receive are delivered to Steam no later than they are to other PC platforms.

 

348296843_SteamDistributionAgreementupdate2.jpg.a57084057483d1f6f57f78bc5b8f0f13.jpg

 

Quote

2.1 Delivery: Company shall submit the Applications to Steam for release no later than the first commercial release of each Application or Localised Version or, if already commercially released as of the Effective Date, within thirty (30) days of the Effective Date. Thereafter, Company shall submit to Steam any Localized Versions and Application Updates (in beta and final form) when available, but in no event later than they are provided to any other third party for commercial release. Company shall provide these copies in object code form, in whatever format Valve reasonably requests.

 

This is potentially not the first move Valve have made to stymie Epic Games' poaching of games already marketed on Steam. In late November of 2018, just one week before Epic Games announced their own store for 3rd-party games, Valve lowered their store fees, possibly out of having a forewarning that EGS was about to offer a much lower store/game publisher revenue-split. However, EGS' store fee isn't necessarily lower than Valve's after all the details are factored in.

 

I believe this is a very good move by Valve and one that serves the interest of not only Valve but also gamers who don't want their interest in an upcoming game abused by having it plucked into exclusivity by EGS after Tim Sweeney notices it's becoming popular on Steam, or who just don't want to see the anti-consumer practice of exclusives, period.

 

 

More information about Tim Sweeney's flip-flopping attitude towards exclusives, walled-gardens, and competition / anti-competition practices are provided in this blog post:

 

 

 

 

-------------------- updated information --------------------

 

It is now reported that the clause recently brought up has existed in the terms of Valve's Steam Distribution Agreement since at least 2017. This raises the question of why has Valve not acted on violations of it by the publishers of Metro Exodus, Shenmue III, The Outer Worlds, and others?

 

 

518411741_SteamDistributionAgreement.thumb.jpg.3f82f00bb666c41cbd57675b9327d6ba.jpg

 

The clause has been in the Steam Distribution Agreement since at least 2017. The SDA refers to whoever agrees to it (and anyone publishing on Steam must first agree to it) as a "signee" to the agreement which is between "Valve Corporation" and "[Company Legal Name]", indicating that the agreement is a serious, binding contract. The SDA says it becomes effective upon the date that it is agreed to, which will always be before any Steam store page is created for a game.

 

This means that Valve had the authority and right to stop and prevent EGS' game of paid-for exclusives regarding so many anticipated big titles all along, but didn't. Valve should be able to sue, for breach of contract and damages, the publishers who have advertised their games on Steam only to later make their games exclusive to EGS.

 

To not enforce that policy isn't just allowing the unjust exploitation of Steam and leaving unanswered the abuse of Steam users who are building popularity on Steam for games that ultimately get poached by EGS leaving those Steam users disappointed, but it is also weakening the credibility and authority of the Steam Distribution Agreement by suggesting that it can apparently be flaunted through violations without there being any repercussions for doing so.

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15 minutes ago, Delicieuxz said:

 

I dont like epic games, dont get me wrong, but we must remember valve is a company, and they are only doing it to make money


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so devs can't choose to get exclusive to any one store out there when they already have a prior commitment to Steam? good.

 

5 minutes ago, astranger200 said:

I dont like

please don't quote the entire OP just to make a top-level comment (i.e. a comment implied to be for the opening topic) ._.

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Just now, VegetableStu said:

so devs can't choose to get exclusive to any one store out there when they already have a prior commitment to Steam? good.

 

please don't quote the entire OP just to make a top-level comment (i.e. a comment implied to be for the opening topic) ._.

oh fuck I didnt mean to do that


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5 minutes ago, astranger200 said:

I dont like epic games, dont get me wrong, but we must remember valve is a company, and they are only doing it to make money

Companies are always about profit motive, but the issue is always what they're doing the marketplace and the end-user.  This is a good move from Steam, especially because Steam Keys are free for the Publisher. 

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This seems like both a logical move from Valve's perspective, and something good for consumers.  If game devs are going to post their game to Steam, let it gather attention and hype for weeks or months, and then pull it at the last second, it's deceiving consumers and spamming the Steam game store with what effectively become fake listings and ads for another platform.  If you're going to make an exclusive game, you earn the downside of being posted and advertised solely on that store.  You don't get to post it everywhere for free advertising and then pull out at the last second.  I'm not sure if other stores like uplay or origin have suffered to the same degree, but if so I hope they follow with a similar clause.

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I agree with Ryan_Vickers, its not like Valve is saying you cant use other services,just to not turn steam into free advertisement for another storefront. i saw metro on steam, and now i cant get it unless i go with epic. :(

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1 hour ago, astranger200 said:

but we must remember valve is a company, and they are only doing it to make money

Not necessarily. Valve is a privately-owned company, GabeN isn't beholden to shareholders; he could run the company to the ground if he wanted to. GabeN can just decide that they're going to do this or that, whether it is best for the company or not. This is to say, you don't actually know if they did this just to make money or not.


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Good. This will make publishers think twice about taking Steam for granted because if they only bring the game to Steam many months later to get residual income, they might not be able to do that anymore.

 

What Valve should have done is team up with every other open marketplace games launcher services like GoG, and Windows, to completely boycott pc games that launch exclusively when the publisher does not have its own launcher.

 

Sure, Steam is no saint, but I'd rather Steam getting more business over a Chinese-owned attempt at monopoly


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I know rocket league was planning on moving to the epic game store and removing the option to buy the game from steam, but people who already bought the game from steam can continue to play it there and get new updates. Does this affect it? 


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9 hours ago, Delicieuxz said:

-------------------- updated information --------------------

 

It is now reported that the clause recently brought up has existed in the terms of Valve's Steam Distribution Agreement since at least 2017. This raises the question of why has Valve not acted on violations of it by the publishers of Metro Exodus, Shenmue III, The Outer Worlds, and others?

 

While I do have game pass which gave me access to exodus and the outer worlds without giving epic a dime, I have to agree. If they have this in place already they should bring the hammer down. Fuck the bad press from devs and pubs crying on twitter. They made their choice to put profits over customers, valve has the legal right to enforce their policies and put their profits over these devs.

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All valve needed to do is make a game with the number 3


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Valve good move for consumers: I I I I I I I I I I I 

Epic good move for consumers: I


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15 hours ago, Delicieuxz said:

-snip-

That clause (whether old or new) doesn't block exclusivity in any way, shape, or form. What it DOES do is ensure that developers and publishers actually commit to releasing on Steam once they make a page for their game.

Can we please stop finding any and every excuse to crap on EGS? It has major issues/flaws, sure, and it's fair to point out those specifically. But maybe just focus on that instead of getting irrational at every little thing?


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