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Valve Ordered to Give Apple Information on 436 Steam Games As Part of Epic Games Legal Case

Summary

 

Valve has been ordered to give Apple Info on 436 games as part of their legal case against Fortnite devlopers Epic Games.

 

Quotes

Quote

As reported in a paywalled report by Law360, during a virtual discovery hearing on Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson ordered that Apple's subpoena for the data to Valve was valid, however, noted that Apple has "salted the earth with subpoenas," telling Valve "don’t worry, it’s not just you." Apple's original subpoena requested data from Valve about Steam dating as far back as 2015, the judge's ruling however will only require Valve to produce data limited to as early as 2017.

 

My thoughts

What does Valve and Steam game info have to do with a monopoly on a market? If Apple wanted to release games on Windows, they could literally release a game store and start doing it. Their only problem would be actually getting games to go on the store.

 

Sources

https://www.macrumors.com/2021/02/25/valve-apple-data-request-for-epic-games-case/

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7 minutes ago, gloop said:

My thoughts

 

What does Valve and Steam game info have to do with a monopoly on a market? If Apple wanted to release games on Windows, they could literally release a game store and start doing it. Their only problem would be actually getting games to go on the store.

That's not the issue though. Apple are launching their toys out of the pram with a trebuchet and trying to take everyone else down with them.

 

They're trying to demonstrate that 30% is reasonable and that other stores make just as much money as they do.

 

Essentially they either want to get off with it on the fact others are also doing it or ensure that any ruling applies to their competitors as well.

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12 minutes ago, gloop said:

What does Valve and Steam game info have to do with a monopoly on a market? If Apple wanted to release games on Windows, they could literally release a game store and start doing it. Their only problem would be actually getting games to go on the store.

Obviously they want to argue that other platforms do what they do as well... and while Steam isn't quite as egregious for Windows as the App Store is for iOS there are still thousands of games that are only available through it.

 

It wouldn't hold water if I were the judge but... I am not (and that's probably for the best 😛 )

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i don't understand what this exactly means, bit of a confusing wording but i guess it's probably pointless and nonsense of steam to ask for anything like that

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6 minutes ago, Sauron said:

Obviously they want to argue that other platforms do what they do as well... and while Steam isn't quite as egregious for Windows as the App Store is for iOS there are still thousands of games that are only available through it.

 

It wouldn't hold water if I were the judge but... I am not (and that's probably for the best 😛 )

I'd absolutely agree with you (if I were a Judge) and here's my reasoning.

 

Steam exists on PC, PC has a FUCK load of digital store fronts, competition means someone can always jump in and undercut them (EGS anyone?) then they either react and match or lose money. Its a healthy market.

 

What choice do Apple customers have? There is no competition and no reason for Apple to ever have to lose money.

 

Essentially the dictionary definition of a monopoly.

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3 hours ago, Master Disaster said:

I'd absolutely agree with you (if I were a Judge) and here's my reasoning.

 

Steam exists on PC, PC has a FUCK load of digital store fronts, competition means someone can always jump in and undercut them (EGS anyone?) then they either react and match or lose money. Its a healthy market.

 

What choice do Apple customers have? There is no competition and no reason for Apple to ever have to lose money.

 

Essentially the dictionary definition of a monopoly.

I don't think it's right to use consumer rights as a way to show Monopoly.  In this day and age, Android is a viable alternative...although one can be said that they do use tactics that are an abuse of power in locking people into their ecosystem (ie reduce functionality of devices when not used on their platform), but that isn't a reason or argument in this particular case.

 

What is more of a monopoly on Apple part is that developers are locked into the App Store, while Apple holds the monopoly (to be clear in the US, they have less than 50% of devices but over 50% of the sales revenue...but with that said their number is close to 50% market share for devices).  I think it's important to distinguish between consumer choice, and developer choice though, as this is about the developer choice.  They could abandon Apple, but then they would be sacrificing over 50% of their mobile revenue.

 

Don't get me wrong, I disagree with the Google policy that limits from 3rd party payment mechanism, but Apple with iTunes is in a more unique position than Play Store (I would argue that likely over 75% of the Android devices have a secondary App Store).  The main justification of this is that Apple has in the past shown they will use policies against developers to quash an idea that they end up implementing...or in cases like Floatplane where the App has to get stripped down and it still gets rejected while later admitting that there wasn't anything that warranted the rejection.

 

As for this topic, I have always been curious when a 3rd party is drawn in like this with a subpoena request whether they are ever compensated for it.  Although I wouldn't be surprised Apple  is also requesting the data for purposes other than this case.

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5 hours ago, Master Disaster said:

That's not the issue though. Apple are launching their toys out of the pram with a trebuchet and trying to take everyone else down with them.

 

They're trying to demonstrate that 30% is reasonable and that other stores make just as much money as they do.

 

Essentially they either want to get off with it on the fact others are also doing it or ensure that any ruling applies to their competitors as well.

Steam isn't even the same market

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*realizes macs are the worst to play games*

why does apple need the info and what info?

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1 hour ago, PocketNerd said:

Steam isn't even the same market

Steam is on the iphone/ipad. Just not the store. Don't even pretend phones, tablets and desktop/laptops, and smarttv's aren't the same market. If they were not the same market, netflix would not be on computers, only smarttv's. If they were not the same market, pc games and mobile phone games would never be ported to each other. console game devs have been porting games to iOS and PC's, and you can find games from Square Enix and Capcom that are on everything.

 

Now, I will point out the obvious. Epic is complaining about 30% fees, while Apple (and nintendo/sony/microsoft) are likely all 30%. Amazon and Google take 40-50% from other content creators (eg videos and streamers.) RIAA companies takes 70% from the bands they sign, and the bands often end up with less than 8% of the profit.

 

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only thing Valve has in common with Apple is the 30% share on sales.

- Last time i checked Valve does not:

- force you to use steam wallet to process payments

- force you to give a 30% cut in MTX (only happens if you use Steam MTX API, which make it so that gamers have to use steam Wallet, but dev/publixhers can circumvent that by simply selling you the MTX within their own site)

- and from the one above: force you to only sell through Steam or else get kicked of the Store

-  force you to set the same price outside of Steam (you can sell your game for 10$ on Steam and 8$ on your own site while still giving out a Steam key on your site)

 

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8 minutes ago, Kisai said:

Steam is on the iphone/ipad. Just not the store.

the steam app gives you access to the store, you can buy games from it and even launch a remote install of the games you've just  purchased or the games on your library from them.

9 minutes ago, Kisai said:

Don't even pretend phones, tablets and desktop/laptops, and smarttv's aren't the same market

they're not

10 minutes ago, Kisai said:

If they were not the same market, netflix would not be on computers, only smarttv's

this doesn't make one yota of sense

12 minutes ago, Kisai said:

If they were not the same market, pc games and mobile phone games would never be ported to each other. console game devs have been porting games to iOS and PC's, and you can find games from Square Enix and Capcom that are on everything.

and? still not the same market.

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The fact that Apple had to force Valve to release even more data than what they have already provided is ridiculous.

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5 hours ago, kpluck said:

Android.

 

-kp

Then they wouldn't be Apple Customers though...

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What kind of data 'about games' are apple requesting here - I don't understand 'data' what kind lol... 

 

I'm probably thinking about this the totally wrong way but there are games on Steam that could get Valve in very serious trouble if looked at by a court... (though that's probably *not* the kind of data that's being requested here) 

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3 hours ago, PocketNerd said:

Steam isn't even the same market

Tell that to the sitting Judge that upheld the subpoena, he obviously thinks Steam data is relevant enough that it needs to be reviewed and considered.

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58 minutes ago, Master Disaster said:

Tell that to the sitting Judge that upheld the subpoena, he obviously thinks Steam data is relevant enough that it needs to be reviewed and considered.

It probably depends on the games. It was probably narrowed to only game titles that are already on iOS, or from publishers (eg Square Enix, Capcom) that have published games on all platforms.

 

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11 hours ago, Master Disaster said:

What choice do Apple customers have?

android, windows, linux, game consoles

2 hours ago, Master Disaster said:

Then they wouldn't be Apple Customers though...

and thus demonstrations there is competition.

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