Home Gaming Paris Regional Court decrees that Valve must allow users to resell digitally owned games

Paris Regional Court decrees that Valve must allow users to resell digitally owned games

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2019-09-04-image-28

With the seemingly imminent death of physical game sales, what with the rise of digital marketplaces and the growing trend of subscription services, selling games second hand is becoming more and more difficult. Far fewer people now own physical copies of the PC games they play, with the vast majority of their collections existing on platforms like Steam, Good Old Games and The Epic Store. Even physical copies of games come with a code so as to lock the game into the user’s account, preventing it from being resold. While it’s seemingly always been this way for digital storefronts, the future of second-hand games seems to be murkier than ever as the Paris Regional Court passed down a ruling that prohibiting the reselling of digital games is illegal.

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This comes as a major victory for the UFC-Que Choisir, a consumer rights group based in France, that has taken issue with Valve’s limitations on redistribution in the past and has been actively fighting for their terms of service to receive some form of amendment which could see users being able to resell their games on the digital marketplace. Despite the decision being made by the Paris Regional Court, it’s expected that these changes to the terms of service will affect every country in the European Union although it remains to be seen how this ruling will apply to countries that fall outside of the jurisdiction.

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Following the implementation of this ruling, Valve will be required to implement a feature within Steam that will allow users to sell their previously owned steam keys. How this will be implemented… well, no-one really knows yet. This will be a first for Steam and will set a precedent for all other digital marketplaces who will be required to follow suit. Whether this process can be accomplished through Steam’s already existing marketplace is a possibility, but Valve still needs to take account of those skeevy buggers that could potentially take advantage of the system. It’s likely that the potential to resell used Steam keys could hurt developers in the long run, suggesting that the entire distribution network of video games is about to receive a massive overhaul.

There has been no word yet on when these changes are expected to take effect.

Last Updated: September 20, 2019

42 Comments

  1. konfab

    September 20, 2019 at 10:11

    Shock and horror as Valve adds a 400% markup to games sold in the EU.

    No deal Brexit anyone? 😀

    Reply

  2. HvR

    September 20, 2019 at 10:11

    I do not think Valves actually gives 2 shits about the reselling of games; in fact they would probably love to do it from the Steam store and open up another stream op potential revenue.

    Pretty sure it is publishers that do not want the reselling of digital games

    Reply

    • HairyEwok

      September 20, 2019 at 11:50

      G2A – We be having it! or do they?

      Reply

  3. Alien Emperor Trevor

    September 20, 2019 at 10:30

    Firstly, Valve are appealing the ruling so this’ll be in the courts for a while before we need to worry about if this’ll happen.

    Secondly, even though I’m all for more consumer rights in digital marketplaces because fuck them thinking they have the right to tell you what you can and can’t do after they’ve sold something, and I firmly believe that when you buy a copy of a digital game you’ve bought a product not some bullshit license, and I stand to make a personal killing flogging all my digital games… I’m not for this.

    Yes it benefits me in the short term, but the long term repercussions on the gaming industry don’t seem particularly good at first glance, and that doesn’t benefit me in the long term either.

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      September 20, 2019 at 10:39

      Yeah, you are correct. This will backfire, horribly

      Reply

  4. Admiral Chief

    September 20, 2019 at 10:39

  5. Admiral Chief

    September 20, 2019 at 10:20

    Damn, I could be rich

    Reply

    • Pariah

      September 20, 2019 at 10:29

      Instead, we bought games.

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief

        September 20, 2019 at 10:39

        BUT NOW I CAN SELL THEM AGAIN!

        Reply

        • Original Heretic

          September 20, 2019 at 10:39

          For $1 a piece?

          Reply

          • Admiral Chief

            September 20, 2019 at 10:39

            FIVE DORRAR!

          • HvR

            September 20, 2019 at 11:40

            3 fiddy

        • Pariah

          September 20, 2019 at 11:00

          For Steam wallet credit I bet. So not particularly useful except to buy more games.

          Reply

          • Admiral Chief

            September 20, 2019 at 11:10

            And, of course, for a ‘small’ amount labelled ‘transaction fee’ @ 30%

  6. Son of Banana Jim

    September 20, 2019 at 18:42

    This is definitely a step in the right direction. It’s going to be interesting to see how Valve implements this, and I’m especially excited at the prospect of having my own little second-hand online store.

    Reply

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