Valve has made some major changes to the Steam Subscriber Agreement, changing the way it handles customer disputes and banning any class action lawsuits over the service. In both cases, it informs us, this is for everyone's own good - ours as customers, and Valve's as a company. But is the trust it's built up over the years with gamers going to be enough to pay for this sudden unilateral decision?
Yesterday the European Court of Justice ruled that consumers had the right to sell digital their digital games. This is something that could potentially change digital distribution forever, but how exactly? Eurogamer have been speaking to Paul Sulyok, CEO of Green Man Gaming, about what all this could mean.
Second hand game sales are a contentious issue at the moment, with EULAs saying that your purchases are licenses rather than products, and thus you can't sell them on when you're done. Many users obviously disagree, seeing no practical ownership difference between a game you download and one you buy in the shelves. First sale works just fine for everything else, after all.
Today, the European Court agreed, ruling: "An author of software cannot oppose the resale of his ‘used’ licences allowing the use of his programs downloaded from the internet."
In theory, hurrah! But what does this really mean for games?