Valve is being sued for $840 million in the UK for allegedly ripping off 14 million gamers

'Valve is rigging the market and taking advantage of UK gamers,' claims a new lawsuit looking to get Valve to pay up for overcharging for games with Steam.

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Valve is being sued in the UK and accused of using its market dominance with Steam to overcharge 14 million gamers. The claim, filed at the Competition Appeal Tribunal in London, says Valve is shutting out competition in the digital PC gaming market through its business practices.

Valve is being sued for $840 million in the UK for allegedly ripping off 14 million gamers 02

"Valve is rigging the market and taking advantage of UK gamers," says children's digital rights campaigner Vicki Shotbolt, the person behind the claim with the support of law firm Milberg London LLP. There's even a website up for the suit, steamyouoweus.co.uk, which says that if the claim is successful, UK PC gamers could be eligible to take their share of the £656 million ($840 million USD) suit - around £44 each in compensation (or $56 USD).

Okay, so you're probably aware there's no shortage of digital platforms to buy and play PC games. There's the Epic Games Store, Battle.net, Ubisoft Connect, Xbox and the Microsoft Store, GOG.com, and more. And with that, you might be wondering what the lawsuit is carrying on about. Let's break it down.

The suit and claim allege that Valve imposes pricing parity on developers, which prevents them from selling games for less on a competing platform. Once you factor in Valve's 30% cut for all Steam game sales, the idea here is that digital PC game prices are inflated and what they are because of Valve and Steam.

Secondly, all DLC, additional, or expansion packs for games must be sold or purchased through Steam (where Valve takes another cut), which is another restrictive layer.

"We've seen gaming explode in popularity over the recent years - and it plays such an important role in connecting people and building positive life skills, particularly for children and young people," Vicki Shotbolt adds. "So it's not good enough that gaming consumers are being taken advantage of and charged over the odds."

Steam is the largest platform by far for PC gaming and gamers; it's estimated that Valve generated $9 billion in revenue in 2023 alone.

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Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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