Steam takes a heavy blow from the French High Court

French consumer group UFC-Que Choisir (doesn’t have any connections with Ultimate Fighting Championship) filed a lawsuit against Valve four years ago in 2015. Lawsuit was filed after the french company found out that Valve was not letting any of its users resell their games. Which is directly against the rules of the European Union. After four years of investigation, the French High Court ruled in UFC-Que Choisir‘s favour. The rule that was given two days ago, is planning to let Steam users in the European Union to resell their games. UFC-Que Choisir reported, as well as french gaming website Numerama, that the Valve is pledged to appeal the ruling.

Steam takes a heavy blow from the French High Court

Valve said in the company’s defence that its service in the gaming industry was subscription-based, and therefore there shouldn’t be any consideration of reselling. The court found out that Steam sells its games in perpetuity, not in the subscription form. The court ruled that Steam‘s ban on reselling games was against the European Union’s law on digital goods which is about the “free movement of goods within the union”. According to the same law, any digital good can be sold used without the permission of the original seller.

In the original lawsuit, UFC-Que Choisir also pointed that if a user leaves Steam, Valve would keep whatever currency was left in their Steam Wallet. According to the ruling made by the French High Court, Valve now has to give the money back if the user requests it when closing their account. Also, Valve must accept full responsibility if an item in its market causes its user any harm. Steam spokesman said that the decision will have no effect on Steam while the case is on appeal.

Of course, this is not the first time Valve got sued. Steam‘s current refund policy was created after an Australian Court ruling back in 2014. As well as their huge fight against the Counter-Strike gambling, was started after a similar lawsuit in 2016. Both of the lawsuits made Valve change some of its rules in Steam. But none of it happened quickly. So even if the Valv loses the appeal, don’t expect to resell your digital games any time soon.

Murat Oktay

Video games have been my passion for as long as I can remember. I have been writing and managing in the game industry for more than 30 years. I've been playing Diablo 2 nonstop since it first came out.

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