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What if valve/steam goes bankrupt?
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StewieTech
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Default What if valve/steam goes bankrupt? - 07-15-2017, 20:15 | posts: 1,916 | Location: Portugal

I was looking at my steam library and wondering "do i really own these games? how?" They are not physical copies. What if valve goes bankrupt, how do we preserve the ability to play them? I have a fair amount of money invested in my steam account and want to be playing my classics for decades! Like, until my grave or something... Have you guys ever thought about this?
   
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jbmcmillan
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Default 07-15-2017, 20:21 | posts: 2,264 | Location: Langley,B.C. Canada

Quote:
Originally Posted by StewieTech View Post
I was looking at my steam library and wondering "do i really own these games? how?" They are not physical copies. What if valve goes bankrupt, how do we preserve the ability to play them? I have a fair amount of money invested in my steam account and want to be playing my classics for decades! Like, until my grave or something... Have you guys ever thought about this?
If Valve goes bankrupt there will be lot more wrong with the world that will make the loss of your games seem insignificant.
   
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Default 07-15-2017, 20:24 | posts: 1,280 | Location: South Jersey

Steam is never going bankrupt. Valve barely has game developers anymore, they invest only in small things that barely make a blip on their profits... Steam controller, Steam Machines etc.. 99% of their business is hosting, selling, and taking a cut of profits from video game developer sales. They are the kings of nearly a pure profit business.
   
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Default 07-15-2017, 20:37 | posts: 706 | Location: Norway

Edit: Removed my previous answer. Quick google search tells me that Valve have contingency plan in order if that unlikely event where to ever happen.

See https://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comme...o_my_games_if/

Last edited by Steppzor; 07-15-2017 at 20:40.
   
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Default 07-15-2017, 20:50 | posts: 552

Many wise people would say that half life 3 is confirmed once valve goes bankrupt.
   
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H83
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Default 07-15-2017, 21:09 | posts: 1,896 | Location: Mars

Quote:
Originally Posted by StewieTech View Post
I was looking at my steam library and wondering "do i really own these games? how?" They are not physical copies. What if valve goes bankrupt, how do we preserve the ability to play them? I have a fair amount of money invested in my steam account and want to be playing my classics for decades! Like, until my grave or something... Have you guys ever thought about this?
Someone would buy Valve and keep Steam running. Steam has become too big to simply disappear even if Valve goes down.
   
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StewieTech
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Default 07-15-2017, 22:06 | posts: 1,916 | Location: Portugal

Quote:
Originally Posted by H83 View Post
Someone would buy Valve and keep Steam running. Steam has become too big to simply disappear even if Valve goes down.
In my country during the 2008 crysis whole banks went bankrupt and people lost their money!! Hows valve safer than a bank? Makes you think, just wondering...
   
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H83
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Default 07-15-2017, 22:16 | posts: 1,896 | Location: Mars

Quote:
Originally Posted by StewieTech View Post
In my country during the 2008 crysis whole banks went bankrupt and people lost their money!! Hows valve safer than a bank? Makes you think, just wondering...
Valve may not be "safer" than a bank but they possess something of great value: Steam! Steam is so big and valuable right now that if Valve went bankrupt companies like MS, EA, Sony and others would line up to buy it for a giant sum of money! Not to mention that if Valve really mess up things and need money urgently they can always go public and sell part of the company.
So i think that our games are safe for the foreseeable future.

P.S. im also portuguese.
   
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Default 07-15-2017, 22:24 | posts: 710 | Location: Finland

Quote:
Originally Posted by StewieTech View Post
In my country during the 2008 crysis whole banks went bankrupt and people lost their money!! Hows valve safer than a bank? Makes you think, just wondering...
It's because those banks were managed by greedy idiots and incompetents. Valve is also managed by greedy people, but they are highly competent at making money. That's the essential difference.
   
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Default 07-15-2017, 22:26 | posts: 2,650 | Location: Netherlands

Quote:
Originally Posted by StewieTech View Post
In my country during the 2008 crysis whole banks went bankrupt
LOL CryTek FTW...oh wait...
   
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mbk1969
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Default 07-15-2017, 22:55 | posts: 3,496 | Location: Moscow, Russia

Well, there always be smart guys who would crack steam client to allow players enjoy their games (already installed locally at least).
   
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Damien_Azreal
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Default 07-15-2017, 23:15 | posts: 8,192 | Location: Kansas, USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by StewieTech View Post
I was looking at my steam library and wondering "do i really own these games? how?" They are not physical copies. What if valve goes bankrupt, how do we preserve the ability to play them? I have a fair amount of money invested in my steam account and want to be playing my classics for decades! Like, until my grave or something... Have you guys ever thought about this?
As has already been said in this thread, this question came up years ago back when STEAM first started.
And Valve have had a plan in place since the beginning.

Also, given the insane amount of money Valve brings in from Valve... for them to go bankrupt... there would be far bigger issues in the world.
   
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Corrupt^
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Default 07-16-2017, 00:13 | posts: 6,578 | Location: Belgium

Quote:
Originally Posted by StewieTech View Post
In my country during the 2008 crysis whole banks went bankrupt and people lost their money!! Hows valve safer than a bank? Makes you think, just wondering...
Selling a product or service is different from a bank. A bank makes money from... money. If money loses its value or whatever, the profit also loses its value. Or stock, which is indirectly pretty much the same as money in some way.

If money loses value, but you're selling a valuable service or product however, the product / service still holds its value towards your users or customers. While a crisis may affect your profits, it's not going to instantly "devalue" the service or product you offer.

So it stands to reason a healthy company won't go under from a bank crisis just overnight.
   
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Default 07-16-2017, 00:16 | posts: 537 | Location: Your PC

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Originally Posted by H83 View Post
Someone would buy Valve and keep Steam running. Steam has become too big to simply disappear even if Valve goes down.
Ubisoft..
   
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Default 07-16-2017, 01:37 | posts: 5,017 | Location: 0.0.0.0

What if PC gaming stopped existing?

 Click to show spoiler

   
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XP-200
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Default 07-16-2017, 06:01 | posts: 3,778 | Location: UK

A even more interesting question is as steam accounts grow in game accumilation and investment by the people that own them and spend money on them, will they become so big and valuable that people actually want to treat them as investments that they can bequeath on there passing.....will my steam account still be playable in say 50 years time when i am long gone by family......interesting thought.
   
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H83
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Default 07-16-2017, 08:57 | posts: 1,896 | Location: Mars

Quote:
Originally Posted by TR2N View Post
Ubisoft..
Dont scare me like that! I think i would prefer losing all my games...
   
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Default 07-16-2017, 10:48 | posts: 3,512 | Location: Finland

Quote:
Originally Posted by StewieTech View Post
I was looking at my steam library and wondering "do i really own these games? how?" They are not physical copies. What if valve goes bankrupt, how do we preserve the ability to play them? I have a fair amount of money invested in my steam account and want to be playing my classics for decades! Like, until my grave or something... Have you guys ever thought about this?
Yes I have. Like said Valve won't go down or at least Steam won't, it's simply too big and profitable.

Still as you wondered about ownership there's a thing. When you buy a game from Steam you don't actually buy a copy of the software but a license to use a copy of the software.

So you don't own the games in your library, only the right to install and use them. For the time being. In theory Valve could revoke your rights for any reason but customer protection laws ofc help keep users safe. Plus Valve would gain nothing from doing so. Except bad PR.

So the old Doom you have on floppies is yours to keep forever but the new Doom you have from Steam is yours to use as long as Valve sees fit. For example, bluntly.
   
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TR2N
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Default 07-16-2017, 11:34 | posts: 537 | Location: Your PC

If Valve go bankrupt they revoke the licenses of your games and you lose.
Pain and simple.

You don't keep your hard copy and all access is denied.
   
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mindaz3
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Default 07-16-2017, 13:55 | posts: 259 | Location: Lithuania

Quote:
Originally Posted by StewieTech View Post
I was looking at my steam library and wondering "do i really own these games? how?" They are not physical copies. What if valve goes bankrupt, how do we preserve the ability to play them? I have a fair amount of money invested in my steam account and want to be playing my classics for decades! Like, until my grave or something... Have you guys ever thought about this?
In relation to a question "Do I own anything on Steam?", simple answer is "No, you do not.". Steam as a service, defines itself as a rental business. You are buying licenses to games, generally a license to rent a game for life. And Steam has full rights to revoke your license as pleased, if need comes to that.

I would suggest to read Steam ToS a few times to really grasp the idea of what Steam is and is not.

Valve as a business, they are not own by anyone and they are a billion dollar company, so for them to go bankrupt, something really stupid and bad must happen. And as others pointed out, Valve has contingency plan to support existing customers with access to their games.

---

Actually, you, me, others, we don't and we can't own anything in digital format, because legally you can own something only if you are a creator of something. We, as a customers only own licenses.

Even on GOG, you do not own anything, you own only a license. But at least in there you have an option to have offline installer of the game and you are free to keep it on your hard disk, flash drive or compact disk forever.
   
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Default 07-16-2017, 14:04 | posts: 7,080 | Location: Washington DC

Even if you bought the physical copy of the game you don't own it. The license can be revoked or the license server could go down where you activate the game and you wouldn't be able to use it anyway.
   
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Kaarme
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Default 07-16-2017, 16:09 | posts: 710 | Location: Finland

Quote:
Originally Posted by AsiJu View Post
Still as you wondered about ownership there's a thing. When you buy a game from Steam you don't actually buy a copy of the software but a license to use a copy of the software.

So you don't own the games in your library, only the right to install and use them. For the time being. In theory Valve could revoke your rights for any reason but customer protection laws ofc help keep users safe. Plus Valve would gain nothing from doing so. Except bad PR.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nhlkoho View Post
Even if you bought the physical copy of the game you don't own it. The license can be revoked or the license server could go down where you activate the game and you wouldn't be able to use it anyway.
At least these days you don't have to worry about a damaged DVD-ROM or such. If in ye olde times you scratched your CD-ROM too badly, it was just tough luck, buy the game again. Now buying a license is more sensible.
   
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Damien_Azreal
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Default 07-16-2017, 16:23 | posts: 8,192 | Location: Kansas, USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by nhlkoho View Post
Even if you bought the physical copy of the game you don't own it. The license can be revoked or the license server could go down where you activate the game and you wouldn't be able to use it anyway.
Exactly.
This is the most common misconception when it comes to buying games.

The publisher owns the game. You are only buying a license to play it. Be it retail or digital, you are only paying for the right to play it.

Buying a retail copy of the game doesn't guarantee you anything, legally, more solid then a digital purchase.
Yes, with a retail copy you physically have the product and are not restricted should anything happen to an online service. But, from a legal view point, the only thing you own is a license.
And a license that could be canceled by the publisher at any time.
   
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Kaarme
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Default 07-16-2017, 19:51 | posts: 710 | Location: Finland

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damien_Azreal View Post
But, from a legal view point, the only thing you own is a license.
You do own the DVDs, booklet, the case, and the paper sleeve with a pretty picture as physical objects. You don't own the copyrights to anything, of course, but that physical copy is your property through and through. Even if the studio makes the game (legally) useless by terminating the license and the online copy protection scheme, should it have such, the physical copy is still yours. Nobody's going to come to collect them from people if the license expires.

Its value, if it can't be played, is another question, though.
   
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Damien_Azreal
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Default 07-16-2017, 20:31 | posts: 8,192 | Location: Kansas, USA

Well, yeah... if you want to get technical... you own all the physical stuff that comes with the purchase.
But, in regards to the game itself... you only bought a license.
   
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