EU fines Valve and 5 other gaming companies for geo-blocking PC games

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Jan 21, 2021.

  1. Hilbert Hagedoorn

    Hilbert Hagedoorn Don Vito Corleone Staff Member

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  2. Kaarme

    Kaarme Ancient Guru

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    Valve must have heard, through its channels, that the fine would be candy money, so it didn't even bother to cooperate to lower it.

    Zenimax will, inconspicuously a few years from now, make Elder Scrolls VI a bit more expensive in Europe and get all that money easily back, plus some interest.
     
  3. k3vst3r

    k3vst3r Ancient Guru

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    Laughable fine, needs be far higher to get the message across. Probably make the fine amount back in few hours of sales. Fines need run into hundreds of millions especially for valve.
     
  4. haste

    haste Maha Guru

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    It's less than a pocket change to these companies. Such fines won't change anything.
     

  5. Conker1970

    Conker1970 New Member

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    Thing is they will have to change or face heavier penalties.

    EU at least does soemthing for customers...
     
  6. spine

    spine Member Guru

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    Barely a slap on the wrist, but I guess it sends a message.
     
  7. CrazY_Milojko

    CrazY_Milojko Ancient Guru

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    There is also the other side of the story...

    My country (Serbia) is part of the East Europe, btw we are not the part of EU. Steam games should be cheaper for gamers here, I'll explain why, but sadly they're not. As far as I know we pay the same amount of money for games on Steam like someone who is living in Germany, Austria, France. I don't game for years, but have 3 kids-gamers and they are regularly buying games via Steam, that's why I know how pricey are games for average gamers in my country. Not everyone here can afford AAA games €50 or even more expencive. Average monthly salaries here are WAY, WAY LOWER compared to Germany and other Wester Europe countries that belongs to EU. It's not fair for gamers here to pay the same amount of money for games, same as someone who lives in some Western European country or in the US. Tbh it's not the problem for me and my kids but most people here earn on average around €400 to €500 per month (give it more or less it's the same situation in other ex-YU countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro...), it's like a night and day comparison with someone who is living in the west and every month earns between €/$2000 - 4000. Just to add more oil on the fire: believe it or not fuel and food are even more expencive here compared to EU or US, and not just those two things...

    On the other side some software companies have different prices for their products depending on the world region. For example Kaspersky Lab for my country has Eastern Eureope Edition prices for Kaspersky Anti-Virus, Kaspersky Internet Security... and they are significantly lower when compared to EU or US prices. I know because I buy lot of these every year for home and office use. It was not always like this, they're lowered the price for our country and surrounding East European countries some 5, 6, 7 years ago, can't complain about that.

    My 2 cents...
     
  8. Richard Nutman

    Richard Nutman Member Guru

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    Yeah I think this fine is silly. It's stupid to have a single price between countries of vastly different prosperity levels.
     
  9. rl66

    rl66 Ancient Guru

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    On my side we don't have tax on product like IVA or TVA if buy "inside"... So whatever the price, EU get nothing.
    But when you see 5 Euro with vpn, 39,99 Euro without... even tax free, it's temptating to give money to dragoons...
     
  10. rl66

    rl66 Ancient Guru

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    I don't agree, the price should be set for everyone, and so the poorer side.
    Not so long ago the normal price for a physical game was 10 Euro, and for a AAA game you were accepting to pay 40 Euro.

    There is too much sheeps in EU and US that accept:
    -to give their confidential data for a skin ingame
    -micro-transactions that cost them 40 euro by month if all merged for a "free game"
    -to pay a game 120 euro just to have it the 1st day when few week after you will have the same game at 59 euro
    -... and more we can write pages about the stupidity...
    All of that because because some brainwashed said "it's a normal way to do", "what can we do about it?", "it's not important, everybody do like that"...

    CONSUME OBEY PAY

    Hopefully there is alternatives, and people started to wake up since few years.
     
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  11. TheDeeGee

    TheDeeGee Ancient Guru

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    The pre-orders of Cyberjunk 2077 made this look like a speeding ticket.
     
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  12. glutto

    glutto Master Guru

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    ..and what are the fines when they release a game like Wolfenstein in a country like Germany?
     
  13. Cutiuta magica

    Cutiuta magica New Member

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    This is not happening only in the gaming industry, this is happening also in the software area. Try and compare Adobe Suite or Autodesk to places outside of US or Europe, you will see a great changes in prices.
     
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  14. Weekend

    Weekend Member

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    If the new law is wrong, People and market find a way. Be it more shady stuff or demands getting lower or adapting more free solutions. So we can debate here all day saying it's wrong or right. we just have to wait and see.

    worst case? piracy will go up.
     
  15. geogan

    geogan Master Guru

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    Market segmentation - how to sell the same product to different consumers depending on how rich they are.
     

  16. TalentX

    TalentX Member Guru

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    Anyway, serves them right. Penalty should have been even higher.

    By the way, where is Sony in the list?
    Sony's shop policy is the worst of all. They literally lock your region to the account, not even allowing you to pay with credit cards that are from other regions, regardless of your IP Address. Credit cards originally were made to securely pay in foreign countries, yet they disabled its core purpose in their shop and account policies.

    Also importing digital games from foreign countries (not just within the EU) is the same as importing physical products from foreign countries. It's allowed and legal, as long as taxes and importing fees are taken care of (not even required from EU to EU country). But Valve, Sony and the others prohibit it in a way as if it were not legal ultimately spreading misinformation.
     
  17. MaCk0y

    MaCk0y Master Guru

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    The EU is not arguing about the price but about Valve preventing consumers from activating games purchased from a different region. IMO the reason the fine is low is because the EU knows the companies will pay that amount and they won't change anything.

    Someone suggested the fines should be 100s of millions €. If that is the amount they are threatened with, what do you think the companies would do? They would just set the price the same in every region. Yes, they will lose sales from low income regions but they will lose a lot more of income if everyone from high income regions can buy from low income regions at a reduced price.

    To be honest though I don't know why the EU even bothers either just so they can collect a couple of million for their bureaucratic expenses. Maybe they just want to be seen as they are doing something for the consumer. Anyway this is just a waste of time for everyone. Again, just my opinion.
     
  18. Alessio1989

    Alessio1989 Ancient Guru

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    This is not about pricing, it's about geo-blocking. And EU for this time is damn right. They can still adopt different pricing policies and avoid VPN hassles bounding them only to payment methods that are strictly related to the final costumer location (eg: no Valve gift card :) )
     
  19. DarkQuark

    DarkQuark Active Member

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    I am in the US but I like to think I understand politics and people's motivations very well. I think you have hit the nail on the head. With low fines they can play both sides. They can look good to the consumer and not get on the bad side of any business. But the end result (as you mention) is just a huge waste of time and effort. In the end it is completely meaningless.
     
  20. Noisiv

    Noisiv Ancient Guru

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    But EU is doing something for the consumer. Namely naming, shaming and fining those who have engaged in geo-blocking.

    SMALL fines?
    Fines are proportional to the offense and to the amount of revenue generated by unlawful practices.
    Ask Focus Home if they are small. They generated 13M euros for the entire 2019-20. Now they are fined with almost 3M euros.

    [​IMG]
     

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