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. kakiharaFRS

    kakiharaFRS Master Guru

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    here's my experience of Steam over the years
    1) CH and EU prices = US prices in $ (no added taxes)
    2) EU prices = US prices +15% but CH prices still US prices in $ (there the argument of taxes was already frail)
    3) CH prices = EU prices (US+15%) "congratulations you can now pay in € like the EU you're not part of" (excuse me ?)
    4) CH prices = CH prices (EU+15%) "congratulations you can now pay in your own country currency" (now the increased prices are clearly unrelated to taxes as CH had a 8% VAT compared to 20+ for EU countries we should have had lower prices than the EU in all logic)

    now it variates between games but especially for triple A prices it can be +25% that's when I stopped caring about buying keys elsewhere
    an aggravating subject was their "stolen keys" propaganda, lies blaming a 1% problem on the 100% of the grey market you don't need to steal or fraud anything when you can buy legit in some countries and resell still making more than enough money because of steam disgusting pricing policy
    btw enthusiasts will have noticed that the companies complaining about stolen keys were mostly releasing indie trash like that downhill cycling "game"

    https://steamdb.info/app/1091500/
    CH has now 7.7% VAT but cyberpunk costs +24.08% :mad: (79$)
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
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  2. nevcairiel

    nevcairiel Master Guru

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    "Digital Open Market" is frankly, nonsense. It'll only lead to one thing, and that is increasing prices in poorer countries.

    Many physical goods are sold for cheaper there because the average income is much lower. Sure, anyone in the EU could drive there and also shop for cheap. But thats an investment in time and travel cost.
    Digitally, why would anyone pay the full price in a richer country if they can pay a lower price in a poorer country, with a few seconds of effort clicking a few buttons?

    As I understand it, the regional prices are not even a problem, and tieing price to your physical location is perfectly legal. But of course people cheat with VPNs, which is apparently not illegal, and when a company wants to prevent that, its illegal. Something is amiss there.

    The only consequence of that is that lower prices in certain countries will increase. Long term, no consumer wins from this.
     
  3. Clouseau

    Clouseau Ancient Guru

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    All I can is laugh at all of those who during the whole Epic Game Store debacle where it is Steam or nothing. Then things like this come out. Valve did not even bother because of such loyal supporters they have a ton of FU money. None of these curated store fronts should even exist. Game support forums is all they should be.
     
  4. Raserian

    Raserian Member Guru

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    If you would get cheaper games than rest of the continent, everyone would be ordering under a VPN server in your country, and first of them would be Germans with monthly salary of €4K. It doesn't matter what your income is, as long as you can buy something cheaper, you will do it no matter what. So that's why they divide world only to larger regions like US, EU, Asia...etc and not much deeper, yet the purchasing power definitely differs across regions. Other countries and continents just get attached to their closest parent region. And that's why Germany and you have the same price of €50 for one game, because you are in EU region. Kaspersky has definitely better approach but it is a russian corporation and they seem to not follow a typical euro-american business model ignoring purchasing power, yet such attitude is definitely not common in companies selling software. I assume that the original idea was picked up long ago to value intellectual things like software and multimedia same way as physical goods which reinforced the attitude to have a rigid pricing, then again, variable prices would definitely open potential for abuse by customers from high income countries and would require additional protective measures to be tied to users' accounts, all of which would be at the expense of a company that want to earn revenue from you, not give it away.

    Just to notice, EU gasoline is more expensive because of EU living off all the taxes and fees and duties tied to the fuels which they do not add to the cost of gas in the US, but actual price of a raw gasoline is mostly the same. Americans have cheaper gas, europeans have free education and free healthcare. I take the european model is better because education and healthcare are necessities you need and can't afford, games and gas are things that are expensive but you can absolutely do without if you can't afford them.
     
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  5. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    Geo-blocking will not end. Not with fine as small as this one. If I can buy game from over seas and save $30, then it is $30 company lost.
    With such difference, all it takes to recuperate valve's fine is 55k sales at full price which did happen thanks to geo-blocking.
     
  6. mackintosh

    mackintosh Master Guru

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    This is a slap on the wrist, but make no mistake, the EC will go after them again if need be and the next fine isn't going to be this lenient. It's going to be billions. They've already done it before with other repeat offenders.
     
  7. EspHack

    EspHack Ancient Guru

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    so the argument goes that this is nonsense because geoblocking allows lower prices in poorer markets, so its "justified", because otherwise "they would be forced to apply luxemburg prices everywhere"

    of course they will try and do just that, and fail;

    instead if they had a brain it would be romania prices everywhere, because brute-forcing every market to swallow luxemburg prices just means getting luxemburg profits from luxemburg alone, and 0 profits from almost everywhere else due to piracy

    so I hope the EU keeps fining their asses
     
  8. Biały Wilk

    Biały Wilk Member Guru

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    Thank you shitty communist EU imbeciles. Now games in my country will increase in price because Valve will be forced by socialist-psychopaths to make it "equal" in whole EU. Equality for everyone, this was the same when my country was in USRR, the same becomes in EU. And fk! I remember those times, looks like history repeats. I envy USA, every state has more freedome and can set their taxes etc. how they want. If only EU would learn from USA.
     
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  9. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    On other hand, dude (EU) fining them is not any better.
    Companies want as big piece of the pie as they can get from each region.
    EU fining those globally operating companies gets money from all gamers across the world. In other words, EU wants to suck finance from all other regions too.
    And what good does it do for gamers? We'll never see single Euro from this fine even if we live in EU.

    Then again, we have free market even if EU hates free market. We have options and ability to make choices, even when EU claims that we have no choice and no ability to make own decisions.
    If I do not like price of game on steam, I'll go elsewhere. If I can't get game in price I like, I have option to not buy it.
    And sure, I do not like prices in here for most of games, so I stopped buying as often. And I have tons of games I did not even start and many which I play and can continue playing for tens of thousands of hours.

    While one should evade politics here as much as possible, this very thread is about politics. EU while based on capitalism, pushes heavily for democratic socialism. And all those anti-free market fines are just surface expression.
    EU is not doing its citizens any services. Quite contrary, they systematically destroy self sufficiency of any country as much as they can, so each country depends on trade with other countries. They use our own money against us.

    And this is no different. Fines for doing "damage" to gamers will not be used to repair "damage" done to EU gamers.
     
  10. rl66

    rl66 Ancient Guru

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    Piracy is not a so big problem if editor/distributor do it right...
    Compulsive pirate user would never buy a software anyway even at 1 euro, so you should consider them as "bothering" and not as a "lost of gain".

    If they do it wrong then some marginal % of consumer will go to piracy of course, but most will abandon the editor or talk bad about it (more bad for them. exemple: EA or UBI).
    Steam still do that if it was the only one and above any law... On the distance i think it's wrong.
     

  11. rl66

    rl66 Ancient Guru

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    I don't think USA is an exemple or maybe a counter-exemple at this moment, also EU is not socialist or communist at all, it's just an heavy useless technocracy...
    On other hand it remind me also when i was east side too.
     
  12. Raserian

    Raserian Member Guru

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    In US region if game costs $50, it costs like that in every state, and poorer states have to earn harder that $50 than richer states. The US has income inequality too.
     
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  13. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    There is income inequality in any country. We with less than 11M people have many sub regions and very different income for same job. Very different housing prices.
    It is natural. There will always be edge of: "Not buying for this price."
    Question is in who can tell seller at what price he can sell? Nobody in free market.
    When I sell, and give you discount (for whatever reason) and someone else does not get it... Do I have right to control final sale price or not? Can I give discounts? Anything goes in free market.
    But apply EU rules to everything and you are going into far left political spectrum.

    And economy lessons did teach anyone who was able to learn that political systems and economical are often not well separated. And when political systems tend to meddle with economical, left/mid/right tend to do it in very different ways. And it has very different consequences.

    Finding entire documentary may be hard, but if you are interested in economy theories and real implications. It may be worth the effort.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
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  14. Mineria

    Mineria Ancient Guru

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    Thing is, Valve hasn't been geo blocking since 2015 or so.
    According to Valve, the few games that make use of geo blocking don't even use Valve to enforce it, seems most of them are just doing it cause of country content restriction, Germany as example.
    Not sure if the case even comes down to price differences, more like some people just seem fast to jump the gun.
     
  15. Asgardi

    Asgardi Master Guru

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    From trade and sales perspective, EU is one "country".
     

  16. barbacot

    barbacot Master Guru

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    This is EU: when they decide new taxes for the people these are immediately enforced with much enthusiasm but when they decide a fine for a very big company it is too little too late.
    The income differences between countries is not the main problem: even in one country you have regions with more prosperity, development and income than others - so these inequalities are extended at the global level - but the centralized decision IS: it should be a federation of states like USA - it is a proven working model while the EU model struggles every time when there are some problems because of the lefty - tree hugger - idealists from Bruxelles.

    Anyway the fine amount is "huge" - pocket money for these companies.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
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  17. somemadcaaant

    somemadcaaant Master Guru

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  18. Mineria

    Mineria Ancient Guru

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    Vestager, lefty?

    Valve has responded to this btw.
     
  19. tfam26

    tfam26 Guest

    Oh good, more broken Western careerists bickering about nothing.


    edit: talking about the people involved (EU, Valve) not the people here.
     
  20. Agonist

    Agonist Ancient Guru

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    You need to get outside more socialist.
     

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