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Bloomberg Law:

Judge John C. Coughenour let part of the case move forward in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, saying it’s plausible Valve exploits its market dominance to threaten and retaliate against developers that sell games for less through other retailers or platforms.

The company “allegedly enforces this regime through a combination of written and unwritten rules” imposing its own conditions on how even “non-Steam-enabled games are sold and priced,” Coughenour wrote. “These allegations are sufficient to plausibly allege unlawful conduct.”

The consolidated dispute is one of several legal challenges to the standard 30% commission taken by leading sales and app distribution platforms across Silicon Valley.

About time.

Steam is an exploitation machine that doesn’t invest the shitloads of money it extracts back into their platform to make it less exploitative and a better experience particularly for indie developers. Instead, Steam always had a habit of passing on everything they should do themselves to its community, which, besides unpaid work, is among the most patriarchal things I can think of. Also, remember for whom they lowered their cut when people began to complain? They lowered it for the big players who brought in over $10 million in sales. In other words, only for those who have the muscle to push against them.

I remember well when this cartoon was popular ten years ago, when people regarded Valve as “Your Cat—Loyal, friendly, and the internet loves him” (scroll all the way down). Yes, that’s a very nice picture that I didn’t quite buy even at the time. Today, if you caught a glimpse of Steam’s real image behind the curtain, it’ll be more like a picture of Dorian Gray’s cat.

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