No matter how it works in the end, it`s a good example of why gamers shouldn`t be enthusiastic about the purely digital distribution revolution that video game publishers are anticipating. Often, you don`t buy a game, but simply a license to play a game. The problem (as evidenced by Steam`s new subscriber agreement) is that you can have your license revoked at any time, for any reason and without compensation. I would like to announce that I am a (soon to be) Steam subscriber and have about 30 matches and about 200 hours of gameplay. I`ve had positive experiences on a personal level with Steam support, which is why I was so shocked to see the changes. Although Steam uses DRM, I got the impression (like others in the Steam forum) that Steam did DRM correctly. Steam has, however, adopted a guideline that I could understand from Microsoft and EA (because it fits my expectations when it comes to their corporate culture). I didn`t see it coming from Valve. Most user issues can be resolved by using our Steam support site under support.steampowered.com/. If we are unable to resolve your concerns and there is a dispute between you and Valve, this section explains how we agree to resolve them. Earlier this month, Valve updated the Steam subscriber agreement around a language that prevents disputed customers from suing the company and forcing them to accept the decisions of an “independent” arbitrator paid by Valve. Valve doesn`t just want to take your right to testify in class, but you understand that VALVE AND YOU ARE GIVING UP THE RIGHT TO SUE AND HAVE A TRIAL BEFORE A JUDGE OR JURY. The caps are taken directly from the subscriber agreement.
All forms of litigation are prohibited under this new subscriber agreement, with the exception of certain circumstances. If the Agreement is found to be illegal or unenforceable in this Section, no class action or representation, no private attorney general or class arbitration remedy, or class arbitration, you and Valve will agree that it is not separable, that this entire section is not enforceable, and that all claims or disputes are settled in court and not in class arbitration proceedings. According to a Forbes article, Valve (the owner of Steam) is worth a huge amount of money (www.forbes.com/sites/oliverchiang/2011/02/15/valve-and-steam-worth-billions/). This means that the company probably has a lot of money to burn to effectively ensure that Valve will be able to delay arbitration for as long as possible and neasing all the benefits that subscribers would have by using this format. Valve and valve agree to make reasonable and good faith efforts to resolve disputes informally before initiating arbitration. . . .