Valve''s bid to end an antitrust litigation over Steam was rejected on Monday by Seattle Judge John Coughenour. It''s probable that Valve is using Steam''s dominant position in the market to avoid developers from lowering their prices elsewhere.
Despite some of the games being available on Steam and other stores, such as the Epic Games Store, they are making less money. Publishers like Microsoft and EA sell games for the same price, despite not having to pay a commission on their own stores.
Valve, one of the main plaintiffs, claimed that it was because Valve threatened to remove developers from Steam.
The plaintiffs argue that the Steamworks documentation is consistent with a price comparison between Steam and other storefronts. Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney agrees. However, only the section on selling Steam keys outside of Steam suggests price equality. "We ask you to treat Steam customers no worse," said the author. Anonymous sources said the same.
When it comes to PC games that aren''t on Steam, the case against Valve seems to lose ground. Ars found that such games were almost always sold for the same price on Epic''s store and consoles despite Epic charging a lower commission than the console manufacturers.
Ubisoft, which failed to lower its prices when it stopped selling new games on Steam. Ubisoft seems to have just pocketed the difference when it comes to selling games like Assassin''s Creed Valhalla and Far Cry 6 on its store and Epic.
Nonetheless, Coughenour has allowed the plaintiffs'' price-parity allegations to continue. "These statements are sufficient to imply unlawful conduct," he said.