European Commission Has Called Valve And Other Publishers For Geo-Blocking Video Games

European Commission Has Called Valve And Other Publishers For Geo-Blocking Video Games

Valve has addressed the concern of Statement of Objection from the European Commission regarding geo-blocking games. Valve has its own statement, and it refutes the allegations of the commission. The company has addressed the concern via a press release.

The region locks are only applicable to a few gaming titles, according to the press release. Only 3% of the titles use Steam, and those games are not from Valve. The company believes in EC’s extension of liability. Because of the concerns of EC, Valve has turned the region locks off in 2015.

Eliminating the region locks will allow publishers to raise their price points in less affluent regions. There’s no expense in sending the activation keys if it will come from one nation to another. All a user needs is a key so it can activate a PC game.

There’s no decision from the commission as of now. Valve mentioned there’s an ongoing investigation since 2013. It means the company and five other publishers can make a counterargument. The commission will decide if there is sufficient proof that there’s a breach regarding antitrust rules.

The narrative of the issue starts when Valve and five other publishers might have breached the rules of the EU competition, and it came from a statement from EC.

The issue is about geo-blocking games. EC mentioned ZeniMax, Koch Media, Focus Home, Capcom, and Valve have bilateral negotiations to stop fans from buying and playing PC titles outside their region, and it’s against the antitrust rules of the EU.

Those who use Steam might already know about the regional price differences. Some games are more expensive in some countries. It is a reflection of the economies of the nations where the games are being sold.

Without geo-blocking, those who are from affluent nations could profit from buying games with cheaper price tags and selling those games for a much higher amount.

It is a natural business practice to hunt for cheaper offers abroad, and it’s not just on video games. However, the number of obstacles to online buying is getting higher. An investigation from the commission last 2015 stated that 63% of the websites don’t purchase from another EU country.

Margrethe Vesteger, EC’s commissioner, mentioned that in a genuine digital market, European buyers have the right to purchase video games regardless of what country they’re living in.

She added consumers must not be hindered if they want to shop around member states because they want the best deal. Valve and the other involved publishers can now respond to the concerns of their community.