Steam’s new TOS cracks down on devs using it to promote other platforms

    
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Tayplest.

Point your eyeballs at what Valve is up to with Steam: It’s apparently trying to bar developers from using Steam to advertise, for example, their entry on the Epic Games Store, but the new policy actually seems to include much more than that.

“In the game you ship via Steam, and in communications on Steam, you may only promote the Steam version and its availability via Steam, and not other distribution outlets. This applies both to full versions of your game and to content patches that change the existing version.”

Of course, as MMO Fallout points out, Valve is so incredibly lax about enforcement of most of its policies that it’s likely this will be used only when Valve needs to crack down on a frenemy.

Source: Valve
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bobfish

Valve has always had this rule, I guess it just wasn’t clearly written before, but any developer that has had regular interactions with Valve would’ve been told about it.

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Robert Mann

Okay, whatever. Should it actually be enforced as written:

Developers will simply put “For patch notes and game availability follow this link.”

Steam users will just have to accept less information since Steam is going a overboard on this one, until eventually they are forced to back down on this language.

No biggee, Steam would only really hurt themselves here.

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Hikari Kenzaki

Enforcement is likely to be ‘only when they get in a huff’ type.

Basically, they probably just don’t want trailers and images that show all the various platforms you can buy the game on (as many trailers have), but that’s not really new. If something is being advertised on a Sony site, it will have all the other logos removed.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

.

talk is cheap.gif
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Kevin Smith

I see no problems with this at all. It’s basically the same as someone going and buying something at best buy then going onto best buy’s site and saying hey you should go buy this at target instead because it is cheaper there. The customer themselves should shop around. Devs shouldn’t be able to advertise for other sites/platforms while using another one.

As far as customers making comments on the forums that is up to the forum owner to deal with. Platform forums are not places for free speech in reality either, someone does host them and pay for them and they have the right to moderate as they see fit. I can say I have never personally seen valve take down someones post when they talk about another platform on their forums. Not to say it hasn’t ever happened. I have seen post closed though, but you could still read them up to the point they were closed.

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Kayweg

I understand that this is aimed at devs and not Steam users, so call this an off topic question by me.
What about people reviewing games and referencing other available outlets for that title ?
It’d take an army of moderators/censors to subdue the message wouldn’t it ?
And that in light of Valve’s utter reluctance to vet anything by means other than running an algorithm on it.

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cursedseishi

I think there’s literally no teeth to this update, Valve has an already horrendous track record enforcing the current TOS consistently, much less at all.

There have been a rise of a certain… subset… of games on Steam, however, that utilizes Off-platform patches to introduce content Valve might have blocked or waffled about on.

“This applies both to full versions of your game and to content patches that change the existing version.”

Immediately stands out to me regarding that. Developers don’t really promote them though, users do. So… it seems like its just an updating of the terms to fit the way they’ve been handling things rather than an actual change.

Bereman
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Bereman

Probably lax on the enforcement since they haven’t yet figured out an algorithm to handle it for them yet.

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Bruno Brito

Cool. Wake me up when they start cracking down on hackers and cheaters on their own fucking games.

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Schmidt.Capela

I believe this kind of clause is kinda universal. I mean, I don’t record seeing, say, an announcement on a game’s listing on the Nintendo e-shop telling you that you can also get the same game on Steam, or XBox, or PS4, etc.

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losludvig

yup. Still sucks though

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Eamil

My only possible concern is “in the game you ship via Steam” – as in, in-game announcements can’t pertain to other versions of the game. Depends on if they’re only concerned with “Game Now Available On Epic Store!” announcements, or if they’d crack down on devs announcing an update to another platform (even one the Steam version might have already gotten, as often happens with Warframe).

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McGuffn

I don’t have a problem with that. If games are putting “That Patch PC players got months ago is now available on consoles!” news updates on a steam news list i’d be annoyed.

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Robert Mann

It’s a possible issue, although developers are pretty wise on avoiding mentioning platforms anymore. It’s not the first time that distributors have gotten a wild hair volcano stuck somewhere in their backside.