Games Industry

Valve: “The requirements of the European Commission are not related to the sale of games directly through Steam”

The company believes that it is not responsible for the regional blockage caused by the laws of individual countries.


On April 5, the European Commission demanded that Valve and publishers such as Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home, Koch Media and ZeniMax, remove regional restrictions on the territory of the European Union on Steam.

The body explained that local laws prohibit “dividing the market”, thereby hinting at the sale of activation keys for games that are intended for a particular country, such as the Czech Republic or Latvia.

Soon after the statement of the European Commission, Valve sent out a press release stating that the requirements put forward by the body did not apply to sales directly on Steam.

The European Commission claims that Valve applied a regional lock of activation keys at the request of publishers, thereby limiting them to a specific territory within the European Union. They allow the buyer to activate the game on Steam after purchasing the key from a third-party seller. Valve provides activation keys for free and does not receive a share of these sales if the game is sold by a third-party seller, such as retailers or online stores.

from Valve statement

Valve also stated that it is not responsible for the regional blockage, if it is stipulated by the law of a particular country.

Valve believes that the adoption by the European Commission of responsibility for the supplier is not supported by applicable law. However, due to concerns of the authority, Valve already turned off regional blocking in the EU in 2015, with the exception of those countries where it was necessary in accordance with local legal requirements, such as the German content law, or geographical restrictions on the distribution of the game by Steam partner .

from Valve statement

Valve explained that the complete removal of regional blocking could lead to higher prices for games in less prosperous regions.

Sending keys from one country to another does not include any costs, and that’s all the user needs to activate the game.

from Valve statement

It seems that while Valve does not intend to comply with the requirements of the European Commission.


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