PC games may become more expensive on Steam due to the European Commission

The European Commission has accused Valve of violating antitrust laws by regionally blocking games.

What is known

The main advantage of Steam is regional prices, thanks towhich games cost less in some countries. But a gamer from Germany will not be able to save money and buy GTA in Poland, which the European Commission did not like.

“In a true European Digital Single Marketconsumers should have the right to buy and play the video games of their choice, regardless of where in the EU they live. Consumers should not be prevented from seeking better deals in other countries. Valve and five other PC game publishers have a chance to respond to our concerns,” said Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition.

In addition to Valve, the commission had a fight with Bandai Namco,Capcom, Focus Home, Koch Media and ZeniMax, with whom Gabe entered into regional restrictions agreements. Such a contract violates Article 101 TFEU, for which companies can be fined in the amount of 10% of global turnover.

The proceedings began in February 2017,and the first review was scheduled for March 23, 2020. During this time, Valve can follow EU law or argue its position by leaving a regional block. If the court sides with the EU, then, according to Valve, publishers will have to increase the cost of games in “less wealthy regions.” So PC gaming may soon stop being so budget-friendly.

“The elimination of regional blocking will alsomean that publishers are likely to raise prices in less affluent regions to avoid price arbitrage. There is no cost to send activation keys from one country to another, and the activation key is all the user needs to activate and play on PC,” Valve responded.

Valve spokesman Doug Lombardi explainedVentureBeat that publishers, not Steam, are responsible for restrictions. In addition, in 2015, Valve removed regional restrictions in the European Economic Area and applies them only at the request of local authorities. So, in Germany, the developers had to remove the swastika from Wolfenstain in order for the game to be put on sale.