Eh? Crysis 2 Steam Axe “Not an EA decision”

By Alec Meer on June 15th, 2011 at 8:33 pm.

Yeah, me too

THINGS ARE GETTING REALLY STRANGE NOW. Now being outside of UK office hours mean we’re yet to get our own EA response to why Crysis 2 vanished from Steam yesterday, but across-the-ponders have now received one. The upshot? Despite all this ‘only on Origin’ stuff, EA didn’t do it. So: who did?

Valve, apparently. Said an EA bod to GameFront, “It’s unfortunate that Steam has removed Crysis 2 from their service. This was not an EA decision or the result of any action by EA.”

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

“Steam has imposed a set of business terms for developers hoping to sell content on that service – many of which are not imposed by other online game services. Unfortunately, Crytek has an agreement with another download service which violates the new rules from Steam and resulted in its expulsion of Crysis 2 from Steam.”

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

And which other download service is it that Crytek’s been batting their eyelids at? Given EA earlier revealed it would be making some of its own games exclusive to its own download platform, could it be EA’s own Origin and a Steam-baiting term and/or condition therein? Or a change made at one of the others the game’s still available on, such as Direct2Drive, Gamersgate (their impending free service, perhaps?) and, in the US only, Gamestop and Amazon?

On the other hand, there’s that reference to “new rules” from Steam. Anyone heard anything about that?

War. War never changes. Or gets any less weird.

Tell you what though: this is happening with a game that was released several months ago and thus there’s probably not tooooo much revenue to be lost as a result of this platform bickering. When this happens with a big new release, with a whole lot of money in the balance, then things’ll get really serious. Of course, Crysis 2 might end up being the sacrificial lamb that leads to new harmony between the two firms, although one side publicly blaming the other does of course complicate that.

I’ve asked Valve for their side of things – will update as and when we hear back.

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226 Comments »

  1. Teronfel says:

    ok

    • Nighthood says:

      Not OK at all.

      This is CLEARLY a liberal application of vague truth by EA, especially given the unspecific claims they’re making.

      I’ll eat a shoe if this is genuine.

    • Zogtee says:

      Some new rules that (so far) only affects Crysis 2, then? That sounds very odd, indeed. Obviously, we’re only hearing a fraction of the story here and I’m curious to hear more.

    • PopeJamal says:

      My guess would be DLC.

      I’d bet a bag full of donuts that there’s some upcoming Crysis DLC that will be “exclusive” to Origin. Valve probably stipulated that they don’t want to get stuck selling the “gimped” version of a game, so they booted Crysis 2 off the plantation.

      That, or zombies…

    • SLeigher says:

      Your probably right Pope Jamal but EA already have Mass Effect and Dragon Age (among others) selling dlc away from steam with no complaints from valve, just me.

    • vagabond says:

      I think it’s less about Valve making sure they get a cut of the DLC monies and more about making sure they don’t get people going “I can’t get the new DLC for my game. I wish I’d never wasted my money buying it on steam”.

      By that logic those games are okay, because even though you’re buying the DLC direct from EA, you can still use it with a Steam copy of the game.

    • UnravThreads says:

      Pope; That is good thinking, but I don’t think there’s any truth to it. EA’s games mostly don’t sell DLC through Steam (The Sims being an exception). Mirror’s Edge, for example, had DLC only available through the EA Store. Mass Effect 2′s DLC is only purchasable via the BioWare site, and the Dragon Age (1+2!) have similar set ups.

      If it were true, then there’d be no Games for Windows Live games on Steam, such as Bulletstorm and BioShock 2, both of which have DLC that’s available via GfWL but not Steam (BioShock 2′s is also sold on Direct2Drive, I believe).

  2. Premium User Badge Clavus says:

    I don’t believe any of it. What in the name could move Valve to throw a title like that of their platform. Desperately needs clarification.

    • McDan says:

      ALIENS! OR HIPPIES! OR LIBERALS! OR COMMIES! Any of them could have done it!

    • skinlo says:

      I guess Crytek broke the contract.

    • Tei says:

      I only want to know one thing of Origin.

      Will it blend?

    • Premium User Badge dirtyword says:

      Vaguely, the games were in violation of Steam requirements due to a contract on another download platform. Origin perhaps?

      I hope I’m not speculating too much, but it seems as though Steam’s requirements were intentionally broken by EA/Crytek’s Origin platform.

      Hopefully I don’t seem too much like a Valve apologist in saying this.

    • djbriandamage says:

      Shot in the dark here, but I suspect it has to do with DLC. My guess is that Crytek/EA wanted to sell exclusive DLC on another platform.

    • Premium User Badge Clavus says:

      We don’t even know what term they exactly broke. Maybe they were trying to push an update that somehow promoted Origin more. I don’t want to be a Valve apologist either but I can’t imagine Valve treating its partners any worse than its customers. So I really think EA fucked something up.

    • zeroskill says:

      if Crytek broke the contract, why is Crysis 1 still on steam?

    • pepper says:

      Each game has its own contract. Its not a one size fits all thingy.

    • Thomas says:

      Because they’re 2 different games.

      The timing, in my opinion, isn’t coincidental, it’s almost more than likely it’s related to EA’s Origin and Valve’s second push on Steam Wallet.

      We can only speculate, but the idea that EA wanted to do Origin exclusive DLC, and Valve, probably unknowingly, changing the terms to specify that you cannot exclude their platform, as part of their new In-App Purchase push, makes sense.

      It’s unfortunate that it hits the customer in such a way, but they’re probably 2 seperate decisions made by two seperate teams unknowingly to eachother.

    • Gotem says:

      Most probably they refused to make a crysis hat for TF2

    • Monkey says:

      My shot in the dark, a new contract with Crytek and EA / Origin making all future titles exclusive

    • Thomas says:

      Why stop at a hat? Nanosuit for the Misc slot (And it should get nanosuit powers of course) :)

    • zeroskill says:

      Gotem has reason where others fail. Keen observation in deed. Finally someone that sees though those layers of EA lies!

    • Zyrxil says:

      We can only speculate, but the idea that EA wanted to do Origin exclusive DLC, and Valve, probably unknowingly, changing the terms to specify that you cannot exclude their platform, as part of their new In-App Purchase push, makes sense.

      That makes sense, and it coincides with the Crysis 2 Decimation pack release.

    • AlabasterSlim says:

      Shot in the dark here, but I suspect it has to do with DLC. My guess is that Crytek/EA wanted to sell exclusive DLC on another platform.

      But the DLC isn’t exclusive. It’s sold in-game in the MyCrysis section. As was the previous DLC which didn’t cause a problem.

      This also isn’t the first game to sell DLC outside of Steam. See: Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Assassin’s Creed.

    • qrter says:

      Just a couple of weeks ago BioShock 2 started selling the Minerva’s Den DLC exclusively through Games For Windows Live – that hasn’t resulted in BioShock 2 disappearing from Steam.

  3. JackShandy says:

    Wait, so because they’ve got an agreement with another download service, valve axed them? That doesn’t sound right at all.

    • Boozebeard says:

      Because they have an agreement with another service that contradicts steams terms of service. Not just having an agreement, that would be dumb.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      Not because an agreement exists but because this agreement apparently has incompatible terms with another. Things like these do happen, but I’m really curious what this is all about in detail.

      Maybe we’ll never know.

    • skinlo says:

      Crytek broke the agreement with Steam somehow, its not because Crytek has made another agreement per se.

    • Tacroy says:

      It’s definitely Valve’s fault – from the PR flack’s wording, it sounds like Crytek just signed a contract with some mysterious other digital distributor that violates Steam’s terms of service, so Steam kicked them out. D2D most likely doesn’t even know about this new contract yet, since it’s entirely possible that the Steam contract says something like “If you know you will be in violation of the terms of this contract you must tell us immediately”

      Of course, the violating term in Crytek’s new contract probably says something like “all future Crytek game releases will be digitally distributed via Origin only”, but it’s still Valve’s “fault” that they do not allow this sort of behavior.

    • Archonsod says:

      I think the keyword in the statement is “*new* terms”. Sounds like Valve have issued a change to their TOS that Crytek couldn’t/wouldn’t agree to, thus Valve discontinued service. Same thing happened with Ubi a while back.

    • PaulMorel says:

      @Tacroy: Actually, it’s not clear that this is Valve’s fault.

      EA says that they didn’t do it, that Crytek made a distribution agreement with another digital download service that violates their contract with Steam.

      Now, Crytek could have made a totally reasonable contract with … D2D or something … and Valve might have too strict of a contract … that seems to be what you are assuming.

      BUT (and it’s a big but) given that EA just announced their own digital distribution service, Origin, AND since EA distributes Crytek software … it seems pretty clear that the contract that violates Steam’s contract is the contract with EA/Origin.

      So, in essence, EA is saying that they didn’t do anything wrong … they just COINCIDENTALLY wrote a contract that violates the contract with Steam …. which is obviously utter bullshit.

    • Kadayi says:

      I’m with Paul on this. I sense there is a degree of dis-ingeniousness at work in terms of what’s not been said. I doubt there is much malice involved though, just simple legalities and breach of contract.

    • Tacroy says:

      I guess I was insufficiently sarcasmic :(

      In this scenario, it is Valve’s “fault” in the same way that if I say “punch me in the face and I’ll stop talking to you”, and you punch me in the face, it’s my fault that I’m not talking to you any more.

    • Archonsod says:

      “So, in essence, EA is saying that they didn’t do anything wrong … they just COINCIDENTALLY wrote a contract that violates the contract with Steam …. which is obviously utter bullshit.”

      Co-incidentally wrote a contract which violates Steam’s ToS, but not Gamersgate, Impulse or Direct2Drive? Beyond making “you will not sign up with Steam” a clause I very much doubt that would be possible.

      It’ll be something to do with the patches/updates, same thing that got Ubi. Apparently Valve don’t like it if you refuse to make Steam specific patches yourself.

  4. Premium User Badge Colthor says:

    Why can’t we all just get along?

  5. Sweedums says:

    it still takes me ages to figure out whats going on in that banner image…

    • Optimaximal says:

      I don’t think it was really much better in full motion…

  6. Stitched says:

    Until Valve comes out with a statement, I call bullshit.

    • mlstrum says:

      Same sentiment. It’s EA’s style to do marketing stunts like that. Not Valve’s.

  7. Premium User Badge Stellar Duck says:

    The plot thickens!

    But for some reason I believe EA. Might be I’m just in a bad mood towards Valve due to shitty customer service right now, but hey.

  8. Hunam says:

    I think Valve acting like this could be their fast track to losing their monopoly.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      They could always buy a new set. I hear the Manchester Edition’s going cheap nowadays. Baddum-tsch.

    • songkran says:

      If you think this is anything other than EA marketing trying frame Steam as the bad guy in order to boost their competing Origin service, you are naive. After all Crytek having an agreement with another download service (such as exclusivity to that other service) is their choice, so it’s actually Crytek that’s forcing Steam to pull it.

    • Hunam says:

      If you think Valve are any less aggressive and two faced than the rest of the industry you have a short memory indeed.

    • Zogtee says:

      Are we playing with a new definition of Monopoly here? Sounds fun. :)

    • zeroskill says:

      Hunam, dont be shy now, please go on, explain, I have a very, very short memory.

    • Kadayi says:

      If someone breaches a term of contact, then the other party is obligated to act upon it. To do otherwise could be viewed as consent. There is nothing malicious about it, it’s simple legalities.

  9. Sami H says:

    DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUUUH!!!

  10. Teddy Leach says:

    It’s not Valve, it’s obviously the Illuminati.

  11. Torgen says:

    Since I don’t take EA’s statements at face value, I’ll wait to hear what Valve says. This “exclusively on Origin” marketing campaign they’ve embarked on before this statement casts doubt on their story, in my mind.

  12. MaXimillion says:

    Most likely they made a contract with EA that intentionally violated the one with valve so they could say it was valve that removed them, not their own decision.

    • Hunam says:

      Valve have a big history of making contracts knowing full well the other party will break it sooner or later. In fact the entire steam service was born out of such a contract they made with Sierra.

    • wu wei says:

      Citation or you’re full of shit.

    • Rich says:

      I’ve heard that about their relationship with Sierra. The Studio Formally Known as Valve?

  13. Premium User Badge Andy_Panthro says:

    Is this similar to the way Steamworks games were not available on a few digital distributors a while back?

    I recall a few places (Gamersgate, Impulse and Direct2Drive perhaps?) had decided to remove all games requiring steamworks from their stores, perhaps in some sort of concerted effort to curtail Steam’s market dominance, but that didn’t last very long (on gamersgate at least, I don’t use Impulse or D2D so don’t know about them).

    It would be interesting if this is an attempt to do the same from Valve if Crysis 2 requires you to install Origin? (but I didn’t think that was the case…)

    • UnravThreads says:

      I can’t speak for Impulse as I rarely browse the store there, but Direct2Drive does sell Steamworks games. Fallout: New Vegas is currently on offer there :)

  14. Text_Fish says:

    Hopefully this doesn’t mean Valve want exclusivity on Steam titles? It doesn’t seem much like them.

    • alice says:

      Except for the fact that Crysis 2 is still being sold at most other online download retailers.

    • johnpeat says:

      Valve haven’t been bothered about 100s of other games appearing on other services – nor have they removed other EA games from Steam…

      The Brink thing was Steam UK only – so it’s probably entirely different…

  15. SirDimos says:

    Something tells me we’re not hearing the full story.
    It sounds all too convenient of a way to both remove a big title from Steam so that you have less competition with your own online retailer, while also making Valve look like they bullied you out.
    I’d like to hear what Valve has to say.

  16. heartlessgamer says:

    Whether Valve did or not, this should at least chase the culprit out of the closet (or Gabe will post an epic response).

  17. Josh Brandt says:

    EA. EA never changes. Their pants. Ew.

  18. James1o1o says:

    What about all the valve games that are on things like Gog or D2D? Witcher 2 is on GoG. This is horseshit. Why would Valve remove just one game from Steam where every single EA game is going to be on Origin.

    • Boozebeard says:

      What has Witcher 2 being on GOG got to do with anything?

  19. Kaira- says:

    Interesting, to say to the least. Not going to claim either one is lying until some more info comes out.

  20. Premium User Badge Nathan says:

    I wonder if this is similar to the reasons that Brink vanished from the Steam UK store on release day, despite being a Steamworks game.

    It’s all rather peculiar.

    • Torgen says:

      Was that ever explained?

    • johnpeat says:

      Bethesda gave a ‘no comment’ – I assume Hunted disappeared for the same reason…

    • Hunam says:

      Red Faction Armageddon is gone too.

    • Phinor says:

      Direct2Drive.co.uk is actually advertising Brink as “NOT AVAILABLE ON STEAM”. Something is definitely going on.

      Of course it’s even more weird because Brink is Steamworks game and installs to Steam.

    • Bhazor says:

      So Bethesda’s in on the conspiracy?
      Man! This is bullshit! This goes right to the top, man! They’re all in on it!

    • JohnnyMaverik says:

      I imagine it’s the same as when Metro 2033 (and a couple of other games in the past) did the same for a few months. In the UK retailers threaten to not stock games that use Steamworks and are available for sale on Steam, originally it was the using Steamworks that they were threatening against, and the compromise was that they’d remain Steamworks games but be removed from the Steam store for the first (I believe 2) months of release.

      Brink is a Steamworks game, isn’t tied to EA in any way, so I imagine it’s not linked to the Crysis 2 disappearance in any way, but rather the continuing tantrum bring thrown by UK retailers over the fact that digital distribution keeps slowly chipping away at their piece of the PC retail market, with Steam being at the forefront of that chisel, despite them quite evidently not giving much of a crap about supporting the PC retail market other than at best stocking the top 10 games in the charts, and having a bargain shelf full of stock they’re yet to get rid of, and at worst not having any pc games at all, this varying from store to store, rather than company to company, strangely enough (e.g. some GAMEs have a fairly large PC section, some have a pitiful stack of sims games and expansions next to their stack of various FIFA games from the PS2 era), some Blockbusters have a reasonable pc section, most have none at all).

    • Kadayi says:

      @JohnnyMaverik

      I think there is a retail squeeze on. I noticed that Tesco’s actually didn’t sell Portal 2 for PC (even though they sold it for 360 & PS3) which was kind of telling, and Duke Nukem wasn’t on the PC rack either (though again on the 360/PS3 shelves).

    • UnravThreads says:

      Kadayi;
      I don’t think Tesco is really a telling indicator of anything, at least with the PC market. The only PC games I’ve seen them stock in the past year amounts to Chavball Chavmanager and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the latter being sensible as the players would be going into Tesco to buy cheesy comestibles anyway.

      It’s sort of like Argos not selling certain PC games – It doesn’t mean they’re boycotting them, it just means they’re not stocking them for whatever reason.

  21. KingJason13 says:

    BS! The tiiming is too damned convenient… If what EA says is true… than this “problem” would have existed PRIOR to Origin and EA announcing that Crysis 2 would be exclusive to it!?! So, why would Valve wait until EA’s announcement of exclusivity to act on the “discrepancy”? Illogical asscovering from EA.

  22. RDG says:

    Time to read the Steam license agreement!

    • johnpeat says:

      Why – what on EARTH could you possibly find in there which applies to this???

      I’m sure people who own Crysis 2 through Steam can still play it – it’s just not for-sale – that’s not really against your rights – you can’t wail about it.

    • Theory says:

      That’s not the one you sign when you sell a game on Steam.

    • RDG says:

      I was referring to the license agreement for developers you rapscallions.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      The license agreement for developers will have an NDA attached so unless you are a developer you will never see it (legally) and even then you will only see your own so would only be able to guess what might be contained in others.

  23. noobnob says:

    This has been a busy week for PC gaming…

  24. felisc says:

    raaah damn you, i want to play some fallout now.

  25. DougallDogg says:

    Well thanks to Tesco’s error last week managed to pick up Crysis 2 boxed for £2.10. So regardless of EA saying “It isn’t us” your still not getting my money whilst you’re ridiculously overpriced.

  26. JohnnyMaverik says:

    Either EA’s Origin terms conflict with Steam’s to the point where Valve couldn’t keep the game (and presumably therefore other EA games that tie with Origin?) on Steam, or it’s something to do with the free games service from GamersGate.

    I’m betting heavily on the former.

    Either way I doubt Valve wanted to take it off (to the point where we can say with 99% certainty that they didn’t), and it must be something pretty shifty since they quite happily sell games that link with other services, e.g. GFWL, although I might be wrong there.

    • Kadayi says:

      Former. EA are clearly going down their own route. There’s been no sight of Alice madness returns in the Steam coming soon listings for example. The thing is, origins seems more of a digital distribution platform to placate retailers (because you’d have to be insane to buy a new game off it Vs buying a retail edition given the absurd mark up EA are charging), so it’s not really doing them any favours as a games portal. Whatever the slice Valve charge, it’s certainly less than the high street/amazon/plays of this world and with Steam there’s no overheads in terms of support.

      Will this have a big impact on Steam? I doubt it really. Most other publishers lack for the depth of EAs IPs to make another digital portal a real goer and I think it’s only really bricks & mortar retail that are kicking up a stink. The real losers in all this are the users at the end of the day typically.

    • dadioflex says:

      And they happily sold games that were tied to GFWL and whose DLC was exclusive to GFWL (eg FO3 originally) – so is the assumption that Valve changed their T&C to prevent this in the future and this is what Crysis 2 fell foul of? I dunno. I had Crysis 2 on my Steam wishlist, now I have it on my Amazon wishlist. I don’t care where I get it so long as it’s cheap.

    • JohnnyMaverik says:

      @ dadioflex

      I can’t see Valve trying to shut of GFWL. I know GWFL doesn’t have much pull with us consumers, quite the opposite, but a lot of publishers still buy into it.

      I, like you don’t really care where I get Crysis from as long as it’s cheep, although as far as digital goes, I only buy through Steam and GOG (D2D if it comes with a Steam code), since I like to keep my games limited to only a few online retailers as you don’t really have any guarantee’s over future access if a service that you’ve bought games through and rely on to continue playing those games goes down.

      I guess I’m getting it boxed now…

      I’m also very interested in how Origin will impact on GOG’s ability to get the EA games they’d like added to their catalogue. EA have already said American McGee’s Alice will only come with Alice Madness Returns if you buy through Origin, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that extends to Origin being the only place you can get the original, meaning GOG have probably lost out on what is one of the top 20 most anticipated releases through their service.

      If that turns out to be the case I for one don’t mind admitting that I’ll get Alice Madness Returns boxed and just pirate American McGee’s Alice. I’m not buying anything through Origin as out of companies in this industry I trust to have my (and other customers) best interests at heart EA come a fat last by some distance, based on their shoddy track record with shitty DRM and shutting down online services with hardly any warning and zero compensation.

  27. Archonsod says:

    Yeah, obviously it’s an EA exclusivity grab. That’s why Steam is the only digital distributor who’s removed it. /fanboyism

  28. evenflowjimbo says:

    If there was a war, and you had to pick sides … I would choose Steam!

  29. zeroskill says:

    EA stinks of horseshit.

  30. Bhazor says:

    Could this be something to do with Steam not selling EA DLC? I can’t think of any EA game that sells DLC through Steam and maybe it was this conflict with that triggered this bruhaha. I can imagine running a steam game with DLC bought outside of Steam could Valve to get a bit miffed on not getting a cut of that DLC.

    • meeper says:

      Then why is Mass Effect still available?

    • subedii says:

      EA have always had a separate system for DLC, this has never been issue before. Dragon Age, Dragon Age 2, Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, all use the EA / Bioware store for buying DLC.

      For that matter, you’ve also got GFWL titles like Batman Arkham Asylum, Street Fighter 4 and Fallout 3, all of which have DLC purchaseable off of GFWL Marketplace (and GFWL is installed with those games).

      In two of those games, it’s exclusively available on GFWL, not on Steam.

      And you’ll note, all of those titles are still on Steam. The press release mentions Crytek specifically, even though Crysis 2 has been out for months now.

    • Bhazor says:

      And?

      You think just because it’s been going on for a while means Valve won’t want to grab a piece of it? I don’t know. Maybe Steam told Crytek their new DLC had to be bought through Steam to run on the Steam version.

    • zeroskill says:

      So they can cash in on the DLC? Yeah like: Valve is well known to rip people off with overpriced DLC….sigh

    • subedii says:

      And?

      You think just because it’s been going on for a while means Valve won’t want to grab a piece of it? I don’t know.

      If they haven’t done so before, then no, not really. It’s an awfully specific circumstance in which to say “They’re angry and moneygrubbing for all the DLC monies THIS time!” quite a long time after the fact, and with several other titles doing the same thing with no issue, and let’s face it, likely to have far more profitable DLC than Crysis 2′s map packs.

      So yes, I’m heartily sceptical on that being the actual reason.

    • Bhazor says:

      Don’t underestimate the value of a map pack for a multiplayer focused shooter.

      http://uk.xboxlive.ign.com/articles/867/867617p1.html
      http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/cod-map-packs-surpass-20m-sales

    • The Hammer says:

      “And?

      You think just because it’s been going on for a while means Valve won’t want to grab a piece of it? I don’t know. Maybe Steam told Crytek their new DLC had to be bought through Steam to run on the Steam version.”

      Same story with Battlefield: Bad Company 2: Vietnam actually, and that was released last Christmas.

    • subedii says:

      I’m not underestimating anything. I’m flat out TELLING you, right now, that Crysis 2′s map packs aren’t going to sell anywhere near the numbers that you’re quoting there for Modern Warfare. And more specifically, I doubt they’re even going to get close to even BF:BC2′s. Going by the stats alone, Bad Company 2 is STILL being played far more than Crysis 2 has been for… well… quite a long time since it released really. Which was only a few months ago.

      This is not some new scenario.

    • zeroskill says:

      I dont own Crysis 2 myself, but isnt the multiplayer pretty much, dead already?

  31. Premium User Badge shoptroll says:

    That’s a nice meaty heaping of doublespeak there.

  32. aldo_14 says:

    Does Steam vary from other services in allowing people to register and download games not originally bought from Steam itself?

    • Newblade says:

      You can buy Steam keys from D2D and others.

    • aldo_14 says:

      You can buy Steam keys from D2D and others.

      That’s not quite what I mean…. although I did phrase it badly.

      Put it this way – at the moment I could buy something like Just Cause 2 from the shops, register the key and download the files through Steam without actually giving any money directly to Valve/Steam. Could I do, for example, the same with the likes of D2D or Impulse?

      Because it seems there must be some form of financial, contractual arrangement for that downloading service. I’m curious if that could be the source of this.

    • Antares says:

      As Newblade said, you absolutely can.
      I frequently buy titles off D2D’s UK store (since their prices are significantly lower than steam’s france pricing – I preordered DX3 for 27 pounds there whereas it would cost me 40 on steam). Then it’s only a matter of plugging the CD key that comes with the game into Steam. I don’t have to download anything off D2D.

      I do not know, however, if this is enough of a point of contention to result in the game getting pulled unless there’s something I’m missing, as I imagine that wathever additional cost Steam takes on to beef up the download servers is more than made up for in the customer goodwill they make.

    • UnravThreads says:

      Aldo; Yes, but no.

      You cannot plug the CD Key from absolutely any game into Steam and download it. There’s a small number of games that have an optional Steam registration, a larger number with a mandatory Steam registration and the rest cannot be added to Steam. Just because a game is on the Steam store, it doesn’t mean you can add it to your Steam catalogue.

      You can, however, run most games through Steam, allowing you access to basic overlay functions (Such as chat), but it’s sometimes unreliable.

      If you look at this list, it’ll tell you which games can be added to Steam:
      https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=7480-WUSF-3601

    • Antares says:

      ^ I stand corrected, then. I haven’t bought many games off D2D and so far have never encountered one I could not register on Steam

  33. Turin Turambar says:

    Omg i am dying of laughter here.

    First it seems that EA was the devil, they were crazy, Steam was great… etc. And now it seems it was Valve the one to eliminate the game from the store, and it seems there is some mysterious conditions in the contract that speaks about what a company can offer or not with a competitor. It sounds like Valve using his monopoly to me!

    • JohnnyMaverik says:

      Valve is neither a man nor has a monopoly. Time to read the dictionary, start at M.

    • Turin Turambar says:

      Yep, i am sure Steam is not the nº1 digital store of pc games by a huge margin, nope…

    • Vague-rant says:

      What percentage did you need to achieve “monopoly” status again? 70%? Certainly a lot lower than 100%. Its been a long time since I did any economics, and the market is probably different in digital sales compared to physical goods, but I think its fair to say Steam has considerable sway on the market right now.

    • Vinraith says:

      “Dominant sales platform” and “monopoly” are not synonyms. Valve could be more accurately described as a nascent monopoly in the industry, in that if things continue to go the way they are they will be a monopoly in due course.

    • JohnnyMaverik says:

      Being “number 1″ is not having a monopoly:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly

      If EA made all of their games exclusive to Origin they’d have more of a monopoly than Valve does atm, a lot more, although technically legally you’d still have a hard time (read: practically impossible) making that label official, in the case of Valve and Steam, legally you wouldn’t have a leg to stand on.

    • Vague-rant says:

      Edit; Flicking through that Wikipedia entry, Steam seems in a position to “determine significantly the terms on which other individuals shall have access to (a particular product)”. HL2 springs to mind :) along with every other steamworks game. But once again, I suspect the term of Monopoly needs to be redefined for the digital market.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      @ JohnnyMaverik

      Valve is indeed a man, he co-founded Gabe Newell, Inc. with Mike Harrington in 1996.

    • JohnnyMaverik says:

      Yes but the fact that steamworks games can be sold digitally through platforms (other than Valve developed games I believe) that aren’t steam means that while technically you’re actually kind of right, legally that shit wouldn’t stick, since it’d be an easy point to make that a monopoly on digital sales is practically non-existent. Plus most games don’t use steamworks remember, when they do maybe, but atm, legally steam wouldn’t be branded as having a monopoly on digital sales.

      As for Origin and EA, if, for the sake of argument, EA made all EA published games exclusive digitally to Origin, then we’re talking a monopoly, although I still wouldn’t expect that shit to stick, as EA have a larger vat of legal grease than pretty much all of the other major publishers put together.

      @ ResonanceCascade

      Shh, that’s a secret -_-

  34. ResonanceCascade says:

    I’m waiting for Valve’s side of the story, but this isn’t looking very good.

  35. Tuor says:

    Something is rotten in the state of EA.

  36. Unaco says:

    If Valve turn Evil, will we forgive them if they keep making Hats?

    • rareh says:

      They already are evil.
      1. They force their steam-drm on all the games they sale.
      2. They only sale their games digitally through steam.
      3. All they can do is rip-off mods, indies as a living(CS, L4D(copied zombie panic), DOTA 2(copied dota), Portal(nebacular drop)
      4. They started having day 1 dlc in their products.
      5. 1$ =/= 1 euro
      6. They discontinued support for windows 98 ? and the guys that wanted to play just cs or other games, couldn’t do anything even though they bought those games. They could have just let them have the latest version that supported their os, so they could play their games.
      7. Released L4D1 and 2 in consecutive years, like its fifa, instead of selling DLC for lesser price or giving it for free.
      8. They have banned accounts there if you gift people games, especially if they are from different regions, they said it was due to the region circumvention. So its great losing 100+ games, cause u cannot give ur relative from US a game…
      Thats all i can remember from the top of my head. There is so much more.

    • Kaira- says:

      Valve isn’t the best, nor are they the worst. Still bad enough for me to try and avoid buying anything from Steam.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Curious – does even MS still have support for Win98?

    • rareh says:

      @Raiyan 1.0

      You can still use Win98 Win 95, but you cannot play those games on those systems.
      Thats the difference between those 2.

      At least M$ lets you use what you bought from them, instead of stealing it back over night.
      I am not saying valve is the worst company, but it definitely ain’t the best when it comes to ethics…and most of the things they do, they do to look good from a marketing perspective like that top-down shooter they gave for free.

    • skinlo says:

      They already are evil.
      1. They force their steam-drm on all the games they sale.
      Most people don’t care about that DRM, its work perfectly well 99.9% of the time. The benefits are better than the negatives.

      2. They only sale their games digitally through steam.

      What are you talking about, I could go to my local shop and buy Portal 2 for PC if I wanted to.

      3. All they can do is rip-off mods, indies as a living(CS, L4D(copied zombie panic), DOTA 2(copied dota), Portal(nebacular drop)

      Rip-off? If by rip-off you mean hire the team who made it , and further develop it then I guess they do, and I have no problems with it, as they produce fantastic quality games.

      4. They started having day 1 dlc in their products.

      I personally don’t count something where you can buy a different pattern skin day 1 DLC, and I don’t really care if they do that in future. It doesn’t effect the gameplay in anyway, and its not as though they are offering new maps you have to pay for. Plus, they release updates free for quite a lot of their games, TF2 is still getting updated nearly 4 years after it came out for free, L4D2 has an update coming out soonish, Portal 2 has some stuff coming out. All for free.

      5. 1$ =/= 1 euro
      Publishers set the price, not Valve. Thats also the effects of various countries VAT.

      6. They discontinued support for windows 98 ? and the guys that wanted to play just cs or other games, couldn’t do anything even though they bought those games. They could have just let them have the latest version that supported their os, so they could play their games.

      OMG 13 YEAR OLD OPERATING SYSTEM DROPPED SHOCKER.

      7. Released L4D1 and 2 in consecutive years, like its fifa, instead of selling DLC for lesser price or giving it for free.

      If the quality is as good as L4D2 was, I don’t really care. L4D2 is a full new game, not just a DLC’s worth of content. Plus, 2 consecutive years doesn’t equal 15 or whatever consecutive years. I’d be more worried if L4D4 was coming out this year, but of course its not.

      8. They have banned accounts there if you gift people games, especially if they are from different regions, they said it was due to the region circumvention. So its great losing 100+ games, cause u cannot give ur relative from US a game…

      Don’t know about that, would need to look at the Steam Subscriber Agreement in more detail first. For your reference, Valve can ban you for no reason if they wanted to.

      Thats all i can remember from the top of my head. There is so much more.

      Yet amazingly the positives still outweigh the negatives.

    • phanatic62 says:

      rareh:

      Regarding point #2: http://bit.ly/kqc04R

      I still have my physical copy of HL1 at home, but that was pre-Steam :-)

    • Kaira- says:

      I don’t know if rareh edited his post, but you can’t buy Valve games from any other digital distribution service.

    • Thants says:

      Valve hire the creators of innovative mods and pay them to create full games of their idea. Only on the internet could that be turned into evidence that Valve is evil.

    • zeroskill says:

      Yap, Valve, evil, giving small time dev the shot of their lives to work at their company, supported by industry legends like writers from former Old man murrey. Yep, totally ripping off poor modders and indie devs. Not at all like EA. Not at all. What a joke. Oh and for Dota 2, they totally not hired the original dev team of Dota, who were ignored by Blizzard for more then half a decade, keeping the original Dota alive out of their own pocket. Not making any living for themselfs. HOW DARE Valve hire those people and give them the job oportunity of their lives to work with the best of their kinda and make their dreams come true of a tripple A Dota with post release support for years to come. HOW DARE THEY.

    • deadsexy says:

      @rareh: 3. All they can do is rip-off mods, indies as a living(CS, L4D(copied zombie panic), DOTA 2(copied dota), Portal(nebacular drop)
      I will never understand how some people think that’s bad in any way. So Valve looks at new and innovative ideas from modders, indie devs and students, asks them to come work for them, backs these projects with ressources, clever marketing and their ensemble of creative and competent minds and that is considered a bad thing? Seriously? Working at Valve will certainly jumpstart a carreer in the gaming industry for young devs, we get a polished game and Valve makes a ton of money. Everybody wins… Wait a moment… That’s impossible – No, really… Everybody.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      As for point no 8, I believe the guy who got banned for giving Europeans ‘gifts’ was actually receiving money for purchasing the games. He wasn’t gifting the games, he was selling Europeans games at American prices under the guise of “gifting”. Terms of service broken right there.
      Also, the difference in prices are due to foreign customs, not to mention the local retailers’ price fixing as they refuse to stock games if the internet version undercuts them.

    • rareh says:

      @Kaira

      I didn’t edit my post.

      For those confused of what i meant, Valve are only allowing and selling their games on 1 service Steam.
      If you look at CD red project they sold witcher 2 in GOG(their sister company),Steam, D2D, gamersgate etc
      They didn’t just sell on their favorite DDS(GOG).

    • JFS says:

      @ Raiyan:
      Funny thing that all European customs tariffs, no matter which actual country you live in and no matter how much the game in question costs before tax and customs, seem to even out at exactly the original Dollar price, just with a different currency symbol.

      This has nothing to do with customs, and probably not even with Valve, as it is indeed the publishers who set the price. Valve could, however, enforce a “real” conversion, where you set *one* price, say in US-D, and it automatically gets converted to whichever currency the user actually pays in. I don’t know, perhaps they couldn’t. And the retailer thing holds true. Valve isn’t really evil.

  37. Captain Kirk says:

    I know one thing that Valve would probably boot Crytek out of steam for – if Crytek signed a future timed exclusivity contract with EA/Origins.

  38. MythArcana says:

    Any sT3@/\/\ fanboys starting to realize that v@|v3 are corporate whores yet? Well, you should by now.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Oh dear, look who’s come out…

      Can we all please stop reaching for conclusions without hearing both sides of the story?

    • skinlo says:

      Go back to school and learn to spell.

    • Starky says:

      Anyone who feels the need to write steam/valve like that (or for that matter write Microsoft as micro$oft or M$) clearly haven’t got an opinion of any worth whatsoever.

      That said, valve are not corporate whores – a state of management that basically requires a company to be publicly traded. As a privately owned company there are no shareholders to be whores for.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      What the hell is a sT3@/\/\?

    • aldo_14 says:

      What the hell is a sT3@/\/\?

      It appears to be what happens if you suffer from a histrionic fit typing the word ‘steam’.

  39. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    So much ruckus on a dead platform?

    Do not disturb the deceased!

  40. Devilturnip says:

    This looks like jockeying to me on EA’s part, to diffuse some of the blame for pulling products from their (new) chief competitor. Did Valve also refuse to list Alice: Madness Returns? I doubt it. I don’t really see an upshot for Valve in this situation… Why would they knowingly refuse to collect a cut from sales of triple A titles while simultaneously forcing customers to a competitor’s service? It doesn’t make sense. However, EA has a huge amount to gain.

    I don’t doubt that there is a contract dispute, but I’d wager that EA manufactured it for the express purpose of drawing attention to their own service.

  41. Jimbo says:

    What could possibly have happened recently which would give Valve cause to retaliate in some way??

    It’s Valve firing a shot across the bows. If you intend to fuck with us, don’t forget we can fuck with you too. I’m sure if they really wanted to they could find some clause or other to remove any game from their service.

    It kinda makes sense to go after an EA Partner too. EA are obviously prepared to throw down against Valve with their own games, but they might not be prepared to jeapordise their relationship with their partners over this.

    • TNG says:

      I have no idea if it is connected, but the second DLC for Crysis 2, the “Decimation Pack”, was launched today for PC. Maybe a coincidence, maybe not.

  42. Uthred says:

    The blind faith of Valve apologists in this comments thread are hilarious

    • Tasloi says:

      Just as hilarious as the Valve haters coming out of the woodworks based on an ambiguous EA press release?

    • subedii says:

      Waiting for a response from Valve is blind faith now?

      You’re right, we should totally not do that.

    • skinlo says:

      Grow up.

    • rareh says:

      Well said.
      Just to be clear, i don’t care about EA either…

  43. 1stGear says:

    So apparently EA is the only one to violate this new contract thing?

    Anyone who is trying to draw conclusions at this point is jumping to them. The only thing that’s clear is that nothing is clear.

    • Bhazor says:

      Well Brink (Bethesda) has vanished as well.

    • RDG says:

      Only in the UK though, which is linked to retailers going weh weh. Crysis 2 has disappeared worldwide.

  44. jameskond says:

    Yeah I’m pretty sure it has to do with the DLC.

  45. Monkey says:

    Obviously a lunar eclipse get out clause. Obviously

  46. hamster says:

    I’m quite confused. What’s the big deal? Crytek/EA wants to withdraw their game from Steam and/or Steam wants to remove their game from the library. What’s all the fuss about? There is no good guy or bad guy here.

    By the way, when talking about monopolies, you want to look at the legal definition, not the economic one. Also the relevant thing to consider is “monopoly power”.

  47. PersianImm0rtal says:

    LONG LIVE STEAM! DOWN WITH EA!

    WAAAAAAAAAAAR

  48. Howser says:

    Could be DRM related… more than likely the case given valves record. If they’ve tightened the rules around that then it could explain it. Funny you didn’t have to suffer the 30 second boot time if you used the cracked version.

  49. Velvetmeds says:

    Well Valve are pricks and EA rocks so yeah.

  50. The Mechanical Aggressor says:

    Why can’t people at least entertain the thought that EA may not be at fault here? I know it’s cool to hate EA and cool to like Valve, but the one sided nature of the comments on this story, on both RPS and other sites, is disappointing. “Innocent until proven guilty” works both ways.