$834 Million Lawsuit Accuses Valve Of Rigging The Games Market Through Steam

Gamers often argue about how expensive the hobby has become, and some can take that argument even further. Valve has been the focus of a massive UK lawsuit alleging that it has overcharged PC gamers through its popular Steam platform. 

Steam is the de facto marketplace for PC gamers, selling everything from the latest releases to indie titles. The allegations that make up this £656 million (around $834 million in US dollars) lawsuit points to Steam being completely dominant in its sector. According to the lawsuit, this lack of competition has allowed it to overcharge 14 million gamers in the UK.

By forcing "Price Parity obligations," games cannot be sold on other platforms for less. Therefore, Steam can charge upwards of 30%, argues the claim. Such complaints have turned up with other companies too, most notably with Apple's App store and the creators of Fortnite, Epic Games. 


Gamers often wait for months to participate in various Steam sales during the year, anticipating special offers and discounts. With 580 million games sold in 2023, Steam has established itself as the market leader. There is no doubt that competition helps to reduce overall market pricing for games, but it is a complicated matter. Other gaming market places, such as those from Epic Games, have attempted to gain some market share over the years in part by giving away free games on a weekly basis. It also holds frequent sales with reusable coupons.

Steam has also enjoyed success with its Steam Deck handheld system, which feeds into the same market place ecosystem as PC gamers currently use. 

In the field of game distribution platforms, Steam remains on top. The lawsuit alleges this this has allowed Valve to take advantage of higher pricing and commissions at the expense of 14 million UK gamers, and it will be interesting to see how this plays out, given that PC games are often sold for discounts on Steam.
Tags:  Gaming, STEAM, Lawsuit, Valve