One of the fun things about court cases is that everything has to be properly and tightly defined. And thanks to the ACCC’s case against Valve, the law of the land has provided us with some cracking descriptions.
As part of the judgment process, the Valve and the ACCC both had to outline what exactly Steam was. And because Steam sells thousands of games, some of those needed quick primers too.
On December 22, Justices Mckerracher, Moshinsky and Dowsett found in favour of the original $3 million ruling handed down against Valve in 2016. You can read more about that judgment here.
But as is proper procedure, the justices offered their take on some of the most popular games one can find on Steam. They’re surprisingly funny:
The top three games developed by Valve are all multi-player games. They have a common theme of either battle (Dota 2, a free game), terrorism (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, priced at US $14.99) or shooting (Team Fortress 2, a free game). The consumer who downloads a free game commonly discovers that there are opportunities for purchases of digital items within the game.
I just love the idea that Team Fortress 2‘s theme is just “shooting”.
But the court’s best lines were for GTA 5 and Civilization 5:
The top three games developed by third party developers are Grand Theft Auto V (a single or multi-player game which needs no further description, priced at US $74.99), The Elder Scrolls V [Skyrim](a fantasy video game, priced at US $34.99), and Sid Meier’s Civilization V (a single or multi-player strategy game to become Ruler of the World, priced at US $69.99).
There’s other bits and bobs in the full judgment, like the fact that only two Valve multiplayer games are hosted in Australia and that the original retail value of their Australian servers is $1.5 million (approx. $US1.2 million).
As a final aside, here’s an official court description of one Tasmanian gamers’ experience with a few games on Steam that didn’t work as advertised.
Mr Miller is a 28 year old man, living in Tasmania. He has played video games since he was seven years old. He plays video games daily. He has extensive knowledge of computers and computer software. The list of games that he has purchased or downloaded from Steam runs to 20 pages of closely spaced typescript. In 2012 and 2013, he purchased three video games called “NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits”, “Plants vs Zombies GOTY Edition” and “Anna”. He experienced various problems with those games including, on different occasions, failures to load properly, lack of audio, no text or images, and incorrect menu options.