Valve Officially Condemns Steam Item Gambling

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Mr.Mattress:

I'm sorry, that's not true. As someone who's played TF2 a lot, most of the time you open crates, you get simple weapons you can get for free, can't trade for anything worthwhile, and can't sell via the Steam Market. Other crates, especially holiday themed crates, can give you items that are either less then the value of the Key itself, or cannot be traded or sold at all. You're guaranteed nothing by opening crates, which is why I usually avoid opening crates.

Incorrect, it is true. Whether the item recieved has a value of $2.50, or whether it has any monetary value at all, is irrelevant. The point is that if you put up the money, you get something in return guaranteed. It may still be a gamble in the conventional sense that what you get could be hot garbage, but from a legal standpoint it is not and never will be gambling.

Lol Valve condemns the practice while putting in the least amount of work to do anything about it and as long as they keep pulling in that juicy juicy cash from CS GO cases which then get gambled off on websites such as the ones Valve is frowning and waving their finger at I fully expect that's all Valve will do, frown and wave it's finger.

Mr.Mattress:

I'm not too sure about CS:GO's crate system, but on TF2, Crates are free, while the Keys costs $2.99. For $3, the fact that most of the time you'll end up getting something that's either <$3, or worth $0, with only the slight chance of getting something worth over $3, does indeed make crates a gamble; a small gamble, sure, but a gamble none the less. I'm certain that Crates in CS:GO are cheap, but how much are CS:GO's keys worth? What are the chances of getting an item that is worth more then $1.50+The Keys cost?

Sure, they aren't as big a gamble as actual Steam Gambling sites, but regardless of whether the gamble is worth $3 or $200, it's all still gambling!

Crates and keys are interchangeable terms depending on the game. I don't feel the need to reference both. Dota 2's even done away with keys altogether. But yeah, in CS and TF, crates are dropped while keys are bought.

The crates are essentially there to generate the items, and then the marketplace is there if you want guaranteed items.

I'd say that the only reason the items are worth nothing anymore is because trading and the marketplace exist. If you want guaranteed items, then you can buy the items from the marketplace for about 0.2p each. The issue is that the amount of supply for the common items from crates has been inflated by people opening stacks of boxes for particular items. At the end of the day, it's simply a case of the cost of crates not scaling with the average value of the items within.

I'm not arguing that the crate system is good. I'm simply arguing that it isn't really gambling. Even if you do consider it to be gambling, you still can't argue that it's in the same ballpark as the dota 2 item gambling sites.

Infernal Lawyer:

meirol:
Congratulations Valve, you literally did the least you could do.

And even then it only took a lawsuit for them to pull their fingers from their asses. Typical Valve.

thewatergamer:
Yeah! I mean before they were driving tons and tons of money for us BUT NOW THAT SOMEONE GOT CAUGHT? "Oh its so horrible!"

Smilomaniac:
I don't care about Valve's involvement, to them it was likely just an experiment. Whatever revenue that Valve saw from that 2-3 billion business was probably chump change compared to other things they have going on.

RiseOfTheWhiteWolf:
Snip

The statement given by Valve states that they received no money from such sites, which I'm sure in the literal "handing over wads of cash" sense is true.

I guess you could argue that such sites encouraged users to buy stuff to gamble, but even then the influence is hardly something that could be measured. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure they benefited from such sites, but as has been said it was probably chump change, and probably not something a court could hold them accountable for.

(Probably. I ain't really a lawyer)

You have a legitimate point absolutely,(I was being a bit sarcastic) my problem is with valve being quiet about it until ONLY after something bad happened, which is just typical valve bullcrap

LysanderNemoinis:

RiseOfTheWhiteWolf:
This is what they say. What they are thinking is:

"Well, since this whole thing blew up so big we're doing something about this. We really wish we didn't have to - anyone who's not completely stupid is aware we knew about gambling websites the entire time and let them do their shit because it was making us money (we even got sued but lmao who cares, loopholes in gambling laws are sweet), but now that a popular youtuber and reddit are on the case we don't have much of a choice. Remember when Gabe was enough to guarantee good publicity for the entire studio no matter what we did? Sigh, good old days. Anyway, because we're completely ham fisted when it comes to interacting with anything our community wants or does, we're going to drop our entire nuclear arsenal on this issue to make sure every single party involved - except us, of course - gets fucked in the ass. We've already got our two biggest dildos out of the drawer - one for the people who built up and invested in gambling websites with our go ahead, one for the people who used said gambling sites and now have to watch those sites run away with their deposits, some of which are worth several thousand dollars - so we really hope you enjoy getting fucked in the ass. Fuck you.

Oh, just a reminder: obviously we had absolutely NOTHING to do with ANY OF THIS. Just because we own, develop and oversee a game and massive service doesn't mean we have any responsibility for those two. We'd like to clarify the revenue received from people who use gambling websites to earn REEL MONEY while using our services - something we could have stopped at any time - through publicity and millions of people opening cases do not profit us in any way. None. No business relations and all that. What are you gonna do, sue us?

Your favourite ass fucking service,

Valve.

PS: Sorry for taking like a full week to respond to all the allegations, our entire team was busy working on something which is not Half Life."

Holy crap. And to think I thought I was filled with piss and vinegar. I tip my hat to you for that post, because it was a beautiful thing to read and the perfect summation of the entire debacle. Gamers are often a considered a group of people who dislike big business and faceless asshole corporations, but Valve have been bastards for a long time and everyone always gave them a pass. Even if this doesn't sink Valve (and honestly I don't think anything really could), it will at least deal them a big enough blow to wake some people up to their unrepentant douchebaggery.

Both really good posts thank you : ) A few years back when some steam accounts were put on ban due to forum posts that got my attention, it is one thing to ban them from posting but entirely another to ban their access to the games they paid for. Since that time I have been quietly moving my library over to GoG. Presently there are only a few games per year that I purchase on Steam, the upcoming Civ VI and Paradox games.

Steam has gotten many free passes from gamers who chose to overlook their bad behavior as a company. I think it is due to steam sales and that people are in absolute Fear.

This is a Fear of losing access to their entire games library, so they ignore the wrong doings of the dictator of their game accounts. It was a good run while it lasted but like they say, power corrupts and they have been in the power position for too long and it really shows.

LegendaryGamer0:

Vigormortis:

They might've, but if you lose that frequently it's probably punishment enough.

I'll let myself be the one who determines if I've been punished enough by my own stupidity, thank you very much!

Vigormortis:
[double post]

Don't think I'm not onto you and your attempts to impersonate said friend in order to beat me and get free things!

It's a conspiracy!

What? No! I would never! I have no idea what you're talking about!

<.<

Also: Thanks for making me a liar and dragging me back into the thread.

Responding to snarky sarcasm is one of my weaknesses.

Jburton9:
A few years back when some steam accounts were put on ban due to forum posts that got my attention, it is one thing to ban them from posting but entirely another to ban their access to the games they paid for.

Sorry, what? When was this? Do you have a link I can follow to follow up on that story?

I mean, there's a drastic different between, say, a Steam ban and an account closure. Most people confuse them. You can be Steam banned but still access your library of games. You can even download them again from the Steam servers. You just lose access to the Storefront and Community services.

To actually have your account locked and lose access to redownloads of your games requires either some really egregious, illegal activity (like stealing other accounts) or contacting Valve and requesting they close the account.

I've yet to come across a single story where someone had their account closed because they posted some stupid comments on a forum. If you can point me to where this sort of thing actually happened, I'd really appreciate it because, if true, that's bullshit.

While this issue certainly is a problem, the bigger problem is that all they're doing to stop it won't be enough, and will just drive this activity to even shadier methods to maintain business.

weirdee:
While this issue certainly is a problem, the bigger problem is that all they're doing to stop it won't be enough, and will just drive this activity to even shadier methods to maintain business.

Not really. People only really trust major item gambling sites. If major websites are consistently forced to cease and desist, then we're just left with scattered websites that no one trusts enough to bet on.

Steam item gambling essentially works by the user sending items to the host via bots. If they lose, they never see the items again, but if they win, then they get items + losers items. Betting requires the user to place trust in the host that the items'll come back. No one's going to send items to an unestablished website that they can't trust.

It isn't an illegal drug ring, it's dealing in pretend hats.

thethain:
Kibeth41 point is you get *something* basically that you can put up a slot machine if it is guaranteed to at least hand out cracker jack prizes every time. (even if the only reason anyone is actually playing is the 1/100000 chance of getting a big pile of money) As long as you can look the other way and say "Oh yeah, they are paying a dollar for some stickers, 87 times in a row" you are in the clear.

I'm starting to understand how Pachinko games can get away with not being gambling somehow..

So really what those CS:GO betting sites need to do is offer a complimentary gift of some sort worth 0.00000000000000001$ (since this is CS:GO, let's say they compensate you with one of the most common and worthless items in the game) if you lose as a consolation prize and they wouldn't be gambling sites anymore according to the technical definitions.

Vigormortis:

Jburton9:
A few years back when some steam accounts were put on ban due to forum posts that got my attention, it is one thing to ban them from posting but entirely another to ban their access to the games they paid for.

Sorry, what? When was this? Do you have a link I can follow to follow up on that story?

I mean, there's a drastic different between, say, a Steam ban and an account closure. Most people confuse them. You can be Steam banned but still access your library of games. You can even download them again from the Steam servers. You just lose access to the Storefront and Community services.

To actually have your account locked and lose access to redownloads of your games requires either some really egregious, illegal activity (like stealing other accounts) or contacting Valve and requesting they close the account.

I've yet to come across a single story where someone had their account closed because they posted some stupid comments on a forum. If you can point me to where this sort of thing actually happened, I'd really appreciate it because, if true, that's bullshit.

Hi, for a quick example:
http://www.geek.com/games/steam-proves-we-dont-own-the-games-we-buy-1464093/

The one I spoke of made the news about six or so years ago, it shocked a lot of people how player accounts were perma ban due to Valve moderation response for some forum posts - yes it was some very toxic trolling and they deserved a forum ban but not an account ban. Valve changed their minds once it hit the media and reopened the players accounts. Also as of a year or so ago Developers can ban you from their games anytime they wish through Valves Steam service.

http://store.steampowered.com/subscriber_agreement/

"Valve may terminate your Account or a particular Subscription for any conduct or activity that Valve believes is illegal, constitutes a Cheat, or otherwise negatively affects the enjoyment of Steam by other Subscribers. You acknowledge that Valve is not required to provide you notice before terminating your Subscriptions(s) and/or Account, but it may choose to do so."

http://store.steampowered.com/online_conduct/

Both above items give them full action to basically do whatever they want. They can even refuse to give you a reason why and simply respond with "case closed" we do not discuss the reasons for account bans.

Like the article and the case in the link, the only reason Valve actually responded properly was strictly due to gaining negative media attention.

Jburton9:

Hi, for a quick example:
http://www.geek.com/games/steam-proves-we-dont-own-the-games-we-buy-1464093/

The one I spoke of made the news about six or so years ago, it shocked a lot of people how player accounts were perma ban due to Valve moderation response for some forum posts - yes it was some very toxic trolling and they deserved a forum ban but not an account ban. Valve changed their minds once it hit the media and reopened the players accounts. Also as of a year or so ago Developers can ban you from their games anytime they wish through Valves Steam service.

But the link you provided here doesn't sync up with the story you keep mentioning. The one you linked was about some guy whose account was temporarily banned but later reinstated. It says nothing about multiple users and forum trolling.

Do you have a link that backs up that story? The one linked is questionable, but the article provides very few details (and no verifiable information, save for his word) so I can't make a judgement call on the events one way or another.

http://store.steampowered.com/subscriber_agreement/

"Valve may terminate your Account or a particular Subscription for any conduct or activity that Valve believes is illegal, constitutes a Cheat, or otherwise negatively affects the enjoyment of Steam by other Subscribers. You acknowledge that Valve is not required to provide you notice before terminating your Subscriptions(s) and/or Account, but it may choose to do so."

http://store.steampowered.com/online_conduct/

Both above items give them full action to basically do whatever they want. They can even refuse to give you a reason why and simply respond with "case closed" we do not discuss the reasons for account bans.

Except, they can't remove any files you've downloaded to your hardrive(s). This is why, whenever I purchase a game on Steam, the first thing I do is download the game files and create backups. Just buying the games and leaving them on the Steam servers is akin to buying a game disc at Gamestop and then expecting them to keep the disc for you indefinitely. It's just irresponsible.

As for the rest, why is it shocking that Valve reserves the right to deny access to their services to people who've committed illegal acts? Losing access to the Steam servers (i.e. an account ban) doesn't magically make the client side of the program stop working. It still functions in offline mode, allowing you to play whatever games you have installed that require Steamworks. And games that don't require Steamworks function without the client open anyway.

Frankster:

thethain:
Kibeth41 point is you get *something* basically that you can put up a slot machine if it is guaranteed to at least hand out cracker jack prizes every time. (even if the only reason anyone is actually playing is the 1/100000 chance of getting a big pile of money) As long as you can look the other way and say "Oh yeah, they are paying a dollar for some stickers, 87 times in a row" you are in the clear.

I'm starting to understand how Pachinko games can get away with not being gambling somehow..

So really what those CS:GO betting sites need to do is offer a complimentary gift of some sort worth 0.00000000000000001$ (since this is CS:GO, let's say they compensate you with one of the most common and worthless items in the game) if you lose as a consolation prize and they wouldn't be gambling sites anymore according to the technical definitions.

Most common and worthless item in the game, you say?
image
Losing all your stuff in a dumb bet is bad enough, but getting a crate in return would be like rubbing demonic salt into the wound.

Yet paying 2.49 USD for a pull of a slot machine is okay.

So they have condemned their own system? Oh, thats about those gambling scam sites, i though for a second somone finally took crate gambling seriously. I guess we will have to wait for the lawyers there too!

Vigormortis:

Jburton9:

Hi, for a quick example:
http://www.geek.com/games/steam-proves-we-dont-own-the-games-we-buy-1464093/

The one I spoke of made the news about six or so years ago, it shocked a lot of people how player accounts were perma ban due to Valve moderation response for some forum posts - yes it was some very toxic trolling and they deserved a forum ban but not an account ban. Valve changed their minds once it hit the media and reopened the players accounts. Also as of a year or so ago Developers can ban you from their games anytime they wish through Valves Steam service.

But the link you provided here doesn't sync up with the story you keep mentioning. The one you linked was about some guy whose account was temporarily banned but later reinstated. It says nothing about multiple users and forum trolling.

Do you have a link that backs up that story? The one linked is questionable, but the article provides very few details (and no verifiable information, save for his word) so I can't make a judgement call on the events one way or another.

http://store.steampowered.com/subscriber_agreement/

"Valve may terminate your Account or a particular Subscription for any conduct or activity that Valve believes is illegal, constitutes a Cheat, or otherwise negatively affects the enjoyment of Steam by other Subscribers. You acknowledge that Valve is not required to provide you notice before terminating your Subscriptions(s) and/or Account, but it may choose to do so."

http://store.steampowered.com/online_conduct/

Both above items give them full action to basically do whatever they want. They can even refuse to give you a reason why and simply respond with "case closed" we do not discuss the reasons for account bans.

Except, they can't remove any files you've downloaded to your hardrive(s). This is why, whenever I purchase a game on Steam, the first thing I do is download the game files and create backups. Just buying the games and leaving them on the Steam servers is akin to buying a game disc at Gamestop and then expecting them to keep the disc for you indefinitely. It's just irresponsible.

As for the rest, why is it shocking that Valve reserves the right to deny access to their services to people who've committed illegal acts? Losing access to the Steam servers (i.e. an account ban) doesn't magically make the client side of the program stop working. It still functions in offline mode, allowing you to play whatever games you have installed that require Steamworks. And games that don't require Steamworks function without the client open anyway.

I offered a more recent example. My original post is in my opinion for what is reasoning for myself in moving away from steam. I am not here to try to sway your opinion nor am I obligated to do so.

Jburton9:

I offered a more recent example.

I understand that, but you keep mentioning the other story in your reasoning. I was only asking if you could cite that story as, if true, it's a pretty egregious example of Valve making a really bad judgement call. If not true, then your use of the story in your reasoning seems...odd.

My original post is in my opinion for what is reasoning for myself in moving away from steam.

Fair enough, but I wasn't trying to convince you to go back to Steam. I was only asking for verification of the basis of your reasoning. It's up to us to be the watchdogs of Valve and its decision making. As such, I'm always interested in (verifiable) stories of their missteps.

I am not here to try to sway your opinion nor am I obligated to do so.

I wasn't demanding anything of you. I was only asking if you would be kind enough to link me to a 'citeable' source for the story you kept mentioning. But based on this comment I take it you either can't or simply wish not to.

Either is fine. If the story is true, I'm sure I'll hear of it elsewhere. If it's not, well...your reasoning is questionable, but it's yours to have. Who am I to say otherwise?

Vigormortis:

Jburton9:

I offered a more recent example.

I understand that, but you keep mentioning the other story in your reasoning. I was only asking if you could cite that story as, if true, it's a pretty egregious example of Valve making a really bad judgement call. If not true, then your use of the story in your reasoning seems...odd.

My original post is in my opinion for what is reasoning for myself in moving away from steam.

Fair enough, but I wasn't trying to convince you to go back to Steam. I was only asking for verification of the basis of your reasoning. It's up to us to be the watchdogs of Valve and its decision making. As such, I'm always interested in (verifiable) stories of their missteps.

I am not here to try to sway your opinion nor am I obligated to do so.

I wasn't demanding anything of you. I was only asking if you would be kind enough to link me to a 'citeable' source for the story you kept mentioning. But based on this comment I take it you either can't or simply wish not to.

Either is fine. If the story is true, I'm sure I'll hear of it elsewhere. If it's not, well...your reasoning is questionable, but it's yours to have. Who am I to say otherwise?

I'm with you. There seems to be a lot of ill will towards Valve as of late. And honestly, I like their general hands-off approach. People think they want more restrictions but they really really don't. Or at least shouldn't.

Arnoxthe1:

I'm with you. There seems to be a lot of ill will towards Valve as of late. And honestly, I like their general hands-off approach. People think they want more restrictions but they really really don't. Or at least shouldn't.

It's not even like Valve is beyond reproach. They are far from infallible. But with the many legitimate reasons to criticize the company I simply do not understand why we, as a community, keep inventing and fabricating criticisms that have very little, if any, basis in reality. What purpose does it serve to just...make shit up to complain about? If we spend all of our time whining about things that are either untrue or inconsequential then the real issues, the real problems, get buried under a deluge of nonsense. And when that happens, it becomes very hard to zero in on the issues and suss out solutions for them.

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