Steam, banning players for being generous?

Ivan Torres

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Sep 27, 2010
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So, from what I've read in the comments, this situation is like DRM?

Valve jacked up prices, which caused some guy to do something illegal, but it's Valve's fault in the first place?

Also, to all Valve haters, we aren't fanboys, you're just haters.
 

ENKC

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May 3, 2010
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Blue_vision said:
Not so much "being generous" as deliberately trying to cheat the system. Valve and the publisher may still be making money off of it, but that's like jacking someone's car, but leaving them $10.
Bollocks. That analogy is simply flat wrong, as you're legitimately paying for the exact same product. Why should we have to pay different prices in different countries for a digital distribution which eliminates all the traditional logistics costs? Borderlands for a long time was $29.99 on the US store and $79.99 on the Australian one. How is that fair when our dollar is worth around the same?
 

lacktheknack

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Jan 19, 2009
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Um, don't the devs and publishers set the prices in Steam?

I'm pretty sure they do. If so, Valve has to support the dev's interests, unless they lose them.

I don't think all the blame lays on Steam here.
 

AceAngel

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May 12, 2010
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I almost never used Steam, but I remember this much:

If you buy a game and gift it someone overseas, it's good and works perfectly fine (According to some of my friends and people even here, the TOS on Steam says so).

The user in question was getting payed through PayPal by overseas people to buy games at reduced prices. They weren't being gifted with, for a lack of better terms, 'free gifts'. What this user was doing is against the terms of service. Not because it a bad thing he was doing, but because he was working as the middle-man in the entire thing, and that is illegal when money is involved with one side of the part being a vendor and the other the buyer.

For a lack of better expression, let me say it this way: you send you Uncle 20K to buy a Mini in the US, at which point he will bring it back with him to...lets say Romania. In Romania, the Mini costs about 40K, because of demand and lack of such a car in a country which is used to more in brand names, like BMW, and etc, long complicated story but you with me?

Your Uncle will have to pay Taxes first upon arriving in Europe and secondly to enter said country (Romania) if the car is to be 'imported' or he can simply drive with it and make it his own if he gets a temporary plate to avoid all this, at which point, you get the car, but still it was illegal because HE BYPASSED PROTOCOL STANDARDS TO GET YOU A CAR WHICH WASN'T A NORMAL GIFT, since you payed with your money and avoided the governmental regional tax in the first place.

Not the best example, but let me finish it up.

Steams abuse of the exchange rate has been long overdue done and needs to be changed, people in Venezuela need to pay sometimes well near 200$ for a single new copy of a game AT RETAIL STORES, so Steam is kinda a break for them since they don't need to pay so much by greedy shop keepers. Also, Steam is not all to blame here...don't forget about the Dev's, a few indie ones actually made it their crusade to screw people wallets.

However, instead of the smart-arsed people, complaining about how Steam is banning a guy for all the right reasons, why they don't make their voice heard at Steam, and ask them to insert a baseline conversion? I'm pretty sure, delaying the public release of a game by a couple of days, to get exchange rates correct based upon IP from country (at least the ones who are stable) would shut up a great many deal of people...if not, they can all go back and just enjoy what they have, because some people, still pay 200$ for a copy of Dead or Alive on the PS2.
 

FollowUp

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Mar 25, 2010
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Blue_vision said:
Not so much "being generous" as deliberately trying to cheat the system. Valve and the publisher may still be making money off of it, but that's like jacking someone's car, but leaving them $10.
More like jacking a 300$ iPod and leaving them 200$

You're still out money, but it's not that drastic. You ARE cheating the system though.
 

Evangelion_01

Regular Member
Nov 21, 2009
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Gindil said:
I'd better do this:

Link [https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=4044-QDHJ-5691]

Your account may still be used to play single-player games and multiplayer games on unsecured servers

Your account may still be used to play single-player games or to connect to non-secure game servers and for games played over a LAN. To find non-secure servers, please change your filter settings in the server browser list to show servers which are not VAC-secured (from the Steam main menu go to the View option, select Servers and then select "Not secure" in the Anti-Cheat drop-down).
NOTE: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 does not have non-secure server
That's Vac banned. Not banned from steam.
 

FarleShadow

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Oct 31, 2008
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lacktheknack said:
Here:

http://gamegirl.5elements.net/2009/07/steam-who-sets-the-prices/
A blog post that only bases its conclusions on stuff they heard from developers is NOT a factual source, especially when half the comments are people who are those special dickheads who, when they have established their own opinion (Typically by reading other people's and haven't even downloaded Steam) scream bloody murder and distort 'comments' into 'facts'.
 

Trolldor

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There are trade laws that mean steam has to charge what it charges.

Secondly, if they can afford to pay you the equivalent of the US price, they can afford to buy the game.

It's not generosity at all. Generosity would be buying them the game without thought of return.

Edit: Also, I pay about $3 import tax on all the games I buy, and that's because of what the Government has established here, not because of what Steam has decided to add on.
 

icame

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Aug 4, 2010
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In my eyes, he deserved it. Though, I think he should still get access to his games and all.
 

Blue_vision

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Mar 31, 2009
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FollowUp said:
Blue_vision said:
Not so much "being generous" as deliberately trying to cheat the system. Valve and the publisher may still be making money off of it, but that's like jacking someone's car, but leaving them $10.
More like jacking a 300$ iPod and leaving them 200$

You're still out money, but it's not that drastic. You ARE cheating the system though.
Most certainly a hyperbole, but it's the effect that matters ;)
 

Roxor

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Nov 4, 2010
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Zer_ said:
Roxor said:
My gripe with Valve isn't the prices (those come down to something affordable with time). It's the stupid "this product isn't available in your region" nonsense. This makes no sense when there's only one region to be served. Namely the Internet.
That's naive thinking if I ever saw any. The sale of any product (whether it be digital or not) is governed by local laws, and Valve is not going to risk causing unnecessary trouble by circumventing any of these local laws.
Okay, fine. So we turn the Internet into a new nation. We're long overdue for a world government, anyway.
 

lacktheknack

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FarleShadow said:
lacktheknack said:
Here:

http://gamegirl.5elements.net/2009/07/steam-who-sets-the-prices/
A blog post that only bases its conclusions on stuff they heard from developers is NOT a factual source, especially when half the comments are people who are those special dickheads who, when they have established their own opinion (Typically by reading other people's and haven't even downloaded Steam) scream bloody murder and distort 'comments' into 'facts'.
It's a hell of a lot better than anyone else on here.
 

Plazmatic

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May 4, 2009
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Gather said:
http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/fk90z/steam_support_bans_my_account_for_gifting/

Can't help but pray and think it's a hoax but;

http://i.imgur.com/r6zVW.png

A little introduction. During the Christmas sales of 2010, I gifted many non-American users Steam games at the American prices (Steam prices in USD for most games is a lot cheaper than the EUR/GBP price). The non-US person Paypals me X USD (X = the price of the game in USD), and I gift them the game. I did with around 20 people or so. Everyone is happy; the non-US player saves money, and Valve/the publisher is still getting paid for the game. I guess Valve wasn't so happy, however...

Has this ever happened to anyone here who helped European gamers save some cash by gifting them the games for cheaper? I am mainly surprised since I see nothing about it in their ToS, etc. (though I may have missed it). Valve and the publishers are technically not losing anything. Based on my account being banned, do you think the prices are just raised for non-US "because they can"? If it was due to currency conversion, why would they ban me? Just some food for thought...
(Taken from the link)

they were angry because they could get into some HUGE legal trouble with players in tax evasion. Its not thier fault all games are more expensive in other countries, its the taxes on the games. The US has hugly abnormally low tax compared to all other first world countries, in all forms of taxation

also this

Zer_ said:
9_6 said:
Blue_vision said:
In that case, it's pretty much totally justified. But congrats for being worked up about something that was not only qualified to not pertain to you as soon as you'd read it, but wasn't even meant to incite anger in the first place.
"Not pertaining" me?

Do you think valve would make a difference for when you have a "justification" if they supposedly start cracking down on gifting to other countries?
This would pertain me pretty hard since steam is pretty much the only way I purchase pc games nowadays (thanks to DRM in many flavors, I'd rather only have one kind) and gifting is good for when you as a grown adult want to play a non-censored version of a game which you would have no option to get in steam otherwise.
Furthermore excuse me for getting upset by some moral apostle implying I'd have "no moral grounds" for not buying my games the "right" way.
You know, the bullshit you would be saying to pirates except now you're saying it to people who actually buy their games.
If you're referring to acquiring an uncensored copy of a game in say, Germany (where said game was refused classification by law), then yes, Steam is definitely in the right by protecting their own asses in preventing the sale/gift/distribution of the uncensored copy in said region... It would be absurd to think otherwise.

Roxor said:
My gripe with Valve isn't the prices (those come down to something affordable with time). It's the stupid "this product isn't available in your region" nonsense. This makes no sense when there's only one region to be served. Namely the Internet.
That's naive thinking if I ever saw any. The sale of any product (whether it be digital or not) is governed by local laws, and Valve is not going to risk causing unnecessary trouble by circumventing any of these local laws.

thedeathscythe said:
Price adjustments depending on region are nothing new at all. Now, if he messaged people privately through email then I think Valve is wrong in assuming he was compensated from them for purchasing it for them. If they messaged eachother through Steam messages like "Sure, just pay my paypal here *insert link*" and all that, then I don't blame Steam for banning him. My verdict? It depends how he messaged them, if it was through email and they never contacted eachother through Steam, then I think it was wrong for Valve to assume he was buying it for them at a discounted price, since I would respond to them that "hey, these are my friends from highschool, we all went our separate ways but we game online. I bought them gifts for christmas" since Valve wouldn't have proof that you bought it for them.
He was doing it through PayPal, and yes, it's easy for Steam to determine whether or not the user was being compensated for these "gifts".
 

Antari

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Nov 4, 2009
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lacktheknack said:
FarleShadow said:
lacktheknack said:
Here:

http://gamegirl.5elements.net/2009/07/steam-who-sets-the-prices/
A blog post that only bases its conclusions on stuff they heard from developers is NOT a factual source, especially when half the comments are people who are those special dickheads who, when they have established their own opinion (Typically by reading other people's and haven't even downloaded Steam) scream bloody murder and distort 'comments' into 'facts'.
It's a hell of a lot better than anyone else on here.
Either way both the publisher and Valve have to conform to import/export laws. In this case if Valve had allowed it, they wouldn't be following those laws. So they were covering their butts from a major issue. Its fairly simple, but not QUITE as simple as that blog puts it.
 

willsham45

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Apr 14, 2009
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He is not doing anything wrong and if there is nothing in the terms and conditions then it should be fine, I would also point the blame on steam for allowing people to gift to other regions.
 

Trolldor

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Jan 20, 2011
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willsham45 said:
He is not doing anything wrong and if there is nothing in the terms and conditions then it should be fine, I would also point the blame on steam for allowing people to gift to other regions.
Gifting is fine.

Subverting tax laws by gifting people and having them pay you the equivalent is not.
 

Azulito

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Jan 1, 2009
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I detect bullshit.

How would Steam even find out? Surely people gift international friends rather frequently so unless he was reported or advertised these services, it doesn't add up.