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Valve Locking Out Gamers Who Buy Orange Box Internationally

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the steaming-up-your-users dept.

PC Games (Games) 665

Via Opposable Thumbs, a post on the Consumerist site notes that some enterprising gamers who bought the Orange Box in a territory different than the one they lived (to save a few bucks) have now found themselves unable to play the game. "One user, Todd, explains that thousands of crafty North American gamers looking for a deal have 'bought the product (and hence, the serial numbers) at well known international game stores' at a significant markdown. Activation of the purchased titles went off without a hitch. However, Valve apparently has taken issue with the region-specificity of some international versions and has begun locking out accounts of those living in North America, but owning international serial numbers with the message that the purchased game is in the 'incorrect territory.'" Worse, folks who tried to 'make it right' by buying a local copy have found they're basically SOL. I've been a big fan of the Steam concept since it launched, but this is the sort of thing you need to communicate to your users before you sting them.

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Silly users (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21120719)

Buying what you want, where you want, when you want at the lowest price you can find is for corporations. Why do users keep thinking globalization should benefit them. It's really silly.

Probably a requirement (4, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 6 years ago | (#21120761)

to protect deals with distributors.

Reading some of the various "deal" forums it amazes me what people will go through to save a few dollars, yet turn around and brag about their $300 cases, water cooling, and thousand dollars worth of video cards.

Re:Probably a requirement (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21120977)

So what? Globalization is the antithesis of shutting off markets to foreign participants. "Deals with distributors" just means that the product markets remain closed while the source markets are opened up.

Re:Probably a requirement (5, Informative)

rk (6314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121119)

I don't follow your argument. If you want an overclocking, nuclear-powered, death dealing gamer rig, that doesn't mean you still can't be frugal. Frugal is not the same thing as being cheap. If a person wants the functionality of a $1000 video card, has the means to procure it, but it aware they can do it for less money, they usually will. If a game is $50 in their local market and $30 online overseas, why is it so terrible of them to do that?

You as the end consumer are NOT bound by agreements between other people. The place where you bought it from may have sold something to you in contravention of their contracts with THEIR partners, but that's not your problem... or it SHOULDN'T be your problem... and if law and/or reality contradict that, then the law and/or reality is in error and needs fixing.

Re:Probably a requirement (4, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121161)

to protect deals with distributors.


      Once again, near obsolete middlemen decide it's far easier to shit on everyone else's rights rather than face the fact that there's no more room in this world for brick and mortar retail of "digital" goods. Certainly not at the prices THEY want to charge.

      Protectionism usually works AGAINST the masses, in favor of a small group. Why should I care about a retailer who wants to charge me $5 more for something I can buy on the internet, have flown halfway around the world and delivered to my door? Not to mention the fuel to drive to his store, the lack of parking, etc. Why should we protect WASTEFUL businesses? Either the retailer drops his price, or goes out of business. Period.

      I also find it amazing that in the UK software (and other computer stuff) will retail for the same price as in the US - only in POUNDS. So it's double the price nowadays. Sheesh, I guess CD's are really really expensive to burn in the UK! There's no excuse for this, it's just greed. Valve should not be protecting greed. But then again, it's a racket. Just like the music industry. /rant

Re:Probably a requirement (5, Insightful)

cubic6 (650758) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121395)

"I also find it amazing that in the UK software (and other computer stuff) will retail for the same price as in the US - only in POUNDS. So it's double the price nowadays. Sheesh, I guess CD's are really really expensive to burn in the UK! There's no excuse for this, it's just greed. Valve should not be protecting greed. But then again, it's a racket. Just like the music industry. /rant"

Considering that this whole situation is because Valve IS adjusting their prices for the local markets, you really have no idea what you're talking about.

They have retail distributions agreements in Russia and Thailand to sell boxed products at competitive local prices, rather than trying to get people who might earn $300 USD a month to shell out $50 USD for a game. In order to stop people from buying Russian copies en masse for, say, $10 USD a piece and selling the keys online for $20 USD each, they lock the keys to the geographic region in which they're sold. I can't say I've seen the boxes myself since I live in the US, but I've read that they SAY on the box that they won't play outside of country X. Of course, they export the keys anyways and sell them to stupid people who think they're getting a great deal, and that's why we have this retarded article claiming that Orange Box is region locked everywhere.

Don't give me that shit about "I didn't know it was imported" either. If it seems too good to be true, it PROBABLY IS. The only fault I have with Valve for this is that they should let people unregister so they can register the copies they bought afterwards.

Re:Probably a requirement (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21121719)

I understand what you're saying, but why is it fair for companies to get cheap labor from other countries when it isn't fair for us to get cheap video games from other countries?

It all amounts to the same thing, and if it is allowed in one context, it should be allowed in the other. Conversely, if companies insist on being able to do price fixing like this, it shouldn't be legal for them to go over to China and pay somebody 10 dollars a day to do the work when there are Americans over here willing to do it (although the American will of course want a higher wage).

Re:Probably a requirement (1)

getnate (518090) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121407)

If someone doesnt think its fair then dont buy it, its only a video game. It might also be related to purchasing power parity (see wikipedia) where the value of money is relative to factors in a local market. e.g. an icecream cone cost 3$ in the US and 3Pounds in the UK, because even though the exchange rate is 2:1 (dollars to pounds) the pound is not worth as much in UK.

Re:Probably a requirement (2, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121561)

Still, shopping at some UK store (don't wanna advertise) is cheaper than buying the games on mainland Europe. We pay 50-60 Euros for a game locally (about 60-70 USD), while I pay about 40 Euros in the UK.

So why should I go to the store if I can get a game delivered to me cheaper? Yes, it's "small scale globalisation", but at least if someone tries to cut that supply line, I can sue.

Re:Probably a requirement (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121459)

Of course it's territory protection. But, bluntly, why is this legal? I can't go to a company and force them to keep my job here instead of outsourcing it to China. Why is it legal for companies to benefit from a global market but not for the customer?

And yes, what's wrong with buying abroad to save money and spend that money on something else? That's like saying that companies do something wrong when they produce dirt cheap in the far east and brag that they had another record profit year and could seriously increase the benefits for their shareholders.

first fist post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21120723)

(props to the gnaa)

My first contact with fisting was, of course, in San Francisco.
I was out on the coast for a round of job interviews in the Bar
area. My fluffy-sweater acquaintances in Cincinnati had scoped out
the territory the previous summer and were full of dire warnings
about South of Market in general and The Hothouse in particular,
so of course that was the first place I headed. Now, fisting
wasn't exactly a deep, dark mystery to me...somewhere along the
line I had acquired the book from the movie classic "Erotic Hands"
and I'd been jerking off to that for quite a while. You might say
I was into the concept if not the reality.

Well, The Hothouse was everything I had been warned it was...humpy
dudes wandering around in body harnesses leading their slaves on
leashes, the whole trip. I nearly came when I walked into the
shower room hunkered down on a plastic hose while he sucked his
buddy's oversize cock. I checked out the sling rooms, but I spent
most of the night doing conventional if rougher-than-usual sex.

I fell asleep with my door cracked. The next morning I woke up
with this warm, wet feeling on my arm. I looked up and there was
this hairy, muscular little dude impaled on my arm to the elbow!
Holy shit! He looked down at me and grinned "Good morning" "Good
morning yourself fucker." " Can you dig it!" "For sure, but I've
never done it before" Well, that turned his motor on, and soon
became oblivious that he wasn't gonna dismount my arm until he had
showed me all the right moves. We ended up with me punch-fucking
him doggy--style with a cheering audience of six or seven
leathermen. Well, my arm was busy most of the morning, but my
asshole stayed virgin.

I sorta filed the experience away and chewed on it until my next
trip to the coast. I only knew one dude in Cincinnati that was
into handball, and we were friends, not fuck-buddies, so I didn't
get a chance to practice again until another job interview took me
to San Diego. The job panned out. and I moved to California.

Now, you have to understand where I was coming from. Cincinnati
is one of the most tight-assed Republican cities in the Midwest.
There was one gay bar and no baths. If you wanted steam you had
to drive to Cleveland, Toledo or Chicago. So the first couple of
years in San Diego I was like a kid in a candy shop...baths, bars,
and Balboa Park!

I fisted if I was asked, and if I was in a "top" mood I got off on
it to a certain extent, but something was missing. What that
"something" was I found out one night at the old Fourth Avenue
Baths in Hillcrest. I was cruising the "open" rooms and came
across this hot little blond surfer-type. We started getting it
on, and our hands both started to go for the ass about the same
time, so he called a halt to go fetch the Crisco and poppers. Now,
fisting wasn't particularly on my mind...I figured we'd trade fucks
and that would be that. How was I to know that gay surfers in San
Diego get into handball?

Well. pretty soon we were pretty busy finger-fucking each other
while we sixty-nined. Then he called a halt and sat up and looked
at me. "Wanna go further?" "As in what?" "Fisting, man." "You
or me?" "Whatever," he muttered. "Well, I've never had it, but
I'm up for trying." Bingo! The idea of a virgin really pushed his
button, so pretty soon I'm on my back with my ass propped up on a
pillow and him sitting cross-legged below me.

"Your head's gonna get it done for you" he told me. "You gotta
want me inside you. It's just like takin' a big cock. It'll hurt
like hell goin' over the widest part of my knuckles, but then once
it's inside you're gonna lose your mind!" Well, we had smoked a
couple of joints and I was pretty mellowed out and the dude wasn't
tryin' to hurry me. We rapped about all kinds of shit, but all the
time there was this gentle but insistent pressure at my asshole.
"How much you got in?" I'd ask him from time to time but he
wouldn't tell me. "Don't worry about it...just relax and enjoy."

I kept playin' with my cock and that made my ass tighten up, so he
pulled the laces from his boot and tied my hands behind my head so
I couldn't jack off. Now I don't usually do bondage with a
stranger, but we were really into each other's heads by now, and
I figured what the shit, my legs were still free to kick if he got

We kept on like this for about an hour...then he looked me in the
eye and said, "Pull your knees back to your tits." "is this it,
man? I'm not sure I'm ready." "You're ready...your fuckin' ass
is just beggin' for my hand. Cummon, pull 'em back." He got up
on his knees and started pushing my legs down with his chest until
his face was right over mine. "Common, man, take my fuckin' fist.
You can do it!" He shoved a popper under my nose and my ass caught
fire! One fiery bolt of pain and he was in! The fucker had his
goddamned fist up my butt. "Slow deep breaths, man...take slow,
deep breaths. Get used to it, then we'll play." Now I was leakin'
gum like a firehose by this point. I couldn't imagine it getting
any more intense/painful/better, but it did. He gave me a few
minutes to calm down, then he shoved the popper under my nose again
and started to make a fist inside me. "AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGHHH! Take
it easy man!" "Just makin' the fist, dude. Now I'm gonna do a
little twistin'." "Well, he did a little twistin' and I did a lot
of twistin' and yellin', but he just kept at it, slow and steady.
I drifted into a semi-trance impaled on this hot little dude's
hand. Experienced bottoms say that there's a good deal of yoga and
meditation involved...now I understood what they meant.

He looked down at me and grinned. "REady for a little depth?"
"You're running this trip, man. You got me fuckin' tied up and
held down so I can't move anything but my eyelashes. Guess if you
wanna go for dept I'm gonna have to go along! "Fuckin'-A-right!
You just slide down on my arm fucker. We're gonna go for the
elbow!" Now, that might sound a little bit radical for the first
time, but once he'd gotten in past the knuckles it was a matter of
degree. Actually, his outstretched hand and forearm was easier to
take than the clenched rotating fist. "Can you sit up?" he asked
me after awhile. "If you help me" "I want you to see, man.
You've got my fuckin' arm up to the elbow!" I didn't believe him,
but he pulled me up until I was bent like a pretzel and I could see
my red, tautly-stretched asshole around the beginning of his
muscular bicep. "I gotta cum, man," I moaned. "I gotta cum so
fuckin' gad!" "Oh, yeah, shoot your fuckin' load! Cummon,
motherfucker, shoot it!!" He was givin' me long, slow strokes with
his arm...all the was out to the wrist and then all the way back
to the elbow! He grabbed my cock and it was all over. I must have
shot for five minutes! The first load landed on the wall over my
head. "YYYYEEEOOWWW! OK. OK, ease out, man,ease out! He slowly
withdrew his arm and we collapsed.

"Like it?" he grinned. "Like it! Jesus, I loved it! You have
great hands man." "You might be sore for a day or two." "That's
cool." "Wanna do me?" "As soon as I catch my breath." We
stretched out and dozed for awhile then I started to get itchy to
get into his ass. It only took him about half and hour...he was
experienced, but I have fairly big hands. He started to get a
little worried, though, when I started sneakin' a couple of extra
fingers up along side my hand. "Hey, uh, I don't think I can take
much more." "First time for everything, dude." I chuckled. "Yeah,
well, I guess, only go easy, man, OK?" "No problem...just relax
and enjoy." Well, about another fifteen minutes I was shakin'
hands with myself inside this dude's steaming hole, and it was his
turn to beg. "Oh Christ, let me cum, please! Jack me off, man.
I gotta cum!" Well, that presented a problem since both my hands
were busy, so I took his aching cock in my mouth. He arched his
back and his asshole tightened around my wrists until I thought
they were gonna break. He shot so hard I thought I was gonna
drown! "JJJJJEEEEESSSSSUUUUUSSS! Take it out...please take it
out!" I slowly pulled one hand after the other out of his
exhausted hole. We staggered to the showers and soaped each other
down, and then we crashed. We exchanged phone numbers and played
a couple of times after that, either at the baths or at the FFA
parties. I lost track of him, and the Fourth Avenue Baths closed
down, but I'll never forget him.

And this... (5, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21120731)

...is why I didn't like the idea of Steam the first time I heard of it (not this specifically, but the idea of things like this happening). If I bought the game, it's mine, jackasses. They have no right to be disabling people's games after taking their money.

Re:And this... (3, Insightful)

setagllib (753300) | more than 6 years ago | (#21120961)

Sure they do, they specify it in the EULA. What do you expect from proprietary software? When will you people learn? You seriously think closed source is for keeping secrets? It's for keeping control.

Re:And this... (3, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121155)

Get off it. I own countless pieces of software which are closed-source, and not one of them (well, except Windows, I'll grant you that one, but we don't judge most companies by Microsoft's actions) can be taken away from me at a moment's notice. Not only are many EULA's supposedly unenforcable (I am neither a lawyer, nor caring enough to research properly, so this is just repeating slashdot hearsay), but they would have to PHYSICALLY COME TO MY HOUSE AND REMOVE THE PROGRAM. If they can do that with impunity, then I hate to point out to you that there are far bigger problems in the world than the open or closed-ness of the software.

In short, closed source does not fucking mean that you're going to get bent over by every company that makes a program, stop pretending it does.

Re:And this... (2, Insightful)

Facetious (710885) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121333)

Control is not just about shutting off, as per TFS, but is about much more. As an example, what control do you have over "features" in your software? Are features there to help you do what you want, or are they there to be listed as a bullet point on the software box so the software company in question can sell you an "upgrade."

I occasionally use a certain closed-source GIS application that has constant version compatibility problems. The company line is "Upgrade." "Buy more." Isn't that about control?

Re:And this... (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121391)

So... it's bad that when a company adds new features to a product, they want to be compensated for it? I dunno, I feel like their time implementing and testing that new feature is generally worth something. If I don't think it's worth the money they ask, I don't pay for it, it's simple.

Hell, I have the same amount of control over the features in open-source software, because I'm usually pretty uninclined to add something in myself, so again, I'm at the mercy of someone else to put in a feature I want... except they happen to be giving their work away for free. Free is nice, but I still have the same amount of control, whether the cost is $50 or $0.

Re:And this... (1)

asdfghjklqwertyuiop (649296) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121543)

Free is nice, but I still have the same amount of control, whether the cost is $50 or $0.

No you don't. Only one company can feasibly make changes to the software that you want (both for legal and technical reasons). If they don't want to make said change, you're screwed. With open source, you can hire anyone to make the change you desire and still have the option of learning to do it yourself.

They have no right (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21121029)

In my opinion, they also have no right to deny users their right of first sale.

They also have no right to require an active Internet connection in order for users to play offline, single player games.

They also have no right to make the game "phone home" every time the user wants to play.

They also have no right to force-push updates to single player offline games every time the user wants to play.

But that hasn't stopped them.

It has just stopped me from buying their games.

Re:They have no right (1)

yincrash (854885) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121147)

You can play steam games w/o a network connection.

Re:They have no right (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121487)

I have no Windows boxes allowed direct access to internet locations, and never will.

How do I install and play a steam game?

Re:They have no right (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121531)

You can't. You can actually play Steam games without an internet connection, though, you just have to have one at some point, to activate the game. After the game is activated, my understanding is that you never need an internet connection to play that game again.

Re:They have no right (2, Interesting)

The -e**(i*pi) (1150927) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121655)

don't, use the great service of the WON2 network which is free if you still have your old CD key. it may or may not be illegal in the US but who cares. steamlessproject.nl (IANAL)

Re:They have no right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21121273)

You sure have a loose definition of the word "right."

Re:They have no right (1)

irc.goatse.cx troll (593289) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121299)

In my opinion, they also have no right to deny users their right of first sale.

Can't say people are protected, unless taiwan has these kind of laws..and if they did they'd likely not be $20 cheaper.

They also have no right to require an active Internet connection in order for users to play offline, single player games.

They have the right to just as you have the right to go elsewhere. Personally I find the practice annoying, but I don't buy many SP games so I'm not really effected.

They also have no right to make the game "phone home" every time the user wants to play.

Again, sure they do, and they take advantage of this right to offer interesting features like public statistics and ingame messaging. Kind of nice opening up a friend chat mid-portal session to ask for advice.

They also have no right to force-push updates to single player offline games every time the user wants to play

Again, they have the right. They also don't force it, you can disable autoupdates at any time. Even for multiplayer games, though I believe it won't let you play until you do update.

Re:And this... (1)

Inverted Intellect (950622) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121437)

While I also take offense at this sort of action, I try not to get too worked up about it.

When I buy a game over steam, I do not consider myself to have been buying a service, "renting" the game for an infinite period (unless banned of course), as seems to be such a popular definition for online services related to entertainment content. I consider myself to have the moral right to access the games I buy, and in the case that I am ever locked out I will simply make a new account for buying games, and torrent whatever games I've lost my steam priviliges to. I sincerely hope that those affected by these lockouts do exactly that, though perhaps without making a new account seeing as the service has done them... well, a disservice.

There is one caveat to this view however... online multiplayer games are usually somewhere between bothersome to impossible to play, especially on officially regognized servers, after being locked out.

Re:And this... (1)

ben there... (946946) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121525)

...is why I didn't like the idea of Steam the first time I heard of it (not this specifically, but the idea of things like this happening).
Any game you play online with centralized servers can do the same thing, not just Steam.

But you're right about single player.

Re:And this... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21121785)

I looked at the EULA of Steam, and then took a look at their support forums. I don't like the fact they can pull your access at anytime to your whole collection of games, without any recourse, just by saying "oops, something you did got you banned with VAC. Nope, we won't say what did it, and no, you will NEVER get access back. Format your computer's hard disk and re-buy all games, peon."

Way to burn goodwill (4, Insightful)

Interl0per (1045948) | more than 6 years ago | (#21120741)

Glad I wasn't swayed by all the glowing reviews.

Re:Way to burn goodwill (2, Interesting)

TargetBoy (322020) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121889)

The Orange Box actually had me thinking about backing down from my stance against Steam. I'm glad I didn't spend the $50 after this stunt. Valve won't be getting any of my money.

Methinks Zonk needs to work on his woriding... (4, Informative)

Gothic_Walrus (692125) | more than 6 years ago | (#21120757)

Worse, folks who tried to 'make it right' by buying a local copy have found they're basically SOL.

"Basically?" I've been following this on the CAG forums and if you try to enter another serial after you've been locked out, Steam won't accept it because you "already own the game." Since there's no way to remove the other serial, it means that you're not basically SOL...you're just SOL, plain and simple.

Re:Methinks Zonk needs to work on his woriding... (1)

evilNomad (807119) | more than 6 years ago | (#21120979)

Unless you create a new free account and register your key with that..?

Re:Methinks Zonk needs to work on his woriding... (3, Insightful)

harrkev (623093) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121093)

Wow. You basicly have to ask permission from the company before you can use their products. It is not a matter of "if" this would happen, but more a matter of "when." If you give big companies powers like they, they WILL eventually abuse them.

I would describe myself as more of a casual gamer, but crap like this (and what happened with Bioshock) makes me want to completely avoid PC gaming entirely and stick just with consoles. My Gamecube will happily play any game I stick into it, without requiring an internet connection.

I recently re-played my old copy of Fallout (great game, BTW). I would have been completely pissed if I couldn't play it because of some sort of hare-braned activation scheme. What happens if you want to pull out your copy of Orange Box and play it ten years from now? Will you be able to?

Re:Methinks Zonk needs to work on his woriding... (5, Informative)

Toridas (742267) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121355)

You can contact support and they can take the unwanted version out of your account. They can also give you refunds if you bought a wrong version. The German version of TF2 is censored; the blood is removed and the gibs (chucks of body parts flying around when people get blown up) have been replaced with rubber ducks, unicycles, springs, gears, and hamburgers. People in Germany who imported the US version to try to play the uncensored version found that it wouldn't work. If they contacted support they got a refund and a reminder: "Please note in the future that Steam purchases, per the Steam Subscriber Agreement, are not refundable - this refund was issued as a one-time customer service gesture."

Game portability (4, Interesting)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#21120825)

So with Steam, one of its ballyhooed features is that I can get on someone else's Internet-connected computer, install and sign into Steam, and have it download my games and let me play them there... but now they say I can only do that so long as I haven't left my home country?

"In Russia, we don't have American Express. We have Russian Express: `Don't Leave Home'." -- Yakov Smirnov

Re:Game portability (1)

Boogaroo (604901) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121145)

That, and for people who move? I've had friends who've moved here from Europe. This is the example of DVD Region locking taken to the most extreme possible.
You've screwed, remotely, after the purchase, with no easy option to fix it other than reinstalling and futzing around with registry settings.

Re:Game portability (-1, Troll)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121409)

Boohoo. Its only for the version from countries where the game is far cheaper than anywhere else. So most people "from europe who moves to the US" would not be affected by this one bit. For the rest, they paid their game like 10$. Big freagin deal. I'm in planning stage to move from my own country right now, and trust me, the few bucks I may lose on region locking is peanuts compared to everything else.

Gamers with region locked game (which is only locked in select few regions) moving to country where game is not usuable, permanently. Thats like... 8 people? Cry me a river. Thinking about minorities is cute, but there's freagin limits.

(I'm talking about this particular situation, not for DVDs and stuff. For DVDs and such, just make sure to bring the darn player with you. Or get any freagin PC DVD player here and switch the region as soon as you get it)

Re:Game portability (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121695)

I'm saying it looks like it would also affect those who travel and play abroad, with the added injury that upon returning home your license (or worse, your entire Steam account) is still gonna be disabled (the license, tainted by foreign use, is permanently associated to your account and you can't have two licenses for the same product).

So, "Don't Leave Home!"

Re:Game portability (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121427)

But, what happens when the Europeans buy some American DVDs?
Are they supposed to change that stuff for each disc?

I solved that problem by getting a DVD player that is region free, doesn't do disabled user operations, upscales over HDMI without HDCP, ...

Re:Game portability (2, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121445)

I wonder what would happen if you took your laptop with you on a round the world trip?
If you connect via wifi your IP will report you being in X country and will this prevent you from playing overnight in the hotels?

This stinks, if the account is valid, why the fuck are people buying it again - I know I wouldn't.

Re:Game portability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21121703)

In U.S. of A., you play game.

In Russia, game plays you.

bypass the wto? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21120827)

can valve bypass the wto free trade rules?

I'm SOL too I guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21120931)

I got Orange Box in the US, but am moving to Japan next September, and don't plan on buying another copy of a game that I already own.... region lockouts ftw!

Two words: charge back (5, Insightful)

mattbee (17533) | more than 6 years ago | (#21120937)

If you didn't get what you believe you paid for, ask the vendor for a refund. If the vendor refuses or ignores you, ask your credit card company to charge it back to them, and they can pick up the tab for their DRM silliness. I happen to love Steam, but not more than my rights as a consumer. Steam is working very nicely for me now, but I know my rights and if Valve take away my games (which they can certainly do if they feel like it), I am within my rights to charge back everything I've paid them in the last two years, and there's nothing they can do about it. This is the only way to tell companies that their DRM isn't working - be on your guard and don't let vendors forget their responsibilities to play fair.

Re:Two words: charge back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21121111)

Charge back will lock out your account.... its in the Steam User Agreement

Re:Two words: charge back (3, Informative)

mattbee (17533) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121369)

I was recommending using a charge back *if* a vendor locks you out of your paid-for software, not for any other reason. I full understand Valve's reasons for keeping this policy, as a charge-back will (for the most part) indicate that an account has been paid for with a stolen card.

As for the other guy who said "this is exactly what Valve wants, to make you pay more", well suck it up :) If Valve don't let you buy something one way, buy it another way, or don't buy from them at all if you don't like the price. Just don't let any vendor take your money and then deny you what you've paid for.

Like I said, I think Valve sell some brilliant games for cheap, but I won't let them (or any other software vendor) take away what I've paid for without a fight.

Re:Two words: charge back (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121633)

Considering that the poster suggested this in response TO being locked out in the first place...

Re:Two words: charge back (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21121141)

If you didn't get what you believe you paid for, ask the vendor for a refund. If the vendor refuses or ignores you, ask your credit card company to charge it back to them

That's not enough, because that's exactly what Valve wants. You're supposed to buy from a distributor in your country, at a price point that fits your expected buying power. You're not supposed to exploit the international price differences like companies do. The only way to make this right is to get the game working while paying no more than the lowest price you can find in any country. If Valve doesn't let you play your legitimate copy, I'd say that leaves only one option.

Re:Two words: charge back (2, Insightful)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121231)

But the companies that supply the boxed version from have nothing to do with Valve directly. Charging back would hurt those companies, not Valve/Steam, in fact it probably helps Steam as it makes the boxed version a less attractive proposition for both buyers and sellers.

I'm really disappointed in Valve here, but then I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Re:Two words: charge back (1)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121313)

Just replying to my own comment here, as it seems as if these companies might be selling these products despite not being allowed to sell them to other countries - if this is the case, then obviously it's not as clearcut as in my comment above.

Re:Two words: charge back (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121243)

I am within my rights to charge back everything I've paid them in the last two years, and there's nothing they can do about it.
Actually you can generally only get refunds within sixty days.

Re:Two words: charge back (1)

eison (56778) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121765)

No way your CC company will let you charge back more than 60 days unless maybe if you lie and claim your card was stolen, but difficult to pursue the moral high ground on that route.
And then, what if they mess with one game, but not your others? You charge back that one, you lose your others too.
Planning on your recourse being taking your money back after the fact is not a good plan. The best approach is to avoid DRM.

Will this encourage software piracy? (2)

Sparky9292 (320114) | more than 6 years ago | (#21120947)

Should we accept region coding now for all software? Is this good for the consumer?
It just encourages people to pirate the software. No more steam!

Xbox (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121009)

I bought the Xbox version specifically to avoid Steam. Glad I did.

Re:Xbox (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121505)

Isn't XBox live just steam with extra hardware?

Re:Xbox (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121707)

No, it's not.. You buy it for PC, you get encrypted bullshit you cant use until you go online.

You buy it for xbox, you can stick it in the drive and play - no network needed.

Of course, if you order your xbox copy from japan, it won't play - but this is something already known with physical game media.

The "big consumer advantage" of steam was supposed to be that you could log in anywhere, and take your games with you. I guess (always knew) that was just bullshit the whole time.

It's about getting gabe newells slimey fingers inside your PC so he can make sure you're paying him as much as you possibly can.

Misconceptions running rampant (5, Informative)

cubic6 (650758) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121071)

After digging around on the Steam forums a bit, I'd like to clear up some misconceptions that people seem to be getting.

1) Orange Box purchased through Steam (online) is NOT REGION LOCKED IN ANY WAY.

2) Codes from retail boxes in America, the EU and most other places are NOT REGION LOCKED.

3) Codes from Thailand and Russia ARE REGION LOCKED. This is done because Steam games are sold in those countries at a tiny fraction of the US retail cost. The boxes are marked (in the appropriate language) that they keys will not work in other countries.

In other words, people are getting "burned" because they bought keys from companies that buy the Thai/Russian retail boxes, opens them up, and sell you the codes for several times what they paid, which is still cheaper than the rest of the world pays. They companies know that the keys don't work anywhere else, so the people are getting basically scammed by the companies selling them keys, not Valve.

They're not military servicemen living overseas or families on vacation in Europe, they're cheapasses who fall for a scam because they're too eager to get a "great deal".

Re:Misconceptions running rampant (1, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121125)

Good. Now if everyone would just read that post, the discussion could end. But stupid articles like that hurt companies bottom line without valid reasons. Its just fud. Funny, considering how much slashdotters bitch and moan about fud.

Re:Misconceptions running rampant (0, Flamebait)

rk (6314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121275)

Yeah, very big of them to only region-lock the least expensive versions of the game. They're like freakin' heroes. I suppose, just like the article, I'm stupid, so would you explain to me why only you smart people have no problem with Valve doing this?

Personally, I think region locking is crap and I don't put up with it. I would agree with an argument that it's their stuff and they can do whatever they want with it. But that whole "X can do whatever X wants with X's stuff" cuts all ways and I won't reward them with this X's money for their region-locked crap.

Re:Misconceptions running rampant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21121331)

Well then, I guess it's lucky that the box says it's region-locked, so you don't have to buy it, and also that you can easily purchase a non-locked version. What the hell are you complaining about?

Re:Misconceptions running rampant (1)

athmanb (100367) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121507)

Because people that live in non-first-world countries should be able to play games too. And if you earn maybe $500 a month, you can't be expected to shell out $50 for a game, that's just silly.
Valve is doing the ethically right thing by allowing people living in low wage countries to buy the games at a lower price.

Now of course a libertarian will object to this because "waah waah free market" but if you envy them so much why don't you move to Africa and get a job there so you can live the high life of subsidized goods.

Re:Misconceptions running rampant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21121807)

Workers compete with workers on the other side of the globe, as anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the last 10-20 years knows. Segmenting the product market helps to artificially maintain the imbalance of purchasing power, which keeps overseas labor cheap. The only beneficiaries of this scheme are the ones who buy cheap labor and sell expensive products. It is not just a bad idea macro-economically, it is also deeply unjust and immoral. As long as we can't force companies to pay a Chinese worker the same as a US worker, no company should be allowed to force us to pay more than a Chinese worker pays for the same product.

Re:Misconceptions running rampant (1)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121883)

People in first world countries should be able to have jobs. And if somebody is willing to do your job for $500 a month in some low wage country, you can't expect WALMART/IBM/ETC to pay you any more, that's just silly. The right thing to do ethically is forbid all companies from selling goods imported from any foreign country with a minimum wage lower than the local minimum wage.

Now of course a Republican will object to this because "waah waah waah free market" but if you like Chinese goods so much, why don't you shut down your WALMART and open up a retail outlet IN CHINA?

Can't have it both ways ;)

Re:Misconceptions running rampant (1)

cubic6 (650758) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121527)

It's to stop exactly what people tried to do, mass importation of keys by a third party to be sold for ridiculous profit. Do you think people should be able to buy 500 copies of the the Thai version for the equivalent of $5 USD each, and turn around and sell the keys online for $20 a piece, and have them work just as well as a $50 US key?

Re:Misconceptions running rampant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21121641)

As long as companies buy Chinese labor at ridiculously low prices, and turn around and sell the products for 10 times the production cost, yes, I think I should be allowed to buy products in any market I choose and use it anywhere else as I see fit. Free trade for you = free trade for me.

Re:Misconceptions running rampant (5, Insightful)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121857)

Do you think people should be able to buy 500 copies of the the Thai version for the equivalent of $5 USD each, and turn around and sell the keys online for $20 a piece, and have them work just as well as a $50 US key?

Well, yes, why not? Wal*Mart can buy shoes from Thailand for $5 and sell them here for $20, when American-made shoes of the same quality and materials would cost $50. That's supposed to be a good thing, at least that's what we tell the Americans when we close down all the shoe factories here because the shoes are cheaper from Thailand.

Re:Misconceptions running rampant (1)

YojimboJango (978350) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121761)

The reason is Valve said, hey lets make a specific version of our games for countries with low income and sell it to them on the cheep. We'll put right on the box that this version won't work anywhere but in that country so that it doesn't hurt our sales. People from other countries buy the game and can't play it. OMGWTFBBQ VALVE SUX! Idiots. You have a version that's region free, and you have a version that's region locked to Thailand. You bought the version thats region locked to Thailand, and got exactly what you paid for. Nothing more, nothing less.

Re:Misconceptions running rampant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21121259)

Steam Error: Game not available in your territory

When attempting to register my CD Key, I get the error message Steam Error: Game not available in your territory. What does this mean and what should I do?

You will receive this error message if you have purchased a copy of the game in Russia or Thailand.

If you purchased a game from Thailand or Russia and you do not live in one of those countries, you need to contact the seller for a refund.


Re:Misconceptions running rampant (0, Troll)

BlueMerle (1161489) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121321)

Would someone please mod this way up!! After wading through so much crap and crying about "It's corporate greed man", "It's globalization man" or my personal favorite "It's the man keeping me down .. man!" Finally someone takes the time to RTFM (so to speak). Seriously if someone came here crying that they paid $100 for a Rolex only to find out that it was fake and didn't cost $5 to make, everyone here would be screaming IDIOT! Next time pay the retail price and you'll have no worries. The free market will sort itself out, and dictate the correct price. You always have the option not to buy (vote with your feet)!

Re:Misconceptions running rampant (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21121351)

That's great you learned all that those forums, but most of the resellers who sold these games within the past two weeks are actually giving refunds and apologizing over the incident.

The real problem is that Valve's support is terrible.

They flipped the switch at 6:30 EST so what is the recourse for many gamers who suddenly get this weird message about their legally purchased games not working when the weekend is starting up:

There is no phone number.
There is a slow ticket system where the average wait is an hour.
There is a forum, but it's run by people with a high post count who are telling paying customers tough shit. Imagine if you had a problem with a product and went to BestBuy and you had fellow customers provide the tech support?

Even after getting a refund from the reseller, many of us couldn't buy the Orange Box from steam again because we "owned the game already," however it looks like we have to start new steam accounts and rebuy all our games again.

If only there was a real way to contact a person instead of waiting weeks for an email.

The summary of this whole thing is: Bad consumer for using globalization for themselves!

Re:Misconceptions running rampant (1)

cubic6 (650758) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121559)

I definitely agree that Valve should allow you to unregister the key and register a proper key in it's place. I'd hope that such functionality will be coming in a Steam update very soon.

Re:Misconceptions running rampant (1)

ECMIM (946033) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121357)

I love it: so like prescription drugs, America (and the rest of the 'Western' world) are now subsidizing the costs of games.

Re:Misconceptions running rampant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21121639)

America does not subsidize the cost of prescription drugs. America pays what the American market will bear, other regions pay what they will bear. The companies doing the research and development will continue to do so despite the price differential. Most of their "R&D" costs are actually marketing (to sell you that expensive prescription) and the majority of profit comes from lifestyle drugs like Viagra anyway.

Re:Misconceptions running rampant (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21121397)

Steam games are sold in those countries at a tiny fraction of the US retail cost.

So the fuck what? Chinese labor costs a tiny fraction of the money that you would have to pay a US worker. That doesn't stop anyone from buying manual labor where it's cheap and selling products at insane markups at home. If you put that genie back into the bottle, we can talk about not buying your products where we want and using them somewhere else. Can't have it both ways.

Re:Misconceptions running rampant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21121413)

In other words, people are getting "burned" because they bought keys from companies that buy the Thai/Russian retail boxes, opens them up, and sell you the codes for several times what they paid, which is still cheaper than the rest of the world pays.

Wrong. That is not what Circuit City is doing. Do you really expect us to believe that Circuit City is obtaining these copies of the codes from people in other countries then reselling them in the US? That is not what is happening. Valve is screwing customers that bought the games here. Your strawman arguement is rediculous. Luckily when Valve decided to screw me and Circuit City wouldn't refund my money, American Express would. Now they're going after Circuit City who will hopefully then go after the real crooks at Valve.

Re:Misconceptions running rampant (2, Insightful)

brkello (642429) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121681)

What the hell are you talking about? Reading comprehension (or if you are in this situation, comprehension in general) is not your strong point. People tried to rip off Valve by buying region locked keys from Russia or Thailand where they are sold extremely cheap. Valve shut them off for being the little jerks that they are. The people then went out and did the "right thing" and bought the game legitimately through places like Circuit City. But when they tried to activate it, they already had a CD key in its place and were unable to install it on that steam account.

Now, I am not sure why you can't remove the CD key. I imagine they did it for piracy regions so people couldn't try multiple cd key to see which ones worked. This seems reasonable to me. This is a story of cheap people trying to rip off a company and getting screwed over because of it. I don't feel sorry for them at all and am confused why Slashdotters defend these morons. Yeah, I understand DRM is bad and annoying. But from a corporate standpoint, this looks like Steam is a DRM success because it is able to block people who try to abuse the system. The people can still play their game on another Steam account or get their money back one way or another.

The only thing that looks bad for Valve at this point is their customer service. Should people who now rectified their wrong doing by buying a copy be able to play? I think so. But right now it may not be technically feasible with the way the software is designed. I'd give Valve a few days to analyze the problem and decide how (or if) they will fix it.

Re:Misconceptions running rampant (1)

Freeside1 (1140901) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121615)

And it's not like $50 for 5 games is that much of a ripoff to go bargain hunting. At least compared to other cr@p retailers sell for $50

Re:Misconceptions running rampant (2, Insightful)

Gabest (852807) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121731)

Strange, electrical appliances are also region locked (110/220V), but people just buy a special "hacking device" to convert the voltage. I'm surprised no authories have gone after them yet.

Re:Misconceptions running rampant (1)

Boronx (228853) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121747)

Why should we subsidize game prices in Thailand and Russia? Free market good for thee but not for me?

Re:Misconceptions running rampant (1)

logophage (160591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121769)

I understand your points, however it was *Valve* who decided to sell these products at a different price. The market discovered a cheaper price and now they have locked out the deal finders. Valve should have *never* offered these products for such discounts.

Multiplayer Only (1)

bazald (886779) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121083)

This is why I only buy Valve's multiplayer games. Other Valve games I'll play on a friend's computer/console once and forget about.

Valve Reality Distortion Field (5, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121109)

Ah, the Steam/Valve Reality Distortion Field rears its head again.

It doesn't matter how evil the DRM, when Valve does it, it's OK!

More than a decade after MPAA invented region-coded DVDs explicitly to protect deals with distributors, it's still an affront to us. But when Valve does it, hey, it's "just something they put something in to protect deals with distributors".

Product activation and phone-homeware is just as bad an idea when it's called "Steam" as when it's called "Windows Genuine Advantage".

Cozy deals to fuck over the consumers in favor of artificial segregation of distribution channels are just as defective by design whether they're called "Steam" as when they were called "Region-coded DVDs".

The Steam may be delicious and moist, but it's still a lie.

Steam is no triumph.
I'm making a note here - EPIC FAIL.
It's hard to overstate dissatisfaction...

Valve's DRM scheme,
It does what it must, because it can.
For the good of none of us, (except the ones who wear suits.)
But there's no use crying over software that breaks
You just keep on paying 'till you run out of cake
And the damage gets done, and the DRM's won
For the people who are selling lies.

Re:Valve Reality Distortion Field (1, Insightful)

nlawalker (804108) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121263)

People don't mind with Steam because Valve produces the games themselves and then distributes them over Steam, which is their own distribution channel. This is in stark contrast to the notion of the MPAA, which most people view as a body that buys movies direct from the artist for pennies and then turn around and sell them to the public for many times more than that because they can and because they like money. It's much more complicated than that of course, but that's not my point here.

I don't mind Valve doing it because all the money goes directly to THEM. It is in my best interest that people pay full price for the games, because I like Valve's games, I think they're worth the purchase price and I would like for them to keep making games.

I am a consumer and I am not screwed in the slightest. But, I didn't try to screw Valve by buying a copy sold for cheap through another distribution channel. I like Steam and would like it to stick around.

Re:Valve Reality Distortion Field (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121599)

> I am a consumer and I am not screwed in the slightest.


But, I didn't try to screw Valve by buying a copy sold for cheap through another distribution channel. I like Steam and would like it to stick around.

I'd like Valve to stick around -- they make great games. But Steam is a deal-breaker for me. To the point that I'd pay more for a retail box without Steam than one with it, if that's what it takes to make sure that Valve gets its $XX per sale.

Speaking of sticking around, it seems we're also forgetting about what happened to "customers" of Google Video. When Valve goes away (either by business failure or, more likely, by merger/acquisition), will we be able to install (or even continue playing) "their" games?

Companies don't live forever, and the problem is that "when they're dying, the DRM will be still alive."

Goes back to my original point: Sure, HL2 is Valve's property in a way in which Star Wars is the property of Lucasarts, but not MPAA. So MPAA's a middleman, and Valve isn't, and so the parallels to region-coded DVDs doesn't apply... wait, wasn't part of the "good part" of Steam the fact that third-party developers could distribute through Steam? Doesn't that sound an awful lot like Valve acting as the middleman? (Disclaimer: Doesn't apply if Valve isn't collecting royalties. It's been a long time since I looked at the terms under which third party developers could distribute via Steam.)

But even ignoring the region-coding parallel, it doesn't explain the double standard on Microsoft's (WPA/WGA) DRM schemes. Microsoft certainly isn't acting as a middleman in the WPA/WGA scheme. They're doing the exact same thing as Valve is, and they're vilified for it. What makes Valve so special?

I'm not defending Microsoft here - I'm all for such vilification. I just don't get why (other than the fact that, unlike Microsoft's, Valve's products really are delicious and moist! :) Valve gets a pass for doing things for which we roundly condemn Microsoft, Adobe, and all the other "we control the content, you run our content at the pleasure of our DRM scheme, and yes, we can pull the plug on you at any moment."

Re:Valve Reality Distortion Field (1)

Boronx (228853) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121783)

You're not screwing valve. Obviously Valve thinks they can make money by selling this game for cheap (These are legitimate channels, right?). All it means is that valve is screwing *you* when you buy full price, since they are perfectly happy to sell hundreds of thousands of copies at a lower price.

Paid more (2, Interesting)

Sascha J. (803853) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121255)

I actually wonder if they'll also lock you out if you pay more for the game in fact. I ordered the US-import of orange box to circumvent the german censoring (no gibs 'n' blood, they're so cruel!) and also (even more than to circumvent censorship) to have a "original" Half-Life experience with English dialogues, texts, etc. I did not rip off any money and the US dealers got their normal share of money - I'm paying about 10 Euros more for this imported version than I would pay for the German version in German stores. If they kill my serial off, I'd sue them right away if I had the money :/

Crime Against Humanity Via DRM for Sure (1)

ScotchForBreakfast (1060672) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121269)

Sounds more like some folks got scammed by some people selling retail boxes in a manner that they shouldn't, or people were just trying to work the system.

I've used Steam, and bought games over Steam, played games over Steam, in various countries with no problems. There's no lock that I've ever found for the stuff bought over Steam. It is just some of the retail copies in a few places do have a form of region lock as I understand it.

Too bad they can't just buy the right copy at the moment and play, although I wouldn't be surprised to see that issue resolved eventually. Steam has been nothing but quick and convenient for me since I've used it for the HL2 release.

Another reason to avoid Orange Box. (0, Troll)

feepness (543479) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121287)

Since I didn't want to pay $50 for Episode Two + Portal (since with a baby and two year old at home multiplayer holds zero value for me as I can't hit pause on either one...) this is just another nail in the coffin.

And as I'm not paying $30 for Episode Two alone I'll be waiting until next year to see the end of Half-Life 2. Let's hope this has an affect on their sales.

Re:Another reason to avoid Orange Box. (0, Redundant)

Adradis (1160201) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121685)

Actually, both of them do have a working pause. Just enable console, and bring it up. Pauses all single player games in Source.

Re:Another reason to avoid Orange Box. (1)

MWoody (222806) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121837)

Yeeeeah, there are certainly valid reasons not to buy Orange Box - this story being a damn good one - but not being worth the price!? Yeesh, what do you want them to do, include coupons for free beer and blowjobs?

And for the record, Portal is worth $50 easily.

..I'm fucked? (0, Redundant)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121371)

I'm moving to the U.K. in a few months.. will my steam account die? :/

Re:..I'm fucked? (1)

austinpoet (789122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121637)

only if you don't stand on your head for three hours a night whilest naked and lathered in elderberry juice. maybe you should research this problem yourself. A google search and some clickies would take nearly as many keystrokes as posting your asinine reply. hell you don't even need to google search its up above in this same fucking thread!

nostalgia (1, Redundant)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 6 years ago | (#21121605)

remember when you could buy a game and just go home and play it?

you'd either plug in a cartridge, or if it was a home computer game, it would more than likely come with instructions for making a backup copy to play from.

those were the good old days

fuck steam, i have not been a fan of the concept - the concept of what?

the ability bend people over is the only new feature steam really offers over the 'old guard'. no patches to download, no copy protection schemes to hack around, just a game in a box - and if the game didn't work, more often than not, the company that produced it would tank.

fuck valve.. this news is what, a day after zonks glowing slashvertisementbationfest?
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