Valve has to face Steam antitrust class-action lawsuit

Valve has to face Steam antitrust class-action lawsuit

PC giant Valve has lost its bid to throw out a class-action lawsuit that has been brought against it by developer Wolfire Games.

As reported by Bloomberg Law, Judge John C Coughenour of the US District Court for the Western District of Washington trimmed down the lawsuit to focus entirely on the antitrust element. He said that it is possible for Valve to take advantage of its market dominance to make sure companies don't sell games for less on other platforms.

"[Valve] allegedly enforces this regime through a combination of written and unwritten rules, Coughenour wrote.

"According to the SAC, [Valve] relies on provisions within Steamworks Documentation to impose conditions on how non-Steam-enabled games are sold and priced. Defendant also threatens game publishers with punitive action, including removal of their Steam-enabled games, if they sell non-Steam-enabled versions of those games at lower prices."

Previously, Wolfire had made a number of allegations, such as that the Steam store and Steam platform technically make Valve working across markets. All of the other counts against Valve have been dismissed with prejudice, meaning Wolfire cannot file the same allegations again. 

Wolfire brought its case against Valve last April, with the case being dismissed without prejudice the following November. The developer and publisher filed an amended complaint in December.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.