Valve defends taking 30 per cent cut of Steam sales in response to lawsuit

Valve say Wolfire "fails to allege the most basic elements of an antitrust case"

In response to an antitrust lawsuit filed in April, Valve has defended why the company chooses to take a 30 per cent cut from all products sold on Steam.

Valve has claimed that an antitrust lawsuit filed by Wolfire Games “fails to allege the most basic elements of an antitrust case” and denies using its market dominance to overcharge developers.

The lawsuit was filed in April and claims that Valve takes an “extraordinarily high cut” from sales, further alleging that due to the 30 per cent cut, “competition, output, and innovation are suppressed, in ways that can never be fully redressed by damages alone.”

Advertisement

In the response, Valve points out it “charged that same 30% for nine years before becoming dominant, beginning when competition was “vibrant” and when Valve had zero market share”, going on to argue that this “makes it implausible that 30% is supracompetitive and that Valve can charge it only because of its alleged dominance.”

Steam Deck library
Steam Deck. Credit: Valve

As spotted by PC Gamer, the defence also address storefront competitors – namely Microsoft and the Epic Games Store – reducing their commission to just 12 per cent. Despite these stores taking a lower cut of sales, Valve allege that 30 per cent is still the “industry standard” and these specific stores are acting in competition to Steam.

The lawsuit also alleges that Valve prevents developers from selling Steam keys for a lower price through other digital storefronts, though Valve argues that “Plaintiffs fail to allege anything unlawful about Valve’s “Steam Keys” program.”

The company further argues, “Valve has no duty under antitrust law to allow developers to use free Steam Keys to undersell prices for the games they sell on Steam – or to provide Steam Keys at all.”

Advertisement

Finally, defendants argue that Wolfire’s claim that Steam hold 75 per cent of market share is “devoid of any factual support” and the “fundamental defects in Plaintiffs’ complaint warrant dismissal”.

In other news, Microsoft has announced that Forza Motorsport 7 will be removed from sale just four years after release.

Advertisement
Advertisement