Max Power Sep 15, 2013 @ 5:23pm
Indefinite Steam support?
After being very sceptical about Steam for a long time (and still not agreeing with everything about it), I have come to appreciate the convenience of having a single platform for almost every game I buy these days. I have also begun buying many older titles for my collection, even though I already own them in some other form, just so I can have them all available at any time and place and not have to keep all the boxes and DVDs.

After investing hundreds of €s, I was wondering, if there is any kind of guarantee, that Steam won't simply go bankrupt and/or shut down all the servers or individual titles at some point in the future and erase my precious collection :/
I mean, it's not like GOG, where you can download everything you bought and store it on your hard drive, if they ever go out of business. There's no point in collecting, if I can't keep my stuff until I'm feeding the worms.
Does the AGB cover this topic? Is Valve within their rights to declare all my "licenses" expired as they please?
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aiusepsi Sep 15, 2013 @ 6:14pm 
That's a bit of a complicated question. Having a read of the SSA, it does sound like, in principle (or de jure, perhaps), they could discontinue offering a game (the term used in the SSA is "subscription" which can include things like in-game items too).

I can't blame them too much for including that sort of provision; there is always the possibility of contingency scenarios where they have to pull something, for instance there was a Dota 2 item that was pulled because it was discovered to be imitating another game's IP.

On the other hand, there's the de facto position; Steam's been around for ten years already, and in that time they haven't shut down any game, and it would be a very bad business move indeed to start indulging in that sort of behaviour. It would fatally undermine confidence in Steam. I don't think it's the sort of thing that's likely to happen.

Which leaves disaster scenarios under which Steam would be unable to operate. I'm not too worried about that. I would be intensely worried about something like OnLive going under, because in that case, you would genuinely lose everything. If Steam disappeared tomorrow, you'd still have the bits on your hard disc, assuming you download all your games. I don't think in practice it would end up being very much different from the GOG situation.


Ultrapwnd Sep 15, 2013 @ 7:22pm 
This question gets asked quite a bit. If this ever were to happen I think the DRM would get patched out. I am not sure if this would apply to games with other third party DRM, but this is all hypothetical anyway.
ゆき Sep 15, 2013 @ 7:48pm 
There is no guarantee Valve or Steam will be around in five, ten, or even 15 years.. If anything happens to them it's likely the company will dissolve and any outstanding debt owed will be paid back by selling off Valve's assets. This includes Steam and it's very likely many companies would be lining up at the gates to get a hold of Steam and it's millions of customers.

However, just like there is not guarantee of Valve being around in that time frame there is also no guarantee that you will be able to use your games if and when Valve goes under. Enjoy what you have for now and when the time comes then such is life.

Originally posted by Ultrapwnd:
This question gets asked quite a bit. If this ever were to happen I think the DRM would get patched out. I am not sure if this would apply to games with other third party DRM, but this is all hypothetical anyway.
Valve cannot make this promise and it's mostly a pipedream created by people.
2point4 Sep 15, 2013 @ 8:33pm 
That whole thing about Valve patching out the DRM if they were to close up shop...that came from a post that Gabe Newell made on the Steam forums years ago. He said pretty much just that. That that post has since been removed and Valve won't comment on it any further should be all the answer you need.

On the other hand, Steam is a DRM that lots of publishers and developers have chosen to protect their games. Be it regular Steam DRM or CEG, Valve has agreements in place with these companies. They can't just decide one day, even when they're going out of business, that they're gonna kill that protection. How happy do you think all those publishers would be knowing that their DRM protected games will all of a sudden be DRM free?

As far as that GFWL reference up there, you should do a little research. When those auth servers are taken offline, any GFWL game that hasn't been updated to patch the DRM out (see: BioShock 2, Batman Arkham Asylum, Batman Arkham City - though these aren't completely done yet) will cease to function. Not sure where you got the idea that your GFWL games will be fine. Some of the legacy titles might still work, but the SSA based games will be dead unless the publishers patch it out.
Archduke Sep 16, 2013 @ 3:10am 
There are no guarantees, but then who knows what situations may occur to warant such situations, and therefore, making such guarantees could land Valve in more trouble than just unhappy customers. (Not saying that unhappy customers losing all their games isn't significant enough by any means) - So it's unlikely that any such guarantee will be given although I see no plausible reason why there would not be an attempt, to the best of their abilities at any such time that it was necessary, to ensure that games could still be accessed and played.

-

However, understand that Valve is an extremely viable business so there's no need to be concerned in the forseable future. Even if things changed radically and Valve entered a series of inequitable quarters with losses year after year until the company was no longer viable or at all solvent - EVEN THEN it's so likely that with such prior success in such a dynamic market, that administrators would find receivers to return the company to profit even if it meant some amount of rebranding.

So I don't believe there's any real need to worry.
wuddih Sep 16, 2013 @ 5:42am 
I have 3-4 games which aren't available for purchase on Steam anymore and I have games that were never listed in the Store, but I still have access to it.

If Valve for whatever reason has to shutdown Steam, I guess they find a viable solution to let me get my games, in one way or the other. If not, well, I had a good experience. Support is always really nice to me, it may take some time but no deal for a Zenmaster.

As long as Gabe is there and he finds a worthy successor, Valve is likely to be the most secure gaming company on the world regarding economic existence for the next 20 years.
ReBoot Sep 16, 2013 @ 10:20am 
Valve promised to deliver a solution should Steam go down.
Eric Sep 16, 2013 @ 9:25pm 
Talking an example that already happened, OnLive was sold and its service wasn't interrupted during the transaction. What would have happened if it went bankrupt with no one immediately purchasing it? There is no way to know, but in this kind of scenario I find it better to assume the worst, after all we are dealing with digital licenses through a DRM client here.

Asking for guarantees in a bankruptcy scenario is completely impossible in my opinion.
Silver Rabbit Sep 17, 2013 @ 4:53am 
Indefinite Steam support? No way. Nothing is 'forever'. Convenient, yes. But personally I HATE having to buy, register, or play the games I love chained to an online platform. That means that ownership may disappear at any moment.
Sifesboran Sep 17, 2013 @ 5:01am 
What the gaming world needs is a service somewhere that archives games for fre public access. Games companies make money from their games and I agre totally with this. I do not agree with piracy because games creators spend a lot of time and money crating the games we play.

That said, since the emergence of the DRM the whole gaming medium has changed. In the past I would have had a box with a CD and if a games company stopped producing the game, I could still play because I owned a copy.

I think it would be great if there was a service that took and archived games once a DRM like Steam or a games company decided there was no more profit to be made and they were going to discontiue the game. Then anyone could go to that service and pull out one of the old classics that they used to love playing.
Calrissian's Cape Sep 17, 2013 @ 10:31pm 
I'm not sure there's any way to solidify the sense of ownership Steam attempts to provide. Valve doesn't have the right, as far as I know, to print new copies of the games, so providing physical distribution is out.
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Date Posted: Sep 15, 2013 @ 5:23pm
Posts: 11