The Sinister Minister Nov 11, 2013 @ 10:51am
Open letter to Valve
Dear Valve and Steam community.

This open letter is to address some issues with Steam store and the recent changes in the game industry's scene.

First of all I would like to address the issues with Steam Store:
The store pages have been improved greatly over the years and now display plentiful information recording to the product being sold to the customer. But there still is not enough information regarding certain subject. And since I am currently in process of trying to get a recent deal corrected and an argument settled. I wish there to be more information on the store pages.

First of all: If the product uses 3rd party DRM or launcher it should be clearly informed at the center of the product description. For clearer example let us take the recent news about the GFWL shutting down partially. Games that use this system as base for it's function should have clear warning instead of a small note at the right about 3rd party DRM "Windows" and under additional in the system requirements. Also regarding to the possible issues that may arise with them and the limit support Steam has over them. Also regarding to GFWL announcements there should be clear indication about future of the game after the product after 1 of July 2014.

Currently the product pages are breaking EU standards of ethical advertising (I reside in EU) They do not clearly contain all the information to safely do a clear and informed purchase decision. I confirmed Finnish Customer Rights Agency that the store pages are not up to the standards and if a claim would be made about them it would be concluded for the customer benefit.
This should not be the case in reputable platform such as steam. It shouldn't be a case in any platform that offers services of any kind.

Steam has the reputation of being friendly and safe platform for customers to keep their purchases and information safe. I am happy and proud user of Steam for 7 years now and I wish and hope to be a customer for future years to come, but this requires co-operation from everyone involved, from the community that surrounds the Steam platform, from me - the individual user, publishers and you Valve.

I would like now to thank you for the newest movements towards freedom of gaming by giving us Linux support, MAC support, big picture mode. Development of the Family sharing system and the incoming SteamOS - which path the way forward to even more freedom of the platform of choice for gaming. I am hoping that the incoming developments on the Steambox and SteamOS front will be swift and resourceful and that it will be a great success.

With great goodwill and gratitude from Finland
-Henri Tapani Hänninen
Showing 1-15 of 31 comments
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jjb-54 Nov 11, 2013 @ 11:37am 
I understand your point - and it's like MOD creators putting DLC- SKSE - SkyUI - 2nd Party mod - requirements at the bottom of the page - instead of belonging at the TOP OF THE PAGE and in BOLD .. so the user knows, "Okay, I do not have X or Y so move on..." instead of having to look a little to hard for the "Fine Print".
NL Nov 11, 2013 @ 11:48am 
This is not Valves email. Chances are they will never see your post. I do agree that Valve supports gamers better than any other big company right now. Slowly though they are becoming and Indie platform.
The Sinister Minister Nov 11, 2013 @ 11:52am 
Originally posted by jjb-54:
I understand your point - and it's like MOD creators putting DLC- SKSE - SkyUI - 2nd Party mod - requirements at the bottom of the page - instead of belonging at the TOP OF THE PAGE and in BOLD .. so the user knows, "Okay, I do not have X or Y so move on..." instead of having to look a little to hard for the "Fine Print".

There was more in my letter than just that. It is the fact that Steam isn't perfect and there are great caping flaws that can open a customer to an "exploit". I am not trying to imply that Valve would do such immoral behavior, they have seen first hand what happens when the gaming community learns of exploits and immoral practices.
What I am saying here is just that customer shouldn't need ever to recret buying something, he shouldn't feel stupid for buying something, he shouldn't feel misinformed.
What Valve trades are luxury items - non-essential for living - something to spice up our lives, fill our days. Something to experience ideas and culture with. So their customer shouldn't ever have to feel like they were stupid when they did their purchase, for not being more aware or informed.
Everything that there should be to know of the product should be there to see without having to look for it specifically. If it requires a 3rd party software, product has been discontinued / no longer supported or that the product requires someting special in order to work.

Let me come back to the GFWL issue at hand.
Currently if a client were to purhase a game that requires the GFWL to work, which has been discontinued and is no longer supported. And it wont work, he has essentially purhased a car without petrol and one that can not be fueled. And all this because he was not informed enough.

If I would buy any other product that would lack vital information like that. I would be able to get refunds and if not I could take the issue to court. Every other field of commercials even some restaurants has return policy of some kind. But in gaming we seem to be lacking that. If valve would take that step to future and gives us a qurantee about the product they sell - it would revolutionize the industry and make it safer for everyone involded.
The Sinister Minister Nov 11, 2013 @ 11:55am 
Originally posted by NL:
This is not Valves email. Chances are they will never see your post. I do agree that Valve supports gamers better than any other big company right now. Slowly though they are becoming and Indie platform.

This is not an email. This is a open letter. I do not care if they specifically see this. I want the community that surrounds Valve to see it.

There are open letters in News Papers do you think that a company or a person would happen to read that particular newspaper? Open letters are for the public, but adressed to specific subject.

I did tweet this to them and am in process of emailing this link to them. But I feel that things like these should be open.
NL Nov 11, 2013 @ 12:24pm 
Originally posted by Sinister Minister:
And since I am currently in process of trying to get a recent deal corrected and an argument settled.

For clearer example let us take the recent news about the GFWL shutting down partially.


Currently the product pages are breaking EU standards of ethical advertising (I reside in EU) They do not clearly contain all the information to safely do a clear and informed purchase decision. I confirmed Finnish Customer Rights Agency that the store pages are not up to the standards and if a claim would be made about them it would be concluded for the customer benefit.
What is this really about? You are trying to settle an argument with someone over GFWL? This is to prove a point to someone?
jjb-54 Nov 11, 2013 @ 12:30pm 
Originally posted by Sinister Minister:
Originally posted by jjb-54:
I understand your point - and it's like MOD creators putting DLC- SKSE - SkyUI - 2nd Party mod - requirements at the bottom of the page - instead of belonging at the TOP OF THE PAGE and in BOLD .. so the user knows, "Okay, I do not have X or Y so move on..." instead of having to look a little to hard for the "Fine Print".

There was more in my letter than just that. It is the fact that Steam isn't perfect and there are great caping flaws that can open a customer to an "exploit". I am not trying to imply that Valve would do such immoral behavior, they have seen first hand what happens when the gaming community learns of exploits and immoral practices.
What I am saying here is just that customer shouldn't need ever to recret buying something, he shouldn't feel stupid for buying something, he shouldn't feel misinformed.
What Valve trades are luxury items - non-essential for living - something to spice up our lives, fill our days. Something to experience ideas and culture with. So their customer shouldn't ever have to feel like they were stupid when they did their purchase, for not being more aware or informed.
Everything that there should be to know of the product should be there to see without having to look for it specifically. If it requires a 3rd party software, product has been discontinued / no longer supported or that the product requires someting special in order to work.

Let me come back to the GFWL issue at hand.
Currently if a client were to purhase a game that requires the GFWL to work, which has been discontinued and is no longer supported. And it wont work, he has essentially purhased a car without petrol and one that can not be fueled. And all this because he was not informed enough.

If I would buy any other product that would lack vital information like that. I would be able to get refunds and if not I could take the issue to court. Every other field of commercials even some restaurants has return policy of some kind. But in gaming we seem to be lacking that. If valve would take that step to future and gives us a qurantee about the product they sell - it would revolutionize the industry and make it safer for everyone involded.

I know, I read the whole thing - that was just one of the points that I agree with at first.... is all ... :)
NL Nov 11, 2013 @ 12:51pm 
Originally posted by Sinister Minister:
And it wont work, he has essentially purhased a car without petrol and one that can not be fueled. And all this because he was not informed enough.

If you buy a car that cannot be fueled that would be on you for doing at least a little research. The requirements for the games are listed. It sounds like someone did not take the time to read and bought a game they do not like. Somehow it is Valves fault because we should not be held responsible for our own failure to research for 5 minutes.
Black Blade (Card Rain) Nov 11, 2013 @ 1:30pm 
Hi man i agree with most of these.. abut the 3rd party thing i use Enhanced Steam for the browser that dose it well... in the end i hope they implant it... and that will fix that problem
The Sinister Minister Nov 11, 2013 @ 2:34pm 
Originally posted by NL:
Originally posted by Sinister Minister:
And it wont work, he has essentially purhased a car without petrol and one that can not be fueled. And all this because he was not informed enough.

If you buy a car that cannot be fueled that would be on you for doing at least a little research. The requirements for the games are listed. It sounds like someone did not take the time to read and bought a game they do not like. Somehow it is Valves fault because we should not be held responsible for our own failure to research for 5 minutes.

Lets not turn this in to a fighting ground.
I am not trying to settle any score here. I am merely talking about the fact that there is no information about the status of GFWL or other 3rd party requiments on their store pages. The case I am settling is not directly related to bad purchase, but to a broader issue of the key I have received not being authenticable. For who is to blame I do not know - but I am in process of finding out and I have had such good experience with Steam customer support that I am sure it will be resolved in civilized fashion.

But what I would like to know is what is going to happen to those ~10-12 games I have that use GFWL there has been no information regarding those.

Also according to EU's ethical advertisement standards, product page or advertisement must not be misleading in anyway about the contents of the product in question. This also includes status of 3rd party elements.
Example: you remember any toy commercials in which there been a toy running with batteries and there hasn't been announcement that batteries are not included? Or that a toy line's pieces are sold seperately.

If you are just going to come here to call me stupid for not knowing what is going on with GFWL a system I haven't used since Fallout 3 came on to Steam. And I did my research and I found no verifieable or official information regarding about the future of the licenses that share requiement with GFWL authentication.
Last edited by The Sinister Minister; Nov 11, 2013 @ 2:35pm
NL Nov 11, 2013 @ 2:45pm 
Originally posted by Sinister Minister:
But what I would like to know is what is going to happen to those ~10-12 games I have that use GFWL there has been no information regarding those.
If you want information as to the state of the game you need to contact whoever made the game, not Steam. Would you also ask Walmart about the state of GFWL if you purchased a game using it there?

Also the information that a game does require GFWL is on the store page for those games that do use it as are the other requirements so I don't understand how you conclude Valve is being unethical.

The only people that know what is going on with any particular game and GFWL is the manufacture. Several companies patched GFWL out already. Steam or Valve does relay the information you do with it as you will. If you want status about GFWL that is a Microsoft product. Steam is a store. Just because it is digital store you want them to provide future predictions of something they have no control over. I guess they could remove choice and remove all GFWL games just in case some do not patch but for the time being all games are working and there is never any guarantee with any game that servers required to operate them will continue to exist.

Walmart has no sign up about GFWL, just saying.
Last edited by NL; Nov 11, 2013 @ 3:16pm
Pheace [MCT] Nov 11, 2013 @ 3:59pm 
Originally posted by Sinister Minister:
Currently the product pages are breaking EU standards of ethical advertising (I reside in EU) They do not clearly contain all the information to safely do a clear and informed purchase decision. I confirmed Finnish Customer Rights Agency that the store pages are not up to the standards and if a claim would be made about them it would be concluded for the customer benefit.
This should not be the case in reputable platform such as steam. It shouldn't be a case in any platform that offers services of any kind.

This is interesting. So what exactly is missing from the Steam Store pages according tyo you and the FCRA? Is there really any less information on there than you'd find on say, a box of the game in a Finnish store?
NL Nov 11, 2013 @ 4:11pm 
Originally posted by Pheace:
Originally posted by Sinister Minister:
Currently the product pages are breaking EU standards of ethical advertising (I reside in EU) They do not clearly contain all the information to safely do a clear and informed purchase decision. I confirmed Finnish Customer Rights Agency that the store pages are not up to the standards and if a claim would be made about them it would be concluded for the customer benefit.
This should not be the case in reputable platform such as steam. It shouldn't be a case in any platform that offers services of any kind.

This is interesting. So what exactly is missing from the Steam Store pages according tyo you and the FCRA? Is there really any less information on there than you'd find on say, a box of the game in a Finnish store?

I think that is your standard customer full of BS fudging the truth type thing. Does not sound plausible to me, does it to you? This is a variation of "my lawyer wants to sue you". Empty threat. I can assure you that Valve has lawyers that are well versed in commercial retail sales laws in the UK and that they are also used to people making ridiculous claims.
Last edited by NL; Nov 11, 2013 @ 4:13pm
The Sinister Minister Nov 11, 2013 @ 4:16pm 
Originally posted by Pheace:
Originally posted by Sinister Minister:
Currently the product pages are breaking EU standards of ethical advertising (I reside in EU) They do not clearly contain all the information to safely do a clear and informed purchase decision. I confirmed Finnish Customer Rights Agency that the store pages are not up to the standards and if a claim would be made about them it would be concluded for the customer benefit.
This should not be the case in reputable platform such as steam. It shouldn't be a case in any platform that offers services of any kind.

This is interesting. So what exactly is missing from the Steam Store pages according tyo you and the FCRA? Is there really any less information on there than you'd find on say, a box of the game in a Finnish store?

Mention of the status about the incoming changes to 3rd party systems. According to them there should be mention of the changes coming to GFWL authentication and the function of license afterwards the change.
Clear mention of 3rd party program being a core part of using the product.
Notice of limited support for the product.

But this is not my point here! I am not here to fight about this!

This is pathetic when someone tries to voice a concern and point out an issue he gets insulted.

Also retailer is required to inform of possible lack of 3rd party authentication if there has been complaints. Also customers are entitled to 30 day refund of purchase date if there is any issues with the use of license. If known issues are not represented to the customer about during purchase the contract is invalid under customer rights protection laws.
NL Nov 11, 2013 @ 4:24pm 
Originally posted by Sinister Minister:
But this is not my point here! I am not here to fight about this!

This is pathetic when someone tries to voice a concern and point out an issue he gets insulted.

That is not really what is going on here. People disagree with your basic assertion that they are obligated to provide more information than they currently are by UK law. When you post in a public forum things are open for discussion and your basic assertions fail to hold any water. Like you first stated as your motive

"And since I am currently in process of trying to get a recent deal corrected and an argument settled."

You are trying to settle an argument. May I ask what argument you are trying to settle because it sounds like when someone has an opinion you shut them down if you can. Here you can not.

Why are you afraid to lay the real issue out on the table? I take it you bought a GFWL game, yes?
Last edited by NL; Nov 11, 2013 @ 4:25pm
The Sinister Minister Nov 11, 2013 @ 4:25pm 
Originally posted by NL:
Originally posted by Pheace:

This is interesting. So what exactly is missing from the Steam Store pages according tyo you and the FCRA? Is there really any less information on there than you'd find on say, a box of the game in a Finnish store?

I think that is your standard customer full of BS fudging the truth type thing. Does not sound plausible to me, does it to you? This is a variation of "my lawyer wants to sue you". Empty threat. I can assure you that Valve has lawyers that are well versed in commercial retail sales laws in the UK and that they are also used to people making ridiculous claims.

First of all their sales headquater is in Luxemburg. And it is part of EU and follows it's legal standards. And the FCRA follows the EU standards.

I AM NOT HERE TO SUE ANYONE! Why am I painted as a villian here? All I want is some transparency to the products we buy, what they containt, what are their restrictions laid out clearly. I have had to sort 2 messes inside a year for my friends arquing behalf of them. I think it needs to change, so that even the most foolish of person knows what he is getting in to.

Why do you paint me as somekind of horrible person here? Are you honestly saying that the practices of Valve on steam are perfect?
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Date Posted: Nov 11, 2013 @ 10:51am
Posts: 31