Earlier this month, Valve updated Steam`s subscription agreement in a language that prevents customers in dispute from suing the company and requires them to accept the decisions of an “independent” arbitrator paid by Valve. Most users` problems can be solved using our Steam support website under support.steampowered.com/. If we are unable to resolve your concerns and there is a dispute between you and Valve, this section explains how we agree. If the agreement of this section, without collective action or representation, a general action of private lawyer or a collective arbitration procedure, is to be found to be illegal or unenforceable, you and Valve accept that they cannot be dissociable, that the entire section is unenforceable and that all claims or disputes are settled in court and not by collective arbitration. They and Valve agree to make appropriate, loyal and faithful efforts to resolve disputes informally before arbitration proceedings are initiated. A party intending to seek arbitration must first send a written notification to the other describing the nature and basis of the application or litigation and fixing the requested discharge. If you and Valve fail to reach an agreement within 30 days of receiving the notification, you or Valve can initiate arbitration proceedings. A written message must be sent to Valve by mail: ATTN: Arbitration Notice, Valve Corporation, P.O. Box 1688, Bellevue, WA 98004. No matter how it works in the end, it`s a good example of why gamers shouldn`t be excited about the all-digital distribution revolution that video game publishers are rushing to. Often you don`t buy a game, but just a license to play a game. The problem (as evidenced by Steam`s new subscription agreement) is that the license can be withdrawn from you at any time, for any reason and without compensation.
Although Steam uses DRM, I felt (like others in the Steam forum) that Steam DRM was done correctly. However, Steam has adopted a directive that I could understand from Microsoft and EA (because it corresponds to my expectations with regard to their corporate cultures). I didn`t see it coming from Valve. We can also change these CLAs from time to time, but the amendments apply only to you to the extent that they are applicable by law.