French gaming trade group stands up for Steam amid European Commission investigation

By Sherif Saed, Monday, 6 February 2017 21:43 GMT

A French gaming trade group has responded to The European Commission’s investigation into Steam’s geoblocking practices.

steam big picture

The European Commission revealed last week that it’ll be investigating Steam for limiting keys for certain games from being activated anywhere in but the country they were bought from.

The tactic is known as geoblocking, and is being done to prevent resale of games bought from regions where they have much lower prices into more prosperous countries, as well stop the practice of switching Steam regions to take advantage of the cheaper prices in the less than wealthy EU countries.

Now, the French gaming trade group Syndicat National du Jeu Vidéo, has issued a statement defending Valve’s position. As reported by GamesIndustry, the statement more or less explained the reason everyone knows why geoblocking exists in the first place.

“The investigation is focused on possible geoblocking practices that might have occurred to counter the emergence and growth of certain conduct on the digital video game marketplace whereby some companies massively purchase digital activation keys priced for distribution in territories with low consumer purchase power and then resell such keys globally via the internet at higher price.

“The SNJV has long been concerned by this parallel market, which potentially allows for the avoidance of tax laws and European regulations that normally should apply, and penalizes both European consumers and video game creators.

“We hope that by shedding light on this context, European and national authorities will be able to propose solutions to video game creators and publishers that, today, are impeded from selling their games in certain European territories at prices that are affordable to the general public compared to local purchasing power,” concluded the statement.

Of course, Valve is not alone in this, as it’s being investigated alongside five other big publishers like Namco, Capcom, Focus Home, Koch Media, and Zenimax.

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