Valve hit with $2.1 million USD fine by Australian courts

This has been on the net for a while now but due to holiday season I didn’t have much time to post this, anyway Valve lost its legal battle against Australia’s competition watchdog earlier this year. It’s all because of refunds.

An Australian court has ruled that Valve must pay $2.15 million USD fine following the loss of its legal battle against the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The fine is the maximum requested by the regulatory body, and according to the Sydney Morning Herald was imposed because of Valve’s disregard for Australian law when it set up shop in the country.

Valve’s refund policy has changed dramatically since the suit was filed—it now offers refunds on just about everything, “for any reason”—but that apparently didn’t impress the judge on the case.

Valve will be required from now on to post a notice on its Australian website, in size 14 type, informing consumers of their rights.

Source: PC Gamer

By | December 28th 15:51, 2016|Categories: Entertainment, Games, News, OMG!1, Steam, Steam Flaws|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Steam Store: Discovery Update 2.0 is now live!

The Steam store has been updated today. It has a lot of new functional settings and finally looks better! I bet most of you guys won’t be able to switch to the new UI just yet, but lets all agree we needed a change after all these years.

steam-store-update

The new update is called Discovery Update 2.0 – the next milestone of the Discovery Update released in 20014. Valve did a lot of good work on this one. The new design reduces the number of clicks you need to do in case you want to find something. The old store was a mess. Especially with all of those Early Access Titles on the main page, you can finally hide them!

Valve is now enforcing real screenshots in the store for each game – not some Photoshop bullshit ones.

Here are the highlights of the update!

Quick Access:

More direct links to common destinations. Plus, sections you probably didn’t even know we had.

Personalize (FINALLY!):

Now in the upper-right corner of every game image you will find a quick menu of options including quick access to your Preferences, allowing you to further customize your Steam shopping experience.

account-settings

Recently Viewed:

Quickly get back to products you’ve been browsing.

Friends Activity:

Whether it’s a hot new release, joining a special event, or getting back into a game that was recently updated, now it’s easy to tell what your friends are excited about.

Expanded Curators:

If you are following Steam curators, we’ve added a clickable preview of their latest reviews and recommendations.

More of the good stuff:

  • there is a top sellers list based on country now
  • the translations have been updated
  • Steam now notifies you if a game from your wishlist is on sale
  • the review system has been updated too

More new features listed here.

The Steam sales are getting worse!

Every time there is a Steam sale on the horizon I think of buying something but when the event launches and I see the main store page I just can’t browse it. Why? The store displays all of the offers randomly, which means I can’t focus on any particular offer. I really preferred the old way of presenting sales on Steam, it was much more eye friendly.

The store browse function also sucks. Here’s an example, when you go to the RPG category in the store and want to sort the titles by the lowest price it always shows those damn free to play games first which you can’t even hide, after clicking through every crappy free to play game the store suddenly hangs you have to start over – we all know how big is the Steam store load during the sale, I couldn’t even drop any cards yesterday from that queue thing.

It seems that the store is getting DDoSed too easily, few years ago it was really slow for first couple of hours tops – yesterday it was unusable for the whole night. But that’s not really such a big problem comparing to what I’m about to list below, check it out. I’m sure they can afford to expand their servers farm easily, they just don’t care.

Steam Rage

Here are some things that I miss from the old sales:

  1. There are no flash sales that would keep me check the store every day, that was actually fun to see what games were on sale on that particular day.
  2. No mini-games! Come on! That was fun and rewards from them were pretty decent.
  3. There are no special event achievements in games. If you don’t know what I mean there was this one big winter sale on Steam once a couple of years ago were you had to gather coals by doing certain achievements in games, all of those games had special winter sale content in them, like maps, items and the earlier mentioned achievements. That was a lot of fun too!
  4. Most sales are crap. Majority of them are never larger than 50% anymore. We need bigger discounts!
  5. No special community tasks (such as leaving comments, adding friends, writing reviews, playing multiplayer in some game etc. to get something in return) for people to do is also a bad choice.

What do you think about recent Steam sales?

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This is what makes people angry – especially the older gamers I think. Steam sales are particularly bad for people like me who own a lot of games that we bought over the years on… Steam sales. That’s why the catalog is no longer attractive to us and the most recent titles that we would want to buy aren’t discounted enough to even compete with the alternatives around the world. I remember that even the recently released games had some sort of discount during the sale time, now new titles don’t even have one like Ori and the Blind Forest.

Hopefully sales on Origin, Good Old Games, UPlay and other big platforms will be improved in the future. The recent ones aren’t even that bad considering you could get Battlefield games a lot cheaper on the EA’s store for example.

What do you guys think?

Bethesda to release it’s own launcher to sell mods?

Apparently there is an alpha version of a launcher for Bethesda games. It has Fallout 4 creation kit and even a Mods tab at the top. Check out some screenshots:

Do we really need another game launcher aside from Steam, Origin, UPlay, Battle.net, GOG (optional)? They really want to sell those mods, we all know how it turned out last time they pushed it on Steam

What do you think about the new Bethesda launcher?

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Source: Found on NeoGAF.

Few words about Valve’s employee Torsten Zabka

Here is some really bad info from reddit/r/Steam guys, Victor, a translator and ex-moderator from the Spanish Steam Translation Server team, posted a really concerning message regarding Steam Translation Server program:

“Valve employee Torsten Zabka, also known for being the Head Admin and creator of STS, has been harassing, lying, discrediting, creating an oppressive, intimidating environment, and overall doing questionable things that have finished with several mods being kicked, a strike of the whole Spanish team that’s still going, and another Valve employee being illegally fired for complaining about these unlawful activities. We would like to share the story with you.”

Steam Rage

And more:

“There has been a huge mess involving Valve’s employee Torsten Zabka and the Spanish team of Steam Translation Server that has resulted a strike from the whole team, and 2 valuable colleagues being expelled, one of them being a Valve employee that also got fired. We want to share the story to reach Valve’s attention and show the community that not everything around is pretty.”

Basically Torsten Zabka told them something about future employment at Valve just to make those guys more productive in translating Steam and it’s contents for free and after many years he told them to fuck off after they’ve contributed so much.

More information in this thread, this is just pathetic behavior. I hope they will fix the whole situation asap…

Steam: Private account information revealed

I just got back from a couple of friends from a small holiday gathering and I was really surprised that this has happened. It seems that some sort of caching issue occurred on the Steam store and users could see other random people’s account information.

For now I strongly advise not to use Steam at all and don’t buy anything because you could be compromising your data. I’m pretty sure they will fix it asap but it’s better to watch out for stuff like that. More info available here.

Steam-Data-Leak

By | December 26th 03:02, 2015|Categories: News, OMG!1, RAGE NEWS!!!1, Steam, Steam Flaws, Weird Stuff|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Steam Holiday Sale – Buying games this holiday season? Get them one by one if you want to be sure to get a refund!

Hey guys, Happy Holidays! :D Please remember to buy games one by one on the Steam sale if you are unsure if you want to return any of them after you try it out. It seems that you can’t return games if they were bought all together and one of them has reached the 2 hours gameplay limit to get a refund.

Steam Rage

Check out this reddit post for more details.

By | December 24th 10:09, 2015|Categories: Games, News, Steam, Steam Flaws|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

Valve ignores Windows 10 Mobile

Some of you probably realize that Valve enforced secure trading on Steam by forcing users to use their mobile authenticator if they want their trades to go smooth.

Turns out the app is only available for iOS and Android. All other people have to wait 3 days until their items are delivered to the buyer. There are also Steam Community discounts for people with this app and if you don’t have the app you can’t partake in those.

Steam Rage

I really had hope that someday soon we would see an universal app for Windows 10 Mobile which could be used on phones and tablets – with respective UI designs for each. There is a huge demand on Steam Community forums, here is a random thread with hundreds of replies.

Windows 10 Mobile is installed on 7% of all active Windows phone devices (including my Lumia 640 LTE) and it didn’t even officially come out yet on the older devices.

Thinking that it’s growing market share in Europe would matter enough right? Or 12% market share in Russia (bigger than Apple’s iOS)? Wrong. Here is what Steam support has to say about it:

“At this time we have no plan to implement a Steam Mobile app for Windows phone, but we have made updates to make such of Steam now accessible via your mobile web browser. I’ll make sure the mobile team knows that users like you are interested in the app specific features.”

Steam app for Windows 10 Mobile devices?

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Here is a nice reddit post with the source of both images. What do you guys think?

Valve to add extra security to trading, hold items for a period of time, require to use it’s mobile app

Hey guys, first of all thanks to Andrea for telling me about this. Secondly Valve is about to add a new trading security measurements, which holds items in every trade for a period of time likely up to several days, unless both parties have mobile app Steam Guard enabled. This is ridiculous considering the app is not available for my Windows 10 Mobile phone (at least not yet) and what about people without smartphones? I know it is 2015 but not everyone uses smartphones guys. Some people just prefer battery life and a dumbphones.

Steam News

Here is a confirmation of the new security method. This bit in particular:

‘What is Escrow?’,
‘<div class=”escrow_explanation”>After a trade has been accepted by both parties, if either party’s account has not been secured by the Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator, then to protect against unauthorized trades, the traded items will be placed in escrow.<br><br>During the escrow period, the items will not be available to either user. This allows users who have not secured their accounts to cancel any unauthorized trades and recover their items.<br><br>Canceling all pending and in-escrow trades will place a trading hold on your account for a few days to prevent any further unauthorized attempts to trade away items.</div>’,
‘Learn About Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator’,
‘Dismiss’

‘<div class=”escrow_explanation”>After a trade has been accepted by both parties, if either party’s account has not been secured by the Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator, then to protect against unauthorized trades, the traded items will be placed in escrow.<br><br>During the escrow period, the items will not be available to either user. This allows users who have not secured their accounts to cancel any unauthorized trades and recover their items.<br><br>Canceling all pending and in-escrow trades will place a trading hold on your account for a few days to prevent any further unauthorized attempts to trade away items.</div>’

Does Valve want to kill off trading?

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You can read more about it on reddit. Of course they are doing this once again before the Steam Holiday Sale – it’s about to be released on November 25th. Source in here.

By | November 19th 14:27, 2015|Categories: DRM, Games, News, OMG!1, RAGE NEWS!!!1, Software, Steam Flaws|Tags: , , , , , |1 Comment

Here is why Steam customer service is still terrible but will get better this holiday season

In recent Kotaku interview with Erik Johnson about the current Steam Support, Valve employee told that progress is being made on Valve’s side of things, it’s just not visible yet:

“We started by realizing we had a lot of software to write to build a new support system,” Johnson explained. “The first feature that came of that was the ability to get refunds of purchases made on Steam. That made the most sense to start with. If a customer buys something they don’t like, they can get their money back in a pretty transparent way. We think that’s a good feature, but we don’t think it was the fix for support. It had a lot more work behind it that was long-term thinking than just refunds.”

Steam News

And the interview continues:

“The second software problem that we’re getting through now is how to deal with account security and account theft,” he said. “So we’ve been updating the mobile apps and dealing with two-factor authentication. It’s a surprisingly complicated and prevalent issue inside of Steam, and we have some unique challenges in there. A lot of the load of customer support is a function of the number of transactions you make. Our own games like DOTA and Counter-Strike and TF2 have a lot more transactions than a typical game, so that’s created a lot of load on the system. The ability to trade items and sell items directly on the marketplace, that creates more support load. So all of those are kind of self-inflicted things.”

But that still doesn’t get to the point of why Steam support, has more than it should in common with a bunch of shit. Read more below to find out.

We’ve hired a couple different companies

[to help with support],” said Johnson. “The thing that’s interesting is, you go out to third-party support providers, and—at least in our experience—most of them wanted to sell you ways to reduce the number of people currently waiting in support, but they weren’t very good at selling you ways to solve customer support issues. I think we’ve all had that experience of, ‘I get it. You’re trying to get me off the line.’ We’re not super interested in providing crappy support in volume.”

Valve started to train it’s own people, but training takes time.

“It’s meant that training people in third-party has taken longer than we expected,” explained Johnson. “It bugs us, but it is what it is. We think we’ll have the support wait time down to an acceptable point by Christmas time. That’s our goal. It’s a function of training up more and more people answer customer issues. We’re not there yet. It’s getting better internally; it’s just that it hasn’t yet translated to great support for users. We’re gonna get there, though.”

If Valve’s timeline (not Valve Time ;D) proves accurate, it’ll certainly be a nice winter holiday (winter sale?) present.

TL;DR

Valve didn’t have enough support employees to process refunds and help requests, tried to hire 3rd party businesses but they were crappy, started to train it’s own people and it will probably be a lot better for the winter Steam sale.

Source: Kotaku

By | October 17th 01:20, 2015|Categories: News, Software, Steam, Steam Alternatives, Steam Flaws, Valve|Tags: , , , , |1 Comment

Valve is being taken to court by The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is alleging that Valve has not fulfilled mandatory consumer guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law. While neither Valve or Steam has any physical presence in Australia, the company must observe Australian law when it provides goods or services to Australians.

Valve problems in Australia

“It is a breach of the Australian Consumer Law for businesses to state that they do not give refunds under any circumstances, including for gifts and during sales,” Sims said. “Under the Australian Consumer Law, consumers can insist on a refund or replacement at their option if a product has a major fault.” – ACCC chairman Rod Sims

The consumer guarantees provided under the Australian Consumer Law cannot be excluded, restricted or modified,” he continued.

The ACCC will allege that:

  • consumers were not entitled to a refund for any games sold by Valve via Steam in any circumstances;

  • Valve had excluded, restricted or modified statutory guarantees and/or warranties that goods would be of acceptable quality;

  • Valve was not under any obligation to repair, replace or provide a refund for a game where the consumer had not contacted and attempted to resolve the problem with the computer game developer; and

  • the statutory consumer guarantees did not apply to games sold by Valve.

According to Valve’s Steam refund policy, refunds or exchanges on “games, DLC or in-game items” are not offered unless required by local law. In the case of Australia, those offers are required.

The matter will go to court in Sydney on October 7.

By | August 30th 18:17, 2014|Categories: Games, News, Steam, Steam Flaws, Valve|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Error on Steam gives users Dark Souls instead of newly released Dead Island Riptide

Dead Island Riptide is out. For some UK and Nordic gamers have been finding themselves with new copy of Dark Souls instead. It’s a code-printing mixup that is apparently now solved, the codes now activating the correct game at installation. If you’ve already been affected, contact Steam support and they’ll fix it for you.

Dead Island Error

Here’s community manager Maurice Tan explaining the situation over on the Steam forums:

“To the best of my knowledge, this issue would affect retail copies in the United Kingdom and Nordic countries. Now, Dark Souls is an amazing game, but you probably bought Dead Island Riptide to play Dead Island Riptide! For those of you who don’t know this, Dark Souls is also not a Deep Silver game.

We are aware of this mixup by whoever printed these codes for a completely different game from a different publisher, and are working on a best possible solution to help affected players and retailers.

“We’ve worked with Steam to resolve this issue. If you are getting your retail copy of Dead Island Riptide today, the code will work properly. If you had redeemed it and received Dark Souls instead, please contact Steam support. They are aware of the issue and will make sure the correct game will be attached to your account.”

By | April 29th 18:07, 2013|Categories: Entertainment, Games, News, Steam, Steam Flaws|Tags: , , , , , , , |0 Comments

Green Man Gaming: Omerta City of Gangsters $27.20

I’m really thinking of getting this one not only because of coop features but mostly because it looks old school. The key is Steam redeemable and currently at 15% off ($33.99) but with this voucher code GMG20-PJFEW-Y16HK the game is a little bit more than $27. I think it’s worth the price considering Steam sells it for 38,24€ (almost $51) in Europe! You can pre-order it here.

Omerta City of Gangsters

By | January 16th 12:59, 2013|Categories: Green Man Gaming, News, Steam, Steam Flaws|Tags: , , , , , , , |5 Comments

Steam Holiday Sale: Watch out for Far Cry Franchise Pack!

Watch out for Far Cry Franchise Pack on Steam Holiday Sale, it is more expensive than buying individual games. Check it out on the screenshot below:

Far Cry 3 Pack

By buying the pack for 49,99€ you lose 7,52€. It applies to all regions as far as I know.

By | December 30th 23:34, 2012|Categories: News, RAGE NEWS!!!1, Steam, Steam Flaws, Ubisoft|Tags: , , , , , , |6 Comments