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View Full Version : If Valve died, what would happen to all my games on Steam?


Steed
10-11-2009, 08:37 PM
Valve and Steam are both throughly awesome, and as such I've a fair few games purchased or registered on Steam.

What would happen if Valve suddenly died? If their content servers went down, would I just lose ALL my steam games?

Have Valve thought about it? Before going down, would they let you download a final non-steam requiring version of the game?

Scary thoughts...:eek:

Cedge
10-11-2009, 08:39 PM
This has been discussed many times before.

There is no way to predict a situation in which Steam would shut down, or what would happen in such an event.

Gabe has expressed hope that they would be able to release de-authentication patches for games, but this isn't a guarantee.

Bottom line, nobody knows.

White_Wolf
10-11-2009, 08:50 PM
It is that uncertainty that makes me use Steam only for games that require it like Valve games, Audiosurf, Defense Grid, and FEAR 2.

Valve and Steam are pretty solid so I don't expect either to fail, but as Yoda said of predicting the future, "Difficult to see, always in motion is the future".

Better safe than sorry.

Akudama89
10-11-2009, 08:50 PM
Yay, another one of these threads, Death of Steam threads: 1337

P. H.
10-11-2009, 09:13 PM
These threads will keep popping up because the question has not been answered, and likely never will.

I, for one, have decided that the convenience provided by Steam makes up for the risk of my games disappearing forever into that big cloud in the 'net. In any case, should Steam go under, I will have no choice but to dHHNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGHHH

relaxeder
10-11-2009, 09:37 PM
Its the question that won't go away.

GoDevs
10-11-2009, 09:51 PM
Gone for good I would imagine.

luminous_flux
10-11-2009, 10:08 PM
I doubt they would pull an Enron on us.

shial
10-11-2009, 10:16 PM
I just keep a copy of everything and if steam did go under there would be a hacked version of steam out probably within a week.

ZoNe-SiNisTeR
10-11-2009, 10:47 PM
I just keep a copy of everything and if steam did go under there would be a hacked version of steam out probably within a week.

Won't valve deauthorize your games, so you won't have to use illegal softwares?

Cedge
10-11-2009, 10:52 PM
Won't valve deauthorize your games, so you won't have to use illegal softwares?

Maybe. Maybe not. It's a difficult legal and technical issue.

Again, there is no way to predict a situation in which Steam would be shut down, and no way to predict any of the outcomes.

K1Bond007
10-11-2009, 10:54 PM
...10 companies at a minimum would quickly jump in line to buy Steam and you'd be fine.

t19890204
10-11-2009, 11:44 PM
Raymond Brothers

steveroger
10-11-2009, 11:52 PM
According the Steam Subscriber Agreement Valve promises you nothing in the event that Steam is shut down for any reason.

In the unlikely event that Steam is shut down, any number of things could happen:

1. You lose access to everything.
2. A patch is issued and Valve games work offline and the their multiplayer may or may not work.
3. Third party games may get a patch, work offline and their multiplayer may or may not work.
4. A combination of 2 & 3, that includes all, some or none of your games, bringing you back to possibility #1.

I have seen forum posts, articles and comments from articles that claim that Gabe Newell announced that if Steam were to shut down that a patch would be issued to provide you with access to your games. However, I have never found the actual quote itself.

The trouble is that even if Gabe said that the SSA does not reflect this promise of a patch so the offer is unenforceable.

IMHO, I think that in the unlikely event that Steam went do that we would get to access to most of our games. There would be a few titles that we would lose access to likely due to their individual companies legal and financial issues. Heck, that happens now from time to time. Like the one of the past Zombie Shooter shooter sale fiasco that happened due to a beef with their old publisher.

Cedge
10-12-2009, 12:14 AM
I have seen forum posts, articles and comments from articles that claim that Gabe Newell announced that if Steam were to shut down that a patch would be issued to provide you with access to your games. However, I have never found the actual quote itself.

Indeed, people often say that they heard that Gabe "announced" this, based on faulty second-hand (or third or fourth or fifth-hand) information.

Indeed, Gabe never made an authoritative "announcement" about it. I explained the origin of the whole "Gabe announced they'd release a patch" semi-rumor, including the actual quote from Gabe, in a post a few months ago. Here's a link:
http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showpost.php?p=10642189&postcount=28

relaxeder
10-12-2009, 12:16 AM
I think users who purchased Zombie Shooter before it was pulled could still download their licensed content from the Steam servers, new customers just couldn't buy it on the store anymore.

The only thing I guess that should give you comfort is the fact that it would be horrible PR of the worst sort for Valve or Steam or whoever the parent company or shareholder was at that point if everyone's games were just suddenly gone and nobody could access them.

Cedge
10-12-2009, 12:23 AM
I think users who purchased Zombie Shooter before it was pulled could still download their licensed content from the Steam servers, new customers just couldn't buy it on the store anymore.

Correct. I can still download Alien Shooter Vengeance (the game in question).

In addition, a while later after that fiasco was over, Alien Shooter 2: Reloaded, an improved version of Alien Shooter Vengeance that was self-published on Steam by the developer, was automatically added to my account for free. Pretty cool deal. :)

>X<
10-12-2009, 12:23 AM
Gabe says authentication can be turned off and is tested.

The question becomes, why would valve not offer deauthentication if they were going bust.. and if they didn't, how many minutes would steam be offline forever, before the mods community released a patch for it?

steveroger
10-12-2009, 12:23 AM
I think users who purchased Zombie Shooter before it was pulled could still download their licensed content from the Steam servers, new customers just couldn't buy it on the store anymore.


If they failed to download the game they lost access to it. Even if it was in their cart. They also could not download it again if they had deleted it. (now you can get it at the new price). My point was just that you can loose access to games.

Gabe says authentication can be turned off and is tested.

The question becomes, why would valve not offer deauthentication if they were going bust.. and if they didn't, how many minutes would steam be offline forever, before the mods community released a patch for it?

Oh yah, we all heard that Gabe said that too. But the trouble is X, that you are just repeating a story that we have all heard third hand. I just said this myself but I pointed out that the source of Gabe's actual remarks is apparently no where to be found.

Can you provide the actual source of Gabe's offer to provide users access to games if Steam went down permanently? I don't mean were his offer is referred to in the third person, but his actual quoted remarks?

Otherwise you aren't telling us anything signficant.

And saying that "the question becomes, why would valve not offer deauthentication if they were going bust" doesn't mean much when the Subscriber agreement doesn't say that we have right to the games if Steam goes down.

And how could a "mods community released a patch" help us if Valve and the third party game providers ensure that we have legal access to our games. So a functioning pirated copy of all the game on Steam we have is your worst case scenario? That scenario doesn't sound to favorable. That doesn't sound like a resolution to this issue at all.

Cedge
10-12-2009, 12:27 AM
If they failed to download the game they lost access to it. Even if it was in their cart. They also could not download it again if they had deleted it. (now you can get it at the new price). My point was just that you can loose access to games.

Wrong. Please see my post above.

And to prove it, here is a screenshot I just now took of me downloading the game (note the free Alien Shooter 2 that I mentioned, in my game list):
http://img65.imageshack.us/img65/9331/asv.png

The question becomes, why would valve not offer deauthentication if they were going bust.
They might not be legally entitled to, in all cases (for third-party games).

and if they didn't, how many minutes would steam be offline forever, before the mods community released a patch for it?
I don't want to start a discussion about this, but, I mean, there are "deauthentication" hacks already. That's all that should be said about that.

Oh yah, we all heard that Gabe said that too. But the trouble is X, that you are just repeating a story that we have all heard third hand. I just said this myself but I pointed out that the source of Gabe's actual remarks is apparently no where to be found.

Can you provide the actual source of Gabe's offer to provide users access to games if Steam went down permanently? I don't mean were his offer is referred to in the third person, but his actual quoted remarks?
I explained this, as well.

Please see the post I made earlier in this thread (http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showpost.php?p=11536309&postcount=15), as well as the post I linked to in that post, where I provide the actual quote from Gabe, and the actual context for it.

Hi2u! Tw1TcH
10-12-2009, 01:26 AM
Backup your games.

Run in offline mode.

No Steam patch necessary if VALVe dies.

Except for multiplayer games like CS:S, TF2, HL2dm, etc. that require Steam to be able to play online. That would be interesting.

If you backup your games its the same as owning a hard copy you would have bought from the store.

number3son
10-13-2009, 10:13 AM
Backup your games.

Run in offline mode.

No Steam patch necessary if VALVe dies.

Except for multiplayer games like CS:S, TF2, HL2dm, etc. that require Steam to be able to play online. That would be interesting.

If you backup your games its the same as owning a hard copy you would have bought from the store.

Ah, no. You cannot install any game in offline mode, even from a backup (go ahead and try it). And even if you had every game installed at all times, you would still only be able to play them until you had to re-install Windows, or got a new PC, or had a hard drive crash, etc.

I would actually be happier if, when Valve goes under, nobody stepped in to buy them up. If steam were an orphan, a hack that allowed our games to be played would be much easier to pursue and distribute, legally speaking. But if you've suddenly got another company running Steam, now there's got to be new contracts and new deals written up with every publisher in the catalog, and a lot of games would probably be lost in the process.

CatzEyes93
10-13-2009, 01:18 PM
Dont worry folks... I have my lawyer all lined up and everything should the day ever come that steam shuts down and I cant play half life.

I am making a note of everyone's name, so that I can get you included in the class action suit.


:eyesroll:
/sarcasm

chrisdglong
10-13-2009, 01:51 PM
You would lose all of your games and forever resent digital offerings of games. jk, but if I did lose all my money in a situation, as described, I would probly never buy digital again.

chrisdglong
10-13-2009, 01:52 PM
Dont worry folks... I have my lawyer all lined up and everything should the day ever come that steam shuts down and I cant play half life.

I am making a note of everyone's name, so that I can get you included in the class action suit.


:eyesroll:
/sarcasm

Class action suit on a bankrupt company! lol, that is funny itself.

paratech2008
10-13-2009, 02:58 PM
Class action suit on a bankrupt company! lol, that is funny itself.

Not as funny as the Lawyers shilling themselves on TV proclaiming they'll take the most ludicrous cases and only charge if they get money for you!

***Ring*** ***Ring*** Hello Edger Snyder? I can't play ~$400 of video games on my PC I purchased 10 years ago and I want you to drop everything in order to sue the pants off of some Bankrupt video game company

******

******

******

He Hung Up? Maybe Matlock would take up our case?

steveroger
10-13-2009, 03:43 PM
Wrong. Please see my post above.
And to prove it, here is a screenshot I just now took of me downloading the game (note the free Alien Shooter 2 that I mentioned, in my game list):
http://img65.imageshack.us/img65/9331/asv.png

Actually, that is good news. I was writing about it based on my memory of the AS incident. I think one guy said he couldn't download it, but he didn't follow up on it. So I think access is no longer an issue.


Please see the post I made earlier in this thread (http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showpost.php?p=11536309&postcount=15), as well as the post I linked to in that post, where I provide the actual quote from Gabe, and the actual context for it.


I have seen the thread you refer to. It isn't the quote that I was looking for. The one I was hoping to find is the one where he announced it at like a game conference and then it was reported on. I can only find third party references to his famous quote and never the actual article that reported it first. Thanks though.

MR007
10-13-2009, 05:51 PM
Steam is currently dead for me. It gave me a could not connect to Steam Cloud error upon launching L4D.

Friends is down also. Anyone else getting this?

T@F
10-13-2009, 06:04 PM
The chances are we lose everything tbh.
Simple fact we loan the games we don`t own them like retail.

This is where retail shines for me,at least i know if the dvd don`t break i can always install and play them.

I cannot see steam going down anytime soon tbh,but if it does then you will prob lose the full lot.
as every game i own req the internet and steam severs just to install,even with the retail dvd like the orange box.

wits
10-13-2009, 07:02 PM
There really needs to be a sticky for this topic, I swear it comes up every other day.

paratech2008
10-13-2009, 07:06 PM
The chances are we lose everything tbh.
Simple fact we loan the games we don`t own them like retail.

This is where retail shines for me,at least i know if the dvd don`t break i can always install and play them.

I cannot see steam going down anytime soon tbh,but if it does then you will prob lose the full lot.
as every game i own req the internet and steam severs just to install,even with the retail dvd like the orange box.

No you don't. If the game uses Tages or SecureRom, and the company goes under, or discontinues the game, you're screwed.

Buy Tabula Rasa and Try to play it...

Buy Hellfire London and try to play multiplayer...

Let's see if you'll be able to play Spore in 10 years...Retail or Steam, ditto for Chronicles of Riddick Dark Athena....

No, thanks to DRM and online registration you won't be able to play games in 10 years, only as long as corporations permit you to play them.

They may do like Disney and temporarily remove games and try to resell them every 20 years...

No having a DVD doesn't mean you can play a game forever....

worse1
10-14-2009, 04:42 AM
What if humanity goes extinct?, no doubt Steam will have to adapt it's business model.

T@F
10-14-2009, 04:49 AM
No you don't. If the game uses Tages or SecureRom, and the company goes under, or discontinues the game, you're screwed.

Buy Tabula Rasa and Try to play it...

Buy Hellfire London and try to play multiplayer...

Let's see if you'll be able to play Spore in 10 years...Retail or Steam, ditto for Chronicles of Riddick Dark Athena....

No, thanks to DRM and online registration you won't be able to play games in 10 years, only as long as corporations permit you to play them.

They may do like Disney and temporarily remove games and try to resell them every 20 years...

No having a DVD doesn't mean you can play a game forever....

atm i don`t own any games with DRM,and prob wont.
But there prob would be a work around if you owned the retail game and prob legal to use if the company went under.
Steam would not be as easy.

[edit]notice i said prob as i don`t know for sure.

martinarcand1
10-14-2009, 09:57 AM
Since Steam offers offline mode you'll probably be able to keep playing offline. As for multiplayer games, worst case scenario is you download a hacked version of the game, but use your LEGITIMATE cd-key found in Steam registries to play it legally online.

StingingVelvet
10-14-2009, 10:05 AM
They would hopefully release a patch to allow Steam to function past their death. They are under no legal requirement to do so, however which is an important fact Steam lovers tend to gloss over.

Really though, as long as Steam is as popular and profitable as it is now, someone else would buy the thing and keep it running. The only real worry with Steam closing shop I would have is when someday computers and games progress to the point where the methods we use now to play them are ancient. I doubt Steam will exist in any form then, and your purchases would likely be forfeit.

I love retail because there is NO questions... Fallout 3 on a computer from this year will always run. Even 100 years from now some collector of old technology and games will be able to play it, and that makes me smile.

martinarcand1
10-14-2009, 10:20 AM
Really though, as long as Steam is as popular and profitable as it is now, someone else would buy the thing and keep it running. The only real worry with Steam closing shop I would have is when someday computers and games progress to the point where the methods we use now to play them are ancient. I doubt Steam will exist in any form then, and your purchases would likely be forfeit.

I love retail because there is NO questions... Fallout 3 on a computer from this year will always run. Even 100 years from now some collector of old technology and games will be able to play it, and that makes me smile.

Why would Steam close if it'S still profitable?? :D

CDs/DVDs has an age limit btw, though that can be loooongg :D http://www.audioholics.com/education/audio-formats-technology/cd-and-dvd-longevity-how-long-will-they-last

Austin007
10-14-2009, 10:21 AM
Can we get an official response from Valve about this? http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/pitchford-dangerous-for-the-industry-to-allow-valve-to-win
It's a little disturbing.

L.o.D.
10-14-2009, 10:26 AM
I had asked for an FAQ on this topic to be made & my request has gone ignored.

Suomis
10-14-2009, 10:30 AM
I hope they would make it so that you could still download all your steam games, and the steam program would stay alive... Since otherwise we would all lose all our steam games -.-

martinarcand1
10-14-2009, 10:31 AM
Can we get an official response from Valve about this? http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/pitchford-dangerous-for-the-industry-to-allow-valve-to-win
It's a little disturbing.

Unofficial response, from indie guy: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/tripwire-valve-absolutely-not-exploiting-indies-with-steam

exerpt: "Is Valve exploiting independent developers? In short: absolutely not. Without pulling any punches I can say with certainly that if it weren't for Steam there would be no Tripwire Interactive right now," he told Gamasutra.

Gibson also dismisses Pitchford's suggestion that as a Valve venture Steam has a "horrid" conflict of interest, saying that while a potential conflict could arise, it hasn't proven to be a problem.

"We've never had a situation where Valve downplayed our competing titles," he said. "On the contrary, they have done a great job of promoting our games on the front page of the Steam store and through pop-up advertisements on Steam."


Other exerpt: The studio subsequently recouped its development costs for Red Orchestra within the first week of going on sale, making pure profit from that point onwards.