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Frequently asked questions

  • Miscellaneous
What is this case about?
Valve deceives and encourages gamers to spend hundreds of dollars to gamble for loot box items in its most popular games, including Dota 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and Team Fortress 2. Unregulated online gambling is illegal in many states. Additionally, Valve is using the monopoly power of the Steam Store over the PC game market to overcharge gamers for other studios’ games, harming all PC gamers by forcing other publishers to raise their prices to compete.
We are pursuing private arbitration claims against Valve Corporation on behalf of gamers who have spent money on loot boxes in Dota 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and Team Fortress 2, as well as gamers who have purchased other games from the Steam Store in the past four years. Successful claims could be entitled to refunds of the money spent on these products, along with additional damages depending on your state of residence.
How has Valve been harming gamers who play its own games?
Valve Corporation has published many popular titles that are still enjoyed by millions of PC gamers today, including Dota 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and Team Fortress 2. Valve encourages the players of its games to purchase loot boxes that have a chance of spawning a rare item that might be worth hundreds of dollars in resale value on the Steam Market. However, Valve downplays the fact that the chances of randomly obtaining a valuable item through any one loot box are incredibly slim, thus encouraging gamers to spend hundreds of dollars gambling for these rare items. In the infrequent event that a gamer does obtain a rare and valuable item from a loot box, Valve still profits by taking a commission when the gamer resells that item to another gamer through the Steam Market.
How do Valve’s actions harm the entire PC game industry?
Valve controls the largest PC game store in the world: the store on its digital distribution platform Steam. By some estimates, every year more than 75% of global PC game sales take place in Valve’s Steam Store. Valve takes a 30% commission of every game sale on Steam. Normally, other online PC game stores that charge lower commissions on sales would arise to compete with Steam, keeping PC game prices competitive for consumers. However, other online PC game stores are unable to compete because Valve forces game developers to sign a contract that prohibits them from offering a game for sale on the Steam store for a lower price in a difference game store. Because most PC game sales today occur through Steam, game developers are forced to sign Valve’s contracts and overcharge gamers to compensate for Valve’s bloated 30% commission. Indeed, when a former Valve employee was asked to comment on Valve’s business practices, he stated, “Steam [is] killing PC gaming. It [is] a 30% tax on an entire industry.” You can read more about a lawsuit small game development studios have brought against Valve in connection with these practices here.
What is arbitration?
Arbitration is a private dispute resolution process. Your claim will not be filed in court. Your claim will be decided by an arbitrator, who is a neutral person chosen by you and the company. We can select an arbitrator for you who is fair and neutral.
Once I sign up, how does the process work?
Once you sign up, you’ll be asked to sign our attorney-client agreement. That allows us to investigate your private arbitration claim. Then, log in to your secure client portal. All information is strictly privileged and confidential and will only be used for your claim. Answer a few more questions, upload a few documents, and we’ll take it from there. We’ll analyze your claim and your losses, negotiate with the company, and, if necessary, pursue your claim in arbitration.
How do your fees work?
Our fees will be a percentage of the settlement or recovery we obtain for you. That amount will depend on the rules in the state you live in. We only receive a fee if you win, and you will never owe us any money.
Why arbitration?
Many consumer agreements or services have mandatory arbitration provisions in their agreements and/or terms of use, along with class action waivers. You probably signed these agreements, such as with banks and credit card companies, even if you’ve never seen them or do not remember. They are also found in many online click-through agreements, such as travel, shopping, gaming, or entertainment sites. These clauses not only require you to arbitrate your claim, but to do so individually.