Not being able to resell your games on Steam is one of the few downsides of having a digital collection of games as opposed to a physical one that can be at any time. And while Steam has a virtual rewards system and a big community in place for things like trading cards, crafting badges and leveling up, there’s no getting around the fact that once you’ve bought a game, it’s strictly tied to your account and you’re stuck with it forever (or at least what the EULA dictates).
What might radically change Valve’s mode of operation Steam is the ruling given this week by the French High Court that makes it legal for European consumers to resell their games purchased from Steam, reports French publication Numerama. The verdict follows EU digital goods legislation which ensures “free movement of goods within the Union” and allows the sale of all goods, including software, to be sold in the same condition without the consent of the manufacturer or the original seller.
In its defense, Valve argued that Steam is a subscription service, thus prohibiting a game reselling policy. The Court rejected this defense by stating that Steam does not sell games as part of a subscription package and that Valve’s policy on the reselling of games is contrary to the EU legislation on the free flow of digital goods and content.
The judgment of the court further clarified that the lawfulness of resale applies to the sale of a single copy of the game, and not to duplicates. It also gave Valve three months to update its terms of service in the light of this decision.
A Valve spokesperson told Polygon that the company is planning to appeal the decision. “We disagree with the decision of the Paris Court of First Instance and will appeal it,” adding that “The decision will have no effect on Steam while the case is on appeal,” suggesting a possible delay for the three-month period granted to Valve for compliance.