Gaming

Poland Claims Steam And PSN Are Using ‘Anti-Competitive’ Practices For Digital Game Sales

Poland Claims Steam And PSN Are Using 'Anti-Competitive' Practices For Digital Game Sales. Photo by Steam/Valve

Steam and PSN are currently under Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK.) The digital video game distributors might have “anti-competitive” practices that worsen gamers’ experiences.

UOKIK Accuses Steam And PSN For Not Looking Out For Gamers

Digital distributors must prove their innocence and benevolence to UOKiK’s customers. Meanwhile, the latter accuses them of multiple reasons they’ve noticed the companies have done it.

With the advent of more digital purchases over physical ownership, the danger of not “owning” the game comes. Moreover, these companies can use their massive market shares to stifle competition through different means.

The accusations are:

  • Abusing their dominant position through prohibited agreements and others
  • Locking out other digital distributors from selling specific games
  • Exploiting game developers and publishers
  • Creating higher prices for gamers
  • Interfering with discounts and pricing that the game companies deem proper
  • Cornering market access to make it more difficult for other platforms to compete

However, nothing is set in stone yet. The investigation is still new. Meanwhile, the UOKiK already investigated a Sony group company. Moreover, they included two video game developers and publishers from Poland.

They’ll still have to analyze the research to see what effects they might have on the gaming landscape.

If they find anything anti-competition, they’ll issue a fine of up to 10 percent of the company’s annual revenue.

This Is A Win For Gamers

Poland Claims Steam And PSN Are Using 'Anti-Competitive' Practices For Digital Game Sales. Photo by Steam/Valve
Photo by Steam/Valve

These investigations could lead to a significant change in the digital distribution market. However, it’s only possible as the companies might just pay the fine instead of reworking their systems.

Despite that, it’s good to know there are still groups that care about gamers. After the Helldivers 2 PSN account linking debacle, it’s clear that big companies are focused on profit, not gamers.

What do you think this investigation will come up with?

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