1. Post #1
    Update: Regarding games published by THQ, Game UK are not behind the lack of new titles available on Steam.


    Minor Update: When reading this article please don't think this only applies to preorders. I've seen a few places thinking that this is the case. This actually affects the ability to buy the game on Steam for at least up to a month from release as well as preorders.

    In the UK we have a gaming store called Game (UK) and for as long as I can remember they've been around for years now (my earliest memory of first seeing them was when I was roughly 4) and they've never been that great, but they were okay.

    Now for many years most people went to Game to buy their Console and PC games. When it comes to consoles Game really have quite a thing rolling, even their smallest stores have their walls lined with console games and often even basic peripherals. Often they have demo console machines everywhere with the latest games on that you can play and their second hand baskets (or bargain bins) often have plenty of games in there, albeit not the best.

    What's fairly sad is that Game have never really been a PC supporter as such even with an evergrowing market. For years now they've kept the PC games (usually) in the back of the store with a small segment and usually their "top 10" of games. What's even worse is that these "top 10" games are built off Games' own sales figures. This means that games such as The Sims 3 and the vanilla version of World of Warcraft remain in the charts regardless of what new releases come out. This alongside selling PC games that are ten years old (no, seriously, you'll find games from 99-2001 easily) it doesn't make for a decent consumer experience and as thus a large portion of people that buy PC games don't buy them at Game.

    Now since roughly March this year UK Gamers have noticed that many games on Steam are "not available in your region" and it's left many wondering why this is occuring. The first game to be officially affected by this was Brink (http://store.steampowered.com/app/22350/ ) including any DLC pages related to Brink. Thankfully thanks to a minor bug with Steam many PC users were still able to preorder Brink up until roughly two weeks before the games launch when Brink suddenly became unavailable with no response from Valve or Bethseda (as they were publishing it) as to why this was the case.

    Some time around the start of this year Game started talking to multiple publishers regarding their games being on Steam. This was somewhat out of the blue and surprising however their Goal was effectively to gain some monopoly or power over Steam. Heck their message was a pretty straightforwards one. They basically want (at least) one month from release date where the game cannot be purchased by those in the UK on Steam.. And this applies to all games released by that publisher. This doesn't include the time the game is up for pre-order either. If the publisher doesn't agree to (what I presume is a bluff as other publishers haven't done this) then they'll supposedly refuse to stock and sell that publishers games via their stores.

    What makes this worse is that UKers can't even place a pre-order on Steam for that game. We can only look at media related to the game (not including demos) only if they have their own pages.

    Lets take Space Marine for example.

    Searching for Space Marine in Steam from the UK results in this -
    Trying to access the Steam page directly results in this -
    Although thankfully, if any UKers want to try the Space Marine demo, you can by clicking here - steam://install/55410

    Steam is the only online outlet affected by this. You can go to Direct2Drive, Gamers Gate or even other smaller outlets (such as G2Play.net) that let you put the keys on Steam and that'll work.

    I'm actually starting to wonder if this sort of thing is actually illegal (anti-comp laws etc) and so I'm starting to do some research into the issue, although I'm not a lawyer so any support anyone feels like giving would be great .
    This really isn't fair on us in the UK because at the end of the day, it's Games own fault that many people don't want to buy their games from their stores. If they weren't so stupidly priced or daft about making the consumer experience actually worthwhile they would probably find that people would possibly start even buying from them again.

    I can provide some insight into which publishers and games are affected by this below (I'll keep the list updated as time goes on and if anyone else knows any other games affected, PM me or post below) -

    Publishers that have agreed to this -
    - THQ
    - Bethseda

    Currently affected titles I'm aware of -
    - Space Marine
    - Saints Row the Third
    - Skyrim

    Games that have been affected by said actions -
    - Brink (confirmed, one month)
    - Red Faction: Armageddon (confirmed, unknown duration)
    - Homefront (confirmed, unknown duration)
    - Darksiders (confirmed, unknown duration)

    Titles thought to have been affected but are currently unconfirmed -
    - Metro 2033 (unconfirmed, unknown duration)


    Effectively I'm trying to spread the word and knowledge that this is what's going down and this really isn't acceptable. I'd appreciate it (and I'm sure many others would) if you spread the word and hopefully we can see if they (Game UK) are really allowed to do this. It's a slippery slope if this isn't stopped soon or else we may end up with many games eventually not even making it to Steam due to stupid things like this.

    Sources thanks to cheesedelux (Give this woman a or a game that we UKers can't buy )
    - http://www.mcvuk.com/news/41746/Reta...tens-Steam-ban
    - http://www.computerandvideogames.com...bled-pc-games/

    Not so much a source but still contains a tidbit of information
    - http://forums.steampowered.com/forum....php?t=1930156

    Edit:
    It appears that Metro 2033 which was released in March 2010 was the first game on Steam to receive this treatment. I can't confirm this myself at the moment so if anyone could get me more information on this via a PM or otherwise, that'd be great. I will add however that it seems that THQ weren't putting this into full effect until this year.


    These are the franchises(?) owned by Game UK
    - http://www.game.co.uk/
    - http://www.gamestation.co.uk/
    - http://www.gameplay.co.uk/

    If you look at their games categories in general (special offers etc) you'll notice that there's a disturbing lack of PC games for a vendor that is attempting to effectively partially boycott Valve and Steam.

    Update 24/08/2011 14:02 GMT

    Space Marine is apparantly available on the Steam Store all of a sudden. ( http://store.steampowered.com/app/55150 )
    As is Saints Row the Third ( http://store.steampowered.com/app/55230/ )
    Currencies are USD ($), not GBP as they should be ()

    Both of these games are by THQ. Skyrim is still unavailable as it's being published by Bethseda.

    Update 24/08/2011 14:14GMT

    Games are once again unavailable to UK users of Steam.

    Update 25/08/2011
    Eurogamer ask Game for comment - Game deny everything - http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20...ff-steam-in-uk

    Interesting comment by Game - Hopefully not a misquote


    Full Article -
    Update 25/08/2011 17:00(ish)GMT
    Head of PR for Game / Gamestation Neil Ashurst has posted here. (unverified if this is him though).

    Update 09/09/2011
    Regarding games published by THQ, Game UK are not behind the lack of new titles available on Steam. So er apologies to Game UK for that.
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  2. Post #2
    Steins;Gate SUCKS
    Dave_Parker's Avatar
    October 2008
    5,063 Posts
    I don't believe Steam would even cooperate if there wasn't a chance of Game winning any lawsuit, so I guess what they're doing is legal.

    I just wish Game would make itself worth buying from to increase revenue instead of cockblocking other companies.
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  3. Post #3
    I don't believe Steam would even cooperate if there wasn't a chance of Game winning any lawsuit, so I guess what they're doing is legal.

    I just wish Game would make itself worth buying from to increase revenue instead of cockblocking other companies.
    Well the idea would be that (hopefully) the EU would take on the case itself, as they did with the Microsoft one.
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  4. Post #4
    Gold Member
    cheesedelux's Avatar
    February 2007
    7,652 Posts

    Currently affected titles I'm aware of -
    - Space Marine
    - Saints Row the Third

    Games that have been affected by said actions -
    - Brink (one month)
    - Red Faction: Armageddon (unknown)
    We can't preorder Skyrim either and this is likely why, unlikely to be able to buy it for a while afterwards I'd imagine too.
    I'd still be getting the physical game for the preorder bonus map, though. But it's still an effected game.

    I do consider Game selling old games a good thing though, you can get two or three classics for 5/10 there. I used to go occasionally until I'd pretty much exhausted their reserve.
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  5. Post #5
    I do consider Game selling old games a good thing though, you can get two or three classics for 5/10 there. I used to go occasionally until I'd pretty much exhausted their reserve.
    Well that's another thing with Game, they only stock the same classics and never make an attempt to update their inventory.

    Some of the classics aren't even that great either, old Sierra games

    Edit: I've added Skyrim to the list now.

  6. Post #6
    Gold Member
    Dennab
    March 2006
    3,377 Posts
    Well this is shite.
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  7. Post #7
    Gold Member
    markg06's Avatar
    September 2006
    11,053 Posts
    Now I can't really provide credible sources for the following as no one has reported this,
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  8. Post #8
    Gold Member
    cheesedelux's Avatar
    February 2007
    7,652 Posts
    This does seem incredibly silly. If a business can't compete why are they allowed to mangle their competitor's ability to compete?
    It's like a mediocre restaurant with a modest selection and poor service being around for a while. Then a more expensive restaurant - with a massive range of food and excellent service run by a world famous chef opens up on the same street. And then the shitty place strikes a deal with the suppliers which means the new place isn't allowed to have vegetables delivered until they're at least two weeks old.
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  9. Post #9
    -quote-
    No major outlets have. It's my word but hey, I wouldn't post this if I didn't think it was actually the case.

  10. Post #10
    P1X3L N1NJA's Avatar
    December 2009
    4,846 Posts
    I always knew they were cunts but this is insane.

  11. Post #11
    Glod Member
    ZombieDawgs's Avatar
    March 2009
    10,001 Posts
    Why do they care about the PC market when they have 1 shelf full of casual games in the store.
    Also WoW
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  12. Post #12
    Internet Detective (HBIED certified)
    leach139's Avatar
    August 2007
    7,224 Posts
    You're going to need hard-graft proof before anyone should start believing this. Come up with some, and I'll get the word out (because to be fair GAME are already a bunch of cunts, they bought out Gamestation quietly while the competition commission were busy looking the other way and now have a monopoly over UK retail game sales)
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  13. Post #13
    Gold Member
    Janus Vesta's Avatar
    May 2007
    12,586 Posts
    GAME here, at least the one I go to, is pretty good. A good 1/4 of the store dedicated to PC games, PC games only cost €50 and they've got a lot of classics. The Zavvi at the other end of the shopping centre on the other hand...
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  14. Post #14
    You're going to need hard-graft proof before anyone should start believing this. Come up with some, and I'll get the word out (because to be fair GAME are already a bunch of cunts, they bought out Gamestation quietly while the competition commission were busy looking the other way and now have a monopoly over UK retail game sales)
    Which is what I'm trying to find . At the moment there's the odd few bits here and there that Game is doing this. It also seems too much of a coincidence that two publishers are doing this to Steam and not any other outlets.

    It might not be Game behind this, but it is occuring and so far they seem to be the culprits.

  15. Post #15
    Gold Member
    JGillo's Avatar
    April 2010
    1,581 Posts
    I'm pretty sure this isn't the first time I've heard of Game doing something like this.
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  16. Post #16
    sarcastic bastard
    Wiggles's Avatar
    October 2005
    5,118 Posts
    Why do they care about the PC market when they have 1 shelf full of casual games in the store.
    Also WoW
    Their online stores (http://www.game.co.uk/, http://www.gamestation.co.uk/, http://www.gameplay.co.uk/) do pretty well with PC games.
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  17. Post #17
    Gold Member
    cheesedelux's Avatar
    February 2007
    7,652 Posts
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  18. Post #18
    Click here for instant Gumby.
    Deiru's Avatar
    November 2010
    4,459 Posts
    That explains it.

    Thank you so much for giving me the link to the Space Marine demo...Just a shame that it seems I'll be forced to buy it retail.

  19. Post #19
    This is where I'd heard of this before:
    http://forums.steampowered.com/forum....php?t=1930156

    This seems reputable:
    http://www.mcvuk.com/news/41746/Reta...tens-Steam-ban
    But it would seem it's not just Game?
    The SPUF post I've seen before but it's not really a source where most are concerned. The MCV article I haven't seen before, so thanks for that. I'll add it to the OP.

  20. Post #20
    Gold Member
    FlakAttack's Avatar
    November 2006
    5,836 Posts
    Have you guys from the UK noticed any problems recieving gift copies of these games? If not you could ask other people here to help. The Canadians and Americans here get especially good prices on games.

    Also check out that Ultimatum Games site (you can find the thread here in GGD). They sell dirt cheap and send the code in just a few hours.

  21. Post #21
    Roll a d100, 99? Deary me...
    cyclocius's Avatar
    January 2009
    8,560 Posts
    Game gave me Deus Ex Human Revolution Augmented edition cheap though :frown: Even if their stores offer all but nothing for PC gamers.

  22. Post #22

    August 2010
    547 Posts
    Wait, so I won't be able to get Skyrim until one month after it's release on steam? And it's Games fault?
    I am seriously not pleased.

    NOT PLEASED AT ALL
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  23. Post #23
    sarcastic bastard
    Wiggles's Avatar
    October 2005
    5,118 Posts
    Wait, so I won't be able to get Skyrim until one month after it's release on steam? And it's Games fault?
    I am seriously not pleased.
    Its a Steamworks games so you can buy it elsewhere and then register it.

  24. Post #24
    Have you guys from the UK noticed any problems recieving gift copies of these games? If not you could ask other people here to help. The Canadians and Americans here get especially good prices on games.

    Also check out that Ultimatum Games site (you can find the thread here in GGD). They sell dirt cheap and send the code in just a few hours.
    You can recieve gifts just fine I think. A friend of mine had to do it with Brink, but that was when the system wasn't quite 100% then so I can't confirm it yet.

  25. Post #25
    Doc Diddles's Avatar
    October 2010
    751 Posts
    You posted the same thread on BB Teddi.

    But yeah fuck the police.
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  26. Post #26
    You posted the same thread on BB Teddi.

    But yeah fuck the police.
    Yeah well, figured we'd all like to discuss it there as well

  27. Post #27
    Gold Member
    nightlord's Avatar
    May 2009
    7,401 Posts
    Wow, that is stupid. I remember them saying they were going to Boycott/stop selling PC games unless something was done about steam.

    Didn't think they'd actually do it.

  28. Post #28
    Gold Member
    krakadict's Avatar
    June 2009
    2,934 Posts
    so this is why i cant see SM on steam? well fuck you GAME last time i order from you!

  29. Post #29
    ComboTroop's Avatar
    October 2009
    4,127 Posts
    This is pretty much a dick move by GAME.

  30. Post #30
     
    ijyt's Avatar
    May 2006
    9,049 Posts
    I don't really give a fuck, I'll keep buying from GAME because they've continuously have had PC games cheaper retail by 5-10 compared to Steam.

    The only games I ever buy on Steam are in sales and exclusives. Fuck Steam.
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  31. Post #31
    AidanCKY's Avatar
    September 2010
    446 Posts
    GAME suck balls so much
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  32. Post #32
     
    ijyt's Avatar
    May 2006
    9,049 Posts
    And Steam's (origin, d2d apply too) digital deluxe editions are jokes. "hey don't buy retail buy this you'll get a shitty scan of the items! For 10 more than retail too!".
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  33. Post #33
    Gold Member
    Indyclone77's Avatar
    May 2010
    1,621 Posts
    GAME suck balls so much
    Pretty much

  34. Post #34
    Gold Member
    Sgt.Romano_O's Avatar
    January 2009
    355 Posts
    Wait, so it's 1C's fault for not making Skyrim avaible for pre-order in Russia?! God fucking dammit, 1C. I hate you. Sure, Skyrim doesn't has a localisator and a publisher in Russia yet, but I think it will be 1C.
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  35. Post #35
    And Steam's (origin, d2d apply too) digital deluxe editions are jokes. "hey don't buy retail buy this you'll get a shitty scan of the items! For 10 more than retail too!".
    That's down to the publishers though. Valve don't set the prices on Steam.

    Once the product is at the store it's down to the retailer to set the price.
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  36. Post #36
     
    ijyt's Avatar
    May 2006
    9,049 Posts
    That's down to the publishers though. Valve don't set the prices on Steam.

    Once the product is at the store it's down to the retailer to set the price.
    Ok but it's still lame.
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  37. Post #37
    Gold Member
    Vasili's Avatar
    December 2007
    10,957 Posts
    I'd love to get a petition going to be sent to GAME.
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  38. Post #38
    Harry3's Avatar
    August 2010
    1,241 Posts
    Yesterday I was reminded that SR3 came out soon so went to my wishlist to preorder it, clicked on it and "Oops"... now its come clear... I was going to preorder BF3 from Game but fuck them.
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  39. Post #39
    Gold Member
    Dennab
    October 2010
    12,084 Posts
    why do game think that preventing people from buying games on steam is going to increase their sales when much better outlets like Amazon/Play.com/most other retailers exist

    game is shite
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  40. Post #40
    Because Steam has big numbers behind it. They hold a huge portion of the online market and the worst thing is (from what we can see at least) Valve are pretty fair about it. Business wise this probably creates quite a few headaches for companies and investors.