Valve vs Wolfire Games: Gabe Newell will have to attend antitrust legal battle | Gaming News

Valve vs Wolfire Games: Gabe Newell will have to attend antitrust legal battle

Valve CEO Gabe Newell ordered to attend in-person deposition in an antitrust lawsuit with Overgrowth developer Wolfire Games over Steam's market dominance and commission practices.

By: MD IJAJ KHAN
| Updated on: Nov 26 2023, 16:03 IST
Valve CEO
Valve CEO Gabe Newell faces in-person antitrust deposition amid legal clash with Wolfire Games. (Bloomberg)
Valve CEO
Valve CEO Gabe Newell faces in-person antitrust deposition amid legal clash with Wolfire Games. (Bloomberg)

Valve's CEO, Gabe Newell, finds himself compelled to appear in person for a deposition in the antitrust lawsuit filed by Wolfire Games, developers of Overgrowth. Despite Newell's initial plea for a remote deposition due to COVID-19 concerns, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington deemed his evidence insufficient to establish a particularized risk of serious illness.

The court order, issued on November 16, highlighted Wolfire Games' assertion that Newell holds a unique position to testify comprehensively on Valve's business strategies. The game developer argued that an in-person deposition is crucial to thoroughly assess Newell's credibility in the ongoing legal dispute, GI.biz reported.

While addressing Newell's COVID-19 worries, the court mandated that all participants, including Newell, must wear masks throughout the deposition. However, Newell is required to remove his mask when responding to questions.

Wolfire Games' Class-Action Lawsuit

Wolfire Games, as revealed by CEO David Rosen on the company's blog, spearheads a class-action antitrust lawsuit representing game developers against Valve Corporation. Rosen contends that Steam's near monopoly on the PC games market results in inflated game prices, attributing this to Valve's 30% commission on each game sale. He further claimed that any attempt to deviate from this system would lead to the removal of the game from the Steam platform.

Legal Journey: From Dismissal to Revised Complaint

Initiated in November 2021, the lawsuit faced dismissal by a U.S. District judge who argued that the initial complaint lacked sufficient facts to plausibly allege an antitrust injury in the gaming market. Undeterred, Wolfire Games filed a revised complaint in May 2022 to address the highlighted issues, as reported by Game Developer.

CEO David Rosen's motivation for the legal action stems from the belief that "gamers and game developers are being harmed by Valve's conduct." The legal proceedings promise to shed light on the dynamics of Valve's business practices and their impact on the gaming industry.

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First Published Date: 26 Nov, 16:02 IST
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