Valve shows Steam member the value of reading fine print

Valve isn't in the business of giving life lessons, but last week it taught one Steam member the importance of reading a subscriber agreement before trying to sell their account online.

Last month, the user namedDigger Nick(classy) posted an ad to Reddit advertising the sale of his Steam account along with access to 149 games valued at a total of$1794.52.

“I completely understand the stigma against selling [a] Steam account on here, I simply have too have many game that I do not play,” he wrote, clarifying, “Obviously I don't want someone to pay $1800 for my account. I'm looking at money of course, not full price considering I bought most of them on sale, but maybe we can come to some sort of deal.”

Turns out he wasn't entirely aware of the full “stigma” of selling a Steam account. Weeks after the post, Valve took away Digger's access to Steam citing the service'ssubscriber agreementwhich reads, in part, “You are entitled to use the Software for your own use, but you are not entitled to: (i) sell, grant a security interest in or transfer reproductions of the Software to other parties in any way, nor to rent, lease or license the Software to others without the prior written consent of Valve.”

Oops. In afollow-up Redditpostexplaining his actions, Digger claimed to have made the offer simply to find out how much his account was really worth after all the sales and promotions were accounted for. After a back and forth with Valve's customer service via email, he was told his account had been disabled, and he would no longerbe able to log on tohis extensive Steam library.

Normally, this is where the credits would roll on any other “guy pisses off videogame company, guy gets banned” story, but Valve is never normal. Yesterday, a studio staffer posted confirmationthe account had been re-enabled, and closed the conversation for good.

Moral of the story: readyour contract. Barring that, be less obvious about breaking it.

[Source:Ars Technica]

Mar 15, 2011

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