Valve and Other Companies Just Shocked, I Tell You
The European Union recently posted a statement of objections focused on the continent’s Geo Block problem. It turns out several high-profile publishers, Valve among them, have been engaging in Geo Blocking in Europe. This new investigation is looking to put an end to that practice.
In case that wasn’t clear, to Geo Block a digital product is to restrict the sale of said product in regions other than the one you (the buyer) are currently residing in. In other words, companies don’t want you snagging games from some digital storefront (say, elsewhere in the EU) where game prices are lowered to compensate for low local income.
Valve, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home Interactive, Koch Media, and Zenimax are all implicated in this report. It sounds like a predictable business practice that somewhere like the European Union would fight tooth and nail. This is all coming to light thanks to changes implemented in the EU back in December 2018. Thanks to these changes, companies like Valve are now vulnerable to fines if these business practices aren’t reversed. Of course, there’s no deadline for this inquiry, and Valve has stated that less than 3% of its games engage in Geo Blocking, so we might not hear the end of this story for a while.
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Turns Out You Can’t Geo Block Games in Europe