In a time like this when corporations are falling left and right, we often wonder what sort of security do we have in a company if it goes out of business. With car corporations that have been around since the beginning of automobiles like Oldsmobile, Pontiac, and Mercury, we, as customers of these vehicles, wonder what sort of options we have for service if anything is to go wrong with the vehicle. While it's always nice to rely on a third party mechanic, we'd like the assurance from the former company that parts will be available for our vehicles in the event something happens post-closure.
For many of us gamers, this is something that has probably crossed our minds with regards to many companies like Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, and even Steam/Valve when it comes to our digital purchases. While a physical CD/DVD copy will almost always be there and you can copy them, it's not as simple for digitally signed games with DRM that prevents such usage. While we hope for the best for the company, Valve as well as its currently popular game client, Steam, we do wonder about our security as customers. After all, many of us are piling in, literally, thousands of dollars into the company for games that we are promised will always be there...as long as Steam is running. It gets a little frightening when dealing with any cloud-based client such as Steam when thinking what could happen post-closure.
Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any sort of answer provided in Steam's FAQ which can currently be found here. Luckily, we do have options and Valve provides human customer service representatives who will assist us with questions not found within the FAQ.
I've sent over this letter to Valve in hopes of receiving some sort of reply soon to ease my worries. Many others have done the same and await Valve's official response. Below is exactly what I sent to Valve.
Access to Games Post Steam/Valve?
I'm a little worried about the future of Steam/Valve and what would happen to my game purchases if, God forbid, Valve goes bankrupt or Steam is sold to another company. I was wondering what sort of options do I have as a customer for making sure that I will still have access to my purchases that I've made through Steam whether that be keeping them in offline mode or being able to transfer them to a new computer if needed?
Below here, I will include Valve's official response if and when they reply to me.
Update February 7, 2014:
Steam still has not responded to my question. I asked the question on Sunday, February 1, 2014 and it is Friday, February 7, 2014 and still no response from anyone on the issue.
I'm not sure if they will respond at all at this point. I posed a question a few years ago and received a reply within two days and that question was posed on a Saturday.
Has anyone found any sort of answers to this question?
Update February 12, 2014:
Steam Support responded to my question with this.
Thank you for contacting Steam Support.
We apologize for the delay.
In the unlikely event of the discontinuation of the Steam network, measures are in place to ensure that all users will continue to have access to their Steam games.
If you have any further questions, please let us know - we will be happy to assist you.
And there's the answer we've been wondering.
Is it satisfying enough for you, if you were curious? I'm curious as to what measures are set in place if this event ever does occur. I assume Valve has paid a company to keep the games safe and available for download in the unlikely event they go under.
What about you? What do you think Valve's measures are? Do you trust Valve enough to make purchases with them? (I am and I still do make purchases with them)