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Well, at least until the Steam authentication servers go offline if Valve ever shuts down. While Gabe Newell has been quoted as saying that if that were to happen they would unlock everyone's games, it bugs me that there has been no official offer of such. Until then, people can continue to point at Steam and say "but DRM == evil!"



Game Newell sounds like a man that'll be good by his word. I may eat my own words, but I trust him for that.


You do understand that if anything happened to the company he'd be legally prohibited from releasing anti-DRM patches, right? It'd destroy the shareholders' value.

Unless it's in writing as a condition of your purchase, and the code is in escrow somewhere, it ain't happening.


You mentioned "shareholders". Think about who owns Valve -- I understand Gabe owns 100% of the company.


It's privately held, so the information on who owns it isn't public. Mike Harrington was a co-founder, he may still have some stake in the company.


Yeah, I should have said creditors. It's more to the point.


I find it hard to believe Valve has any debt whatsoever.


The point though is that these vague promises to unDRM products are probably not permitted even if they thought about it and had the patches ready. And this isn't just a Valve thing, id software said something similar when Quake3 first required an online auth check to play on registered servers.

But considering how much you'd lose if Steam went away I can see why people are nervous of using them versus buying CDs.


How much more official does it get than the president of the company?


Well, it's not a contract. Valve isn't actually obligated to do that. (That said, aren't all contractual obligations up in the air when a company goes bankrupt? Can a company promise anything beyond its bankruptcy?)




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