Valve versus Sierra

Valve vs. Vivendi Universal dogfight heats up in US District Court on GameSpot (thanks Democritus) reveals some details of a behind-the-scenes legal battle between Valve and Sierra (now part of VU Games) over Half-Life and Half-Life 2 that's been brewing for several years now. The article picks through details of a recent court filing by Valve that reveals the current state of the litigation, which has its next court date on October 8, though an actual trial is not scheduled until March 21, 2005. Included are disputes over what role Steam is to take in the game's distribution and who actually holds rights to the Half-Life intellectual property. Here's a segment that summarizes some of this:
In court filings, Sierra/VUG says that the current distribution of Half-Life 2 via Steam exceeds the scope of the current software publishing agreement between the two parties. It is apparently seeking the court's assistance in compelling Valve not to use Steam as an avenue of distribution.

On Friday, when asked if Valve was remained intent on making Half-Life 2 available to gamers via Steam, regardless of what was determined on October 8, Lombardi replied, "Yes."

Interestingly, and in spite of the ongoing legal dispute, Sierra/VUG still wants to work with Valve in the future and is asking the court via filings to force Valve to work with it on whatever is next in the development pipeline. It asks the court, in filings, "for a declaration that Sierra and VUG have the right to a fourth engine license pursuant to the terms of...the 2001 Agreement."

According to Lombardi, "We're going to meet the obligations of our current agreement."
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137.
 
Re: regarding steam..
Sep 21, 2004, 02:21
Re: regarding steam.. Sep 21, 2004, 02:21
Sep 21, 2004, 02:21
 
Dude, your other post is already funny as hell since you have no facts about that CPU usage problem or how pathetically you claw yourself onto that spyware issue, but this one shoots the cat.

Just out of curiousity, but do YOU have any facts on the CPU usage problem? Like framerate comparisons or stats of reletive CPU consumption? Regardless, that still doesn't get past the fact that you've continually dodged the point of the spyware discussion.

Like Rilus mentioned, you were the one who started the current spyware conversation. However, that discussion should be dead and gone. No one should be talking about the spyware issue because IT DOESN'T EXIST in the first place; and if Valve (Or anyone else) had ever wanted to spy on your computer, they could do it just as well (Which is to say, not at all) WITHOUT Steam. Steam is a NON-ISSUE as far as spyware is concerned. Everyone acts like it's the ultimate trojan horse or something dispite MANY people pointing out that the same effect can be achieved through a myriad of other ways. Matter of fact, Blizzard did it with Battle.net at one point.

http://news.com.com/2100-1023-210771.html?legacy=cnet

Saying that Valve could possibly use Steam for spyware is like saying a guy could possible use a baseball bat to kill. Yes they could; however there's plenty of other ways to kill somebody, so should we boycott baseball bats anyway?

Sincerely,
Jeremy Dunn
This comment was edited on Sep 21, 02:37.
136.
 
Re: regarding steam..
Sep 21, 2004, 02:17
Re: regarding steam.. Sep 21, 2004, 02:17
Sep 21, 2004, 02:17
 
What CPU usage problem? and the spyware problem I pathetically claw myself onto is an issue YOU brought up.

Here's the quote from your post:
Easy Conclusion:
Valve can do with Steam what they want, include spyware or make it even more unefficient (is that possible?) and people will still love them and buy their crap.
I simply replied to your sorry excuse for a post.
And as usual, you did not even try to argue any of my points from my last two posts. You just said some moronic troll remark and LOL'ed your way into victory, right?

135.
 
Re: regarding steam..
Sep 21, 2004, 01:52
Re: regarding steam.. Sep 21, 2004, 01:52
Sep 21, 2004, 01:52
 
For you evolving is to use an different extra program with almost every game? So you are really thinking going from a single program that you can start almost every multiplayer game with, to zillions of programs that clutter your system, start menu etc is evolving?
Extremely interesting your logic there. So humans actually should turn into chimps followed by your "logic". In your case I have little doubts that it is possible.
Dude, your other post is already funny as hell since you have no facts about that CPU usage problem or how pathetically you claw yourself onto that spyware issue, but this one shoots the cat.


________
I don't like arguing. Why can't we all just get along instead of fighting and arguing?
This comment was edited on Sep 21, 01:53.
I have given up on waiting for BIS to come back to their senses and do a real ArmA 2 successor.
Avatar 12928
134.
 
Re: regarding steam..
Sep 21, 2004, 01:25
Re: regarding steam.. Sep 21, 2004, 01:25
Sep 21, 2004, 01:25
 
So, Nova, you're saying that Valve should modify the program so that third party game browsers (such as GameSpy Arcade) will work without a hitch? Programs not made by Valve? Programs not endorsed by Valve? Programs which are rendered obsolete by Steam?

You might say, "Well, but that's what people were used to and that's what they want to get back to." I hate to say it, but, eventually, things simply become redundant or obsolete. Either way, they're not necessary. Why trying to uphold the old "status quo"? <-- That phrase, by the way, is one that is used very frequently by anti-corporation advocates, anti-RIAA people, etc, etc. They say "Out with the old. In with the new." "Evolve or perish." Ditto for GameSpy and anyone using it.

It's time for change.

This comment was edited on Sep 21, 01:27.
133.
 
Re: regarding steam..
Sep 21, 2004, 01:16
Re: regarding steam.. Sep 21, 2004, 01:16
Sep 21, 2004, 01:16
 
Rilus, I don't think it is so much an issue with gameplay (when your actually in the game) even though people say this, I think it is more an issue of the 'cludgyness' of the Steam interface and that you are FORCED to have to go through it to play a game. Now don't forget, I don't mind using Steam, I'm just trying to put myself in other people's shoes like Beaver for example, who has raised some good points.

I mean think about all of the components of Steam and how they work. Besides the buddy messenger utility (which is why I think they made Steam an external app in the first place) could most of the functionality of Steam be utilized as a common API to the main Half-Life game engine (and no I'm not a game developer but I've done some minor programming in the past). Again I'll refer to Neverwinter Nights as an example.

There is an external utility that comes with Neverwinter Nights that allows you to configure the game to the settings that you wish (i.e. graphics, sound, etc). Well what if there was an option in Steam to treat it the same way? What if those people who didn't like Steam could enable this option (i.e. click a checkbox) and would only have to run Steam once to configure it? So these people load up Steam, enter their username, password, and update preferences, then they close it. After that, these people can use whatever program (i.e. ASE, GameSpy Arcade, etc) they like to play any of Valves games. When the game launcher they use starts the appropriate game, the game engine checks the configuration files, grabs the authorization info, verifies the user, and then launches into the game. If the game needs an update, then the game just downloads the appropriate updates first and then continues on. Right now for people to use third party launchers (i.e. ASE) then they have to have Steam started first, otherwise the game launch doesn't work. I believe the only reason that Steam needs to be loaded is to verify the identity of the user. Why can't they just embed this into the game so that if authorization hasn't been checked yet, then it checks the users identity itself using the same verification API that Steam uses?

Really, as I said above, I think the primary reason Valve went this route is because they watched how gamers played with their friends. With Steam, I can go online, see where my friends are playing, chat with them, and then jump into the game that they are playing very easily. It's an integrated experience. However, in the process, they killed off any other third party from doing the same thing and I think that is where people are getting pissed off. For example, GameSpy Arcade pretty much does the same thing, yet now you can't join the game of your buddy without having Steam started first. Sure it is one little step but it is still annoying because people used to play this way before.

That's why Beaver is saying, if they could do it that way before, why not now? I agree. I think it would be possible but for them to do it, they would need to recode the way Steam works. The question is to they care enough about their customers to do this. There isn't just a few minor people complaining about Steam. I check out a few forums today. There are a lot of people who are pissed about it. Hopefully they will hear these peoples concerns and modify the program so that it makes both sides happy.

132.
 
Re: Sierra sucks
Sep 21, 2004, 01:04
Re: Sierra sucks Sep 21, 2004, 01:04
Sep 21, 2004, 01:04
 
Personally if I had a choice between $49.95 at retail and $29.95 online, guess what I'm going to pick. The prices used are just as an example but you can see where this is going.

I agree, but my point is that there won't be a price difference in the first place. At least, not for HL2. The bandwidth and market is not there to support every single person who wants to play Half-life 2, Counter-strike 2, or whatever else is pumped out over Steam. Then you have to consider that Valve is opening Steam to other companies, so it won't be only Valve's products being jammed down the pipeline.

Let's say HL2 sells even better than HL1, and suddenly a good chunk of the PC gaming market, both casual and hardcore, has Steam. THEN the possibility of cutting out retailers and publishers will appear, but the idea itself won't come to fruition for a long time, primarily because of infrastructure. Unless Valve's got a pipeline into the Internet2 setup, I can't see their servers handling, let's say, 150,000 downloads at release.

131.
 
Re: No subject
Sep 21, 2004, 00:57
Re: No subject Sep 21, 2004, 00:57
Sep 21, 2004, 00:57
 
Those self-important jackasses must be suffering from a god-complex, and as far as I'm concerned, anyone who pays for a copy of half-life 2 only to relenquish their privacy or any control over their own machines/games to Valve is as much a part of the problem as the ever increasing sleazoids in the software industry.

You're right. What kind of megalomaniac bastards would think of doing whatever they want with a game they created. Jesus. The arrogance. I bet those capitalist pigs at Valve only want money for their damn game they spent years and millions of dollars making! It's like making games is their job or something. How dare they?!

I am sick and tired of software companies that come into my house hold me down at rifle point and install Steam and they shitty games on my machine! Goddam them!!

They just keep violating my sacrosanct privacy by installing updates and patches while I'm not at my computer. I feel violated every time I get on my computer and I play my freshly patched game. I can't stand how they hide those autoupdate settings three clicks deeps so you can't find them if you have the intelligence of a bubonic dead monkey with a rock for a brain.

I hate Valve...

130.
 
Re: Hate It? How'd You Make It Better?
Sep 21, 2004, 00:48
Re: Hate It? How'd You Make It Better? Sep 21, 2004, 00:48
Sep 21, 2004, 00:48
 
An extra program just to launch games from a single developer is simply stupid.

Well, it's a good thing Valve is offereing Steam liscences to whoever wants them.. Pirates of the Burning Sea will be distrubuted through Steam and that game has NOTHING to do with Valve. Likewise, any game that's made on Source will probably be Steam enabled.

I really don't think every developer is going to whip up one of this little cost-prohibitive programs. I would imagine that there would be a couple of additional ones (Really though, it's not something that any joe company will want to spearhead.. the bandwidth costs alone! *shudder*) but one coming out from every major developer would be insane!

IMO, we'll see most of these kinds of programs growing from companies who put teams and funding together specificly for this kind of thing, rather than being offshoots from game developers, but that's just me

Sincerely,
Jeremy Dunn

This comment was edited on Sep 21, 00:49.
129.
 
Re: Hate It? How'd You Make It Better?
Sep 21, 2004, 00:47
Re: Hate It? How'd You Make It Better? Sep 21, 2004, 00:47
Sep 21, 2004, 00:47
 
morison, as many people have been reiterating here over and over again, Vivendi did not give Valve money for the development of the game. Valve used their own money to develop the game themselves. There were no outside investors for the games development. Valve built it all on their own. They could have gone to any publisher they wished (i.e. Activision) because of this fact but decided to stick with Vivendi (I'm assuming because of their existing relationship).

128.
 
Re: regarding steam..
Sep 21, 2004, 00:44
Re: regarding steam.. Sep 21, 2004, 00:44
Sep 21, 2004, 00:44
 
Easy Conclusion:
Valve can do with Steam what they want, include spyware or make it even more unefficient (is that possible?) and people will still love them and buy their crap. This has been discussed alot of times in other forums and they all came to the same conclusion. You, my friend, are the perfect example of those mentioned Valve-Zombies, actually youre worse since you try to defend that crap.

Easy conclusion? In what dimension?
How long did it take this team of PC experts and philosophers to reach the conclusion that Valve can put spyware and make Steam "more unefficient"? Of course they can!! Jesus! Sometimes, I wonder if this post aren't generated from random Google queries or just jokes. I mean, are people that seriously concerned that Valve will put Spyware on their software?? Why stop at Valve??? Why not Adobe with their Adobe Online, Macromedia with Extension Exchange or Maxis with Object Exchange???
How is it that everyone is so worried about Steam but not every other application and pirated piece of software in their computers?! Oh wait... hackers are cool and they'd never try to put a trojan or anything on their hacked games.
*sigh*

At any rate...
Harbinger, Steam DOES NOT need the internet to allow you to play Single Player or LAN games. Let me repeat this because I think you missed it on my first post. It DOES NOT require you to connect AT ALL into the internet to play a single player or LAN game. You DO NOT need a special license, either. You turn it on and if it doesn't detect an internet connection it'll ask you if you want to use Steam in offline mode. That mode will allow you to play Single Player and LAN games.

Now, that the issue of connectivity is hopefully been cleared up, let's move onto how many FPS Steam takes away from your sacred gaming experience.

*I* am a tweak player. I have not found ANY loss of frames while I play with Steam on. NONE. If there's any loss of frames, then it must less than one because I have the same FPS whether I play on Steam or not. If, however you do suffer frame loss due to Steam, then you're not "tweak crazy." If you simply don't have the money to upgrade your machine, then that's your bad.

If you're losing frames from using Steam, then you won't be able to play HL2. Either 1) Your computer doesn't meet the hardware requirements 2) You have some software problem (drivers, OS, viruses, spyware, etc) 3) Faulty hardware 4) A faulty user 5) A combination of the former 4 possibilities.
You can say you've run antivirus and downloaded this and that, but if your computer lags because of Steam and you have something equivalent to an AthlonXP2400+ with 640MB od DDR with a GFX 5950 Ultra or better, then there's a problem because I run CS:S without any hitch and at the same damn frame rate as regular old CS.

If it's that easy to find out what a program does and doesn't do, on the internet, then look up Steam.

Again, I go back to my pissed off first paragraph. Why Steam? Why are people so obsessed about having to see every where, when, why, how of Steam and not of every other program?
Just answer me that. Why Steam? What is it about Steam that REALLY scares you? What?!

127.
 
No subject
Sep 21, 2004, 00:39
No subject Sep 21, 2004, 00:39
Sep 21, 2004, 00:39
 
Sierra can suck my ballz.

"On 2646.215 I myself attacked & destroyed TCS Tiger's Claw in my Jalthi heavy fighter"
Bakhtosh Redclaw Nar Kiranka
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126.
 
Re: Hate It? How'd You Make It Better?
Sep 21, 2004, 00:28
Re: Hate It? How'd You Make It Better? Sep 21, 2004, 00:28
Sep 21, 2004, 00:28
 
I would feel better if steam was handled by vivendi rather than valve. Valve should not have the ability to directly sell a game whose development was paid in part by another company whose sole mission in giving valve money was the right to distribute.

And I want to know how sierra let valve itself arrange the ATI coupon thing. I would think this sort of activity would have the go through the publisher rather than the developer...

125.
 
Re: Hate It? How'd You Make It Better?
Sep 21, 2004, 00:02
Re: Hate It? How'd You Make It Better? Sep 21, 2004, 00:02
Sep 21, 2004, 00:02
 
The security issue is an interesting question. Someone steals your steam account name and password.. do they now get all your valve games? I sure hope Gabe changed his steam password.

124.
 
Re: Hate It? How'd You Make It Better?
Sep 20, 2004, 23:57
Re: Hate It? How'd You Make It Better? Sep 20, 2004, 23:57
Sep 20, 2004, 23:57
 
What I would change?
I would simply do the games like before, with an integrated Steam-light client (if they dont want to use WON) so you can still launch the games with the normal game browsers like All Seeing Eye, GameSpy, Kwery (sp?) etc. Password and login would only be needed if you have Steam standalone for downloading games, mods, patches etc. People who love their friendslist and other stuff in Steam could simply still be using their loved Steam, while people who dont want that useless stuff simply used the game itself and their prefered game browser for playing the game.
I wouldnt limit the games to the newest versions. CS lost most of the good players and clans just because of that 1.6 forcing. Other mods even went poof because they lost fans because of Steam. And most small mod teams simply ceased to develop further because of Steam.
An extra program just to launch games from a single developer is simply stupid. Also the user friendlyness is nonexistent in Steam. Why do so many menus and unnessecary clicks to get into a game and why is the server browser so crappy? I didnt like the old Half-Life browser (thats why I used ASE, actually I dont know a single person who used the ingame browser) but this one is even worse by far. Then the bug that you cant assign the controls to any key anymore. That bug is old as Steam but has never been touched.
I am not talking about update programs like the one that comes with Neverwinter Nights, Sacred, etc. Steam is something completely different.

________
I don't like arguing. Why can't we all just get along instead of fighting and arguing?
I have given up on waiting for BIS to come back to their senses and do a real ArmA 2 successor.
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123.
 
No subject
Sep 20, 2004, 23:51
No subject Sep 20, 2004, 23:51
Sep 20, 2004, 23:51
 
i guess people are so used to getting a big fat cock up their ass that they dont even feel it anymore

no thanks

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122.
 
Re: Hate It? How'd You Make It Better?
Sep 20, 2004, 23:49
Re: Hate It? How'd You Make It Better? Sep 20, 2004, 23:49
Sep 20, 2004, 23:49
 
My question is.. if Valve systems can be broken into.. means their software/hardware solutions suck. Which COULD mean if it is transfered to other programs lets say HL2. IF the source was stolen, then the kiddies can look and say.. oh we can do this this this and take over the entire show. Then wouldnt it be logical that steam sooner or later will be hacked and everyone connected to it be open to attack?

think Ill pass

This comment was edited on Sep 20, 23:49.
121.
 
Re: Hate It? How'd You Make It Better?
Sep 20, 2004, 23:33
Re: Hate It? How'd You Make It Better? Sep 20, 2004, 23:33
Sep 20, 2004, 23:33
 
I for one strongly question the saftey of running steam on your computer.
It comes from a company that cant even keep its source code safe, and whos leader is an ex-microsoft employee who uses his name for his passwords and uses outlook on development machines...


120.
 
No subject
Sep 20, 2004, 23:29
No subject Sep 20, 2004, 23:29
Sep 20, 2004, 23:29
 
Oh well. EVERY major MP game is like that, today (Tribes 2, COD, BF1942, SOF2, etc.) So, Steam is not unique in this area.

Three words.

All Seeing Eye.

119.
 
Software License Agreement
Sep 20, 2004, 23:27
Software License Agreement Sep 20, 2004, 23:27
Sep 20, 2004, 23:27
 
LIMITED USE SOFTWARE LICENSE AGREEMENT FOR DAIKATANA II

This Limited Use Software License Agreement for Daikatana II (this "Agreement") is a legal agreement between you, the end-user, and Ion Storm Software, Inc. ("Ion Storm").

BY CONTINUING THE DOWNLOAD OR INSTALLATION OF THIS GAME PROGRAM ENTITLED DAIKATANA II (THE "SOFTWARE"), BY LOADING OR RUNNING THE SOFTWARE, OR BY PLACING OR COPYING THE SOFTWARE ONTO YOUR COMPUTER HARD DRIVE, COMPUTER RAM, OR OTHER STORAGE, YOU ARE AGREEING TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THIS AGREEMENT. OH AND BTW THE JOKE IS ON YOU. WE KNOW YOU DON'T READ THESE DAMN THINGS ANYWAY. YOU EITHER SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OR JUST HIT "I ACCEPT" LIKE THE SHEEP THAT YOU ARE BECAUSE MOST PEOPLE'S EYES GLAZE OVER WHEN CONFRONTED WITH LARGE BLOCKS OF LEGAL JARGON TYPED ALL IN UPPERCASE. HELL, WE CAN USE YOUR LEET ASS BOX FOR A PORN SERVER IF WE WANTED! HA, HA AND HA.

1. SUCK IT DOWN

By accepting this agreement, you are allowing permission of yourself (THE "BITCH") to be manhandled by John Romero (THE "MAN") in any way he sees fit. This may include:

a) being pimpslapped,
b) being punched in the nutsack,
c) emptying your wallet and forking over your money to us, along with all your bank account information (THE "BLING") and your social security number.

Thank you for purchasing Daikatana II!

Do you accept this agreement?
[] YES
[] NO

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118.
 
Hate It? How'd You Make It Better?
Sep 20, 2004, 23:11
Hate It? How'd You Make It Better? Sep 20, 2004, 23:11
Sep 20, 2004, 23:11
 
Instead of hearing a bunch of people just complaining about Steam (and no I'm not dissing you on this as your complaints sound valid to me), can I hear from those who don't like it what they would like to see instead? What I mean is how would you change Steam so that it met the needs for verification, online distribution, updating, game management and so on? A lot of people here seem really upset about Steam which means to me that you like the game enough to be passionate about it.

As an example, if instead of acting like a game management launcher, like it is setup now, if Steam only launched and then shutdown when it was required, would that suit your needs? Or would having the secondary program launching still upset you? Bioware's Neverwinter Nights launches a secondary program when it needs to be updated, then shuts itself down afterwards. If in launching say Counter-Strike, it detected a newer version, closed CS, launched Steam, downloaded, updated, closed Steam, then relaunched, would this upset you still?

For this to even work though, verification would have to be moved over to the specific game instead so that it could verify while launching/playing. I mean if Steam was changed to just a common API or background app that ran only when the game was launched and closed when the game closed, would this still upset you? If it did then to get around this Valve would have duplicate the exact some code in every single game of theirs which seems kind of ridiculous when you could have one modular system that works in them all.

Hmmm, I wonder if they just changed the default launching options to include launching a specific game only at start would people would still hate it. For example, I never leave Steam running but only launch it when I'm going to play online. I have broadband and usually play CS, so if I launch it and need to update it's usually quick to do so. When I'm done, I shut it down completely. I wonder if this specific game launch option (with an additional option to shut Steam down when closing the game) would suffice people enough. Yes/no?


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