Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
PC Games (Games)

Valve Responds to Steam Territory Deactivations 258

Posted by Zonk
from the read-the-fine-print dept.
An anonymous reader passed us a link to Shack News, which is reporting on official commentary from Doug Lombardi of Valve about the international Orange Box code problem we talked about yesterday. According to Lombardi, the folks who bought copies of the game from a Thai gaming store are pretty much out of luck. They'll need to buy a local copy to have a working version. That said, they should be able to replace the old code with a new one. "'Some of these users have subsequently purchased a legal copy after realizing the issue and were having difficulty removing the illegitimate keys from their Steam accounts,' added Lombardi. 'Anyone having this problem should contact Steam Support to have the Thai key removed from their Steam account.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Valve Responds to Steam Territory Deactivations

Comments Filter:
  • Consumer rights (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stryyker (573921) on Friday October 26, 2007 @08:23PM (#21136235)
    What about those that were and are in regions of the world where importing software is allowed like Australia?
    • by Derek Loev (1050412) on Friday October 26, 2007 @08:37PM (#21136325)
      Isn't Australia where they put people that import software as a punishment?
    • Re:Consumer rights (Score:5, Insightful)

      by arth1 (260657) on Friday October 26, 2007 @08:54PM (#21136437) Homepage Journal
      Or people who move? I would have hated it if, when I moved from Europe to the US a few years ago, all my games stopped working.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by darkitecture (627408)
        Or people who move? I would have hated it if, when I moved from Europe to the US a few years ago, all my games stopped working.

        If you'd lived in Europe and went to the US, you wouldn't have been affected. There's no regional restriction for copies sold in any of the European countries (except Russia, I think).

        Then again, I could imagine it would be a reasonable compromise for Valve to check you actually played the game for an extended period of time in Russia before you legitimately moved to the US. If
        • Remove Key? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by MrSquishy (916581) on Friday October 26, 2007 @10:26PM (#21137001)
          Why cant you have two keys?

          If you have legally purchased a Thai key, why do they want to take it away from you? What happens if you move to Thailand? Can you call Valve up and ask for your key back?
        • by JonTurner (178845) on Friday October 26, 2007 @10:42PM (#21137073) Journal

          Then again, I could imagine it would be a reasonable compromise for Valve to check you actually played the game for an extended period of time in Russia...

          Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I imagine it's reasonable for Valve to quick fucking with products people paid good money for and breaking things via remote control just because they're greedy. So a product moved across a national border or an ocean or whatever -- big deal. Happens all the time and that's the nature of the modern world. The copy from India or Taiwan or whatever was legal and I'm sure Valve would prefer that it stay far, far away from the more profitable countries (so as to not illustrate the price disparity) but that's not reality.

          Put simply: The customer bought something from an authorized vendor; there was an exchange of good for payment. Give them their game, Valve, or return them their money. Anything less makes you a common thief. End of story.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by HBI (604924)
            I get shit from people for refusing to do business with Valve as long as they use Steam.

            This is the reason why.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward
            To do this then, maybe they should just keep the price the same in all countries, if it is worth US$50, then convert that to any other country and sell it for that price. Oh wait, now people in countries with lower average incomes see the converted price as much higher then what you see it as. Now Valve can either sell the game everywhere at the price and screw over countries whose citizens don't make as much on average, or they can region-lock those countries and offer them a lower price on the game. It se
            • by WNight (23683) * on Saturday October 27, 2007 @02:11AM (#21138043) Homepage
              There's no law that lets you forbid importation of products. That's why it's done with DRM and illegal actions like remotely disabling software.

              I'm sure you'll find that the staff of Valve is wearing imported clothes, taking advantage of cheaper things overseas. They probably shop at Walmart.

              So what's the problem? We both like shopping overseas? Oh... I see. In one case they benefit, in the other I do.

              They're hypocrits, willing to take advantage of globalization to increase their own profits, but they sabotage the product to prevent you from doing the same.

              What's the value of having more money if everything you want to buy is proportionally more expensive?

              So you're right, they should keep the price the same in all countries. Or they should at least stop their illegal actions of sabotaging products of those who import.

              Anything less is criminal.
              • by wjsteele (255130)

                There's no law that lets you forbid importation of products
                Actually, there are laws that do just that! For example, you can't import advanced weapon systems even if you own them. Otherwise, I'd be flying a Mig 29! :-)
                 
                Bill
                • Your comparison is a horrible one; the Mig 29 would not be legal for you to buy here, either, due to weapons restrictions. You could just as well say that you weren't allowed to import all that pot you bought in Amsterdam to the US.

                  Your example has nothing to do with it being from a foreign country. It is all about legality of the product in this country.
                  • Re:stupid comparison (Score:4, Informative)

                    by wjsteele (255130) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @05:54PM (#21143611)
                    Actually, you're incorrect. It is perfectly legal to own a US Figther Jet. Getting a hold of them is the trick. Actually anything prior to the F-14 is pretty easy to get, aircraft since then is a lot harder, because most of them are still in service and the government hasn't released them. Owning a jet simply takes one step... having the government officially "demilitarize" it. Once that is done, they can be sold to private individuals. Demilitarizing them simply ensures that no advanced equipment works, like Weapons, Radar, Radar Jamming equipment, etc. They don't want it to fall into the wrong hands. (Think about the F-14s and Iran.)

                    In fact, owning Soviet based aircraft is legal as well, you just can't import it, just like you said, because of it's classification as a weapon. The ATF doesn't like it. If someone was able to produce a copy of the MiG from the ground up in the US then it would be perfectly legal to own and fly it under the Experimental Aircraft category.

                    Bill
              • by Cowclops (630818) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @10:49AM (#21140373)
                This story and the one that came from it = fail.

                I suspect people are screaming bloody murder because they didn't read the article (Cue: You must be new here jokes).

                Heres what it comes down to. Video games cost a shit ton of money to make. Generally games get sold around $50 in the US so it doesn't take forever for developers to recoup their costs. Hopefully we can agree that $50 is a reasonable price for a package of 3 kickass games and 2 you probably already played but can "give away" if you do already have them. After all, if you played episodes 1 and 2, chances are you wanna find out what happens in episode 3, and money doesn't grow on trees so valve has to charge you to continue development. Anyway, this point is minor but basically if you like their games, you should probably pay what they're asking instead of hunting around for cheap overseas copies.

                Now to make back the money on the development, they had a few options. They could sell it for $50 everywhere, including countries that have significantly less disposable income and can't realistically afford to be spending their local equivalent of $50 on video games. They'll get all the people willing to spend $50 on it in the US, but they lose out on the people in poorer markets that either won't or can't spend more than $15 on it.

                Or, they could sell it for $15 everywhere, so they sell a maximum number of copies but won't make as much money per copy. In fact they'd probably make less money overall, since there were certainly a large number of people willing to spend $50 on the "not-region-locked" US copy.

                They took option #3. Sell it for a price the market will bear in all markets, but restrict the usage of the cheapest market copies to those markets. This means it gets sold for $50 in the US and anybody who pays the full price can play it anywhere, and it gets sold for $15 or whatever in the countries with lower market values for video games. You guys are screaming bloody murder over this for some reason. All this means is that in countries like Thailand people still get to buy entertainment, but they don't have to spend such a large portion of their income on it, and valve makes a little bit extra money with the long end of the tail. The boxes were (apparently) clearly labeled with a note that those cheap oversea copies will only work in their respective countries. So the problem lies with the middlemen failing to relay this note that the cheap thai copies will NOT work in the US.

                If you continue to bitch about this and raise a stink, all that means is that next time, there will be no $15 overseas copy. The people screaming about getting locked out of a game advertised to not work in their territory will just have to pay $50 for the steam version or buy it in their local retail store for whatever price its going for. Or wait till they drop the price, which they always do.

                I understand the problem with locking people out of a game they purchased. Except, in this case, the terms of the lockout were stated on the box's exterior and not jumbled up in legalese in a 500 page EULA. So, it was really the buyer's fault for going through unusual channels in the hopes of getting a "good deal" and instead getting a copy not intended for use outside of a certain region.

                If you want game makers to continue making games that you like to play, pay the amount of money they're asking in the area you live in. By buying what practically works out to be "charity copies" of a game, you're giving them less money to develop episode 3. If you don't care about their games, obviously you don't have to pay them anything. But if you like them and want them to go on and continue adding maps to TF2 and Portal, you gotta fund that development somehow. Modern video game development, unlike modern music recording, is far too expensive to work on the "pay what you feel like" system. Pay what the game companies are asking for, or don't be disappointed when their game quality slides because they have less money to spend on talent.
                • by WNight (23683) * on Sunday October 28, 2007 @01:46AM (#21146117) Homepage
                  Pay what the game companies are asking for

                  Provide what the law requires you to.

                  We know why they're selling overseas, it's to reach a larger market. And we get why they want to have different prices. But none of that requires anyone else to play along. It's like razor companies with their famous loss-leader marketing model of overcharging for refills. Nothing stops a consumer from buying the cheap kit with handle every time. You take your chances in business, making products appeal to various people.

                  I run a computer consulting company and it'd be really handy if everyone would agree not to hire any overseas competitors. That'd keep me from having to compete on prices. Does this obligate you to please me? If not, why am I obligated to put up with their actually illegal actions to enforce their cushier profits?

                  The product as sold would run perfectly without Steam's DRM. It's perfectly legal to buy and to own the product, so Steam's DRM is preventing the use of something which is legal to own and use.

                  This is all too common. Someone gets an idea for how to make money that isn't supported by the law, but they expect everyone else to bend over backwards to protect them, usually while they do something underhanded like disable keys and force people to buy new copies. This is the idea that wanting to make a profit entitles you to pass your own laws, break existing ones, and defraud people.

                  How about them pursuing this in the proper fashion? If they think that importing the games is actionable (and they'll be sorely mistaken, but it's their dime) they should sue people who do it. Put the question to the courts. Get a court order before they try to remotely disable the software.

                  As is, they're simply refusing to provide the product they've advertised. It might be a 'for Thailand' version, but the law doesn't allow them to keep it there. They can't do this. They're breaking the law.

                  Do you understand?

                  This is simple. It's not about liking Valve, giving a shit about how long they spent working on the game or anything else. It's *all* about them illegally terminating a legal product.
          • by Zeussy (868062) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @01:53AM (#21137993) Homepage
            I agree with the fact that they should of got a copy of the orange box they ordered, but seeing that they ordered a Thai version, they should of got the local Thai version, with all the wonder of the Thai language.

            That makes sense to me, they buy a Thai copy of the game, so they get it in Thai, if they want an english version of the game, then they should of brought it from an english region.
            • I somehow doubt that they will create a Thai version of the game. I can see it for Windows, but can you imagine the size of the market? I doubt that the average game company would even consider making a version for every language there is.
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by LingNoi (1066278)
                I have never seen a Thai version of Windows.

                When I bought STALKER in Thailand for 800 baht it came with a Thai manual but that's about it. A Thai version would suck and no one would buy it. It's cool to have western stuff.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by arth1 (260657)

              I agree with the fact that they should of got a copy of the orange box they ordered, but seeing that they ordered a Thai version, they should of got the local Thai version, with all the wonder of the Thai language.

              That makes sense to me, they buy a Thai copy of the game, so they get it in Thai, if they want an english version of the game, then they should of brought it from an english region.

              That's narrow-minded thinking. What about the million or so native English speakers who live in Thailand? Should th

              • What about the million or so native English speakers who live in Thailand? Should they not be allowed to buy and play The Orange Box?
                No they shouldn't. They're obviously sex maniacs, all of them.
          • So a product moved across a national border or an ocean or whatever -- big deal. Happens all the time and that's the nature of the modern world. The copy from India or Taiwan or whatever was legal and I'm sure Valve would prefer that it stay far, far away from the more profitable countries (so as to not illustrate the price disparity) but that's not reality.

            No. Valve sold lower value products at lower prices. Why were they lower valued? Because they were region locked to Thailand and Russia. Higher valu
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by bigstrat2003 (1058574)

              No. The deal finders mistook a lower valued version for a higher valued version. Or perhaps the deal finders were scammed by middlemen who misrepresented the products. These deal finders now understand the phrase "a deal that is too good to be true". When you engage in such deals you should not be surprised to find that you have bought stolen or counterfeit goods. Yes, counterfeit. If the locked Russian/Thai version was sold to US/EU customers then it is counterfeit, a misrepresentation, much like a 2.4 GHz CPU that is remarked as a 3.0 GHz CPU.

              No. Valve is screwing over paying customers, plain and simple. They may not like it that people are buying from another market, but that's tough shit. I agree with what the other poster said, if they didn't want it to cross national borders, just make the local copies only in that language. If the servers (for TF2) are segregated by languages (say, like WoW does for their different markets), certainly it shouldn't play on the US servers. But not letting people play the game that they paid for is completely

            • Can you explain to me what makes the product cheaper in Russia or Thailand? Does it have fewer levels, or worse graphics, or what is the big deal that causes the game to be cheaper there?
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                I rhetorically asked and answered that question in the original post. The lost value *is* the region portability, which is clearly stated *on the box*.
                • by vertinox (846076)
                  I rhetorically asked and answered that question in the original post. The lost value *is* the region portability, which is clearly stated *on the box*.

                  But that is willful disabling rather than regional issues. A software program runs on any Intel/AMD cpu the same regardless of where it runs in the world. Its not like we are dealing with different voltage or FCC (or any other countries equivalent) regulations that make the software not run any better.

                  It would be like selling someone a car in Thailand with a
        • Then again, I could imagine it would be a reasonable compromise for Valve to check you actually played the game for an extended period of time in Russia before you legitimately moved to the US. If it showed you played it for a few weeks in Russia and now you want to play it in the US, then I would agree that they should allow it. If their records show the game was never played in its original country of purchase, then I think they'd have decent grounds to decline your request.

          You've never worked in the ser

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by thomas.galvin (551471)

          If their records show the game was never played in its original country of purchase, then I think they'd have decent grounds to decline your request.
          Why? If they offer you a certain service, say the ability to play a certain game or watch a movie, why does it matter to them where you make use of that service? If I buy a bottle of soda, does the store care where I drink it? If I buy a book, does the publisher care where I read it? So why is a video game any different?
    • by dougmc (70836)
      You mean like the US? There was no law violated here (by the customers -- Valve might be another matter) that I'm aware of, just some arbitrary policy that Valve probably buried deep in some EULA or something.

      In any event, this sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen. And the bad publicity is likely to cost Valve/Steam far more than any additional revenue they make from selling the game twice. Valve wants us to believe that we should like Steam, but abusing it like this is not going to help there.

      • Re:Consumer rights (Score:5, Insightful)

        by rm999 (775449) on Friday October 26, 2007 @09:46PM (#21136803)
        "In any event, this sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen. And the bad publicity is likely to cost Valve/Steam far more than any additional revenue they make from selling the game twice."

        I know what I'm about to say is not popular on sites like this, but I think it stands to reason. Double selling is not the point from their perspective. This is a form of arbitrage, which they consider wrong. I know people disagree, but I can see the frustration on their end.

        They basically have two choices - sell games for cheaper in poorer countries, or not sell them at all in these countries. I commend them for choosing the first option; people in less wealthy countries deserve entertainment too (without the Windows 3rd world crippling mentality). Arbitrage threatens to cut their main sense of revenue: American gamers who can afford American prices. Obviously they could choose the latter option I mentioned above, but this is lose-lose. The Thai can't play Valve games, and Valve loses a legitimate source of revenue.
        • Re:Consumer rights (Score:5, Insightful)

          by JohnFluxx (413620) on Friday October 26, 2007 @10:20PM (#21136975)
          I do get your point, and I do indeed also see their point of view.

          However, they are allowed to hire programmers from the poorest countries, in order to reduce their costs. So why aren't I allowed to buy from the poorest countries to reduce _my_ costs?

          It seems like a double standard.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            I'm pretty sure Valve doesn't operate any coding sweatshops in Malaysia.

            They may hire people from foreign countries on H1B visas, but they actually come to the US, live here, earn, spend, and pay taxes.

            Likewise, you're free to travel to Thailand, live there, and buy discounted games.

            I just don't get all the hatred for Valve. With their development costs and retailer markups, they'd go bankrupt if they sold the Orange Box here for $15. No one in Thailand could afford it for $50. Does charging poor people
            • Re:Consumer rights (Score:5, Insightful)

              by WNight (23683) * on Saturday October 27, 2007 @02:31AM (#21138111) Homepage
              No. Breaking the law and sabotaging legally purchased products make Valve into some sort of monster. Telling people that they're SOL and will need to buy another whole copy, that's monstrous.

              I imagine the houses of Valve developers, and their office, and filled with things that weren't made in the USA. Should we "remotely disable" (ie, break in and smash with a hammer) all of these products? It would help local industries, and it would make Valve pay what they can afford. No cheap overseas pencils, only the expensive made in the USA kind. No overseas RAM in their computers, etc...

              That'd be fair. They want to disable our products to push a buy-locally message. So they should start.

              And really, $15 is a lot more to a poor teenage gamer than to the owners of Valve. They'd need to lose $15,000 or more to feel empathy. Wouldn't it be funny if their cars were all disabled and they had to buy new ones. Like a joke. Except with justice attached.
              • Valve put a warning on the box that the licenses could only be activated in their respective countries. The foreign resellers conveniently forgot to tell that to people who purchased the software. The resellers misrepresented the product, not Valve.

                Imagine I pulled off "Academic Use Only", "Upgrade Version", or "Not For Resale" stickers from product boxes, and sold them as full, unrestricted products. How is that any different? Would the developer be to blame? Would they be "breaking the law" and "sabo
                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by WNight (23683) *
                  There are two different cases, one where the software is different. Where the student version has only half the features. If you resold that as the full version you'd be guilty of fraud. That's not what happened here.

                  In this case though, the software is functionally identical. It will do everything the other one will, but is prevented from doing so by DRM access restrictions.

                  They're allowed to make a Thai version, or even to stick a sticker on the English version and call it a Thai version, but not to shut
                  • Student versions don't always have half the features, and in fact I'd say that the case of student versions matching the normal versions is greater than the ones that don't. The thing that makes them cheaper is that the user cannot use the product to make something they can sell, the same reasoning behind companies that give away software for free for non-commercial use. If an uncrupulous company sold a commercial business a student version or a non-commercial version of a program without letting them know
          • You are allowed to buy from the poorest countries to reduce your cost. You make the assumption that the programmer they'd get in the US is the same as the programmer from the poorer country. This is not the case. Rather than hire Joe, they hire Bob for less. Bob is not Joe, but Bob can do about what Joe does who is more expensive, but does it better.

            You have the same options. You can buy games like TF2 or Portal or HL2:EP2. They won't be the same games, but they will still be games like them (Fortress
        • Just curious. Are you also against reimportation of 'cheap' medicines from foreign markets back to the US?

          You have said that Americans should pay more because they can. What about wealthy foreigners in otherwise poor countries. Are they taking advantage of the local market forces? Should poor Americans get a price break because they are penalized by being in an expensive market?

          Now (and here's where it gets interesting...) what if the product isn't software? Pharmaceutical companies make most their profits
          • by rm999 (775449)
            Funny, I was actually going to mention drugs, but decided not to because it's slightly off topic. It actually is a very good point, though. Creating different prices for drugs in different countries has the same purpose as software (there are slight differences -for one thing, if you don't provide cheap AIDS drugs to Africans, people will die).

            But, yes, I am against Americans arbitraging drugs prices. What a lot of people don't know is that First World drug prices - especially in America - are high because
        • They basically have two choices - sell games for cheaper in poorer countries, or not sell them at all in these countries. I commend them for choosing the first option; people in less wealthy countries deserve entertainment too (without the Windows 3rd world crippling mentality). Arbitrage threatens to cut their main sense of revenue: American gamers who can afford American prices. Obviously they could choose the latter option I mentioned above, but this is lose-lose. The Thai can't play Valve games, and Val

        • by Atario (673917)
          And yet, somehow, oil producing countries continue to make money despite the fact that someone in a poor country pays the same for a barrel of oil as someone in a rich one. How do they do it?
    • What about those that were and are in regions of the world where importing software is allowed like Australia?

      I'm assuming you still retain the right to use the Thai version whenever you find yourself in Thailand.

      Fact is, the code you have is not for use in Australia - that's not Valve's problem. I would say it's either your problem for not reading the fine print when you purchased the code on a website or, more likely, it's your legitimate beef with the website from where you purchased the code for no
      • Fact is, the code you have is not for use in Australia - that's not Valve's problem.

        WTF?! Of course it's Valve's problem -- Valve is the one that turned it off!

        Fact is, Valve is stealing (by depriving of use) the product that people legitimately bought. Period, end of story. Screw civil lawsuits; Valve should be criminally prosecuted for this!

        Want another fact? Importation is legal. Valve may not like it, but it's true. And although Valve has the technical ability to turn off people's legal imported pro

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by FoolsGold (1139759)
      For what it's worth, the exchange rates mean virtually all games on Steam are cheaper in Australia than anywhere you could find the retail versions for. It's not that big a deal here... unless you're on dial-up.
    • What about those that were and are in regions of the world where importing software is allowed like Australia?

      The problem is that our government was set up to protect private citizens from the government. The corporation, which have powers pretty much on par with the government, wasn't really foreseen, so there's nothing in place to protect us from them.

      A while ago, the RIAA and FCC held a press conference about some pending legislation. Someone from the audience asked "what about a public representative," and the RIAA guy said "I represent the public." He honestly couldn't see that there was a difference betwe

  • I have read that in Australia, "region coding" (ala DVDs) has been ruled illegal. Some people have gone so far as to claim that is illegal to sell a region-locked DVD-player there. Since this is slashdot, I'll let someone else actually dig up a citation for or against that claim. Should only be a few more minutes...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by deniable (76198)
      I've heard the same, but most of the big shops still sell region 4 only players. It's usually not hard at all to buy one that can be unlocked. I've asked the sales droids for an unlocked player and they've given me codes for it.

      The major reason to hate region locking is that we are in region 4 with the Kiwis and Central & South America. A lot of stuff will be produced for region 1 or 2 but will never be 're-coded' for region 4 because "it won't sell enough." (Although some of the smarter producers in

  • by alexgieg (948359) <alexgieg@gmail.com> on Friday October 26, 2007 @09:57PM (#21136861) Homepage

    "'Some of these users have subsequently purchased a legal copy after realizing the issue and were having difficulty removing the illegitimate keys from their Steam accounts,' added Lombardi. 'Anyone having this problem should contact Steam Support to have the Thai key removed from their Steam account.'"
    I wonder how much time it'll take for all the people accused by Mr. Lombardi of being criminals to sue him for, well, calling them criminals. After all, if, according to Mr. Lombardi, they "subsequently purchased a legal copy", it's clear that's because they "previously hadn't purchased a legal copy", aka, they "previously purchased an illegal copy", aka, "why are all these lawyers looking funny at me?".

    That, in addition to the class action suit for not being able to use the software they lawfully purchased, of course.
    • Illegal is not the same as criminal, so he doesn't accuse them of being criminals. Merely lawbreakers. It is unlikely but possible that the people who bought and installed the Thai versions thereby broke the law. The law in question would then be contract law, and it would depend on the interpretation and binding power of the EULA.
  • by Dracil (732975) on Friday October 26, 2007 @10:28PM (#21137007)
    Can't believe people are actually trying to justify Valve's decision
  • But the move on Valve's part is just f-ing crooked, if you ask me.

    Penalty boycott box for Valve, for me.
  • WTF (Score:4, Funny)

    by Ariastis (797888) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @12:13AM (#21137611)
    Its like : "Thailand gets lower prices because there is a piracy problem there." So in order to get better prices, you say we need to go to Pirate Bay a bit more?
  • I live in a country that is not my native language, I wish to purchase products in MY NATIVE LANGUAGE. I have to import a lot of stuff for this reason. I may have no other choice than to no longer purchase their product if they block this. Good luck doing this in Europe also where free trade is REQUIRED.
    • by elFarto the 2nd (709099) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @04:01AM (#21138459)

      The only restriction with the Orange Box is if you buy the physical box from Thailand or Russia, then the key can only be used in Thailand or Russia, it states this on the box itself. If you buy it on Steam it'll work any where in the world.

      The reason for the Thai and Russian keys being restricted is because Valve sells them cheaper in those markets to help combat piracy. The online retailers who sold the boxes to places outside Thailand did not specify what was on the box to the people buying them.

      Regards
      elFarto
    • by Ash-Fox (726320)

      I live in a country that is not my native language, I wish to purchase products in MY NATIVE LANGUAGE. I have to import a lot of stuff for this reason.

      I currently live in the UK, I bought the orange box off Steam (in American dollars), so I assume I got the American version. I noticed that I get language options [quickfox.org] in the preferences of the game.

      If your native language is one of these, I don't think there will be a problem.

      I may have no other choice than to no longer purchase their product if they block this.

  • Some of these users have subsequently purchased a legal copy

    ... Ah, so if you buy a copy in Russia or Thailand, you're buying an "illegal" copy? Well, that clears that up, then.

  • enforce than it makes them? I understand they are protecting the rights of distributors and their rights across borders. Hell there could be some stupid trade laws that actually cause fines to be applied to sales across certain borders. Still I wonder if the enforcement costs outweigh the profit per sale, not counting lost customers.

    Still, as before, I am amazed at how much people will go out of their way to save twenty bucks or so while sporting 2K gaming machines.
  • WTO (Score:3, Interesting)

    by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@NospAm.keirstead.org> on Saturday October 27, 2007 @08:08AM (#21139405) Homepage
    This whole thing smacks of a blatant WTO violation to me.

    You are not allowed to restrict products to sale in a given region. This is the whole purpose of WTO treaties. It is what allows the US to sell it's food internationally and to import international goods.

    The WTO are who brought down the MPAA region codes. They could do the same to Valve.
    • by Ash-Fox (726320)

      You are not allowed to restrict products to sale in a given region. This is the whole purpose of WTO treaties. It is what allows the US to sell it's food internationally and to import international goods.
      Sale was not restricted, activation was.

      If you activate the game in Thai or Russia (where you bought it), you can then play it anywhere.

System going down in 5 minutes.

Working...