In a self-released statement, Valve explained its reasoning behind preventing class action.
“It’s clear to us that, in some situations, class actions have real benefits to customers. In far too many cases however, class actions don’t provide any real benefit to users and instead impose unnecessary expense and delay, and are often designed to benefit the class action lawyers who craft and litigate these claims,” it said.
Valve’s hatred towards class action lawyers seems to be a driving force behind the change, but not the only one.
“We think this new dispute resolution process is faster and better for you and Valve while avoiding unnecessary cost and that it will therefore benefit the community as a whole,” the statement said.
Now, if issues can’t be resolved through normal customer service channels, a “new required process” will see the matter to be resolved through arbitration or small claims court.
Valve has agreed to refund cost of the user’s arbitration for claims below $10,000 and on the understanding that the arbitrator classifies the claim as unreasonable.
This could potentially prevent a large number of people from taking legal action against Valve as one entity if they were denied accessed to their purchases or Steam was closed entirely. However, this change shouldn’t cause any problems for Steam users.