Not that it’s a bad thing. As a gamer, I’m fine with that. I’ve been the proudest, joy-puke-less PC gamer on the planet. But the reality is that I hate the closed nature of the platform because it prevents me from enjoying the games I already own. They’re not necessarily bad games by any means. In fact, they’re quite a lot of fun. But if I owned an Xbox, I would happily give up my PS3 and play games on PC. In a way, Valve’s policies are a curse – they’re the reason some people bought the PC versions of games they didn’t own. If you own a game and want it on PC, you’ll have to purchase it from an external site. If you don’t own a game, you’ll have to purchase it from Steam. And if you want to play games on PC, you’ll have to pay the Steam user fee to access the service. Because Valve makes its money on the sale of games, it makes it very difficult for anyone to play their games. So what’s to stop someone from playing games they already own on PC through Steam, and then immediately buying them on the PC version? It seems like a win-win scenario for the developer, and for the gamer. But if Valve is so restrictive about who can and cannot play their game, the end result is a very poor experience for everyone. In an effort to improve the situation, Valve recently instituted a fee for a premium version of PUBG that lets players play their games on PC for absolutely nothing. Not an outrageous idea, but it makes me wonder if other companies will follow suit. Valve’s supporters often talk about “the free market,” but in reality it’s the exact opposite. You can’t charge for the pleasure of playing games online – you have to pay for the privilege to play games online. If Sony or Microsoft were to offer gamers the chance to play games online and enjoy them without charge, would they make the fee so high? If so, would it be too expensive? If so, would it be a good deal to drop the cost of online play so that everyone can play games online? I’m not sure what to think of Valve’s policies – but I’m also not sure if they’re good for gamers. Still, it seems odd that the companies making money off of games would make such a radical change to them. How can anyone get around the problem of treating people who already own games as if they’re not going to play them? If Steam were to change its policies, would the online gaming community be negatively affected? If anything, I’d be surprised if Valve isn’t still charging for access to games through Steam.