TriplePoints of Interest: July 27

This week, Steam bans over 90,000 users, Valve revises its Dota 2 loot box system for Dutch players, and Nintendo sues major ROM sites over “mass” copyright infringement.

Valve Bans Nearly 100,000 Steam Users

Valve’s Anti-Cheat system (VAC) saw a massive spike in activity this past week, banning nearly 100,000 players from Steam. According to Steam database tracker SteamDB, approximately 30,000 of these bans happened over the course of a day alone, far exceeding VAC’s average daily ban rate. No concrete causes of these bans have come to light, with outlets like, PCGamesN, and speculating that VAC is now aware of a previously unknown method of cheating in popular games.

Valve Overhauls Loot Boxes for Dutch Players

After a ruling by the Netherlands’ Gaming Authority in which loot boxes were deemed to violate their Betting and Gaming Act, Valve has made the contents of Dota 2 loot boxes visible to Dutch players prior to purchase. Said ruling was reached due to the addictive nature of loot box opening, with players tantalized by the prospect of better in-game items and visually-stimulating opening animations. Now Dutch players can only buy one loot box at a time with known contents, and the opening animation has been removed. With similar, recent legislation announced in Belgium, outlets like Gamasutra, USGamer, and Kotaku speculate that a similar system may soon be implemented there as well.

Nintendo Sues ROM sites for “Mass” Copyright Infringement

Nintendo filed a lawsuit against two major ROM distribution sites: LoveROMs and LoveRetro. In its filing, Nintendo acknowledges that many ROM sites are simply hobby projects. Their legal gripe with LoveROMs and LoveRetro is that they seem to be professional projects that profit from Nintendo’s past work. As reported by TorrentFreak, the filing states “Defendants are not casual gamers but are instead sophisticated parties with extensive knowledge of Nintendo’s intellectual property and the video game industry more generally.” Nintendo is looking to be compensated for damages at a rate of $150,000 per copyright work, and up to $2,000,000 for each Nintendo trademark infringement, according to Ars Technica. reports that all Nintendo titles have been removed from LoveROMs and that the LoveRetro site has been completely taken down. This has sparked some fan outrage, as many of these titles are not available through legitimate means of purchase. Fans took to Reddit and Twitter to state that many of these ROM sites act as historical archives and should be preserved.

TriplePoints of Interest: July 20

This week, Germany bans pre-orders without release dates, Rainbow Six Siege players get instantly banned for using slurs, and Ubisoft has its best fiscal quarter yet.

Germany Court Bans “Coming Soon” Pre-Orders in Marketing and Sales

Known for having some of the strictest consumer rights laws in the world, a German court ruled that products available for pre-order with vague dates like “coming soon” or “shipping soon” must now specify the exact date that they will be delivered. VGR notes that this ruling was not reached because of any video game pre-order grievance, but after electronics retail company Media Markt was sued for excessive delivery delays for a smartphone. Shack News also notes that a wide number of games will be affected by this ruling, as opening pre-orders up to the public prior to announcing a release date is now a common practice among developers.

Rainbow Six Siege Players Get Auto-Banned For Offensive Language

Using racist or homophobic slurs in Rainbow Six Siege will now earn players an instant ban from the game. The first offense results in a half-hour ban, followed by a second and third for 2 hours each, with any further offenses resulting in account investigation for a possible permanent ban. Fans banned for such offenses took to Twitter to voice their outrage as reported by PC Gamer, but the game’s official Twitter account responded taking these complaints as affirmation that they are doing the right thing. Kotaku drew a favorable comparison to Overwatch’s reporting system, happy that developers are taking more initiative to make their communities less toxic.

Ubisoft Reports Best Quarter Ever as PC Sales Surpass Xbox One’s

2018’s first quarter proved to be the most lucrative in Ubisoft’s history with reported sales of $466 million, as reported by Forbes, with the publisher’s stock up 104.8 percent since last year. Ubisoft cited “player recurring investment” in DLC, in-game items, season passes, subscriptions, and advertisements as the primary drivers behind their recent spike in growth. It was also noted that, for the first time ever, their PC game sales exceeded that of the Xbox One’s. Outlets like PC Gamer noted that Ubisoft has the potential to keep this momentum with big-ticket titles like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and The Division 2 coming later this year.