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After impulse buying NFS: Hot Pursuit for €6.8, I noticed that Steam needed me to accept its EULA. That EULA mentioned I might have to install EA Download Manager Origin to get some content. I was not exactly pleased to learn this — given the previous press coverage about EA and Valve, I thought this kind of stuff wouldn't be allowed on games for Steam, but I digress.

Had I known the game had a custom EULA that needed to be accepted after the game was purchased (which is silly, because if you reject it Steam still won't refund you), my impulse buying would have been... fairly reduced. So I see a business point in hiding the fact there's this custom EULA.

Now, for the gamers' point of view: where can I find the games' EULAs before I buy those games? I've tried googling them in the past, but it's a fairly difficult endeavor in general. Yet, I feel they do matter, and should weigh in on the buy or skip decisions of games.

Are there ad-hoc sites, or good general search queries that may match whatever kind of alternative wordings (EUALA, etc.) a few companies have started using too?

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Hm, isn’t Steam obliged to refund it to you? I know that stores in Germany are obliged to refund any software product of which you didn’t accept the EULA, even if the package has been opened. Some software even had a note to this effect placed on their CDs. –  Konrad Rudolph Sep 9 '11 at 13:44
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"As with most downloadable software products, we do not offer refunds for purchases made through Steam - please review Section 4 of the Steam Subscriber Agreement for more information." –  mordi2k Sep 9 '11 at 16:42
    
This is known as a click-wrap or shrink-wrap license (so called becuase its enclosed inside the shrink-wrapped product that you must have already purchased in order to read it). I'm definitely not a lawyer however from what I have read such licenses are only enforceable if you have an opportunity to return the product (e.g. by posting it back) and choose not to do so. If you ask for a refund over the EULA and Steam refuse that refund then I can only assume that the EULA cannot be enforced. –  Justin Mar 12 '13 at 18:43
    
@Justin The EULA not being enforceable might still mean that the Download Manager is required for the game to function. Legally you might not have to follow the license if a refund is refused, but enforceability isn't the crux of this problem—it's that reading the EULA beforehand would have revealed the software dependency. –  SevenSidedDie Mar 12 '13 at 18:49

3 Answers 3

To answer your particular problem, though not your question, I've usually seen a warning on the store page for games on Steam if they contain extra DRM. For example, for Tropico 4: Steam special edition, the store page mentions

3rd-party DRM: Requires a Kalypso account

For NFS, it's weird that the need to install Origin in order to play is not mentioned. When asking for a refund, I'd certainly mention this.

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Note the question is 1½ years old—likely that's a new Steam Store feature in direct response to problems like this. Still, that's very good to know! –  SevenSidedDie Mar 12 '13 at 18:51
    
Yes, I only saw the question's date later... –  Adriano Varoli Piazza Mar 12 '13 at 19:39
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Still, this is valuable now. If not to the original asker, then to others. –  SevenSidedDie Mar 12 '13 at 19:40

The only reliable list of EULAs I could find was a list that EA put out for their games: EA product EULAs. (Note: A few of the links don't work.)

I however doubt there is a dump site for EULAs, as they change quite a bit over time and would therefore require A LOT of maintenance. So if there would be such a site, I doubt it would be properly updated.

Regarding the search queries: for most AAA and highly popular games, the search query "EULA + <game name>" seems to work fairly well. Even putting EULA and the game name in quotes seems to work well.

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An EULA URL should be placed on back cover.

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On the back cover of a digital download, got it. –  Ronan Forman Sep 9 '11 at 11:54
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@Ronan: just turn around your computer screen and look at the back: at least you're sure it won't be there =) –  Lysarion Nov 12 '11 at 11:45

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