It's a sad truth that companies can basically include anything that's not blatantly illegal in the terms-of-use agreements for their products, and even gaming industry heroes Valve are no exception.

Per the company's new Steam Subscriber Agreement (SSA), Valve reserves the right to cut off service and block access to all Steam users who engage in a class action suit against the company. Not that we currently have any reason to sue Valve (unless you count this—Sony was sued late last year over a don't-sue-us clause).

But taking away basic consumer rights isn't Valve's usual schtick, and the company offered a different perspective in a press release: "In far too many cases, 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. Class actions like these do not benefit us or our communities."

So "you [the user] and Valve agree to resolve all disputes and claims... in individual binding arbitration," the new SSA reads.

To underscore that Valve means well with this move, the SSA also dictates that they'll actually cover the costs of individuals' arbitration with them as long as those costs are under $10,000, Valve doesn't consider your complaint "frivolous," and the dispute is handled by the non-profit American Arbitration Association.

So is Good Guy Valve still a good guy? Have anyone's plans for a class-action suit now been spoiled by the thought of losing all your Steam purchases? Tell us in the comments or on Twitter.

[via Ars Technica]