Gabe talks about PiracyNews
Valve’s co-founder and CEO Gabe Newell talkedabout piracy in the games industry. The man behind the online retail service Steam tackles those who claim that lower prices for games will make piracy go away, and he takes on companies that seek to fight piracy by inconveniencing consumers.
“We think there is a fundamental misconception about piracy,” Newell said. “Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem. For example, if a pirate offers a product anywhere in the world, 24/7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country three months after the U.S. release and can only be purchased at a brick and mortar store, then the pirate’s service is more valuable.
“Most DRM solutions diminish the value of the product by either directly restricting a customer’s use or by creating uncertainty.”
He adds, “Our goal is to create greater service value than pirates, and this has been successful enough for us that piracy is basically a non-issue for our company. For example, prior to entering the Russian market, we were told that Russia was a waste of time because everyone would pirate our products. Russia is now about to become our largest market in Europe.
“Our success comes from making sure that both customers and partners feel like they get a lot of value from those services. They can trust us not to take advantage of the relationship that we have with them.”
“We usually think of ourselves as customer centric rather than production centric. Most of our decisions are based on the rapidly evolving opportunities to better serve our customers, and not on optimizing to be a better game company or digital distributor. The latter focus would be more of a straitjacket than conceptual aid.”
How do you feel about his opinion on the piracy subject? Do you feel he is right and that no matter what games will get pirated? I know I’d have to say they would. There are people out there who will pirate games just because they don’t like the company that did it and they refuse to spend the money to support the company, even though they want to play the game. Or other people, who just refuse to spend money on a game they aren’t sure of. In my honest opinion, I think it will continue no matter how “low priced” a game will be. But what are your opinions? Let us know!