• Gabe Newell: 'Piracy is a non-issue for Valve'

    The student newspaper of the University of Cambridge has published a new interview with Valve founder Gabe Newell, in which the mastermind behind Half-Life and Steam shares his thoughts on digital distribution, region-locking, and piracy.

    Gabe asserts that since Valve focusses on monitoring and delivering what customers actually want, piracy is a 'non-issue' for the company.

    In general, we think there is a fundamental misconception about piracy. 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 x 7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country 3 months after the US 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 customers use or by creating uncertainty.

    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.

    In addition to touching on the topics of Dota 2, CS:GO, and whether games really are art, The Cambridge Student also asked about one of Valve's most anticipated upcoming games:

    When will Half-life 3 be released?
    I don't know.

    Read full interview here
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. nless00's Avatar
      nless00 -
      Finally they are using their fucking heads people pirate games because convenience price is not issue
    1. Homer_S's Avatar
      Homer_S -
      So... how can two companies (Valve v. Ubisoft) have exactly opposite experiences in the same industry?
    1. iLOVENZB's Avatar
      iLOVENZB -
      Quote Originally Posted by Homer_S View Post
      So... how can two companies (Valve v. Ubisoft) have exactly opposite experiences in the same industry?
      Gamers don't like DRM and Ubisoft is notorious for raping their products with it, hence why nobody buys Ubi games.
    1. Cabalo's Avatar
      Cabalo -
      And besides most Valve products are mainly directed at the multiplayer world, so not having an original copy is not an option.
    1. mr. nails's Avatar
      mr. nails -
      I'd like to add..

      Piracy does in fact play a roll when games cost $60+ and they are 5-10 hours long and contain shit (or no) MP. I never buy into those. I'll get my copy another way and enjoy it. Then and only then if the game was any good shall I purchase it when it goes on Steam at the low low price of $5-$10.

      Now, if the game was a new release and it was priced between $20-$30 I'm more likely to impulse buy.
    1. chebeshey's Avatar
      chebeshey -
      GAMES : its the stuff that you do after PHP