Valve: Good Service Helps Combat Piracy

October 25, 2011 -

Valve front man Gabe Newell says that there is a way to beat piracy, and it involves content creators and publishers providing better service. In other words, obtrusive DRM solutions are not the answer to the problem.

"One thing that we have learned is that piracy is not a pricing issue. It's a service issue," said Newell at a tech conference in Seattle. "The easiest way to stop piracy is not by putting anti-piracy technology to work. It's by giving those people a service that's better than what they're receiving from the pirates."

"For example, Russia. You say, oh, we're going to enter Russia, people say, you're doomed, and they’ll pirate everything in Russia. Russia now outside of Germany is our largest continental European market. But the point was, the people who are telling you that Russians pirate everything are the people who wait six months to localize their product into Russia," he offered.

"It doesn't take much in terms of providing a better service to make pirates a non-issue."

Newell went on to say that engagement is also important factor. A game offered at a 75 percent discount was able to increase revenue for Valve by forty-fold, according to Newell.

"Promotions on the digital channel increased sales at retail at the same time, and increased sales after the sale was finished," Newell added. "Essentially, your audience, the people who bought the game, was more effective than traditional promotional tools."

"So we tried a third-party product to see if we had some artificial home-field advantage. We saw the same pricing phenomenon. 25 percent, 50 percent and 75 percent very reliably generate different increases in gross revenue."

Source: Geekwire by way of IndustryGamers

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Re: Valve: Good Service Helps Combat Piracy

"But the point was, the people who are telling you that Russians pirate everything are the people who wait six months to localize their product into Russia."

The terrible job that I understand happens with a number of Russian localizations probably doesn't help either.

Re: Valve: Good Service Helps Combat Piracy

Also, let's not forget about censorship. Of course someone would rather pirate it if their version is crippled due to mandatory government censorship of the product sold in their country. Not something publishers can really control but it certainly hurts sales. Importing is of course far more expensive so that's not always an option.

Re: Valve: Good Service Helps Combat Piracy

Thier sale drives of 50% or less dose more to combat piracy than anything else. Then again you can talk about CD/DRM cracks for most non stream DRM games and are not banned for it.


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

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Re: Valve: Good Service Helps Combat Piracy

I can't tell you how many games I've bought for 75% off on Steam. I don't expect a full AAA title to debut at a ridiculously low price, but these deals have allowed me to go back and play many of the games I'd missed along the way at a great price. But enough praise for Valve for now, give me some Half-Life episodes already!

 

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Re: Valve: Good Service Helps Combat Piracy

Despite all the jokes about him being fat and unable to count, we all love Gabe. If somepony says they don't like Gabe, they are probably a dirty plebeian console gamer.

 
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Andrew EisenI still say "clickbait" is thrown around way too casually, to the point where it's completely meaningless. That aside, what alternate title would you suggest?07/31/2015 - 2:22pm
benohawkt was still delibrate clickait, something I would expect from a Gawker outlet, the article would of likely been much better recieved with a nicer title07/31/2015 - 2:18pm
Andrew EisenProvocative title to be sure but I didn't find it inaccurate or not reflective of its text.07/31/2015 - 2:12pm
benohawkGamasutra shouldn't of gotten clicks for the article until they had published under an accurate name instead of some pathetic clickbaiting07/31/2015 - 2:09pm
benohawkThe title of the article meant that the article was worth ignoring, not launching a massive campaign to try and end the site it was on.07/31/2015 - 2:08pm
Andrew EisenI will Ouija him my unceasing indignation!07/31/2015 - 1:59pm
Infophile@AE: The fact that he's dead does a good job of ensuring he won't hear it.07/31/2015 - 1:59pm
InfophileGood to hear. Just wish everyone offended felt that way07/31/2015 - 1:58pm
Andrew EisenRoger Ebert will never hear the end of my disdain for his I Spit On Your Grave review! http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/i-spit-on-your-grave-198007/31/2015 - 1:57pm
Big PermI don't support the email campaigns. I wouldn't support a comics venue getting them because of being offended, so it'd be hipocritical for me to do it to those who offend me07/31/2015 - 1:53pm
Infophile(cont'd) if it could be proven, it wouldn't merit anywhere near what Alexander has gone through.)07/31/2015 - 1:49pm
InfophileYeah, we can't prove or disprove it. My beef is with those who use the assumed intent to justify the actions taken against Gamasutra and Alexander. If it can't be proven, it shouldn't be retaliated against like that. (Hell, with how mild this was, even...07/31/2015 - 1:49pm
Andrew EisenNo problem. We just prefer to keep the front page clean.07/31/2015 - 1:43pm
Big PermAndrew- Alright, didn't know before.07/31/2015 - 1:42pm
Andrew EisenBig Perm - Not that big a deal, but do try to refrain from the heavier expletives in the Shout box.07/31/2015 - 1:40pm
Big Perm@ Info. I disagree, but we're just both speculating on intent. Is it possible you're right? Sure, but I don't see you being able convince me by saying she would have offended differently07/31/2015 - 1:40pm
Infophile(cont'd) title with the express purpose of offending non-game-devs? If offense was the goal, the article would have been different.07/31/2015 - 1:35pm
Big PermJust because I think your opinion is poopie, doesn't mean I think you're poopie.07/31/2015 - 1:35pm
InfophileIt's true that of course gamers will end up reading it. But it still makes it a stretch to assume they must have intended to offend them. Why would they make an article trying to convince those in the game industry of X and then randomly give it a...07/31/2015 - 1:35pm
Big PermWhile I think the opinion is poopie, I do wish Leigh herself didn't catch so much vitriol. Hate the idea, not the person imo. That's why I generally try to be friendly to journos07/31/2015 - 1:34pm
 

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