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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Poll: Is it censorship when a private retailer decides not to sell a particular video game?:

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Mattsworknamemeet ips. stupid phone.05/27/2015 - 11:34pm
MattsworknameI feel ups should have a hard line expiration date. if a company doesn't use them for ten years they have to put it on the market or make it open source05/27/2015 - 11:34pm
MechaCrashPride does play a factor. If you sell an IP to someone, and they make a ton of money off it, it makes you look like a tool: why didn't YOU make that money? Better to sit on it than be embarassed that way.05/27/2015 - 10:58pm
ZippyDSMleeAS far as I understand it the suits think sitting on a an IP till the time is right is more profitable than tradeing it around.....hevean forbit soemone use soemthing to make money with....05/27/2015 - 9:58pm
Andrew EisenOh, there's also the Facebook page.05/27/2015 - 4:29pm
hidannikOkay :( Guess I'll just have to YouTube it when I've caught up on all the other podcasts.05/27/2015 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenI honestly don't know. The show is on my YouTube channel and we promote it here on the site every week.05/27/2015 - 4:11pm
hidannikIs there nothing a podcast app can key on?\05/27/2015 - 4:09pm
Andrew EisenYeah, we lost Libsyn quite some time ago. As such, no RSS or iTunes. We're working on finding a new (and cost effective) home but it's been really slow going.05/27/2015 - 4:07pm
hidannikThe last one on that feed was Feb 905/27/2015 - 4:05pm
hidannikThe feed is at superpac.libsyn.com05/27/2015 - 4:05pm
hidannikI ask because it hasn't shown up in my PocketCasts feed in a while. (I'm currently a month behind)05/27/2015 - 4:02pm
E. Zachary KnightAE, Loved your mom as the guest on your 30 Days of Netflix series. She is one interesting lady.05/27/2015 - 3:47pm
E. Zachary Knighthidannik, If you mean on iTunes, we are working to get it back up there soon. Otherwise, the show must go on. We record live every Saturday at 8pm Central05/27/2015 - 3:47pm
Andrew Eisenhidannik - The podcast will continue this weekend and every weekend after for the foreseeable future. What makes you ask?05/27/2015 - 3:29pm
Matthew WilsonI say no it isnt, but it depends on the reason for not selling it. were the pressured to not sell it. aka target au, or did they chose not to on their own aka gog with hatred.05/27/2015 - 3:28pm
hidannikIs there no more podcast?05/27/2015 - 3:26pm
E. Zachary KnightHere is another thought exercise. How would you feel if game developers traded in IP? http://gamasutra.com/blogs/JorgeMunoz/20150520/243471/Why_dont_developers_buysell_intellectual_property_much_like_other_assets.php05/27/2015 - 3:24pm
Andrew EisenSlightly Mad Studio comments on Wii U version of Project Cars: http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2015/05/exclusive_slightly_mad_studio_head_ian_bell_sets_the_record_straight_on_project_cars_wii_u05/27/2015 - 11:54am
E. Zachary KnightGamasutra has a really interesting interview with the Hatred developers. http://gamasutra.com/blogs/AlbertPalka/20150526/244229/Real_talk_with_Destructive_Creations_Hatred_interview.php05/27/2015 - 10:11am
 

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