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!

 

Managing Editor at The Best Game Site Ever

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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