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Valve: Piracy is a 'non-issue'

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 29 Nov 2011 5:58 User comments (13)

Valve: Piracy is a 'non-issue' Managing director says piracy is a "service problem."
Gabe Newell, Valve managing director, has claimed that software piracy is a "non issue" for the company's Steam gaming service. Instead, he said that the fundamental misconception about piracy is that it is motivated by price, when Value believes that its more down to problems with service.

"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 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," he said, in an interview with Cambridge Student.

Going by that, Steam itself could not be considered a perfect solution either. Still, Newell does seem to have another way of looking at piracy than most of the industry, and does appear in the interview to understand that Digital Rights Management (DRM) can have detrimental effects on legitimate consumers, especially when you consider that it barely even affects pirates.

"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." Newell added.

What do you think?

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13 user comments

129.11.2011 6:12

Quote:
What do you think?
I wish valve had more good games; their DRM is crap but it isn't as bad as most PC DRM. Personally I don't care much about release dates because I usually wait for the price to drop to 1/2 of launch price anyway. 24-7 availability is certainly a plus for me; the bestbuy has terrible hours (they don't open until 10AM, and I go to bed at noon...then they close before I wake up). Gamestop has the same hours, and worse service...and I wouldn't go to a walmart to buy $100 bills for $1 each. If I wake up wanting a game, I can get it from a torrent before I can get it from a store.


229.11.2011 9:15

People don't pirate stuff because a torrent offers a better service that is silly.

You've got to download 1 to 12gigs for a DVD and 1gig up to 50gigs for a blu-ray, then you'll have 100 different torrents all saying they are top proper release from * marks the pirate group, then unzip/rar/ace/uha it then burn off to a disk then install then copy over the EXE which can't be updated at all or the game isn't cracked anymore, or go through very dodgy programs that 8 times out of 10 do have a virus just to get an APP sometimes a game cracked.

After which doesn't always mean the product isn't cracked or 100% cracked and some stuff haven't been cracked at all or can't be or groups just couldn't careless about it.

You'd also have to provide your own net connection at your own cost plus find the decent places for stuff, then just to run a torrent 24/7 or run the risk of being kicked off some sites.

If ALL games were only $1 each at a game store everyone would buy their games from that game store but game stores don't sell games at $1 so people look for a cheaper option at times steam can be cheaper than a store and other times a store will be cheaper than steam.

The only reason why people buy from steam is the sales on there or able to get stuff that is
A) too old or out of stock for a game shop
B) isn't what a game store would get in stock anyway therefore the only place to get something is via steam etc.

I wouldn't buy a full price item from steam ever I see that as a complete waste of money as your not really getting anything back in return.

Many of the people who do buy games buy them because it's much simpler to simply buy and install and forget about all the sites and downloading of usless crap just to get 1 thing working so you can download another bit of crap just to get something else going which might just get the game/app working some what.

The other problem with pirated stuff is generally it's missing stuff and if you want that stuff then you need to buy it anyway, so the overall point about piracy being a better service is moot.

329.11.2011 10:54

Originally posted by xtago:


The other problem with pirated stuff is generally it's missing stuff and if you want that stuff then you need to buy it anyway, so the overall point about piracy being a better service is moot.

maybe you should lay off the p2p. scene releases don't have this problem and topsites don't let shit on their ftps. piracy isn't a better service for you because you use p2p like a noob. you get virii cause you use p2p. and you waste time on bs releases cause you use p2p. stick to scene and this shit doesn't happen.

429.11.2011 11:07

If VALVe doesn't concerns the pirates. Well I hope the pirates get either get encouraged or angered by this news. But I don't play much PC anymore... Just my Xbox. Anyway. VALVe can do whatever they wan't, right?



529.11.2011 11:38

Valve are morons... I got bored having to do the extra steps to prep a game after news binning & decided to properly purchase after umpteen years. What a colossal waste of time & expenditure that was. Seeing as Steam still won't load or run, when it half assed does it corrupts half the other software on my computer & the game never does load to a playable state. The pirated game however, loads, plays and is enjoyed in weeks less time than the standard dog & pony show Valve's customer support team constantly regurgitated to me. Which just so happened to be the exact same 6-7 step erase these folders & reload Steam processes found in all their other 60 FAQs.

No, Valve is just like all the other late 70s corporations in their desperation to hold onto their "screw the customer, they bought it" business model. They're just trying to put Thousand Island salad dressing on this turd sandwich & call it secret sauce.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 29 Nov 2011 @ 17:51

629.11.2011 16:04

Well first I am a fan of steams business model.

I used to Pirate around 85% of all my games. The main reason was it was easier to get it illegally then it was legally. For me this was simple no store close to were I lived sold PC games so the only option was ordering online. I could download a game faster. If the game was available for download legally I went the legal route.

Once steam started careering most new games I stopped pirating games and see no reason that I would start pirating again.

I have tried other stores online like D2D, GoG, and I do see the advantages of there service but I happen to like added bonuses of owning a game though Steam.

So to sum up I agree with Gabe Newell, Valve managing director 100%

729.11.2011 17:58

@lamain and I suppose, once again, the business model would indeed work... had like I said if the steam coming off the sandwich was the work & effort going into everyone's experience as yours.

Like my experience, if Steam isn't going to work 1% of the time it's not worth anything equally as much. And as luck would have it one logical, sane sounding panning of your product by word of mouth with still wreck any amount of techno geeking up you try to undo.

I.e., I hated Steam when it came out some years ago do to its flaws & system takeover, now that I tried to right by it & try again with a clear mind and open heart all it did was stab deeper; and not necessarily into my heart either.


829.11.2011 23:15

@LordRuss

sounds like to me you are saying the program did not run well? If that is what you are saying then I can understand why you would not like it. I am not sure what to tell you other then I have never ran into a problem on how well Steam itself runs. I have also never seen any of my friends have any problems with how the program runs.

Assuming I did not think the problem was my computer if I had a similar problem I would not use steam.

930.11.2011 7:10

Originally posted by Hopium:
Originally posted by xtago:


The other problem with pirated stuff is generally it's missing stuff and if you want that stuff then you need to buy it anyway, so the overall point about piracy being a better service is moot.

maybe you should lay off the p2p. scene releases don't have this problem and topsites don't let shit on their ftps. piracy isn't a better service for you because you use p2p like a noob. you get virii cause you use p2p. and you waste time on bs releases cause you use p2p. stick to scene and this shit doesn't happen.
Where do you think all the p2p stuff comes from.

Though I've met guys in the groups myself but hey what the fuck would I know.

lol kids, thinking top sites are the be all, end all.

1030.11.2011 15:53

One reason piracy isn't as bad as some make it out to be is that estimated losses due to it assume that every pirated copy of something would have been legitimately purchased otherwise, when up to 75% of those pirating would have actually never paid for a copy.

That being said, VALVE sucks (though some of their games are decent).

111.12.2011 12:28

Originally posted by lamain:
Assuming I did not think the problem was my computer if I had a similar problem I would not use steam.
Certainly after expending a 'G' note into new hardware & a clean install of Win7 I was hoping that it wasn't a hardware issue. Yet two out of three machines in my house hold have a Steam/Valve issue wanting to load & operate. Which pretty much shoots me in the foot as far as loading the legal game seeing as without Steam, no game. Thus my conundrum & the whole debate around customer satisfaction surrounding pirates being able to deliver & a multi-billion dollar corporation continuing to sit on their thumbs.

But don't let my sour grapes negate your satisfactory results with Steam. My eldest son still seams to be able to play on it, but even he has stated that he has run into a couple of hiccups in the past as well. It just seems that he has been able to work through them, having no computer knowledge whatsoever. While I have 20+ years power user insight, can't seem to get Steam's engineers to solve my issues on 2 other PC platforms. So when their answer is to just regurgitate the same "erase these folders & reload Steam" solution just to shut me up, I get a bit more than frustrated.

121.12.2011 17:12

Not really with increasing sizes on games and movies along with caps being added I think it will become a lot harder. I like demoing the game to see if it is worth my money.

1325.12.2011 7:54
ASPIRANT
Unverified new user

Originally posted by xnonsuchx:
One reason piracy isn't as bad as some make it out to be is that estimated losses due to it assume that every pirated copy of something would have been legitimately purchased otherwise, when up to 75% of those pirating would have actually never paid for a copy.

I think valve taps in to this market with it's sales. I'd never have bought the original Dawn of War quintology for 39.99 each, but when they introduced a package deal for all of them at that price, I couldn't hit the "Buy" button fast enough.

As a corollary, most people would never have paid 59.99 for Psychonauts. I had been anticipating that game for years, Tim Schafer's big return. I bought it when it first came out, (though no one else did). It finally recouped its costs on Steam, selling for $10 a pop. I can't afford Skyrim right now, but if I could I would definitely buy it at full price.

They wait until everyone who just HAD to play it already bought it at full price, and then they get some extra sales from people who would only buy it at a deep discount. It's a win for everyone.
Steam maximizes the amount creators can make with a game, without taking advantage of the customer. You only pay for the games you REALLY want to.

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