How Valve Views Piracy

How does MR. Newell feel about those pirates? The folks at Valve are spilling the beans behind steam and what they think about the industry in a set of interviews with PC Gamer. One of these issues was piracy on steam.

Gabe Newell: They’re low enough that we don’t really spend any time [on it]. When you look at the things we sit around and talk about, as big picture cross game issues, we’re way more concerned about the stability of DirectX drivers or, you know, the erroneous banning of people. That’s way more of an issue for us than piracy.

Once you create service value for customers, ongoing service value, piracy seems to disappear, right? It’s like “Oh, you’re still doing something for me? I don’t mind the fact that I paid for this.” Once you actually localise your product in Russia and ship it on the same day that you ship your English language versions, this theoretical hotbed of piracy becomes your second largest- third largest after Germany in continental Europe? Or third after UK?

In addition, MR. Newell talks about DRM and explains why he hates it. Doug Lombard also believes there are a lot of good gamers out there.

Doug Lombardi: The other thing, too, is that gamers are generally good people. If you’re making a good game and you’ve done a good job both from a quality and on the communications standpoint, they’re more than happy to give you their money. I mean, we get mail all the time. Gabe gets more mail I think directly from customers but EJ and I get a fair amount. And like, after we ship something that’s good, we get mail saying, “I just went out and bought a second copy of it, just because I liked it so much I wanted to pay you guys again.” Or, “I went and bought it from my uncle or brother,” or whatever. So that’s my take on a lot of it, just do your job and people are more than happy to pay for it.

Valve simply cares about their games, hates DRM, and they believe gamers are nice and intelligent individuals. Oh right, and Episode 3 still is on lockdown.