Published on November 29th, 2011 | by Dan6
Valve: Piracy is a Non-issue
In a tremendously timed follow up to our pasting of Ubisoft yesterday, Valve once again saves the day and brings sanity to PC gaming. Recently, Gabe Newell had an interview with The Cambridge Student. He laid out why companies are hurt by anti-piracy restrictions:
“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. Most DRM solutions diminish the value of the product by either directly restricting a customers use or by creating uncertainty,”
The most interesting part of this is something we touched on yesterday: “DRM solutions diminish the value of the product.” Putting restrictions on how you can play a game or how you can purchase it, or even when you can purchase it obviously make the piracy option more attractive. Take note, Ubisoft. Newell goes on to say that Valve’s goal is to create something of “greater service value” than what a pirate can offer. It certainly seems to be working as Valve have expanded into such markets as Russia (avoided by many of publishers due to piracy) with no losses.
To back up Valve, the developers of Serious Sam 3: BFE are also finding piracy to be only a small factor in how they do things. CFO of Devolver Digital, Fork Parker, had this to say about piracy on the PC:
“Piracy is a problem and there is no denying that but the success of games like Skyrim and our own Serious Sam 3 on PC illustrates that there is clearly a market willing to pay for PC games. . .Offer the consumer a variety of great digital content at a reasonable price and the majority will happily pay for the games that suit their tastes.”
This might seem like logic to a lot of people, but as we’ve seen, some developers don’t get it. Make a great product, offer it in an accessible format and we will pay for it. Mr. Parker also goes on to praise Steam as a service for keeping piracy to a minimum for his company.
Piracy can be kept at bay. Without restrictive DRM. You can put a game out on the PC without 15 layers of security between the customer and the game. The game can be put out on release date, easily accessible and we will purchase your game. If Valve, a titan of the industry can do this, as well as Devolver Digital (small by comparison), you can too, Ubisoft. The facts are overwhelming. Piracy is out there, but it isn’t the scourge that it has been made out to be. Support game developers who do things the right way and we will see others follow suit.