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Valve: Piracy is a Service Issue

valve piracy service gabe newell where is hl2:ep3?

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#1 +Frank B.

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 14:58

Valve: Piracy is a Service Issue

Valve co-founder and managing director Gabe Newell has spoken out once again on the issue of piracy.

Newell reiterates what he’s said on previous occasions. DRM doesn’t work and pirates are not per se after free stuff.

“One thing that we have learned is that piracy is not a pricing issue. It’s a service issue,” he says.

“The easiest way to stop piracy is not by putting antipiracy 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, they’ll pirate everything in Russia. Russia now outside of Germany is our largest continental European market.”

Newell argues that instead of hurting legitimate customers with DRM, you have to give them something that’s superior to the pirated counterpart.

‘It doesn’t take much in terms of providing a better service to make pirates a non-issue,” Newell says.

Source: TorrentFreak
Full interview: GeekWire


#2 Udedenkz

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 15:01

Like people care about DRM either way. 2 steps to pirate and crack vs 4 - big difference

#3 TFindley

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 15:12

People do care about DRM... Need I remind you about EA's flirt with DRM. Take Spore for example. I believe Spore was a good example:

By September 14, 2008 (ten days after the game's initial Australian release), 2,016 of 2,216 ratings on Amazon.com gave the game one out of five stars, most citing EA's implementation of DRM for the low ratings. Electronic Arts cited SecuROM as a "standard for the industry", and Apple's iPod song DRM policy as justification for the control method. Former Maxis developer Chris Harris labeled the DRM a "screw up" and a "totally avoidable disaster".



#4 vetLaura

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 15:18

As far as gaming goes I think this is close on the mark. If you can afford some expensive gaming PC you ought to have the funds for many games. If paying instead of pirating makes your gaming experience better then it will lure people in.

Buttt..... they'd be foolish not to see that pricing makes some difference. It might just be different to the pricing of music or other things.

#5 Ayepecks

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 15:33

No offense, but this is really old news... Gabe's been saying that for the better part of a year now, including that exact line about Russia.

#6 LaP

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 15:49

As far as gaming goes I think this is close on the mark. If you can afford some expensive gaming PC you ought to have the funds for many games. If paying instead of pirating makes your gaming experience better then it will lure people in.

Buttt..... they'd be foolish not to see that pricing makes some difference. It might just be different to the pricing of music or other things.


Of course pricing does make a difference but i think M. Newell is spot on about the service.

Right now consumers who want to play PC games have 2 choices :
  • Buy a game. Go to a warez site to remove the DRM and be able to play without the CD. Deal with bugs and bad support. Upgrade the game with a patch downloaded from a web site to make it playable. Go to a warez site to hack the game again.
  • Or simply download the already cracked game. Deal with bugs but for free. Upgrade the game with the same patch downloaded from the same web site as the legit version. Go to a warez site to hack the new version of the game.

The choice is obvious for anyone who doesn't care about doing something illegal.

Now if you give this user the next 2 choices :
  • Buy a game. Don't have to remove any DRM cause none has been used. Game is playable on day one and updates will only be required for small fixes and new contents. Legit versions of the game are able to connect to a service to automatically apply patches and add some new free contents.
  • Download the game for free. Need to use a p2p service to download patches and contents cause they are not publicly avalaible.
Now the choice is not that obvious cause choice number 1 is effortless.

Price is a factor but effort is another one. Let's face it people like it easy. If you give them an easy way to play their games they'll pay for it. And that's why right now Steam is a success.

#7 Minifig

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 16:23

People do care about DRM... Need I remind you about EA's flirt with DRM. Take Spore for example. I believe Spore was a good example:


Surely Ubisoft is a better example?

#8 Denis W.

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 16:38

The headline's a rehashed argument, but the original article is far more interesting.

For instance, the claim that TF2 has a 20-30% conversion rate from free-to-play users to premium accounts. They contrast that to others doing F2P with just 2-3%.

#9 oceanmotion

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 16:39

Easy for him to say, Steam is DRM. If it didn't exist I don't think he would be playing the same tune. If only every publisher had their own Steam client or just published them on Steam/Works, that right Gabe. You can't have all the cake. Users shouldn't expect publishers to go Steam because most people like it.

#10 LaP

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 17:01

Easy for him to say, Steam is DRM. If it didn't exist I don't think he would be playing the same tune. If only every publisher had their own Steam client or just published them on Steam/Works, that right Gabe. You can't have all the cake. Users shouldn't expect publishers to go Steam because most people like it.


Then they can use their own server to host files and provide a way for legit users to log in inside the game.

It's not rocket science we are in 2010 not 1980.

But some devs can't even ship a game in a satisfactory playable state so i think it's too much to ask.

#11 Luis Mazza

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 17:18

I think the article is 50% correct. The other 50% is anti-piracy tools to demotivate pirates and resoanable prices.

#12 Athernar

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 17:39

Easy for him to say, Steam is DRM. If it didn't exist I don't think he would be playing the same tune. If only every publisher had their own Steam client or just published them on Steam/Works, that right Gabe. You can't have all the cake. Users shouldn't expect publishers to go Steam because most people like it.


Steam is only DRM in respect to it only allows you to play what you've bought on your account. To try and draw a comparison between Steam's "Passive DRM" and an "Active DRM" product like Securom is silly and your post is quite frankly petty.

I think the article is 50% correct. The other 50% is anti-piracy tools to demotivate pirates and resoanable prices.


I completely disagree, there will -never- be such a thing as an anti-piracy tool to demotivate pirates. The more secure a system claims to be the more driven the crackers become.

Heck, I bet a great deal of the cracks out there are made by people that probably don't even play games.

#13 Xerax

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 18:01

I find the way to reduce piracy is to offer the download online and sign the package with RSA. Similar to how the XBox does Xbox Games on Demand. Since that started to get better titles, I haven't "acquired" any games illegally. Heck, the last game I pirated was Halo: Reach, and I still got the legendary edition and console for it. I just wanted to download it early so I could start researching the map/file formats.

#14 Luis Mazza

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 19:22


I completely disagree, there will -never- be such a thing as an anti-piracy tool to demotivate pirates. The more secure a system claims to be the more driven the crackers become.

Heck, I bet a great deal of the cracks out there are made by people that probably don't even play games.


Because if cracks require internet activation, they can hardly be broken. I quit piratingsoftware with the hardest (long wait) codes to crack. It works and if it didn't, companies wouldn't do it. The crack requirement is able to DEMOTIVATE USERS, not crackers.

#15 Shadrack

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 19:25

I'll be honest with you guys, I don't buy 100% of the games I play...

I do buy 100% of the games that released demos that I enjoyed playing and therefore bought the full game...