Report: Valve’s Gabe Newell Disses DRM

When it comes to DRM, it seems that Valve president Gabe Newell is one of those in the game biz who wears a white hat.

That is to say, he espouses a reasonable approach, one that is not a de facto screwing of game consumers.

In an e-mail to a gamer by the name of Paul Reisinger (posted on the ih8evilstuff LiveJournal page), Newell writes:

Left 4 Dead is developed entirely by Valve. Steam revenue for our games is not shared with third parties. Around the world we have a number of distribution partners to handle retail distribution of our games (i.e. make discs and boxes). EA is one of those partners.

As far as DRM goes, most DRM strategies are just dumb. The goal should be to create greater value for customers through service value (make it easy for me to play my games whenever and wherever I want to), not by decreasing the value of a product (maybe I’ll be able to play my game and maybe I won’t).

We really really discourage other developers and publishes from using the broken DRM offerings, and in general there is a groundswell to abandon those approaches.

Via: Tech in Hiding Games

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  1. 0
    farlander28 says:

    The people that are downloading what? Steam games? That doesn’t even make any sense. Why would people who are boycotting steam be "downloading" from it… ?!?!… dude, take your meds so that you can actually make a coherent point.

    "Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" – Denis Leary

  2. 0
    farlander28 says:

    In case you hadn’t noticed, most games (and their systems) have region-encoding, and whether or not Valve is the only one to segregate Asia is irrelevant. You said it yourself – playasia is where most people get their IMPORT games. Keyword = IMPORT, meaning that any game you buy there could potentially be encoded for a region that is not yours. Blame goes to you, for not contacting playasia and verifying that you would be able to play it in Japan.

    Then again, that would require actual WORK on your part, wouldn’t it, and God forbid you have to do something as back-breakingly difficult as send an email to the site for verification before you buy.


    "Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" – Denis Leary

  3. 0
    farlander28 says:

    I love how you keep claiming that "I refuse to support the system as do others" – what others? The people you magic-up in your own head to give your point more weight? You are, in business terms, an INSIGNIFICANT MINORITY. You don’t matter. You don’t count. Get over it.

    "Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" – Denis Leary

  4. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    You mean polish it to make it a better system for all?


    Oh please change the toggles,flags,links,hooks as so it only locks the game down when it senses a bad key or verification issue…if "the community" can rip out steam and crack it its that simple to change….. Its all about the effort they don’t have it or don’t want to change thats fine but I refuse to support the current system as do others because they can make it a better system and refuse to.

    By all means buy what you want and support what you want we shall do the same.

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  5. 0
    NovaBlack says:

    lol i love how ppl misquote world of gooas an argument FOR drm


    from the article:


    ”in our case, we might have even converted more than 1 in a 1000 pirates into legit purchases.  either way, ricochet shipped with DRM, world of goo shipped without it, and there seems to be no difference in the outcomes.”


    lol nice find

  6. 0
    Spartan says:

    Hmm…. paying in USD via the US site is what they want yes?  That is all I’m trying to do here. Not that I’m knocking others at all.

    Anyway, yet another day has gone by and no response but by tonight I’ll be playing the game as a license holder or not. I really don’t care anymore. I have had the Internet version of the game since release and I have waited over a week to play the "proper way" and spent more than the cost of the game in phone calls.



    "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" – Herodotus

  7. 0
    Anomalous says:

    I dunno, probably because it’s sold cheaper over in HK? I’m in Malaysia and I bought it retail for 138 MYR, which is cheaper than buying it on Steam, even with the pre-order discount. And I get 2 L4D mousepads, too.

    Y’know, it’s like when they print on some books saying "Only for sale in [country x]" or "Not for sale in the US".

  8. 0
    Titantim says:

    Valve is full of jerkoffs who are finding other ways to thwart buyers.

    I live in Japan, and I bought left 4 dead from, which is where most people get their import games.  The game didn’t work because it was region coded specificaly for Hong Kong.  Only valve segregates asia into smaller sections to make more money.

  9. 0
    Spartan says:

    Yeah the IP address of the PC that the transaction is coming from. This is on top of all the other security measures.


    "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" – Herodotus

  10. 0
    Spartan says:

    Steam needs to get rid of its God damn IP checking for purchasing titles. Moreover they need to stop telling customers it is the credit card that is refusing the transaction when it is Steam. It is as if they really, really want you to play the titles for free when they REFUSE to take your money because of your IP address.  


    Now I have the titles in question I wanted to pay for but after a WEEK I still have not heard from Steam. I even sent them another email a few hours ago informing them that if they refuse to take my money again – soon I will consider the games a gift since I’m apparently not in a market they want money from (Japan of all places) for English language games.


    So they should be careful not to blame infringement but themselves and some piss poor antiquated geopolitical arbitrary market scam for the loss of sales.


    "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" – Herodotus

  11. 0
    TheEggplant says:

    First off, DO NOT bring World of Goo into an argument about needing DRM.

    2D-Boy has already stated they believe it to be a waste.

    Second, while it is lousy that Steam doesn’t work for everyone they way it should Gabe’s point still stands.

    Valve gives you something for your inconvenience, and Stardock gives you something if you choose to register. EA and Take-Two want total control over eveything that is done with the software. This is not realistic or acceptable. Treat your customers like shit and they will leave.

    And for the record Fallout 3 was published by Bethesda. 2K had nothing to do with it.

  12. 0
    NovaBlack says:

    yeah it is a simple issue… one that a solution to which has been implemented (hence millions of people able to play offline).

    what is NOT simple is making it work on EVERY (almost infinite) combination of hardware. As stated earlier though, the users with problems are in the extreme minority. Its a bit innaccurate to try to paint a different picture.

  13. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    The problem with a forced online mode it creates issues when it can not turn off that forced mode thats why alot of us have trouble with steam because it wont turn off correctly and won’t let you play offline, its a simple issue once tis been verified make all checks after it passive as so it can not create a conflict with offline.

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  14. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Yes tis ebtter tham most DRM but the offline mode needs to be made much more streamlined and the game to opperate offline without all the option flipping that dose nto always work, its simple make the game to not care about being online after yuo install and verfiy it.

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  15. 0
    Derovius says:

     Of course it uses activation-base DRM for Valve software, you can PRE-LOAD the application prior to its release date so its ready to fly on that magnificant day. If they didn’t have some form of activation people would crack the executables and play prior to release.

     Stop all this chicken little bullshit people, Steam has flaws but it significantly outweighs them with some heavy handed perks. So long as its servers don’t crash, Steam is indominable.

  16. 0
    Parallax Abstraction says:

    I am happy to see Mr. Newell come up with such a strong statement about DRM but I’d also like to remind him that there are a number of games on Steam that use invasive DRM like SecuROM and Valve has been lacking severely in informing people of that.  Several titles that have come out such as Crysis Warhead and Stalker Clear Sky used activation-based DRM and Valve purposefully waited until several days after they released to put that information on the product pages.  I bought Crysis Warhead on Steam because I was told by another site that it didn’t use SecuROM.  It in fact does and when I asked Valve for a refund because I was not informed of that, they refused it and hid behind their terms of service.  Even though I had never run the game (or even installed it) since purchasing it, they refused me a refund for refusing to notify me about DRM I had a problem with.  Even if I bought the game in a retail store, I could have returned it unopened and that was effectively what I tried to do here.

    Its easy to come out with a strong stance about DRM but it doesn’t come off very genuine when your company pulls stunts like this.

  17. 0
    Zaruka says:

    steam is the best example of drm yes you have to actavite online but you get so much for the help another good one is

    game for windows but that not that good but it easy to use … i guess meh lol


    oh dont forget about ubisoft they are just as bad as ea and take two

    Thanks Zaruka

  18. 0
    axiomatic says:

    And Gabes comments are pretty much why I bought Left4Dead for the PC and not Crysis Warhead or Spore recently. SecuROM will NEVER land on my PC ever again.

    DRM should not be in your face. In fact you should barly know its there.

    Steam needs work still though. I personally have never had an issue with the "offline" mode in Steam but I have a friend who repeatedly does.

  19. 0
    farlander28 says:

    Yeah, make the company re-work its system to cater to the whiney (and extremely small) minority of people who can’t get a piece of software to work correctly on their boxes.

    For that matter, how the hell would you know how simple it is to implement a fundamental change to their system? Are you a software developer? Because I am, and I wouldn’t want to touch that kind of effort with a ten foot pole and someone else holding it.

    "Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" – Denis Leary

  20. 0
    farlander28 says:

    More craziness from you in the form of putting words into my mouth – I never said that people having different opinions is a bad thing, I said that people in the INSIGNIFICANT MINORITY who can’t figure out how to do something as simple as run steam or the games in offline mode are full of their own shit (like you, *lick*).

    I also refuse to believe the stuff you make up to give weight to your points, like "me and all the others like me are boycotting" when you are totally alone, with no one giving a shit about your problems. Or saying that you’ve built 50 computers in the last 10 years, implying that they were all for you? Lulz, indeed, if you expect anyone to believe that you built or simply upgraded to a new system 5 times per year.. sure thing, buddy. I bet Steam won’t work on any of them either, right? Because Valve just sucks so bad and hates you?

    LOL, you are indeed crazy. Glad you own up to it. Oh, and good job pimping that blog that no one will ever visit, either. If you have to do such a thing in every one of your comments and forum posts, then you’ve already failed, because you don’t understand that people ignore such things as a rule at this point.. dumbass.

    "Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" – Denis Leary

  21. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Funny I have built about 50 PCs in the past 10 years they are run fine well those that are still in operation,some just to old to upgrade anymore, my current reg is a C2D system with a video card thats worth more than a 360 elite least ti was last year…LOL aw damn that got me on that one 😛

    The problem is you refuse to believe that the program might work "differently" on different systems but you are pro dev they can do no wrong bugs are features and all that…

    Really now who’s telling a person to change his ways and stop complaining, whos the one between us  incapable of understanding people are different and have their own opinions, you keep replying with mroe and more drivel I am more than happy to reply because I am crazy and enjoy the lulz but really have you had enough yet?

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  22. 0
    farlander28 says:

    Grow up? Coming from someone who whines about not knowing how to properly build a system and run a basic piece of software on it? Yeah, right, sure, keep thinking that. Again, it’s NOT a proper analogy, because while the 360 had alot of bad systems that fail over time, Steam does NOT have that many people who can’t figure out 1 + 1 = 2 to get their offline mode to run properly.

    The fact that you’re one of those losers who tries to pimp their blog on a friggin comments section doesn’t really help your point.

    "Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" – Denis Leary

  23. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    When 3 in 10 units fail for the frist 4ish years and the refrub the damaged units and put the back out to market….yes its a rather good analogy becuse of the randomness of the problem, even at a 3 in 10 rate the majority have no issues while some have had to get their unit fixed 10 times over the years….a suggestion try and grow up some and think things though throughly….

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  24. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:


    Wow…..the RROD issue effected 30% off the store shelfs(MS has admitted that much) and up to 60% off the manufacturing line of all units since the launch up to a couple years ago MILLIONS have had issues and trouble with the 360….please know what you are talking about before you open your mouth….my god out of touch and drowned in the kool aid….. The 360 has had the worst fail rate of any game console…….

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  25. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Me and others refuse to put up with the idnutry as it is and seek to change it by not buyinginto the dispoable crap they sell, why can’t you grow up and understand that?


    And I never said steam sucks I said its flawed and I wont use it or support it till they fix it.

    And if I did say it sucks well I have to eat my hat again 😛

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  26. 0
    Flamespeak says:

    The 360 has no problems or issues, the RRoD only effects less than .01% of the people that buy 360s. If you say anything to the contrary, you are a Sony fanboy.

    At least, that is what they call me for pointing out the problems the 360 has.

  27. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Its a software conflict they have yet to properly address(had it on more than 4 PCs and muliplie installs OS/game wise) and so I wont have anything to do with it some people like being raped in the ass they think its fun buying cheap crappy products at twice the price and do not mind intrusions of any kind, I however dun like my orifices being touched 😛

    Besides its the principle of it when you play and then get a drop in network connection you are SOL, there is just nothing worth while in the forced online connection scenario when you have already verified  the install online, to me its simple don’t force the online aspect of it run a passive check system akin to IDs key check. A passive system would make steam perfect for me and others and much less of something to avoid.

    PS:And those that name call and belittle others are far worse than a crazy fuzzy net rodent 😛


    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  28. 0
    Derovius says:

     This sounds like an issue with you and your hardware, not Steam. Next you’ll be asking where the any key is ffs.

     Some people don’t deserve to lay their hands on a keyboard.

  29. 0
    farlander28 says:

    The RROD problem is not a valid analogy at all, as Microsoft owned-up to putting cheap ass hardware in their earlier runs of 360’s. They even bent over and took it by dumping a billion into the replacement efforts, and don’t charge you for the RMA.

    Then again, I permanently fixed my RROD’d 360 in about 45 minutes and $1.30 in screws and washers from Home Depot, rather than scream and cry about it, so my opinion may be skewed a bit.

    "Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" – Denis Leary

  30. 0
    farlander28 says:

    Except that, once again, this is not a global problem – it’s a YOU problem. You can claim to have the same problem on multiple OS installs all you want, but you are one guy out of all of us who’s bitching that he thinks Steam sucks because it’s flawed and doesn’t work right.

    Dude, I hate to do this (well, no I don’t), but L2PLYNOOB.


    "Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" – Denis Leary

  31. 0
    farlander28 says:

    Yeah, forced setup, like it’s such a chore.. oh wait, I forgot – any effort, no matter that it only takes a whole 1 minute when you first install the game, is far too much to expect of the customer.

    Seriously, Zippy, you are one lazy dude.. well, except where whining is concerned. In that case, you’re the Gold Medal winner.

    "Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" – Denis Leary

  32. 0
    farlander28 says:

    Dude, Offline mode. It’s been said many times in this thread already – if it’s not working, you’re doing something wrong.. sheesh.

    "Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" – Denis Leary

  33. 0
    farlander28 says:

    The point being that they never will, because you are, as I stated before, an insignificant minority. What this means is that, because there are so few of you, the business in question can safely shrug its shoulders and not give a shit about what you’re complaining about.

    People who are so fanatical about hating "M$" that they won’t put a windows box online, as well as those who can’t bumble their way into getting steam’s offline mode to work correctly, are great examples.

    Boycott all you want, it’s a wasted effort.

    "Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" – Denis Leary

  34. 0
    Flamespeak says:

    Doesn’t L4D require you to have an internet connection to install it on your computer even if you bought the game from a retailer? Like Half-Life 2.

  35. 0
    Geoff says:

    "Sometimes the internet goes down."  Oh noes, I can’t play Left 4 Dead right now!  Oh what will I ever do?  I may have to resort to reading a book or even *gasp* going outside!  The humanity!!

    It’s been stated, several times already, that the Offline mode in Steam works fine.  If you’re having issues it could possibly be your PC’s settings.  Check it out next time.  I’ve had my share of PC problems, but my first response is to take a look at see if there is a particular setting causing the issue.  Too many people find something doesn’t work at first and then fly off the handle, blaming the product’s company without considering that it could be their rig.

    Millions?  Really?  Well first of all I don’t know where you got that number but I highly doubt that it’s in the millions.  Second of all those people are irrelevent in this matter.  Steam is an online service.  You don’t complain to Yahoo that you can’t access your e-mail account because you don’t have internet, do you?  You don’t complain to Epic that you can’t play Hordes because you don’t have a Xbox LIVE account or that you can’t download new maps because of the same issue.  Therefore you shouldn’t complain about people not being able to play games on Steam because they lack a necessary component for the service to work.


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  36. 0
    Derovius says:

     I agree wuth farlander28, the internet will go down regardless and there is nothing that can be done to mitigate that. Quite frankly, there is more of a concern with Steam servers going down, because that effects EVERYONE, not just a single person. However, the ability to install my games ANYWHERE I want, on ANY computer significantly outweighs this problem.

     Moreover, if you cannot scrape $60.00 together in a month for internet you have no reasonable excuse to be scraping $60.00 together to buy a game. Its not Steams fault you’re fucking poor.

  37. 0
    farlander28 says:

    Ok, I have to call bullshit on that one. Of course your internet sometimes goes down, but for most people that’s a rarity, and doesn’t last longer than a few days, tops. How is it the job of Valve to work around that "not in the normal course of events" scenario?

    And as for the, *cough*, "millions" of gamers (non-gamers wouldn’t even know what Steam is, or be interested anyway) without an internet connection? Well, that’s too fuckin bad. No one is forcing them to buy L4D via Steam, they have other options. Steam is, by design, a service that requires a connection, just like your email, web browsers, music/video streaming, etc.. your point is complete nonsense.

    "Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" – Denis Leary

  38. 0
    farlander28 says:

    You are, by FAR, an exception case. It’s not Valve’s responsibility to invest in ways to cater to linux fanatics who think their house will burn down if they allow a windows box to be online. Grow up, dude.

    "Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" – Denis Leary

  39. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Because the majority of "downlanders" do it to buck the system or as something to do, take it away they will move to a "as cost effective hobby" like gaming from 10 years ago some will move to legit newer gaming sure but the vast majority wont because they either can’t afford it or its not in their region as downloadingis on the world wide scale…..


    Besides whats worse precived profit loss or making downloading a high crime its obvious that trumping up CP/IP will only make things worse for all of us.


    Also you can nto prove soemthing no one can prove and you can not prove your train of thought either so meh I am merely goign with the msot logcail line of thought, people do it becuse they can take it away they will move away from the indutry becuse tis not worth the time or money.

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  40. 0
    insanejedi says:

    Thats IF the number of people who would have bought it IS 1-4%. Tell me where did you get these numbers from? hmm? 

    What if that number is as high as 60%? What then? that’s over half of their revenue isin’t it? 

    I agree that you cannot equate 1 copy lost as 1 copy not bought, but obviously there is an overlap of someone who would buy the game, if not there was a free illegal alternative, and I don’t know if that number is 1-4% or as high as 60%. but you are basing off your number off of literally nothing. 

    You can however equate ilicit copies to POTENTIAL lost revenue. for example 1 million copies pirated each copy costing 10$. 10 million dollars in potential revenue lost.  

    Unless you prove the 1-4%, your hypothetical is worth almost nothing.

  41. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Now you are making slil sense lets finish this thought if you got 1-4% mroe sales from it if people did not pirate it would it be notable enough to effect anything?

    BTW the answer is no. ^^

    The trouble is you can not equate illicit copies to profit gain or loss its just not that tangiable.

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  42. 0
    insanejedi says:

    One copy lost does not also equate to 1 person who would not buy it anyways also! Sure, 1 lost does not equate to one person who would buy it, but i’m pretty sure that there are a lot of people who would outo that diagram if they could not pirate it.

  43. 0
    Alex says:

    "They don’t advertise their games AT ALL and they never order any shelf space, going to the absolute minimum to get their games at brick n’ moter stores."

    That is flat-out not true as I’ve seen plenty of copies of their games in stores and I HAVE seen advertisements for their games all over gaming sites.

    I’m not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I’m not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don’t know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

  44. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Its cheaper to make a new key encyptor than it is to make a whole new Sicrom style DRM system.

    The point is to keep ahead without being overencumbered, more so than to stay ahead of crackers you make the 2ndardy key to keep joe public from making copies themselfs.

    DRM as it is now is trying to control every aspect of the program thats not good as its costs to much to keep up and creates to many bugs to hassle the end user, insted focus on hassling the home "redistrobutor" you have to ignroe the crackers and mainstream underground prirates as its not worth the profit loss on paying for the DRM.


    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  45. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    So each copy equates to a equal loss? I am sorry but thats not how reality works, you make a game/film/song you advertise it for the market everything past that is up to the whims of the market the only thing that you can do anything with is illicit sales copies are just a sign of the popularity of the project not its profitability you can not tie in illicit copes and profit because the illicit copes come about because it is MADE in the first palce……

    If you remove the illicit copies on a poor selling project whats left from this equation? A poor selling project…..

    If anything  the illicit copies promote the buying of the legitimate product even if its unnoticeable only bad products really suffer from illicit copies and even then there is no way to add up the losses since the core product is bad from the start, illicit copies are merely a gauge on the WORLD WIDE popularity of the end product the same as word of mouth and anything else intangible…..


    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  46. 0
    insanejedi says:

    This is only one of the highest rated Wii games in the entire Wii library! This is no crappy game if you actually knew what it was, and I don’t think it’s fair for those two people to have games ripped out of their hands because people simply can. Effort and hard work was placed into this game, also an extreme amount of talant, are you saying that it’s justified to steal this game?

  47. 0
    insanejedi says:


    100% of the people may not have not bought the game otherwise, but like wise it is not like 100% of those people would not have bought the game if put into that situation.

    Not everybody who pirated the game would have bought the game, but likewise some would have. A community podcast called Bomb Should Have a Face on Giant Bomb articulated this and it makes sense. And I think your wrong in that it’s 1 out of 1000, there are people who look at a game like Bioshock and sees two options Free version vs. Pay version. And this guy really wants to play Bioshock , if the free version is not as acessable or not there, he would have choosen the pay version.

    Especially with a $10 game on steam if someone said "Well maybe I can get it for free, no one will care… oh look I can’t get it for free, oh well it’s $10 I guess i’ll buy it"

  48. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Dude…if I had a wii I coud l easily l downlaod to VC "roms" ….. only Live/PSN has any worthwhile protection on it.


    So again you are blaming people for not buying a crappy or mediocre game in droves becuse……they never heard of it and it has lulzy reviews………*sigh*

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  49. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Yes I stoped buying new games regualerly 5+ years ago, I can spot a open box and new discounted to 10$ game a mile away, genreally used PC games have no problems becuse its that easy to get a crack or something, I ahve mroe issues with Steam other other priportory systems that are sticky about trading games but even then tis nto so bad and if they woudl just charge a open small fee for teh transfer I’d be mroe inclinded to deal with steam.


    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  50. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    And how many would ahve bought the game mabye at a ratio of 1 to 1000 sorry insignifgant profit wont keep a dieing dev/game from going under the main problem is not DRM not protcting sales but how publishers advertise and handle the market….

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  51. 0
    insanejedi says:

    Thankfully the good Hardcore segments of the Wii user base actually purchased the game itself on Wiiware, and that is why they said "well it sucks, but at least the wii version is doing well."

    And look at that! 100% of the people who played it on Wii has paid for it. By contrast to the 10% of people who paid for it on PC. If i was a developer I would just go "Why the hell bother with this market, I make more returns on the people who are honost and actually pay to play my game." Especially with an Indie game I would personally feel disgusted at the PC gaming user base and precive them as a bunch of theives as what many publishers do. It was me and some other dude who wanted to make this cool little game, not a big company like blizzardvision or a big company like EA, it’s just me and this other guy, and then 90% of the people stole it, and we put no DRM on it as good will to the gamers. What… the…. frack… you guys suck…

  52. 0
    insanejedi says:

    Were they all used? I imagine that buing a game with a used CD key is a bit sketchy… Personally I would never buy a used PC game, because of the danger of someone who has burnt it, copied the CD key on a napkin and sold it to the retailer, I pick it up and then it doesn’t work, then I send it back to the nice people at gamestop who won’t help me at all.

    Used books, movies, and whatever do not have CD keys on them as I remember, and I think gamestop does not accept trade ins for used PC games.

  53. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:



    Used Book/Media stores sell the stuff as is and do fine,ebay and what not do fine the big box stores cried "oh noes they might ca return it lets get of it it takes up space and we get lil money from it."

    Out of the 50 or so PC games I ahve bought with key I ahve had trouble with…..2 and 1 was due to me loseing the Gdamn key 😛

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  54. 0
    insanejedi says:

    There is actually no second hand PC market to speak of, since the DRM stratagies such as CD-Keys and verification, it makes it impossible to sell second hand goods without disatisfying and getting complaints all over the place that "Oh this game won’t go online." or "This game won’t run."

    Also there is the danger for both developers and retailers that you could just rent a game, burn it, and send it back.

  55. 0
    insanejedi says:

    I absolutly hate the example of Stardock games coming up OVER AND OVER AND OVER agian in every DRM arguement. The reason why their game sells well is because they have their niche, and they fill it the best they can. They don’t advertise their games AT ALL and they never order any shelf space, going to the absolute minimum to get their games at brick n’ moter stores. The only shelf space you see is because of windows advertising for Sins of a Solar Empire or at the descresion of the retailer to put them out there. The people buying these games, would just be people who know who Stardock is, know what they do, and people who are enthusest gamers that go on Gamespot, and IGN, and 1UP and say "That got a 9! I should buy it!"

    Fallout 3 sold basically on Bethesda and Take 2’s advertising strength. There are ads for Fallout 3 everywhere, and they buy up shelf space, signs, everything. Everything else though was also the hardcore market.

    World of Goo on the other hand has almost zero niche audience, and zero advertising strength other than the descresion of Valve’s game of the week stuff or whatever when you start up steam.

  56. 0
    Sporge says:

    World of Goo was actually a great game, I think the problem was it was something new and people are less likely to risk money on something new, becasue they won’t know how they feel about it. 

    But I have to wonder if DRM would have helped at all.  I mean people just cut through the DRM now on any sort of mode that can be played off line.  I actually like steam, and guess I never tried playing the games offline, but to be honest it has been a really good way to reduce piracy.  I think the best way to reduce piracy is to have an abosolutely awesome online mode, so if you don’t actually buy it and can’t go online with it you feel left out.  but if that is the case you don’t need extra DRM attached like securom. 

    Pirating is wrong, and I won’t say I never have pirated a game before, but it is wrong.  The thing is that DRM just isn’t helping and is only burdoning the consumer. 

  57. 0
    DeepThorn says:

    DRM is necessary for killing the second hand market still though.  That is all they are really trying to do.  They know it wont stop the piracy, and that it will actually increase the amount of piracy.  Hell, it will cause people to pirate older games instead of buying them new with this stuff.  These people are becoming greedy, and they need to live with the fact of the second hand market and piracy.

  58. 0
    Anomalous says:

    DRM isn’t necessary. Despite the claims of the companies that use them, DRM doesn’t bring significant changes, people who would pirate games wouldn’t even buy the games in the first place, and like what people say, it brings more problems to consumers rather than pirates because hackers will always get around any DRM that’s thrown into the martket, including Steam; and I have a friend that pirates Steam games, which includes World of Goo.

    Also, face it. Most people who pirate games probably don’t have the money or won’t even spend a penny to support their ill-gotten-entertainment (lack of better words, MEH), the use of DRM isn’t going to change their minds, the most they’ll do is stop playing, that’s all. Like the friend that I talked about. And then there’s hackers, who would always get DRM out of the equation. ALWAYS.

    Steam on the other hand, is the best DRM out there, in my opinion. Mainly because it enables me to download games that I own anywhere, I’ve never given much thought on the offline mode because my computer is online most of the time, and Steam games that I play the most are online anyway.

    L4D and TF2 FTW.

  59. 0
    Bennett Beeny says:

    Sorry, but I’m with the ‘Steam is part of the problem’ crowd.  If a game had 90% piracy vs. 10% buy, then guess what – the game probably sucked so badly that no one wanted to buy it.

  60. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    And yet some games like sins of a solar empire and  Galactic Civilizations II and fallout 3 have sold well its all about how you sell it, if you do not advertise for it you wont sell it.

    DRM protective status is a fallacy.


    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  61. 0
    insanejedi says:

    That may be because of Microsoft and not Stardocks doing. Most likely the game was Sins which was a GFW live thing. Microsoft does marketing for all it’s GFW games.

  62. 0
    NovaBlack says:

    um right click on the steam icon in the quick tray.. click ‘exit’


    Ctrl Alt Del, to get task manager. Go to processes look for ‘steam.exe’ do ‘end process’

    bandwidth problems solved.


  63. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Blaotware is just extra unneeded crap one dose not need, while 70% of steam might be worthwhile the main sticking points I have is resale rights(for retail packages) and Online/offline issue…not to mention "statistic gathering"…but then that one is a tinfoil hat issue heheheheeheh 😛

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  64. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Its nice ti works for you, it has not worked for me thus I simply wont allow it in any active form on my PC so I installed the nice steamless version I got online of my retail steam games and they run just fine without the steam blaotware.

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  65. 0
    farlander28 says:

    Then don’t buy the Steam-powered version of the game.. good GOD, how hard is this to understand?

    "Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" – Denis Leary

  66. 0
    KayleL says:

    You forgot that shift+tab thing where you could talk to you friends and surf through the steam community. It even works on non-steam games if you launch it through steam with the shortcut feature.

  67. 0
    NovaBlack says:

    yeah steam IS a form of drm… but i find the BENEFITS i get from steam FAR outweigh any negatives. Thats the point. What benefit do consumers get from securom? None…


    What benefits do i get from steam?

    With steam, i can buy a new conputer, install steam and *wham* like 15 games i own are all Downloaded for me without having to go through each box installing them pulling out CD keys, and changing discs for several hours.

    I can quickly and easily see if my friends are playing a game, and, from windows, click join game, and stick back and let steam do the work.

    I can play ALL my games offline. ( I havent experienced any of the problems with offline play mentioned in other posts, and ive been using steam for several years on several systems).

    I get instant patches updating my game when they are released. No waiting around n downloading and manually applying patches.


    What negatives do i get from steam?

    I have to be online ONCE for a split second to ‘activate’ the game. Thats pretty much it….


    So do the benefits outweigh the negatives?.. IMHO definitely. I think thats the point gabe is trying to make. Actually having the real game provides all these benefits you dont get with pirated copies.  So in some ways i can see how a consumer would BENEFIT from not pirating. With securom? the opposite is true. There are no benefits to lose from pirating. Just the negatives.



  68. 0
    VideolandHero says:

    I always keep my games, even if they are horrible.  That way I can always go back and play the good games and laugh at the bad ones.

    — Official Protector of Videoland!

  69. 0
    NovaBlack says:

    to be fair i OWN a ps3, and the man is kinda right!

    What are the long term benefits? You can make ps3 games.. thats it. By investing time in pc and 360 (both v similar) they reap far more benefits with practically one skillset, and due to the pc’s evolving nature, keep heavily up to date.

    And as far as sony losing track.. well.. tbh… i wanted the ps3 as a games console… not a Blu ray player. I STILL havent bought a blu ray movie. im not particularly interested. I wanted good GAMES. And to be honest they have REALLY dropped the ball. I bought a ps3 mainly because i enjoyed ps2, and thought great, sony always gets hold of all teh good JRPGS (my fave) ill go with them. And whats happened? Sony has focused on blu-ray and media etc and hasnt kept devs loyal. FFXIII multiplat, and a complete lack of JRPGs, while the 360 has plenty… Im a bit gutted tbh!

  70. 0
    Flamespeak says:

    Considering the massive amount of games that launch at the same time multi-platform and the fact that Sony has made developer’s kits cheap (for developing kits anyway) to obtain, yeah, I do think so.

    Then you have some company’s (like Team Ninja) that say they have had absolutely no problem with programming for the device.

    I will be the first to admit it is different to program for when compared to the PC and 360 (which are basically the same thing in terms of programming), but when you have the tools and take the time I don’t really see how it is hard to program for. 

  71. 0
    Truec says:

    You think so? Programming being what it is (a bitch and a half), and the PS3 being what it is (expensive and a pain to develop for, by all accounts), I’d be surprised to find out there were developers who weren’t pissed off during development of PS3 games.

  72. 0
    Flamespeak says:

    "You’re not going to gain anything except a hatred of the architecture they’ve created. I don’t think they’re going to make money off their box. I don’t think it’s a good solution"

    In this one line, he says he thinks the product will fail, when it hasn’t after being out for 3 years.

    He believes learning to program for it will piss him off. That sounds like an awfully lazy excuse to me.

  73. 0
    farlander28 says:

    Oh come on, that’s hardly as bad as you make it out to be. It’s not like he was cursing and flaming Sony like an empty-headed fanboy, he was just being a bit harsh in vocalizing his perspective as a developer. In case you haven’t been paying attention for the last 8 or 9 years, that’s just how the guy is. Sure, he can be a loud-mouth, quick to go off if he’s pissed about something, but that doesn’t invalidate his opinion. All his tone does is require you to roll your eyes and have a little patience to get through his tirade, because his points are usually well worth it.

    "Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" – Denis Leary

  74. 0
    Flamespeak says:

    I wouldn’t have a problem with them if they said they were going to focus on the 360 and PC because of the ease of prgramming for both, I do have a problem with them straight telling the PS3 to take a hike and them talking about how horrible the machine is.

     Time to quote him:

    "I think [PS3 is] a waste of everybody’s time. Investing in the Cell, investing in the SPE gives you no long-term benefits. There’s nothing there that you’re going to apply to anything else. You’re not going to gain anything except a hatred of the architecture they’ve created. I don’t think they’re going to make money off their box. I don’t think it’s a good solution" – Gabe Newell


    "The PS3 is a total disaster on so many levels, I think It’s really clear that Sony lost track of what customers and what developers wanted." – Gabe Newell

  75. 0
    NovaBlack says:

    to be fair the architecture of the ps3 is RADICALLY different to that of pc and 360.. so i can totally understand why you would focus on say 360 and pc over ps3.  Plus porting between 360 and pc is very easy, whereas ps3 kinda sits in the corner being awkward and uncooperative if you try and port.

    Nothing wrong (IMO) with saying we ar gonna specialise on one set of platforms over another, instead of spreading resources over more platforms, which could reduce the overall product quality…

  76. 0
    farlander28 says:

    You are forgetting the most important point in this situation – MONEY.

    Cheap dev kits are one thing, paying developers’ salaries to learn a brand new system to port the game over is quite another. And this "massive amount" of multi-platform games, from who? Big-name publishers? Yeah, they can afford it. Publishers like EA have enough cash to allow programmers to devote their time to developing on a completely new platform (whereas PC and 360 are both windows-based, well-established framework). Smaller developers do NOT have those kinds of resources. It’s the same situation as with porting games to work on Mac OS – for the longest time, Blizzard was the only well-known developer to put games out for both OSes, because they’ve always had an endless well of cash to do so.

    As for indie games, well, those can be done by people on the side, who have everyday jobs and are building games on the side in an attempt to "take off" in this business. Companies who are caught in the middle (not doing games on the side but not with a fat bank account like EA or Blizzard) are in a different situation, where every hour of the workday needs to be financed on the company’s dime.

    So again, his point is valid – if your company has serious concerns about financing a game’s development effort, and you have a brand new architecture that may or may not succeed (being the new Playstation isn’t enough, as we’ve seen by the sales numbers, ie – Sony is not immune to failure), then it’s just not worth taking a chance on it yet.

    "Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" – Denis Leary

  77. 0
    Flamespeak says:

    Dude, my old home-town didn’t get access to high speed internet in any way shape or form until last year. A lot of the areas over there still don’t have access to it.

  78. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    All the more reason they need to expand the market and use a verification generation system, instead of using a strictly online setup you need a 2nd key from the publisher to start the game this completes verification and allows you to play, unlike the normal key thats sold with the game the verification key is updated with patches and can be obtained via phone/online account the verification program with the game, this way you have covered offline completely.

    With this you can build flood control systems to accounts to minimize illicit distribution and charge a small fee to transfer a game its win win for all.

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  79. 0
    DeusPayne says:

    Do people complain that the phone that they bought needs a service provider. Or that the oven requires a gas line. Or that the AC requires electricity. The internet is becoming a standard service. If you don’t have that service, you can’t complain that the product that requires it… requires it. 

    That’s also completely ignoring the ability to use a free dial up service, or cyber cafe, or friend’s house, or library, or…

  80. 0
    Austin_Lewis says:

    Consider: The average price of high-speed internet access from Time-Warner is 57$, and that’s for the grade right below the most expensive. 

    So, if you can afford left 4 dead for the 360, you should be able to afford the internet as well.

    Seriously, if you can’t save 60 dollars a month, you need to examine your spending.

  81. 0
    NovaBlack says:

    sure.. but realistically what is the % of gamers without access to even dial up?

    Is it really fair to say a system is ‘bad’ , ignoring the 99% of gamers out there with internet access, just becase a very small minority of users dont have ANY acces to the internet?

    I mean the thing with steam is technically you could go to an internet cafe, of a friends computer, or ANYWHERE with an internet connection, and log on to your account to activate the game…. You only need access for a split second.

    I mean im sure an equally small number of gamers dont have sound cards, speakers, or a monitor that can go over 800 x 600 resolution. So do you draw the line and say ‘well we cant support any sound/stereo setups/ higher resolutions over that because a minority dont have them?’ or do you say ‘well the VAST majority does, so we will work for them’. I mean commercially you cant expect them to have scrapped the idea for what has turned out to be a hugely successful syste, just because a minority wouldnt have internet access, or access to anwhere where they can temporarily gain access.




  82. 0
    farlander28 says:

    Well boo-hoo for them. They can stick to buying L4D on the 360.. or can they not afford that either? If someone doesn’t have a connection out of "necessity", then how they play their games is the least of their worries, and thus they do not count in this discussion.

    "Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" – Denis Leary

  83. 0
    farlander28 says:

    Disc versions of Half-Life, perhaps, made by Valve, that have Steam’s benefits rolled into its design, yes.

    L4D is on the 360.

    "Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" – Denis Leary

  84. 0
    insanejedi says:

    I know I’m fine with Steam because I never travel and play on a desktop, but there is also millions of gamers who play games on Airplanes and/or have laptops that don’t access the internet or hotspotting generally gives unfavorable results. And that’s realistically the only real problem with steam.

  85. 0
    Bennett Beeny says:

    Sometimes the internet goes down.  Besides, what about those people who don’t have an internet connection?  Sure, everyone here has one (that’s how we can post), but there are millions of people with computers that don’t have internet, either through choice or necessity.

  86. 0
    Geoff says:

    Well, Steam is a form of DRM but it’s one that I don’t really have a problem with.

    Yes the offline mode is rather annoying, but as Azhrarn pointed out there’s a simple method to getting it to work properly.  Besides be honest fellow PC gamers, how many of you actually play on a PC that isn’t connected to the internet?  Maybe some of you have issues with the concept of being online to play games but certain titles, like Left 4 Dead or TF2, pretty much require to be online anyway so all in all I find the Offline mode issue only a minor annoyance.

    Besides that I find nothing wrong with Steam.  You can download and install the game as many times as you wish on as many PCs as you wish.  It doesn’t install a Rootkey that you can’t delete, it doesn’t break the use of hardware, and it doesn’t track what you are doing on your PC.  Resell value of the titles is pretty much a non-issue since places don’t accept PC games anyway for store credit or trade-in.  Only instance I can think of in terms of reselling a PC game is selling it to a friend.

    I think Newell is dissing on methods such as SecuROM which take away the value of the game by treating the customer as a potential criminal.  Say what you will about Steam, it’s certainly nowhere near the monster that SecuROM is.  Of course you always have the choice of not buying a game from Steam if you don’t like it.  Personal choice and all that.

    As for games on Steam that have other forms of DRM on top if it, well that’s the individual developer’s decision, not Valve’s. 


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  87. 0
    DeusPayne says:

    Steam, Games, <Specific Game>, right click, updates…. WHAT do you know… the ability to TURN OFF AUTO UPDATES.

    Also, what restrictions are you talking about? The inability to play multiplayer games in offline mode? Or would it be the lack of ability to connect to the friend’s list. The games, SDK, and all offline components of steam still work unhindered in offline mode.

    Personally, I’ve never had a problem with steam, and I’ve been using it since the launch of it. I’ve had a 1/2 dozen computers with it installed on it since then, and have been able to play every game I bought on every PC I installed steam on. 

  88. 0
    farlander28 says:

    Then you have the option of, say, NOT running Steam in the background at all times, thus removing the bandwidth usage when you don’t want it going on.

    I also have to agree with the earlier post that Offline mode works just fine. I haven’t had any problems yet, and if you do, perhaps it’s with your system, or that you didn’t properly download the game completely to the HD (which is required for Offline play).

    You’re really not making any valid points, here, you’re just whining about problems that aren’t global.


    "Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" – Denis Leary

  89. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Untill steam lets you have full off line mode thats automatic and unrestrictive after you install it I refuse to put up with it, while its heads above the rest its still amugst the reeking undead…


    Also automatic patching/downlaoding for people on slow coenctions is a no no….. even on DSL I have to slot what I downlaod…..

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  90. 0
    DeusPayne says:

    Actually, that’s not why they created Steam. It was designed as a back end to deal with updates, cheating enforcement, and multiplayer match making. The digitial distribution was an afterthough once they realized how easy it would be to add. That’s why at launch, the DRM in Steam was semi-buggy, with the internet requirements causing problems.

  91. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    I understand his position. DRM is necessary, that is why they created steam. But they also know that if you are going to include DRM, you need to add value for the consumer. That is why they made all the changes and updates to steam. DRM is a devaluing addition to a game and if you don’t counter that with added value, you will lose customers.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
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    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
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    My Patreon

  92. 0
    DeepThorn says:

    Yeah, I have to agree with you, but he does not support SecuROM.  As long as these companies are saying different things about their DRM, which is what steam is DRM too, then it gives consumers more room to shout.  There is no way Steam or SuckROM are the right answers, but the right answer has yet to come.  Both have little to do with piracy, but more so killing the second hand market, which is the biggest point about this whole mess.

    On the other hand, I have 2 different versions of the original Mario for NES, Mario 3, Final Fantasy for NES, and so on.  These are classic games worth coming back to years later, something I can not say Sims, Roller Coaster Tycoon, Gears of War, Halo, or even Mass Effect.  On the other hand Mario Galaxy and Mario Kart Wii are both games that you can go back to years later.  So I guess as long as these idiots are making crap games that I wouldn’t want to go back to later, I don’t care about being able to obtain them later, but I sure as hell and to be able to sell my games that I am done with.

    Random Question: Am I the only one that keeps the worst game they have ever bought?

  93. 0
    Mr.Tastix says:

    "As far as DRM goes, most DRM strategies are just dumb. The goal should be to create greater value for customers through service value (make it easy for me to play my games whenever and wherever I want to), not by decreasing the value of a product (maybe I’ll be able to play my game and maybe I won’t)."

    This coming from a guy whose company developed and runs Steam. A program in which requires you not only to be online to activate your game but most of the time, to play it as well.

    Offline Mode hasn’t worked all the time for me, and usually I have to login then use Offline Mode which logs me out and activates it, which is bloody pointless if I’m in a location where I can’t use the damn internet.

    So Newell, tell me how you dismiss DRM so much but use something just as painstankingly annoying to use?

    — Joshua Smellie

  94. 0
    MaskedPixelante says:

    Securom is stupid, no doubt about it, but it’s here, and as long as it’s here, anyone who uses it cannot be held accountable for piracy.

    —You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

  95. 0
    Flamespeak says:

    Except for when it comes to the PS3. They were pretty blatant in their speech when they said nothing but horrible things for the console and do not support it.

  96. 0
    Entegy says:

    He’s part of the problem? Let’s face it, DRM is a necessaty these days. World of Goo is a prime example as a game with no DRM resulted in a 90% piracy rate (look on Kotaku for this). Steam is going in the right direction and you can’t complain about it over other DRM methods.

  97. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Dddduuuddddeeee(gabe)….smoking your own fumes much?

    You’ve made a dumb DRM yes it has more value than others but the fact offline mode is buggy and dose not work broken as the DRM you are dissing…. hell tis so bad I have to find and put a copy of the non steam game in the box with my retail packaged game because you force steam on everything….oh…and why not tell off the publishers that want to add in their own DRM ontop of steam? Dude wake up and get a clue…YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM!!!!!


    BTW I only thought politicians knew double speak well…….

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  98. 0
    Azhrarn says:

    For the games I have Offline mode works just fine. (Half-Life 2, HL2: Ep1, HL2: Ep2, Portal, Audiosurf)
    It does state quite clearly that you need to have the whole game cached on your HDD for off-line mode to work, this eats a lot of additional disc-space, but then it does work.

    Personally, while Steam is indeed DRM, I find that it is quite user-friendly in general.
    (The online activation part being the only downside really)
    He’s most likely dissing the DRM types that almost have more downsides for the consumer than is reasonable.
    (Like the overly restrictive and agressive SecuROM implementation currently in use)

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