While the traditional video game industry view portrays game software pirates as criminals, Jason Holtman of Valve has a different view.
Speaking this week at the Game Business Law Summit at Southern Methodist University Law School, Holtman described pirates as potential customers.
GameDaily reports on Holtman’s remarks:
There’s a big business feeling that there’s piracy. [But the truth is] Pirates are underserved customers. .. When you think about it that way, you think, ‘Oh my gosh, I can do some interesting things and make some interesting money off of it.’
[At Valve] we take all of our games day-and-date to Russia. The reason people pirated things in Russia is because Russians are reading magazines and watching television — they say ‘Man, I want to play that game so bad,’ but the publishers respond ‘you can play that game in six months…maybe.’
We found that our piracy rates dropped off significantly [by releasing in Russia]… [There are] tons of undiscovered customers…