Valve: Piracy Not an Issue on Steam

Valve managing director Gabe Newell said in a recent interview that piracy is a "non-issue" for the company's Steam digital distribution platform. In an interview with the Cambridge Student, Newell said that there is a fundamental misconception that piracy is motivated by high prices. Newell repeated what he has been saying a lot this year: Valve sees the piracy problem as a service problem.

"For example, 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," he said.

Newell went on to say that some DRM solutions implemented by other companies (EA, Ubisoft, and Capcom – as examples) tend to restrict their consumers and "create uncertainty." This can harm the consumer's overall experience, according to Newell. In other words, some people may turn to piracy out of frustration.

"Our goal is to create greater service value than pirates, and this has been successful enough for us that piracy is basically a non-issue for our company. For example, prior to entering the Russian market, we were told that Russia was a waste of time because everyone would pirate our products. Russia is now about to become our largest market in Europe."


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  1. 0
    DorthLous says:

    That will only ever happens if you don't save your credentials. If not, you are good for a good number of days (a week, at least) before it asks to connect and confirm once more.

  2. 0
    GrimCW says:

    can't say i've ever had that issue in my years of using it..

    unless you tell it not to save your credentials, normally it'll allow it.

    if you were online at the time of the outage, it actually doesn't do anything at all except boot you from MP. other than that, it just runs as always and gives 404 errors and such if trying to use the store/community pages. And  trouble connecting to steam servers or something with online mode games

    very rarely have i had it lose my info and cause a pain, but a nice little prog on my cell called PDANet helps get past the login so i can switchover when that happens :p

  3. 0
    Overcast says:

    since unlike others (looking at you Ubi!) theres actual offline modes post downloading the game and installing it.


    However, this is only if the internet outage is planned – if it's not in offline mode already, it won't let you change over to it – without an internet connection.. At least the last version I used.

  4. 0
    GrimCW says:

    was that a point against steam?

    hmm Steams more of a 75% reliant on the net connection, since unlike others (looking at you Ubi!) theres actual offline modes post downloading the game and installing it.

    only thing locked down is the obvious online MP modes.


  5. 0
    axiomatic says:

    I hate DRM as much as anyone but the simple fact is: Steam provides a service above and beyond the DRM. (In game chat, achievements, etc) Other companies don't.

    I don't know why the other game companies can't perceive/emulate this? It's baffling.

  6. 0
    GrimCW says:

    manual? whats that? they don't come with those anymore.

    even the immensity that is Skyrim had none, and MMO's have less expecting you to just magically know things.

    STEAM usually offers other freebies though that you won't get elsewhere.

    TF2 items being one thing, free games to have or gift another.

  7. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    Well there is price as well, as you can find game on Steam that are FAR cheaper and farbette r quality than what you can find in stores, at least some of the time. I still refuse to pay 60 bucks for a game without a case or manual.

  8. 0
    MechaCrash says:

    While this is certainly a fair point against Steam, the counterpoint is that if you can't connect to the internet for whatever reason, Steam says "hey, no signal, should I work in offline mode?" Most other DRM would say "hey, no signal, I guess you're just shit out of luck."

  9. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    I would say hes downplaying it a bit but steam if anything is abut the community so that draws some of it, prices do more. I just hate the retial like prices for AAA games.

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