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Valve: Video Game Pirates Are Just Underserved Customers


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286w ago - In an interesting take on video game pirates, Valve's Jason Holtman sees them as 'tons of undiscovered customers'.

Obviously they think pirates can be turned into legitimate consumers and this was linked to an argument that they have been under-served in some way, hence turning to piracy.

To quote: The final sacred cow that Holtman took a stab at was the issue of piracy. "There's a big business feeling that there's piracy," he says. 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.'"

"We take all of our games day-and-date to Russia," Holtman says of Valve. "The reason people pirated things in Russia," he explains, "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," Holtman says, explaining that Valve makes sure their games are on the shelves in Moscow and St. Petersberg, in Russian, when they release it to North America and Western Europe.



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kenshin33's Avatar
#2 - kenshin33 - 286w ago
couldn't say better. Only one thing to extend, Recipocity; you treat me as an enemy it's only normal that I do the same. Hence i'll do anything in my power to NOT please you.

sorceror's Avatar
#1 - sorceror - 286w ago
In an interesting take on video game pirates, Valve's Jason Holtman sees them as 'tons of undiscovered customers'.

Exactly. Steam is the first DRM scheme for the PC that hasn't made me want to tear my hair out. I always no-CD my PC games (I have small kids, I can't leave media lying around) and avoid Starforce and stuff. Steam doesn't assume you're a criminal until proven otherwise, it lets you download the game to different computers, etc.

Valve doesn't just succeed because they make good games. They think differently from other game companies, not seeing their customers as enemies. Hopefully the other companies will follow their lead.

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