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[Nightmare Mode] Valve on Economics of Pricing, Piracy

post #1 of 55
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Quote:
At a recent conference in Seattle, Vavle co-founder Gabe Newell gave a pretty interesting speech about how Valve deals with piracy, and how they experiments with the economics of pricing using Steam, Valve’s digital distribution platform.

“It’s interesting to touch on a number of pricing and service issues, because it will help convey the complexity of what we’re seeing in the entertainment space, and there’s probably also going to be lessons in it for other people trying to create value on the Internet.

One thing that we have learned is that piracy is not a pricing issue. It’s a service issue. 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.”
Source

Most of this is kind of common sense, but it is always good to see a big name in the industry actually discussing the right way to handle things. Especially when they can back it up with sales figures and not just theory.

Granted, their findings arent necessarily true for all companies because they have steam and other publishers usually rely on them, but their findings should remain true regardless of what game we are talking about.

Edited for formatting.
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post #2 of 55
hopefully gabe will start to use his influence and might with steam to smack some sense into these publishers who beat it to horrible DRM.
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post #3 of 55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t00sl0w View Post
hopefully gabe will start to use his influence and might with steam to smack some sense into these publishers who beat it to horrible DRM.
When you think about it, Steam IS DRM.
But it is good DRM because it isnt intrusive(for the most part) and it is in many ways a tool for the person buying more than it is insurance for the publisher. Which is perfect.

Still, A little pressure on the industry from valve couldnt hurt.
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post #4 of 55
I would love to see their datasets.... as well as economists.
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post #5 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilWrir View Post
When you think about it, Steam IS DRM.
But it is good DRM because it isnt intrusive(for the most part) and it is in many ways a tool for the person buying more than it is insurance for the publisher. Which is perfect.

Still, A little pressure on the industry from valve couldnt hurt.
Theres no thinking about it, Steam is and always will be DRM. Just because its tarted up changes nothing, its DRM

And it is intrusive, you need it running for anything needing Steam
    
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post #6 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpuddGunn View Post
Theres no thinking about it, Steam is and always will be DRM. Just because its tarted up changes nothing, its DRM

And it is intrusive, you need it running for anything needing Steam
But add everything else that Steam offers with their "DRM" :

1. Infinite access to EVERY game you EVER buy FOREVER from their servers.
2. ANY computer in the world can use and abuse Steam.
3. Has all your friends on it.

If ANY other type of DRM does ANYTHING close to this, i'll give you a dollar.
And GfWL doesn't count, because i cant get 90% of games on there like i can on Steam.

I find having to constantly have steam up to play ALL my games (seriously, i have lost ALL my old CDs/DVDs of great games) is not that bad a deal considering that besides Blizzards stuff, its a one-stop-shop for games and gaming.
post #7 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
I would love to see their datasets.... as well as economists.
Why? This smells like an application of marginal utility on the consumer side accounting for monetary concerns, as well as, satisfaction of wants and game theory on the producer side weighing the gain of least intrusive DRM sales vs highly intrusive lost sales and no DRM rampant piracy. Assuming proper and safe support is worth the low intrusion, high intrusion causes lost sales and consumer dissatisfaction. All standard stuffs.
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post #8 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpuddGunn View Post
Theres no thinking about it, Steam is and always will be DRM. Just because its tarted up changes nothing, its DRM

And it is intrusive, you need it running for anything needing Steam
yes, steam is DRM and i also feel that they are the only people to get it right.
DRM is going to exist regardless of whether or not you want it to, so why not praise a good system?
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post #9 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by t00sl0w View Post
yes, steam is DRM and i also feel that they are the only people to get it right.
DRM is going to exist regardless of whether or not you want it to, so why not praise a good system?
Exactly. The people that were quoted by the people stating Steam is DRM never said that it is not. It is not, however anywhere near as intrusive as the BS DRM that other companies pull out, such as always-online for single player games and even some single player games that stream data from their servers. It even adds some value for the people that use its features, and if you are complaining about it taking up resources, there are plenty of people on this forum that can help you make better use of your computer's resources or upgrade for cheap, because it does not take up very much resources at all.
    
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post #10 of 55
lol steam is a DRM ... c'mon yer pullin me chain!

For those of us who understood what he was saying, he's right just slapping a lock on something is incentive for people to get around it if they can afford it or not. Putting a lock on it that rewards a user with trouble free gaming, networking and achievements represents value the pirating customer would miss out on, throw in the price adjustments and you have no reason to not buy the game.
I bet Portal 2 was one of the "experiments" it's not everyday you see Valve pricing that high even from the start.
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