Newell believes that digital rights management software that is presented as copy-protection gives a game a stink. It leaves customers unsure about how flexibly they can access their games. So they turn to pirates who offer games with fewer strings, he suggested.
“There is evidence anecdotally that DRM is increasing piracy rather than decreasing piracy.” Valve’s solution: battle the pirates by providing better services than the pirates do.
The effectiveness of pirates, he said, is to get content to people who want it more swiftly and easily than the companies who make the content do.
An outfit like Valve, however, can get provide even better service, even by doing something as intrusive as data-mining their customers’ computers — as long as they are transparent about it and can prove to the customer that taking such measures will make the customers’ games better.
Some Steam statistics:
- 20 million people connected
- All major PC publishers on board
- 350+ of the best PC games
- Worldwide in 21 languages
- 100% Year-over-year growth since 2004
About discount sales increase in revenues:
- 10% sale = 35% increase in sales (real dollars, not units shipped)
- 25% sale = 245% increase in sales
- 50% sale = 320% increase in sales
- 75% sale = 1470% increase in sales
Live Blog: DICE 2009 Keynote - Gabe Newell, Valve Software