Valve: DRM is Backwards and Piracy is Just Not an Issue for Us

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In the eyes of many gamers, Portal publisher Valve can do no wrong and their latest comments aren’t likely to hurt their image.

Speaking with Kotaku, Valve co-founder and managing director Gabe Newell has slammed aggressive DRM and dismissed piracy as a non-issue.

“We’re a broken record on this,” Newell told Kotaku.

“This belief that you increase your monetization by making your game worth less through aggressive digital rights management is totally backwards.

“It’s a service issue, not a technology issue. Piracy is just not an issue for us.”

Newell adds that scare stories about piracy hotspots don’t scare his company either. In fact, they embrace them and try to beat pirates by providing better service.

“When we entered Russia everyone said, ‘You can’t make money in there. Everyone pirates.’

“When people decide where to buy their games they look and they say, ‘Jesus, the pirates provide a better service for us,’” he said.

Now Russia is Valves’s largest European market outside of the UK and Germany.

“The best way to fight piracy is to create a service that people need,” Newell concludes.

“I think [publishers with strict DRM] will sell less of their products and create more problems.”

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