"Pirates Are Underserved Customers" says Valve

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What in the world is going on? Gaming companies are really starting to wisen up.

Know I know that Valve has always been pretty switched on but it’s always good to hear news like this.

You see, according to Jason Holtman from Valve, a lot of pirates are playing illegal copies of games because they just don’t have proper access to their legitimate counterparts. Hang on, are you telling me that if you hype a whole bunch of people up about a game and then tell them to wait six months longer than everyone else that they might resort to piracy instead?

No, It can’t be true! More after the jump.

So here is what Holtman had to say:

There’s a big business feeling that there’s piracy. [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.’

[At Valve] we take all of our games day-and-date to Russia. The reason people pirated things in Russia 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 [by releasing in Russia]… [There are] tons of undiscovered customers…

While I don’t think that all pirates are just undeserved customers, he does make a damn good point and one that a lot of companies need to pay attention to. Also, just to make things clear, Valve release their games simultaneously on their online platform “Steam” and this is how they get their product straight to the consumer.

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He says quite clearly that when they started releasing the games at the same time in Russia that their piracy rates dropped significantly. Now obviously they aren’t going to go away altogether but look what a difference it made.

Games are too expensive and people also don’t like waiting longer than everyone else to play them. If companies started to get this into their skulls, sales would increase significantly for everyone.

A few companies have started dropping prices here and there and good for them, everyone else needs to take the hint. Cheaper games equals more sales, it’s not so tough to figure it out for Pete’s sake.

source: GameDaily [ via GamePolitics ]

Last Updated: January 19, 2009

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since '08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

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