Valve Exec: Pirates Are Just Underserved Customers

from the and-then-you-see-the-opportunities dept

We've had a ton of people submitting this, so figured a quick writeup is in order. Jason Holtman, the director of business development and legal affairs for Valve, was speaking a video game conference, when he noted: "Pirates are underserved customers." This is a point that plenty of folks have been making for a while, but having an exec at a company like Valve make it is important. But, even more important was his next sentence:
"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.'"
This past weekend at the MidemNet conference (on which I'll be writing much more), I heard a few music industry folks say something at least somewhat similar to the first part of the comment: talking about how they had to learn to bring "pirates" back into being legitimate customers. But, then they missed that second part. As one attendee said, the music industry execs kept freaking out about how much money they will lose, while ignoring how much money there is to be made.

Filed Under: jason holtman, pirates, underserved customers
Companies: valve


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  1. identicon
    Boris Mann, 26 Apr 2009 @ 11:21pm

    I'm a fan, and just selling bits means they can experiment

    Say Valve listened to it's underserved "customers" and cut the price of a $50 game in half. Would they sell twice as many games, which is still less than the number needed to get back to the same spot?
    Actually, they've been experimenting with pricing models (which they can do, since it's all digital). Here's a great article on how sales went up 18,000% -- they actually made MORE money at 75% off than at full price. I don't find that the DRM gets in my way ... much like iTunes: it's easy and convenient and has converted me into a more frequent buyer of games, especially indie games that are ~$20 - or less.

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