by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
competition, gabe newell, piracy, russia, steam


Just As Valve Shows That You Can Compete With Piracy In Russia, Russia Starts Cracking Down On Piracy

from the so-that's-how-it-works dept

Bill Bliss was the first of a whole bunch of you to write in with a version on the story of how Valve has continued to show how to compete with free. This alone, isn't new. We've been covering these kinds of stories concerning Valve and its CEO, Gabe Newell, for years. There's a lot in this latest talk by Newell that repeats what he's said for years, but there are also some new experiments in there as well. Such as the following:
Newell: The easiest way to stop piracy is not by putting antipiracy technology to work. Itís by giving those people a service thatís better than what theyíre receiving from the pirates. For example, Russia. You say, oh, weíre going to enter Russia, people say, youíre doomed, theyíll pirate everything in Russia. Russia now outside of Germany is our largest continental European market.

Ed Fries: Thatís incredible. Thatís in dollars?

Newell: Thatís in dollars, yes. Whenever I talk about how much money we make itís always dollar-denominated. All of our products are sold in local currency. But the point was, the people who are telling you that Russians pirate everything are the people who wait six months to localize their product into Russia. Ö So that, as far as weíre concerned, is asked and answered. It doesnít take much in terms of providing a better service to make pirates a non-issue.
Now that's doubly interesting, because at the same time as we got this story, we also got another submission (anonymously) about how Russia has finally started cracking down on infringement by arresting a Russian couple who was caught distributing movies online. Assuming they're guilty, they certainly don't deserve any sympathy, but it does seem intriguing to see these two stories juxtaposed.

The entertainment industry has been pushing hard for Russia to crack down on infringement, insisting that there's no way they can make money in the Russian market. And yet, Valve is proving that's false. It's just that these other companies are incompetent, don't know how to adapt, and don't know how to provide a good service. If you do that, you can make a ton of money even if the products are available in unauthorized ways.

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  1. icon
    Overcast (profile), 31 Oct 2011 @ 7:43am

    When you lose connection it switches to offline mode. I don't lose my connection often buy anytime I have no games have given me problems launching. You don't have to predict the future and know you wont have connection later.

    Well, perhaps it just doesn't work right then - that's the other problem I've had time and again with steam.. lol

    I'm not 'mad' at Steam, per se - it's a good concept, but poorly implemented - and by the way, I just tried that EA 'origin' this weekend, as my original SIM3 DVD is toast. It worked perfectly. Just for kicks, after loading up the SIM 3 - I disabled my NIC and rebooted - it worked just fine.

    But I'm not a 'Steam hater' so much - it just has continually pissed me off over the years. I've learned to detest it because of the time it's wasted for me. Both my kids have accounts, we have 20+ steam games, but frankly it's too restrictive. If it doesn't work right, neither do any of your games - and that stupid cache setup downright annoys me. I prefer a normal game installation, not something buried under 14 directories in a big cache file. If that ends up corrupt, it's an hour re-downloading the game, deleting cache files and other voodoo to get it to work.

    That's what I'm talking about - something that JUST PLAIN WORKS for paying customers.

    Thanks for the suggestion on Origin.

    And indeed, that adds value. I have too much to do between work, maintaining a house, bringing up teenagers, etc to hassle with DRM.

    I'm not going to hassle with it - plain and simple. I pay for the games, I expect them to work internet or no internet. If they don't do that, I'll avoid them.

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