Gabe Newell believes rising game prices isn’t what drives would-be customers to piracy.
“One thing that we have learned is that piracy is not a pricing issue. It’s a service issue,” the Valve co-founder said at a conference in Seattle, as reported by Geekwire.
“The easiest way to stop piracy is not by putting antipiracy technology to work. It’s by giving those people a service that’s better than what they’re receiving from the pirates.”
Newell revealed the startling news that Russia has become Valve’s second-largest European market.
“For example, Russia. You say, oh, we’re going to enter Russia, people say, you’re doomed, they’ll pirate everything in Russia.
“The people who are telling you that Russians pirate everything are the people who wait six months to localize their product into Russia. So that as far as we’re concerned is asked and answered. It doesn’t take much in terms of providing a better service to make pirates a non-issue.”
Valve recently embarked on a partnership with Xsolla to allow Russian Steam users to add cash payments to their accounts via kiosks.
The full transcript, available through the link above, continues Newell’s discussion of pricing, outlining some fascinating economic experiments.