Gabe Newell explains Valve’s pricing and free to play
Steam sales are both a blessing and a curse to most gamers; they’re great because they offer value, but they suck because most of the time you never play the games you buy in the sale! In a recent appearance at a videogame conference, Valve’s Gabe Newell explained some of the facts behind videogame pricing on Steam.
Once again, Gabe claimed that piracy isn’t a problem caused by pricing, it’s the service that’s the issue. “The easiest way to stop piracy is not by putting antipiracy technology to work,” Gabe said. “It’s by giving those people a service that’s better than what they’re receiving from the pirates.” He then gave the example about how people said Steam wouldn’t work in Russia but that is now the Valve’s second biggest market in continental Europe.
Gabe also talked about how surprising information Valve got from free-to-play games, namely how “free” and “free to play” are perceived differently. “We don’t understand what’s going on,” Gabe admitted after Valve’s data didn’t give any conclusive answers for growing a game’s audience. “All we know is we’re going to keep running these experiments to try and understand better what it is that our customers are telling us.” It’s some really interesting stuff and it’s exciting that Valve are taking chances.