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Gabe Newell on Valve Hardware and Owning Steam Games

An interview on The PA Report talks with Valve's Gabe Newell, discussing some general topics with Valve's Managing Director, whose beard is growing in nicely (though not to the magnificent degree mine has at this point). The discussion covers things like his work schedule, his fascination with wearable computers, the possibility Valve might someday sell hardware, pricing games on Steamand more (thanks nin). He also offers responses to questions about to what degree customers won games purchased on Steam:

But even from kind of a more general point of view, you have services like Steam or Origin where these many purchases and micro-transactions and all these transactions weíre making through multiple companies are kind of tied to this overreaching account. Do you have lawyers who kind of look at the legal implication of where exactly you fit into that relationship?

Yeah, we have lawyers who look at stuff all the time, Iím not sure Iím answering your question directly. Itís sort of like this kind of messy issue, and it doesnít really matter a whole lot what the legal issues are, the real thing is that you have to make your customers happy at the end of the day and if youíre not doing that it doesnít really matter what you think about various supreme court decisions or EU decisions. If youíre not making your customers happy youíre doing something stupid and we certainly always want to make our customers happy. And I think we have a track record of having done that.

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20. Re: Gabe Newell on Valve Hardware and Owning Steam Games Feb 20, 2012, 12:57 Dev
 
Here's an interesting bit from the interview. Valve tells companies they might not want to layer DRM on top of steam, and that the DRM doesn't really change sales except to perhaps hurt it, but ultimately leaves it up to the company.

So all those companies that layer DRM on top of steam are doing it against valve's advice.

We tend to try to avoid being super dictatorial to either customers or partners. Recently I was in a meeting and thereís a company that had a third party DRM solution and we showed them look, this is what happens, at this point in your life cycle your DRM got hacked, right? Now letís look at the data, did your sales change at all? No, your sales didnít change one bit. Right? So hereís before and after, hereís where you have DRM that annoys your customers and causing huge numbers of support calls and in theory you would think that you would see a huge drop off in sales after that got hacked, and instead there was absolutely no difference in sales before or after. You know, and then we tell them you actually probably lost a whole bunch of sales as near as we can tell, hereís how much money you lost by bundling that with your product

And some more

I think that we have a lot more credibility now with developers on issues like this simply because thereís so much data that we can show them where we say look, weíve run all of these experiments, you know, this has been going on for many years now and we all can look at what the outcomes are and there really isnít Ė there are lots of compelling instances where making customers Ė you know, giving customers a great experience and thinking of ways to create value for them is way more important than making it incredibly hard for the customers to move their products from one machine to another.
 
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  1. Feb 20, 10:36 Re: Gabe Newell on Valve Hardware and Owning Steam Games nin
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  108. Feb 22, 21:32    Re: Gabe Newell on Valve Hardware and Owning Steam Games nin


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