GDC10: Gabe Newell: DRM lowers a game’s worth

Valve boss Gabe Newell recently touched upon the always thorny subject of DRM, stating that it lowers the value of games and that it doesn’t do anything for customers. Obvious statements, but popular ones, as his speech drew a round of cheers from a packed Games Developer’s Choice audience. Newell had just won the Pioneer Award. 

“One thing that you hear us talk a lot about is entertainment as a service,” opines Newell. It’s an attitude that says ‘what have I done for my customers today?

“It informs all the decisions we make, and once you get into that mindset it helps you avoid things like some of the Digital Rights Management problems that actually make your entertainment products worth less by wrapping those negatives around them.”

Some could and would argue that Valve’s Steam service is a form of DRM in its own right. The difference between DRM like Steam and DRM like Ubisoft’s restrictions, however, is that Steam is not f*cking bullsh*t. 

GDC: DRM damages the value of games, says Newell [Develop]

Jim Sterling