Not everyone knows this but, here at Joystiq we're not just a gaming blog – bringing you all the latest, breaking news on stuff like Mario boxer shorts – we're also a world-class PC gaming consultancy. Yup. PC gaming publishers come to us and say, "Joystiq, how do we – the titans of video game publishing – compete in the piracy-laden graveyard of PC gaming?" And we respond simply; "Copy Valve."
We don't mean make a product that's sort of like Steam, or is influenced by Steam – we mean make Steam
! Change one letter. Stream? Steem? Whatever, just make it. Bonus points if you change your company's name to Valfe or perhaps Vålve. While most PC gaming companies – except a few notable exceptions
– continue to flail in the face of technological progress (read: the internet), Valve continues making amazing games
, releasing an incredible platform
, and bundling many of their technologies together
for competing developers ... for free.
So when Valve chieftain Gabe Newell addresses the kingdom, it's customary for us to take notes (remember: we'll sell these notes later). In response to a customer email inquiring as to the extent of Valve's relationship with EA (and, by proxy, validating EA's continued use of onerous DRM on PC games), Newell responded, "As far as DRM goes, most DRM strategies are just dumb." Incredible, no? There's no equivocation; no hesitation. DRM=dumb. Ah, but notice that qualifier: "most." Of course, Valve's very own Steam client is rife with DRM which Newell puts this way: "The goal should be to create greater value for customers through service value (make it easy for me to play my games whenever and wherever I want to)." When's the last time you heard someone complain about Steam's DRM? And when was the last time you pirated a game over Steam? Bill's in the mail, folks.