DRM Damages a Game's Value, Says Valve Boss

Those who have been keeping abreast on the events surrounding newly released Ubisoft games, such as Assassin's Creed II, know that the games are protected by a very controversial DRM that requires a constant connection to the internet.

While there's little argument that developers and publishers have a right to protect their investments, gamers aren't appreciative of DRM schemes that make playing a rightfully owned game difficult.

Valve Software co-founder Gabe Newell has a good reason to protect his company's work from being stolen, but he's also got the gamer in mind. Speaking at Game Developers Choice awards, where he picked up the Pioneer Award, Newell shared what he felt was a problem with PC game DRM.

"One thing that you hear us talk a lot about is entertainment as a service," he said. "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," Newell added.

According to Develop, Newell's comments were greeted by cheers in a room filled with other developers and industry workers. Of course, Valve has its own DRM system that ties games right into its Steam service, but it's one that so far appears to balance protection of the artists as well as the consumer.

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  • ukcal
    By using Steam, you don't really notice the DRM is taking effect. Besides maybe the odd problem with an internet connection, it seems no different than just playing a game whilst having Xfire open.
  • wonspur
    Valve is an amazing company and they have produced some of the most amazing games out today. Half-life 1 & 2 + episodes, CS 1.6, source is ok. TF2 is amazing and portal bringing a new style of gameplay into the mix. I'd say there is a lot of credibility coming from them saying this. Steam does a great job at making it easy to purchase games and keep playing them, regardless of connection to the internet.
  • Pailin
    I heard it should be possible to play Steam games like FarCry2 in offline mode - should this be true...?

    I couldn't start Steam in offline mode at all the other day when my router died and so couldn't play my new (for me anyway lol) game :(