Gabe Newell grows spectacular beard. Also says something about DRM
“If you’re not making your customers happy you’re doing something stupid,” says the new-look, full-bearded, Gabe Newell. Penny Arcade have been chatting with Valve’s managing director about his job, the state of PC gaming, and more. They also have an image of Gabe with a beard that we're not sure we can use yet, hence the artist's interpretation up there. EDIT: I've just got permission from The PA Report. Find the real-life beard embedded below.
Gabe even went into depth on DRM and how it affects game sales. He reckons intrusive measures can result in a false economy: “You know, it’s a really bad idea to start off on the assumption that your customers are on the other side of some sort of battle with you."
“We tend to try to avoid being super dictatorial to either customers or partners. Recently I was in a meeting and there’s 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 let’s look at the data, did your sales change at all? No, your sales didn’t change one bit.’”
The Valve boss says customers are getting unnecessarily pissed off, and developers are losing out on sales thanks to the restrictive measures: “We tell them ‘You actually probably lost a whole bunch of sales as near as we can tell, here’s how much money you lost by bundling that with your product.’”
“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,” concluded Gabe.