Gabe Newell Slams DRM in Interview with Penny Arcade

Gabe Newell says DRM is bad for business, talks shop with Penny Arcade.

by on 20th Feb, 2012

gabe newell

Twitter and reddit are both aflame with Penny Arcade's new interview with Valve head honcho Gabe Newell, but for all the wrong reasons. This morning, Kotaku's Luke Plunkett reported on Ben Kuchera's interview with Newell, in a way that demeaned the content of the in-depth, 5,000 word face-to-face by focusing solely on the facial hair style Newell is sporting these days (artist's depiction above).

Regardless of the drama, the interview itself shed a lot of light on Gabe Newell's views towards DRM, who shared his thoughts on that, and more.

“If you’re not making your customers happy you’re doing something stupid,” he said. “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.’”

Newell went on to state that he's attempted to hammer down these facts into publishers he speaks to with the science of statistics. “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.’”

Newell concluded that the best way to interact with customers is to give them good value for their hard-earned cash instead of treating them like would-be criminals.

Be sure to check out the rest of the interview here.

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