Pirates are still customers to Valve

When they’re not releasing a game through Steam, introducing the new publisher to jump on board the platform or cutting prices on their available titles, Valve are usually taking the time to discuss some of the topics that sweep the industry. And the discussion held at the Game Business Law summit was no different. Jason Holtman, the director of business development and legal affairs at Valve, took the time to talk about Steam and the business mindset they utilized when it came to retail vs. digital sales and piracy, GameDaily reports.

“There’s a big business feeling that there’s piracy,” said Holtman, continuing on to mention that “Pirates are underserved customers.” When discussing the Russian market, a market known for rampant piracy, Holtman explained that a reason people pirate games in Russia is that the release dates for that region are often delayed longer than the North American markets. Since releasing their titles, localized for the Russian markets on the same day of the North American releases, “We found that our piracy rates dropped off significantly,” said Holtman.

If anything, the regions that endure delays are seen as potential areas to profit with Holtman concluding, “There are tons of undiscovered customers.”