Jason Holtman, Director of Business Development and Legal Affairs at Valve, spoke about piracy at the Game Business Law summit at SMU's law school. Holtman says Valve sees pirates as tons of undiscovered customers and calls them underserved customers:
"When you think about it that way, you think, 'Oh my gosh, I can do some interesting things and make some interesting money off of it.'"
"We take all of our games day-and-date to Russia," Holtman says of Valve. "The reason people pirated things in Russia," he explains, "is because Russians are reading magazines and watching television -- they say 'Man, I want to play that game so bad,' but the publishers respond 'you can play that game in six months...maybe.' "
"We found that our piracy rates dropped off significantly," Holtman says, explaining that Valve makes sure their games are on the shelves in Moscow and St. Petersberg, in Russian, when they release it to North America and Western Europe.
There are, concludes Holtman, "tons of undiscovered customers," because publishers look very narrowly at the Western market.