Valve is praised heavily by players of Steam for their great customer service, platform, and excellent prices. Controversies aside, they’re one of the best retailers on the planet. Many publishers worry about piracy, but Gabe couldn’t care less about it.
In an interview with Kotaku, Gabe, Valve’s co-founder voiced his opinion on DRM. “We’re a broken record on this, this belief that you increase your monetization by making your game worthless through aggressive digital rights management is totally backwards. It’s a service issue, not a technology issue. Piracy is not an issue for us.
When Steam came to Russia, everyone called Russians out on piracy, but it ended up being among their largest selling markets. He said simply “The best way to fight piracy is to create a service that people need. I think they will sell less of their products and create more problems.” is what he said about companies that used harsh DRM.
Back in my day, the only security a game had was either being unrunnable on a vanilla console, or a security code that also had to be used online. A rather obnoxious anti-piracy measure was a Japanese game that took a screencap of your desktop and published it on their wall of shame when you installed a fake pirate copy.
Aggressive DRM has had an extremely negative response to players who end up pirating the game in the end because the pirates stripped the DRM out with their teeth and left it to die.
I believe that major causes of piracy are region locks, unequal and unfair pricing across regions, obnoxious DRM, and censorship. If a game I wanted to play was released in the US subject to censorship, DRM, and other bull, I would just pirate it and send a money order to the developers saying “I don’t like the idea of your publisher having my money, put this in the kitty.”