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Digital PC Games Sales Pass Boxed Sales

The NPD Group announces their research suggests digital distribution of PC games has surpassed sales of boxed retail games over the first half of this year, saying 11.2 million full games were sold via digital distribution, compared with 8.2 million sales of physical boxed copies, though they also point out that boxed sales still generated more than 10% greater revenue than digital distribution, thanks to higher per-unit costs. This is tempered by bad news about overall PC game sales: "Combined sales of both digital and physical PC Games for the first half of this year were down 21 percent, and unit sales were down 14 percent compared to the same time period last year." Just two months ago NPD suggested digital sales were on the verge of eclipsing retail sales, and offered a list of the top five digital distributers, which was refuted by some of the parties involved, but this has not deterred them from presenting almost the same data once again.

Top 5 Frontline Digital Retailers Jan.-June 2010 (based on unit % share)

  1. Steamgames.com
  2. Direct2drive.com
  3. EA.com
  4. Worldofwarcraft.com
  5. Blizzard.com

Top 5 Casual Digital Retailers – Jan.-June 2010 (based on unit % share)

  1. Bigfishgames.com
  2. Gamehouse.com
  3. iWin.com
  4. Pogo.com
  5. Wildtangent.com

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23 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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23. Re: Digital PC Games Sales Pass Boxed Sales Sep 21, 2010, 09:44 Ant
 
Bah, I still prefer hardcopy.  
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Ant @ The Ant Farm: http://antfarm.ma.cx and Ant's Quality Foraged Links: http://aqfl.net ...
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22. Re: Digital PC Games Sales Pass Boxed Sales Sep 21, 2010, 08:54 sauron
 
Valve wins again!

I remember when Steam opened and we all bitched and whined about how stupid it was, and how it didn't work and would never make money.

I guess they were right all along.
 
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Kittens!
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21. Re: Digital PC Games Sales Pass Boxed Sales Sep 21, 2010, 04:46 InBlack
 
They are lying about PC games losing sales....Or else they are misrepresenting the information, not including other territories. As far as I know this is US only right?

This is like only looking at US box office sales and disregarding the rest of the world. Which is really backward, since Worldwide sales have pretty much exceeded your domestic market for the last 10 or so....
 
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I have a nifty blue line!
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20. Re: Digital PC Games Sales Pass Boxed Sales Sep 21, 2010, 04:43 NewMaxx
 
Dev wrote on Sep 20, 2010, 21:32:
more profit in retail

More revenue, not more profit. "This is attributed to a higher average selling price at retail." It likely costs less to distribute online.
 
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19. Re: Digital PC Games Sales Pass Boxed Sales Sep 21, 2010, 02:18 GunSpeed
 
STOP REPORTING SUCH THING!

It will only speed up online taxes!!
 
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18. Re: Digital PC Games Sales Pass Boxed Sales Sep 21, 2010, 00:01 Overon
 
Did you RTFA?
Clearly not.
 
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17. Re: Digital PC Games Sales Pass Boxed Sales Sep 20, 2010, 21:32 Dev
 
Erebus wrote on Sep 20, 2010, 20:14:
Retailers are becoming less and less necessary to the success of video games or the industry - as they are to the music industry. Unfortunately only a small part of this will make its way to the consumer, as digital distributors are charging every bit as much as retailers to "carry" the inventory, even though they have no inventory carrying costs, shrinkage, physical (box) distribution costs, or manufacturer return allowance.

What will get interesting is when there are lots of competitors for Steam and the other digital distributors, so actual competition means they don't get the beefy cuts they get right now, and the consumer can get a bigger piece of that pie - or the developer, which is what is really needed.
Part of that is that the publishers are scared to cannibalize retail sales (justifiably, if NPD is correct. There's both more purchases online and more profit in retail). The price points on steam and other digital distributors are set by the publishers, not by valve.

kxmode wrote on Sep 20, 2010, 20:56:
Look out! Angry man passing through. Angry man... passing through!
Just because I'm irked from THREE different posters in this one thread taking the time to post questions here that were answered if they clicked on the link that blue posted to the NPD website, doesn't mean I'm an angry man

This comment was edited on Sep 20, 2010, 21:59.
 
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16. Re: Digital PC Games Sales Pass Boxed Sales Sep 20, 2010, 20:56 Kxmode
 
Dev wrote on Sep 20, 2010, 19:27:
Granz wrote on Sep 20, 2010, 19:24:
This is a joke. Retailers like Gamestop don't carry PC games any more. Otherwise this would never be true. I only use steam because retailers don't carry anything but console games.
All the gamestops around here have PC games. Very limited selection (one section of the shelves or one stand compared to the entire rest of store, and mostly overpriced, but its there). As well, I'm sure that ANY gamestop will be happy to pre-order PC games for you if you ask them, and most can probably order in games availible on the gamestop website for you.

I'm not crazy about them, but they are useful on occasion. And in their defense, there's lots more money in console games nowadays than PC games, so its logical to have that take up the majority of shelf space. Yet PC gaming is NOT dead.

Also, walmart, target, and especially bestbuy all still have PC game sections. Bestbuy I think now has the largest PC games selection out of all of them including GS which is kinda sad on GS's part.

Finally, if you RTFA or even read my earlier reply to someone asking a question about how they measure non digital, you'll see they include any physical disk orders, which includes things from sites like amazon. You can always order from amazon if you want a boxed copy, just because retailers near you may not carry much in the way of PC games, it doesn't close off all your potential buying options except digital.

Look out! Angry man passing through. Angry man... passing through!
 
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15. Re: Digital PC Games Sales Pass Boxed Sales Sep 20, 2010, 20:14 Erebus
 
Retailers are becoming less and less necessary to the success of video games or the industry - as they are to the music industry. Unfortunately only a small part of this will make its way to the consumer, as digital distributors are charging every bit as much as retailers to "carry" the inventory, even though they have no inventory carrying costs, shrinkage, physical (box) distribution costs, or manufacturer return allowance.

What will get interesting is when there are lots of competitors for Steam and the other digital distributors, so actual competition means they don't get the beefy cuts they get right now, and the consumer can get a bigger piece of that pie - or the developer, which is what is really needed.
 
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14. Re: Digital PC Games Sales Pass Boxed Sales Sep 20, 2010, 20:05 Prez
 
Personally, I can't remember my last retail purchase. Virtually all of my gaming dollars in the last 5 years have been for digital purchases. I used to be like SV; I had a massive box collection I was quite proud of. Then I became obsessed with reducing the clutter in my house ( I guess I'm something of a pack rat) and the boxes all went. It was a BIG haul on garbage day.

I even went so far as to buy PowerISO and make digital archives of all my old game CD's, threw away all the cases, and have a small stack of CD/DVD folders with my entire library, while I only install from virtual drives anymore. I guess you can say I went whole hog on the whole "digital switch" thing.

Honestly, if retail PC games disappeared completely, I'm not sure I would care.
 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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13. Re: Digital PC Games Sales Pass Boxed Sales Sep 20, 2010, 19:40 StingingVelvet
 
Granz wrote on Sep 20, 2010, 19:24:
This is a joke. Retailers like Gamestop don't carry PC games any more. Otherwise this would never be true. I only use steam because retailers don't carry anything but console games.

My local Target, Best Buy and Wal-Mart all have good selections of PC games (though Wal-Mart just cut theirs down from 3 shelf sections to 2). Gamestop stopped selling them because they get most of their profit from resale games, which is only possible on consoles.

And amazon sells a lot of PC games, and that is where I get all my titles. They have 99cent release day shipping now too, so there's no excuse not to get your games there if you want a box.
 
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12. Re: Digital PC Games Sales Pass Boxed Sales Sep 20, 2010, 19:27 Dev
 
Granz wrote on Sep 20, 2010, 19:24:
This is a joke. Retailers like Gamestop don't carry PC games any more. Otherwise this would never be true. I only use steam because retailers don't carry anything but console games.
All the gamestops around here have PC games. Very limited selection (one section of the shelves or one stand compared to the entire rest of store, and mostly overpriced, but its there). As well, I'm sure that ANY gamestop will be happy to pre-order PC games for you if you ask them, and most can probably order in games availible on the gamestop website for you.

I'm not crazy about them, but they are useful on occasion. And in their defense, there's lots more money in console games nowadays than PC games, so its logical to have that take up the majority of shelf space. Yet PC gaming is NOT dead.

Also, walmart, target, and especially bestbuy all still have PC game sections. Bestbuy I think now has the largest PC games selection out of all of them including GS which is kinda sad on GS's part.

Finally, if you RTFA or even read my earlier reply to someone asking a question about how they measure non digital, you'll see they include any physical disk orders, which includes things from sites like amazon. You can always order from amazon if you want a boxed copy, just because retailers near you may not carry much in the way of PC games, it doesn't close off all your potential buying options except digital.

This comment was edited on Sep 20, 2010, 19:32.
 
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11. Re: Digital PC Games Sales Pass Boxed Sales Sep 20, 2010, 19:24 Granz
 
This is a joke. Retailers like Gamestop don't carry PC games any more. Otherwise this would never be true. I only use steam because retailers don't carry anything but console games.  
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10. Re: Digital PC Games Sales Pass Boxed Sales Sep 20, 2010, 19:10 Rigs
 
A quick google, wiki check reveals:
http://bigfishgames.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1037
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Fish_Games#Online_games

Looks like they shut down a sister site (Big Sea Games) with free to play no advertising browser games on Sept 1

We posted at the same time...you are, indeed, correct...still sucks though, at least for the more casual players out there who don't see games they play on-line as suitable to be bought...however, there was significant advertising on the site, so I don't know where the 'free to play, no ads' comes from... *another shrug*


=-Rigs-=
 
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'I know what you think you are, what you want us to believe! But I don't buy it! For three years now you've been pulling everyone's strings, getting us to do all the work, and you haven't done a damn thing except stand there and look cryptic.'
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9. Re: Digital PC Games Sales Pass Boxed Sales Sep 20, 2010, 19:04 Dev
 
To me, the lopsided revenue of digital vs retail is significant. I think it indicates that a lot of people are buying during the sales of sites like steam, whereas when buying at retail at places like gamestop they are much less likely to run sales on non used games.
Thus, I think there's significantly higher demand at the lower price points. That's common sense logic, but now we see the numbers back up the logic.

Rigs wrote on Sep 20, 2010, 19:00:
BigFish just shut down the other day, didn't they? I know my Mom was in a tivvy because she couldn't play her games anymore... *shrug*


=-Rigs-=

A quick google, wiki check reveals:
http://bigfishgames.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1037
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Fish_Games#Online_games

Looks like they shut down a sister site (Big Sea Games) with free to play no advertising browser games on Sept 1
 
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8. Re: Digital PC Games Sales Pass Boxed Sales Sep 20, 2010, 19:00 Rigs
 
BigFish just shut down the other day, didn't they? I know my Mom was in a tivvy because she couldn't play her games anymore... *shrug*

EDIT: After going to the site and conferring with said Mom, we found that the free Bingo and Card games (like Solitaire) are gone, along with their chat feature, and now they just have games available everywhere else...you know, for MONEY...Seems, to always come down to that...My Mom tells me her and her friends had spent like days and days worth of time playing on there...and they shut it all down to re-launch apparently...


=-Rigs-=

This comment was edited on Sep 20, 2010, 19:08.
 
Avatar 14292
 
'I know what you think you are, what you want us to believe! But I don't buy it! For three years now you've been pulling everyone's strings, getting us to do all the work, and you haven't done a damn thing except stand there and look cryptic.'
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7. Re: Digital PC Games Sales Pass Boxed Sales Sep 20, 2010, 18:52 Dev
 
Overon wrote on Sep 20, 2010, 18:50:
What good is the NPD Group conclusions, when they don't describe their methodology?

Did you RTFA?
Methodology:

Information contained in this press release sources from two of The NPD Group's ongoing consumer services covering the games industry:

- Games Acquisition Monitor

The NPD Group's Games Acquisition Monitor is a quarterly tracker which measures both digital and physical forms of games acquisition activity, volume, awareness and usage of retailers and services, as well as other technology and entertainment activities that could influence game acquisition trends. It is based on online survey responses from over 8,000 members of NPD's online consumer panel. Data is weighted and projected to be representative of the U.S. population ages 2 and older.

- NPD Consumer Tracker

NPD collects data on PC game purchases via its weekly video games consumer survey. Each week, over 180,000 individuals are selected from the NPD online consumer panel to participate in one of four weekly studies. The responding sample is demographically weighted and projected through a series of steps to represent the Total Adult (18+) and Total Teen (13-17) U.S. population. Respondents to the survey report whether in the past week they purchased a PC game on a disc or downloaded the game from a website directly to their computers.

Only digital purchases of games from the above websites are tracked in this report. Shipped boxed products from these sites are not covered; information about these can be obtained through our PC Retail Tracking service.

-------

DangerDog wrote on Sep 20, 2010, 18:51:
Did they only collect data from retail outlet "brick and mortar" stores? I haven't bought a game from the likes of Gamestop or Bestbuy in years.

I mostly buy from Amazon or Gogamer, I still prefer boxed copies especially when you're looking at a massive chunk of data to download, having a printed manual is still nice to have.

Steam is okay, when games are on sale.
I believe the above also answers your question (purchase of PC game on disc or download directly from website)

This comment was edited on Sep 20, 2010, 18:57.
 
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6. Re: Digital PC Games Sales Pass Boxed Sales Sep 20, 2010, 18:51 DangerDog
 
Did they only collect data from retail outlet "brick and mortar" stores? I haven't bought a game from the likes of Gamestop or Bestbuy in years.

I mostly buy from Amazon or Gogamer, I still prefer boxed copies especially when you're looking at a massive chunk of data to download, having a printed manual is still nice to have.

Steam is okay, when games are on sale.
 
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5. Re: Digital PC Games Sales Pass Boxed Sales Sep 20, 2010, 18:50 Overon
 
Question: What good is the NPD Group conclusions, when they don't describe their methodology?  
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4. Re: Digital PC Games Sales Pass Boxed Sales Sep 20, 2010, 18:47 StingingVelvet
 
Hump wrote on Sep 20, 2010, 18:39:
makes no difference anymore anyhow since most boxed PC games will be using applications like STEAM so you can't transfer ownership anymore. Why bother going to the store?

Well my main reason is I have kept my entire PC games collection, so adding another title to the shelf is a nice collection continuation, even if boxes today suck ass.

Secondly I tend to crack all my DRM protected games to make backups, and there is a certain line of thought that if you own the game physically you have some rights you might not have otherwise, however factual that line of thought is.
 
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