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Retailers Versus Steam?

A story on MCV with a quote in the headline (which isn't in the article itself) stating "Valve monopoly is killing PC market," reports they understand "that at least two big-name digital retailers are facing financial difficulties as they struggle to compete" with Steam. "I've fought hard for my customer, and never before have I had to give my customers away. Steam is killing the PC market and it is no wonder digital retailers are failing," says the director of a Steam rival. "Steam is locking down the market." In a separate report they also discuss retailer dissatisfaction with Steam's dominance of the marketplace, which insiders tell them amounts to 80% of PC downloadable games. Since this competes with online sales initiatives by retailers, they say at least two major U.K. merchants will demand that publishers remove Steam integration from their games or they will refuse to sell them. With PC game sales at retail stores in steady decline, it seems an odd moment for these stores to flex their atrophying muscle, but they quote the head of sales at a big-name digital service provider saying: "At the moment the big digital distributors need to stock games with Steam. But the power resides with bricks and mortar retailers, they can refuse to stock these titles. Publishers are hesitant, but retail must put pressure on them."

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39. Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Nov 11, 2010, 12:48 Ray Marden
 
Well, Steam and Amazon are about the only places I buy PC games now. At least in the USA, things don't look too good:

  • Lamestop: Some stores don't even carry PC games, many titles are only shipped to the store if you pre-order, any title that is actually allowed to be stocked by Lamestop may only receive two or three copies, and poor discounting.

  • Target: Lack of pre-orders, very slow/late to stock titles, small selection, heavily focused on the casual market, inconsistent stock levels, poor discounting.

  • Walmart: Lack of pre-orders, very slow/late to stock titles, small selection, poor discounting, bad website ordering process, slow store to store transfers.

  • Best Buy: Depending on the store, may not stock titles until a day or two until they are released even though the title has been received, stupidly lumps all pre-orders under the same item number (So I can pre-order some version of the game, but not the limited/CE edition? Uhh....,) and weak/inconsistent discounting

  • Other digital services: Lack of unique, first-party titles, typically weaker on discounting, often overpriced, smaller libraries, etc.


  • Steam wins in a lot of ways for its growing inventory, ability to download digitally, and daily discounts. About the only thing that has beat it is the almighty craziness known as Amazon: no sales tax, free two-day shipping (if not release day guarantee,) brought to my doorstep, massive pre-order discounts, frequent price matching, physical product (box, instruction manual, tchotchkes,) and superb customer service.

    In general, if I know I want a product in advance, I will purchase it on Amazon. If I want a product immediately or want to pick up something at a crazy one-day price, I will use Steam.

    I HATE nearly all components of Lamestop, Best Buy is lagging behind on things, and I don't really know why Walmart/Target/other places bother putting so little effort into it.
    Steam is an ugly monopoly, especially once sold, but what's the alternative?
    Shrugging,
    Ray
     
    Avatar 2647
     
    Everything is awesome!!!
    http://shoutengine.com/GarnettonGames/
    I love you, mom.
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        Date Subject Author
      1. Nov 11, 10:10 Re: Retailers Versus Steam? nin
      2. Nov 11, 10:12  Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Rattlehead
      60. Nov 11, 14:54   Re: Retailers Versus Steam? DrEvil
      53. Nov 11, 14:08  Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Dirwulf
      3. Nov 11, 10:20 Re: Retailers Versus Steam? TheEmissary
      4. Nov 11, 10:27  Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Frijoles
      5. Nov 11, 10:31   Re: Retailers Versus Steam? nin
      17. Nov 11, 11:02    Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Beamer
      18. Nov 11, 11:07     Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Elf Shot The Food
      9. Nov 11, 10:39   Re: Retailers Versus Steam? frag.machine
      14. Nov 11, 10:55   Re: Retailers Versus Steam? RaZ0r!
      24. Nov 11, 11:34  Re: Retailers Versus Steam? bhcompy
    >> 39. Nov 11, 12:48  Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Ray Marden
      6. Nov 11, 10:32 Re: Retailers Versus Steam? wrlwnd
      11. Nov 11, 10:43  Re: Retailers Versus Steam? necrosis
      21. Nov 11, 11:22  Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Akuinnen
      7. Nov 11, 10:34 Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Verno
      8. Nov 11, 10:38  Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Shataan
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      12. Nov 11, 10:45 Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Creston
      13. Nov 11, 10:53  Re: Retailers Versus Steam? nin
      19. Nov 11, 11:13   Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Creston
      25. Nov 11, 11:34    Re: Retailers Versus Steam? nin
      26. Nov 11, 11:50     Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Beamer
      28. Nov 11, 11:55      Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Mashiki Amiketo
      40. Nov 11, 12:48       Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Fibrocyte
      44. Nov 11, 13:01        Re: Retailers Versus Steam? Slashman
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