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On Digital Distribution

GamesIndustry.biz talks with GamersGate CEO Theodore Bergquist about digital distribution, who says their service grew by 100% last year, and he expects up to 200% more growth over this year. He says brick-and-mortar stores have an advantage in selling hardware, "But if it's games only, then no way - I can't see [them surviving]. I've been in e-commerce since 1996 and I haven't seen a goods business model better than this. It's so pure online in its nature - I can't really see how a traditional retailer can survive, unless they decide to go online themselves." Of course, he is biased, but that doesn't mean he's wrong. An arguably more objective perspective on the topic is offered by Capcom's Christian Svensson who discusses his company's increasing interest in PC games with Rock, Paper, Shotgun in a conversation that also centers on digital distribution:

For me? Absolutely. No question in my mind. Digital distribution on PC ties directly into our strategy. Capcom is trying to lead in digital distribution, and I would go as far as to say that in the console space we are already the leading software publisher. Weve had the highest revenue-generating Xbox Live title, weve had the highest revenue-generating Wii title, were definitely in the top three or four on the PlayStation network. To that end, on the PC side, Ive spent the past year building up a digital distribution channel that has about twenty different partners. Were ready on the console side, and we were the first Japanese publisher to do anything on Steam.

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11. Re: On Digital Distribution Mar 5, 2009, 10:37 mixma242
 
@LMN8R

Ok, while I did not mention Empire: Total War by name I would have thought the mention of Creative Assembly would have been a tip off. You apparently thought I was talking about DoW2, which I was not.

Steam is normally very fast for downloads, but yesterday it was painful for anyone, anywhere in the world trying to buy and download Empire: Total War from Steam. In my case it ended up taking @ 16 hours. This was after having pre-purchased the game over two weeks before release.

And why couldn't I just pop around and buy it retail? Because as mentioned, I had a pre-purchase it. Just to cancel that requires sending in a form to Valve, and waiting a few days for a response from their Customer Service. But once you start to download, it is too late; no refunds. The catch is that I couldn't have known that the DL rate was going to suck so bad before I started the DL, could I? I mean, Steam is *normally* rather good.

The failure on Steam and Creative Assembly, as I mentioned in my OP, is that they disallowed any preloads. So on release day there were thousands, if not tens or hundreds of thousands, of people trying to DL the game from the same servers at the same time. This would have been fair if they thought to warn people, but they didn't so instead it made a lot of people mad. But hey, don't believe me. Just check out the forum on Steam, or over on GamesFAQ and see how many threads start with 'how fast can you download' 'steam sucks' 'false advertising about preloads' and so on.
 
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    Date Subject Author
  1. Mar 4, 11:08 Re: On Digital Distribution mixma242
  4. Mar 4, 15:52  Re: On Digital Distribution elefunk
  5. Mar 4, 16:17   Re: On Digital Distribution Jow
  6. Mar 4, 16:27    Re: On Digital Distribution elefunk
  9. Mar 4, 18:17     Re: On Digital Distribution Jow
>> 11. Mar 5, 10:37   Re: On Digital Distribution mixma242
  12. Mar 5, 10:38    Re: On Digital Distribution mixma242
  13. Mar 5, 13:28    Re: On Digital Distribution elefunk
  2. Mar 4, 12:19 Re: On Digital Distribution Wikidd
  3. Mar 4, 15:13  Re: On Digital Distribution Jow
  7. Mar 4, 17:21 Re: On Digital Distribution theyarecomingforyou
  8. Mar 4, 17:39 Re: On Digital Distribution RP
  10. Mar 4, 19:18 Re: On Digital Distribution theyarecomingforyou


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