I have no problem with digital distribution, however I have a problem with the availability of it only from one source.
If retailer A closes some or all of it's doors (Computer City, K-Mart, Zayers), retailer B, C, or D down the block will have the product I am looking for, if not 1,000's of e-Retail outlets will have it. And, once purchased I have it physically on hand at all times.
If something happens to Valve/Steam either through buy out, bankrupt, disaster, or unforeseen problems for any reason (maybe they are cooking books, seems like the thing for corporations to do these days), would my soft copy from Steam continue to exist? If not, how could/would you be able to acquire the software downloads needed to install or re-install my purchased game?
I've purchased e-copies of software in the past from the internet, the entire program (with all of it's executables and a install/setup) is then burned on to CD or DVD for a hard copy backup which I can reinstall at any time. Much like Steam, if the company will forever exist I could keep downloading my copy but that doesn't seem very smart. And while I could make backups of the downloaded Steam content, I can't very well copy it back to my drive and play WITH OUT Steam.
Steam is good for source updates and key authentication, of which 1)works with much the same way with hard copy and digital download for updating, 2) if a company is forced to close, while they can usually write that last patch to not require authentication would they?
I think Steam has it's strong points in that, after purchasing a hard copy of the software have no problem using Steam in the same way it is used now, I authenticate or run the Steam client in the background and it updates my copy.
BTW, if the water now being delivered to my house becomes tainted (good old Milwaukee krypto outbreak) I could still go to any retailer and purchase bottled water. As I am not changed until I use water from my pipe, I will not be double changed if I buy bottled water. Funny enough, piped in water is an accepted pratice today, though, the bottled water industry saw $7.2 BILLION dollars in revenue in 2002.
My 2 cents on why I will go with hard copy.
This comment was edited on Sep 29, 14:26.