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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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