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Publisher: PC Games Going All Digital in 2011

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 116 comments

an international PC game publisher claims that retail stores are pushing the industry into going digital.

International PC games publisher 1C--or at least its publishing director Darryl Still--claims that retail outlets are forcing game publishers to go digital thanks to lackluster support for boxed versions. Many outlets refuse to stock certain PC games, and many push titles to the back of the store to make room for console games.

With that said, it's expected that most PC gaming titles will go all digital in 2011, landing on platforms such as Valve's Steam, Direct2Drive, and more. There's still demand for boxed version according to Still, however retail isn't meeting those demands by offering a limited selection at the back of the store.

"You just have to head into a games store and look for their PC titles, and you’ll see there is no focus, listings or promotions for them," he told MCV. "It is extra strange because there is a much better margin on PC games. The industry should be embracing PC more enthusiastically. Digital proves there is a consumer waiting for it. But these consumers are now more than happy to click the download button."

He also said that despite predictions that more than 50-percent of revenues will be earned digitally, he estimates that Q1 2011 will be when PC games go completely digital. The drawback is that there are many digital platforms on the Internet--publishers are having to choose the right ones carefully, as some may succeed where others won't. Still, it doesn't seem that publishers have any choice.

"If the PC games market has to wait until 2013 then we are all in trouble," he said.

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  • 26 Hide
    JAYDEEJOHN , January 15, 2010 10:21 PM
    Fraggin great. Nothing beats a box, its a nostalga thing ya know?
  • 21 Hide
    doc70 , January 15, 2010 10:37 PM
    Retail outlets? They deserve to go tits-up just for the way they treat the PC gamers.
    I get almost all I need online for that reason.
  • 21 Hide
    craig_98 , January 15, 2010 10:48 PM
    What if you are on the road and don't have an internet connection? I am in the Navy and I play games when we pull into foreign ports or when I have time underway. I never have an internet connection underway. Consoles are nice and all but when you have 4 or more people trying to watch TV or playing games, it is really a pain in the butt. I take my laptop to the ship so I can have my own private movies and games. If all games require an internet connection I guess I am screwed. I know a lot of other military people are just like me.
Other Comments
  • 26 Hide
    JAYDEEJOHN , January 15, 2010 10:21 PM
    Fraggin great. Nothing beats a box, its a nostalga thing ya know?
  • 19 Hide
    chrisjust98 , January 15, 2010 10:28 PM
    Well I am all for being lazy and downloading my games. I haven't actually went to the store to buy a game for my pc in at least 2 years.
  • 18 Hide
    Stryter , January 15, 2010 10:32 PM
    Well, I guess this means I get to give more money to my favorite game developer, Valve, by buying all my games from them. Although, I think I have bought about 90% of my games from them anyways.
  • 5 Hide
    doc70 , January 15, 2010 10:35 PM
    I like the convenience of downloading the games when I want. Besides, the games that I buy can be stored as a backup on my drive(s), so even if I switch PC's I still have my games ready to re-install. These back-ups last longer than a CD/DVD shelf-life.
    Also, I have instant access to all kinds of deals and discounts.
  • 21 Hide
    doc70 , January 15, 2010 10:37 PM
    Retail outlets? They deserve to go tits-up just for the way they treat the PC gamers.
    I get almost all I need online for that reason.
  • -2 Hide
    Hilarion , January 15, 2010 10:40 PM
    I HATE steam and it's brethren. I want to play and not be strung out on the net just to do that with advertising I don't want and "friends" who aren't and all the other crap that comes with it. No box? I'm not likely to buy it.
  • 21 Hide
    craig_98 , January 15, 2010 10:48 PM
    What if you are on the road and don't have an internet connection? I am in the Navy and I play games when we pull into foreign ports or when I have time underway. I never have an internet connection underway. Consoles are nice and all but when you have 4 or more people trying to watch TV or playing games, it is really a pain in the butt. I take my laptop to the ship so I can have my own private movies and games. If all games require an internet connection I guess I am screwed. I know a lot of other military people are just like me.
  • 1 Hide
    sunflier , January 15, 2010 10:49 PM
    I wasn't a big fan of Steam at first but i've dl'd couple of games and its not so bad. The Steam menus are a little confusing imo.
  • 21 Hide
    mavroxur , January 15, 2010 10:55 PM
    Soooooooo how exactly does this work? Forcing game content to be all digital.....with games coming out on DVD's (sometimes more than 1 to a game) and Blu-Ray.... and internet providers talking about imposing limits on downloaded data? Does nobody else think this fail ship is preparing to set sail?
  • -3 Hide
    siuol11 , January 15, 2010 10:56 PM
    While I don't buy my games retail (OK, maaaaybe 1% of the time), there was a study done as recently as last much that noticed that the vast majority of games were still sold at brick-and-mortar stores. I like Valve except when it comes to offloading games you no longer want... You can give them away, but that's about it.
    On a completely unrelated note, I think Valve is going down the tubes. How long are they going to keep doing minor updates to a crappy engine? Where the hell is Source 2?
  • -7 Hide
    maigo , January 15, 2010 10:57 PM
    right, right, sure... publisher are going to LOVE having to use D2D or Steam for all their games
  • 2 Hide
    liquidsnake718 , January 15, 2010 11:04 PM
    I still havent downloaded Dirt2 from steam because for some reason it takes forever and it gets stuck at 0%!!!!!
  • 4 Hide
    Shadow703793 , January 15, 2010 11:10 PM
    chrisjust98Well I am all for being lazy and downloading my games. I haven't actually went to the store to buy a game for my pc in at least 2 years.

    Yup. I get all my games off of Steam (yes, it's kind of a DRM HOWEVER I'd take Steam over most of the other cr@p any day(for now)).
  • 9 Hide
    foody , January 15, 2010 11:13 PM
    My bandwidth is gonna hate me.
  • 14 Hide
    rags_20 , January 15, 2010 11:19 PM
    This won't work too well if Time Warner or Comcast is your ISP.
  • 1 Hide
    rjkucia , January 15, 2010 11:40 PM
    craig_98What if you are on the road and don't have an internet connection? I am in the Navy and I play games when we pull into foreign ports or when I have time underway. I never have an internet connection underway. Consoles are nice and all but when you have 4 or more people trying to watch TV or playing games, it is really a pain in the butt. I take my laptop to the ship so I can have my own private movies and games. If all games require an internet connection I guess I am screwed. I know a lot of other military people are just like me.


    Steam has offline mode, to my knowledge all games work fine with that (except multiplayer, of course).
  • 0 Hide
    trkraus , January 15, 2010 11:43 PM
    steam is awesome
    having all your games in 1 library ready to download or launch is great
    have no problems at all, no hassle, good sales on games, huge library of games getting bigger literally every day

    btw, if you change the skin to obsidian the steam interface looks a whole lot nicer :) 
  • 0 Hide
    duckmanx88 , January 15, 2010 11:50 PM
    seriously keep your crappy boxes. save the materials, the manuals, and the discs and go straight through distribution.
  • 6 Hide
    Gulli , January 15, 2010 11:56 PM
    If I pay money for a game I want a physical copy. I buy them from online stores, just as lazy as downloading.

    There is no technical reason why you can't buy a physical copy, then punch in a code that checks the validity of your game once so you can play offline. This would also allow you to play without the disc in the drive and there should be a button in some menu that lets you backup you stats and progress online.

    All the reasons they're giving us to switch to downloading don't make sense at all: we can have all those functions without downloading.
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