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.