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Reader Comments (16)

Posted: Sep 13th 2011 10:03AM tk421242 said

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Wait... I thought pc gaming was dead? :)

Posted: Sep 13th 2011 3:23PM drunkingamebar said

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@tk421242 It was until the console wars died, now everyone* is PC elitists!

*see details*
Not everyone...
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Posted: Sep 13th 2011 10:16AM Ceridith said

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It's more convenient, easier to keep a larger library of games without worrying about misplacing the game discs, there tends to be less DRM used in the online store game versions, and best of all -- IT'S CHEAPER!

There's virtually no cost for inventory, and replication of an additional copy of a game costs extremely little (bandwidth). This helps allow for lower prices... but the problem is that the brick and mortar retailers would throw a fit if there wasn't price parity. Luckily, the online retail platforms get around this by frequently holding sales on their titles.

In fact, it also helps deal with piracy as well... http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090219/1124433835.shtml

Posted: Sep 13th 2011 10:33AM Stormwaltz said

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There's online sales of games (I order a box from Amazon), and there's sales of digitally-distributed games (there is no box). It's not clear from what was reposted here if they're drawing a distinction between the two.

Personally, I I find myself increasingly have to order my boxed games from Amazon, because the local Best Buy has slashed their formerly-generous PC section, and Gamestop is - as it has been for many years - utterly worthless.

Posted: Sep 13th 2011 12:20PM Space Cobra said

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@Stormwaltz

Yeah, both good points brought up.

I've been a bit sad about the lesser selection on store shelves of PC games, but it seems that lots of other things in Best Buy have shrunk; their music CDs and even their DVD selections (I know, I can digitally download those). :P
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Posted: Sep 13th 2011 10:54AM Greymantle said

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The problem I see with this is internet companies putting a cap on broadband usage.

Posted: Sep 13th 2011 10:56AM Halldorr said

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@Greymantle My thoughts exactly. Already by taking place in a couple of betas this month has me up against my monthly cap. With ISPs constantly adjusting their caps lower as of late...how many games will people be able to download?

My wife and I pre-ordered the digital version of swtor and with beta clocking in at 30Gb already that would be 60Gb in one day for us with a monthly cap of 95GB.

For our household...we'll be buying boxes for a while yet until our ISP stops lowering the damn caps.
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Posted: Sep 13th 2011 11:13AM ScottishViking said

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@Greymantle

This is a huge problem in some places where you might think it wouldn't be -- Canada, being the #1 example.
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Posted: Sep 13th 2011 11:14AM Ceridith said

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@Halldorr
For Steam, D2D, Origin, etc, there are methods available to backup and copy files to other PCs, which eliminates the need to download a game multiple times for the same household. So you could very well still purchase SWTOR through Origin and only have to download it once.
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Posted: Sep 13th 2011 11:25AM Chiren said

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I would still buy PC games from retail stores if they didn't make it such that the DVD it came on doubled as a DRM key.

What really annoyed me is that I bought The Sims 3 over Impulse and it ran great. Then I bought the World Adventures expansion pack from a store, and from then on I needed to have the World Adventures DVD stuck into my computer whenever I played it.

I'd rather use a form of DRM that doesn't require me to get off the couch. :p

Posted: Sep 13th 2011 11:49AM Avernus said

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Yep. Haven't bought a game in an offline store in years myself.

Posted: Sep 13th 2011 12:32PM Space Cobra said

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I still prefer to buy physical and fortunately, there are stores that have a good selection in my area.

I think there are a few caveats to this report. First caveat is the fact that gaming is growing, so that should slow down the effect of less brick-n-mortar sales.

Second caveat we've seen already in general online sales vs. physical store sales related to everything else but gaming (like clothes, books, tools, etc.). This is sorta related, although I would say gamers tend to jump on digital-trends faster than the general populace. However, I am gonna speculate and say this slow trend (of digital PC game sales) will be about as slow as the other trend (of general online sales dominating physical store sales): It will take YEARS.

I can't give a time table; this is like a massive tarball rolling down the hill and 3 inches per year, so plenty of time to walk/crawl out of it's path. There has been some effect, but I've seen this effect exasperated by stores jumping onto these type of surveys, which tend to magnify the physical losses. If I had to guess, I'd say 10+ years for there to be an effect, even then, something could happen to stem it and I think there will be a customer base even after that. (I could conveniently use the supposed death and comeback of vinyl records; it's still a small market, but most had the death of vinyl pegged like 20+ years ago!)

Posted: Sep 13th 2011 1:50PM eLdritchZ said

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Seriously who pays these analyst people?? I mean ffs I could have told them that without any bloody research... -.-

Seriously... another grand victory for Captain Obvious and the Orly-Brigade...

Posted: Sep 13th 2011 3:16PM Sente said

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@eLdritchZ You could have told them the actual sales numbers?

It is one thing to observe what may be a shift in behaviour and another to actually back that hunch up with some solid numbers.
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Posted: Sep 13th 2011 4:53PM madcartoonist said

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When it comes to MMOs I always want the digital version. The game will have so many upgrades and changes over time that eventually my discs will become useless and I will just download the client if I need to install the game again.

Posted: Sep 13th 2011 5:34PM Mykell said

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Its a no brainer for me. I live in Australia and companies think they can charge us what they want and we will just thank them for ripping us off. Take Rage for example....its $90 AU on Steam ( i know its not steam's fault) and $88 from EB Games yet i can buy a key online for $40 and then enter it into steam just fine.

Sites like http://www.steamprices.com/au/search?rage show how much extra i am paying. Since its a digital product there is no reason that i should be paying so much more just because of the country i live in.

I used to pirate regularly but now that i can buy games for a reasonable price i haven't downloaded a pirated game in over a year and i have over a hundred games in my steam list, some of which i still have to get around to playing.

What worries me is EA's Origin looking like it will try and maintain exclusivity of games so you are forced to buy them from Origin. A move like that is more likely to drive me back to piracy than make me buy games at an unreasonable price.

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