At Kotaku Australia we've talked about digital distribution quite extensively - in our recent mobile gaming feature, but also in our discussions on the issue of pre-owned games, and the price of games in Australia. This article, just published over at MCV looks extensively at the benefits of using Steam over retail, and for anyone interested in how videogames are sold it's a must read.
It's written by Darryl Still, international publishing director for PC publisher 1C, and looks at why retail is becoming increasingly irrelevant both to consumers and to publishers. It's from a UK perspective, but still has relevance to the Aussie market. Here are a few select quotes...
So, let’s say £10 per unit sale goes to the publisher, £3 to the developer/sub-licensor, and it’s in your bank five months after the customer has paid out £30.
Compare that to the digital model. On a £29.99 sale, the digital partner will pay the publisher – or in many cases direct to the developer – between 60 and 70 per cent, by the end of the month following the sale.
Wow. To recap: on a sale over the counter today, we can have our £3 by the end of March, or on a digital sale, we can have £20 by Christmas.
Remind me why we should choose to go with retail and decline to let Steam sell the game?
It's interesting stuff, and we recommend that you head over and read the whole thing.
So PC gamers, are you still buying games at retail? What works better for you?