Game Over Retailers: Developers Turn To Digital Sales

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Video game developer Paradox Interactive has come out against retailers saying that not only are they not needed but that they have been detrimental to the gaming industry.CEO of Paradox Interactive, Fredrik Wester, has pointed to the success of digital distribution of its titles over retail, with the majority of sales coming from downloads through online services like Steam and Gamersgate.

“We’re close to ninety percent of our revenue being digital. Retail sales are like a bonus for us now,” said Wester in a PC Gamer interview.

He went on the flame the retail industry for stunting creativity and forcing lacklustre game sequels.

“People complain to publishers that there are only sequels on the market, but that’s because retailers want to see sequels, because they can do their chart diagrams for how things sell and things like that. So one of the things preventing more creative gaming has been the retail challenge.”

At the same time, shifts are being seen in the online retail environment for games that is further reliant on downloadable content on top of already purchased games.

Gaming giant EA recently pulled its 2011 title Crysis 2 from Steam, one of the biggest direct download sites, while the title has stayed put on EA’s own consumer platform, Origin.

 

Head of Origin, David DeMartini, explained the situation in a blog post this week, pointing toward Steam’s unwillingness to allow EA to directly control its updates, patches and other content specific to Origin as the reason for the Crysis 2 drop from the Steam store.

“Any retailer can sell our games, but we take direct responsibility for providing patches, updates, additional content and other services to our players. You are connecting to our servers, and we want to establish on ongoing relationship with you, to continue to give you the best possible gaming experience,” said DeMartini.

The game is not set to reappear on Steam servers until a “mutually agreeable solution” is met between EA and Steam.

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