Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Almost Half of PC Game Sales Are Now Downloads…

Posted by Rampant Coyote on July 27, 2010

We’re living in an immaterial world, and I am an immaterial gir… uh, guy, er, whatever.

NPD: Full-Game PC Downloads Reaching Parity With Physical Purchases

I think if you were to add in things like downloadable content and in-game transactions for virtual items, and especially subscriptions to games like World of Warcraft, the number shifts out of retail’s favor.

It doesn’t help that you can’t buy PC games in half the game stores anymore.  I remember many winters ago, walking into places like Babbage’s and Electronics Boutique and noting that they had nothing – or almost nothing – for the consoles. It was all PC stuff, baby… mainly games.

Ah, those were the days. I’d look over the boxes fondly – back when they were full-sized boxes with real documentation. And accessories like maps.  I’d look over the screenshots on the back of the box, note the system requirements, and sometimes even wipe my drool off the shrink-wrap before replacing it on the shelf and moving on to the next game.

Oh, did I mention I didn’t have any money in those days? Yeah. Most of those good-ole-days were spent with me as a poor starving high-school or college student. So I could only look at the games and read reviews of them in magazines – monthly periodicals printed on paper, for you younguns. I drooled over a lot more games than I actually bought.

I actually really do prefer things the way they are now.

And incidentally, if you think this is isolated to just the PC, and that consoles aren’t only a generation or two behind, you’ve got your head in the sand.

Filed Under: Biz - Comments: 5 Comments to Read

  • DGM said,

    >> “We’re living in an immaterial world, and I am an immaterial gir… uh, guy, er, whatever.”

    Been playing a little too much Cute Knight lately, have we?

  • Tesh said,

    Now, if we can just get rid of the idiotic DRM issues and dumb stunts like Ubisoft’s “must be connected to the internet to play Assassin’s Creed 2 *single player*” nonsense, maybe the digital future won’t be completely awful.

  • Burt said,

    This reminded me of when I was in middle school, constantly going to EB to look at this one game in particular… To look at all the cars you could play as, and read out their names, and look at the cover illustration, and read about how they were competing in this tournament… I remember Spectre interested me the most, before I had even played the game. And once I had saved up enough allowance to buy it, that was generally the car I played as, and used to beat the snot out of my friends. Man that car was so cheap! With its ghost missle things.

    I didn’t get into computer games much until high school, and soon after they started disappearing from store shelves. But I’d rather be lazy and cheap and order games from Amazon anyway so its no big deal. This year I finally gave in and bought a ton of games on Steam. I used to say I’d never buy games this way because I like having a box and all that. But now I think its just a waste of space and materials. The boxes of my favorite games inevitably got damaged, and the booklets lost. I agree with the above poster on the DRM though.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Heh – Awesome, Burt! Glad you liked our game! (Unless there’s another car combat game besides Twisted Metal with a car named Spectre…;) )

    Spectre was my favorite, too. I thought it was cheap, too, but we play-tested it and the QA people didn’t think so. And in the Arena, I’d get clobbered against the bigger vehicles. But in a level where I could move and hide, I was really hard to beat! (The lead programmer ended up implementing secret “heal up” spots that he didn’t tell us about so he could beat us… we didn’t find out about them until nearly the end of development).

    Anyway, I hear you on the boxed versions. It took me a while. And I admit, I was still pretty thrilled with my boxed copy of Eschalon: Book 2. So I guess there’s still a part of me that prefers a physical copy, in spite of all of my evangelizing of digital distribution. Go figger.

  • Tesh said,

    I still bust out my Master of Magic books every once in a while. There’s just something that makes me happy about having that sort of information (usually only in a FAQ or wiki these days) in a nice, bound format that came with the game.