Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

The Final Brick (and Mortar) Wall Begins to Crumble…

Posted by Rampant Coyote on July 24, 2013

After decades of brick & mortar sales leading the way, of where fealty to game stores and Wal*Mart were paramount, I guess you can say that things have finally, officially reversed…

EA Reports Digital Revenues Outpace Brick-and-Mortar Sales

An online friend noted that a big chunk of that is probably due to DLC sales. I was wondering how much of that was PC game revenue – I still imagine it’s a pretty big chunk.  This has been the way of things for the PC games for a long time. EA is not a strong presence in the mobile markets, where it has always been about online sales But we’re talking AAA game publishers, principally console-dominant… the last bastion of brick-and-mortar based sales. While it’s not going away entirely (nor would I want it to), it does appear it is finally the secondary market.

There was a time when a I made a weekly pilgrimage to a Software Etc., Electronics Boutique, or Babbages. (What’s left of all three became GameStop). Between that and gaming magazines, I’d keep up with what was happening in the gaming world. I’d window shop like crazy, maybe buy a magazine. At the time, I could afford maybe one game every month or two, so it was always an agonizing decision over which one I’d get.  I’d review the screenshots and descriptions on the back of each box several times. I’d ask the clerks at the stores what they’d heard. And no matter what, the games I didn’t get would, in my mind, be amazing virtual adventures that were absolute gems of awesomeness…

Maybe that’s why I’m such a sucker for the big bundles and sales at gaming sites. I’m compensating for the past.

It’s been about a year and a half since I last bought a game at a store. It was Skyrim, for the PC. I bought it with some cash I’d been given for Christmas. I’m on DSL, so normally buying a new AAA game involves an overnight download. It was nice to be able to come home from the store and get the game installed and playing within an hour.

The next day, the game went on sale on Steam for something like $20 less than I’d paid for it…

I’m not buying many AAA console games (which – at least for the pathetic hard drive of my XBox 360 – are still disc-based for me). I’ve got a backlog of games to play as it is. And most the games I play these days are indie anyway, and so primarily or exclusively downloadable. And I’m primarily a PC gamer, so stores don’t usually stock what I want to play, anyway.

So… while it’s kinda interesting to see that the last wall is finally crumbling, it’s not something that I can say truly impacts me.  Not anymore. The only parts I miss are the ones that went away a long time ago.

Filed Under: Biz, Mainstream Games - Comments: Read the First Comment

  • Olly said,

    If I had the funds, I would be sorely tempted to create a new video game store in a local town and call it “Bricks and Mortar”. I’d try all sorts of innovative things that would almost cetainly fail, lose me all my investment due to the failing market, and be a complete waste of time. Maybe it’s for the best that I don’t have the funds…

    I still want my combined video/board/TCG gaming store with pay to play consoles though!