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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : July 07, 2011

Digital distribution sales 90% of PC game publisher's revenue

Games publisher Paradox Interactive says it no longer needs retailers as the vast majority of the company's revenue is now derived from digital distribution sales Meanwhile, Bohemia Interactive claims if it wasn't for digital distribution its PC game development would cease.

by Helen Leggatt

SteamLogo.jpgCEO of Paradox Interactive, Fredrik Wester, told PC Gamer "We don't really need retailers any more".

Why such a bold statement? Because a whopping 90% of his company's revenue now comes from titles sold on digital distribution platforms such as Steam and Gamersgate.

As well as the usual benefits of digital distribution such as lack of packaging, shipping, and vying for the approval of retailers, Wester told PC Gamer it also allows game developers more creative freedom. Retailers, he says, are to blame for the endless stream of 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," said Wester. "So one of the things preventing more creative gaming has been the retail challenge."

So, has digital distribution "saved" PC gaming from not only from creative strangulation but also declining retail sales?

In a recent interview with UK-based PC gaming blog Rock, Paper, Shotgun the head of PC game development company Bohemia Interactive, Marek Spanel, said that "If it were not for digital distribution we would no longer be doing PC games. It's as simple as this."

Tags: digital distribution, online gaming, PC gaming

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