“The publishers don’t want 50 digital partners. That’s too much to manage.”
Reading between the lines what they’re really saying is;
“Since we bought a company that makes us a part of the digital distribution sector, we realise there’s too many companies in the digital distribution sector. If you could all stop starting up companies and some of you could just fold, that’d mean a lot more money for us. K thanks.”
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To start with, you may be wondering what ‘Digital Distribution’ is. Well, the name’s kind of self-explanatory. Any service that allows you to ‘buy’ a game as a downloadable piece of software. This (in theory) saves costs for publishers in terms of delivery and production of the physical good. This (in theory) means cheaper games and instant purchases. For the most part, gamers have taken to this new way of buying games very well and as a result this sector is growing and growing in worth.
Naturally, what with Gamefly being a company and companies wanting to make money, Gamefly bought out Direct2Drive. A fairly well established digital distribution service. Hence they now have something to say on the matter.
To be fair, they do have a point. Licensing these games is a complicated series of events, especially when you consider that the traditional license is geared towards the more traditional physical selling of goods. The number of services now running is growing and the law of business does suggest that a few of these will be weeded out, with or without the help of Gamefly talking smack.
The bigger picture has to be that competition breeds competitiveness. For the longest time, Steam ruled the roost with regards to downloading games. To their credit, they never seemed to be taking their position for granted, offering fantastic deals on a daily basis. As great as Steam is though, Notch got it spot on;
“I think it’s a bit dangerous to only have one digital distribution platform like Steam. I love Valve, but out of principle, I find the idea of one platform a bit scary…”
The digital distribution sector’s still in something of its infancy. Many services are finding their feet, many will fall and many will rise. Its up to the companies to find their niche, provide a quality service and remain competitive with their pricing and selection of goods.