PC Gamers Poll - Digital Distribution

A lot of industry bloggers are saying how the move to digital distribution for PC games specially, is picking up at a very rapid pace. So I had an idea for a poll:

What percent of the games you have purchased this year have been purchased through a digital distribution outlet (like pulse, steam, direct2drive, gamers gate, publisher website, etc)? Please also include into your calculations, games you PLAN to purchase before the end of the year this holiday season.

I’ll go first:

out of 10 games I’ve purchased this year (plan to purchase) 8 have been (will be) purchased through digital distribution. That’s 80% for me.

Zero. And, if I have anything to say about it, that number shall remain stable.

I do not trust the publisher of any software to keep sufficient track of whether or not I have paid for a copy of a game to allow me a free download when the original machine I installed it on dies. I want to have the media, in my hands, so I can reinstall the app if something goes south.

Zero for me. Apart from demos downloaded.

I did download the full *City of Heroes *with 14 day trial, and could have paid for the full game right then and there, but a) I wasn’t really getting out of it as much as I would like for an extra subscription per month and b) even if I did decide to buy it outright, I would have traipsed right down to Best Buy to get the discs. I need the discs. The make me feel all warm and fuzzy knowing they’re right there.

Nine (four of which are expansions) out of about 12. I’ve come to not like Digital Distribution because I tend to see less customer support for those than their counterparts on disc. Seems like just about everywhere I go to patch one of these, I see “for CD version only”.

This practice needs to stop unless companies want customers to stop using direct downloads.

I have to agree, but I did pick up one piece of software this way. It was not actually a game though but a piece of mapping software. Overall I want to buy my software on actual media. Companies have a nasty habit of going out of business and I am currently playing one game from 1994 and another from 2004 that did go under. Of course as you can tell from those years, I am not a very serious gamer.

Every PC game I bought this year was digitally distributed. All via Steam.

The only pc game I’ve bought so far this year is only available by download, as far as I know.

I will be buying the new WoW WotLK expansion next month. I don’t know if it will be available for purchase by download. Sometimes you get special in game perks for buying online, or buying the “Collector’s Edition” hardcopy. Haven’t heard what WoW plans to do yet, so I haven’t decided how I’ll make the purchase.

Dozens of games purchased; 0 PC downloads. There are a few downloads from the Wiiware service and I’m not particularly fond of that (I’d say there were three of them this year). I want physical medium so that short of someone breaking into my house and stealing it there’s no chance of it ever being taken away from me.

In terms of MMO’s, however, I have no problem with download only since in that case I’m buying a service. I don’t play a lot of them, though.

I haven’t bought anything via download this year, but I have in the past (all the NWN premium mods.) I haven’t really had a problem with those, but then again I can only assume that the server is up and running for the authentication and I hope they’ll patch it to remove that requirement when they EOL the software.

A rough estimate: 4 out of 7.
Usually my decision-making process is thus:

  1. Go to game store. Note the severe lack of shelf space for PC games. Note that, despite the lack of shelf space, there are 800 copies of Madden and the latest WOW expansion, but nothing by any lesser known companies. Fail to find a game that I’m interested in.
  2. Alternatively, assume that I won’t be able to find something I like due to severe lack of shelf space, and save myself cost of gas by not driving to store.
  3. Look into buying game online.
  4. Realize there is an option to simply download the game.
  5. Realize I can start playing the game in a few hours rather than a few days if I use digital distribution.

That’s really the only reason I use it – stores rarely have copies of a game I’m interested in, and when it comes to a choice between waiting for a delivery or waiting for a download, well…I want (near-)instant gratification, dammit! :slight_smile:

Side question: what other forms of DD are there besides Steam? I’d love to be able to download Mafia and the only distributors who have it are sleazy-looking Amazon stores.

There’s Impulse from Stardock, Direct2Drive, GamersGate, some publishers have digital downloads. EA and Bioware have a lot of offerings. There are also a lot of subscription based services, where you pay a monthly fee and have access to a ton of new, but mostly good classic games.

I’ve got GameTap. I didn’t know there were others.

About 80% of my game purchases are digitally distributed - through Steam primarily. Store-bought games are exclusively console, now, and if Microsoft ever starts offering the same options for XBox I’ll quickly stop frequenting game store altogether.

I guess I’m a little less survivalist about my games than others are - Valve abruptly going out of business isn’t exactly high on my list of concerns. :dubious:

One via Steam, Hinterland, because digital distribution was the only available way of getting it.

Otherwise, I still vastly prefer picking it up The Old Way. Off hand I’d guess I’ve gotten four or five other PC games this year and plan to get at least a couple more? I bought a lot more PC games back when they made more PC games that interested me. It also helps that the ones I have bought this year have been big time sinks (Sins and King’s Bounty off the top of my head, and Mass Effect wasn’t exactly super-quick either).

I generally try to buy digitally because it supports the developers more (I think) - as it is, it’s sort of like buying music where the publisher gets a huge cut and the developer relatively smaller. Digital distribution removes some of the expense and importance of the publisher.

About 80% of my PC purchases have been through Steam. Other downloadable services may come and go, but the day Valve takes all our game licenses and runs to the Bahamas is the day all of PC videogaming dies, as far as I’m concerned.

I am extremely amused by this idea that having a physical medium for what are now online-enhanced or even online-only (in the case of MMO) games somehow helps the retail process. Having a manual is nice, but I’m well over the idea that I may soon reach a dystopian future with no internet and the only way to play my unpatched version of Oblivion is to have the v1.00 discs right there with me.

There are just too many seriously excellent games (e.g. Braid, Pixeljunk Eden, Poker Smash, Mega Man 9) that don’t exist physically for me to seriously believe gaming is about discs and drives anymore.

I’ve bought 10 or so thru Steam and only 2 (Bioshock and Spore) on DVD. Most of the Steam games have been cheap & cheerful titles (Peggle, Trials 2) that probably wouldn’t exist if digital distribution didn’t exist.

I guess 2 out of around 10 games I’ve bought this year were digital downloads. I walk from work to a bus station, right past a game store, everyday; so it’s very convenient to nip in and buy the latest games.

The 2 games I downloaded were both older games that the store didn’t stock.

I quite like digital downloads. I used Direct2Drive and I can download them whenever I want. I also love not having to root around for CDs. I know that the games need different patches but I don’t think that will be much of a problem.

It’s not like I’m missing out on a manual… Grumbles Only 1 of the 8 games I bought from a store has a half-decent one.

Same here.

My PS3 purchases are heavily slanted toward digital downloads as well. Off the top of my head, after having the PS3 about 10 months I’ve bought:

Blu-Ray Disc Games: 3
PSN Games: At least 12.

Wii games is maybe around 50/50. I’ve probably bought around 8 games each way.