Some people just won’t accept their obsolescence quietly. A number of game retailers in the UK are outraged that their customers might get games from the secure and convenient Steam instead of leaving their houses and traveling across town to get it from their brick-and-mortar store. Consequently, they are threatening not to stock games from publishers who use the digital distribution service.
So their theory is that if people can’t get the game from a store, they won’t buy it at all? Cute!
The move is actually preparatory to the launch of their own digital stores, so it’s not quite that, but the threat of removing a game from physical shelves is somewhat less serious than it used to be. And in my opinion, such a move would be inconvenient to their customers, which makes it something retailers can’t afford right now.
The growth of digital distribution and the virtual monopoly of Steam in that sector are scary things for many, I’m sure. But Steam got where it is by being a superior product, and the way to fight it is to make an even more superior product. This whining isn’t going to accomplish anything, and publishers will probably see that the retailers are blowing smoke.
I feel for the poor buggers; I used to buy all my games “in real life,” but they’re selling games the way the music industry sold records 50 years ago. iTunes forced the music industry’s hand, and now Steam is forcing the retail game industry’s hand. If all they’re going to do is cry about it and stall, they’re just going to make it worse for themselves.
[via Tech Report]