A few unnamed, “key retailers” in the UK have told MCV that they are mad as hell about Steam, and they’re not going to take it anymore. “If we have a digital service, then I don’t want to start selling a rival in-store. Publishers are creating a monster – we are telling suppliers to stop using Steam in their games.”
“At the moment the big digital distributors need to stock games with Steam,” states the head of sales for a digital service provider. “But the power resides with bricks and mortar retailers, they can refuse to stock these titles. Publishers are hesitant, but retail must put pressure on them.”
Oh, and they got a quote from Gaikai CEO David Perry, too. “Steam has made it so easy for everyone and they have lots of users. But how long do you wait before you take control of your own digital strategy? Like with iTunes, at some point it’s going to be too late.”
I can’t remember the last time I actually went to a brick and mortar store with the intent to purchase a PC title, even before Steam became popular. In my experience, the typical game store PC section has always been sad, scarce, and tucked away. There’s a reason Steam is number one: no one else is even close to as good.