When people talk about the inevitable downfall of retail videogames from digital distribution, the one topic that always gets mentioned is undoubtedly Steam. However, Valve is here to set the record straight, and clear up what the company views to be a common misconception.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Valve’s Doug Lombardi says that “A lot of the ‘Steam is there to compete with retail’ stuff is sort of sensationalized.” Not only do Steam’s free weekends lead to more players, and more digital downloads, but in the case of Left 4 Dead, the promotion also gave the retail PC and Xbox 360 versions of the popular game an increase in sales.
“[Steam is] about making the games better,” says Lombardi. “It’s currently a great marketing and promotions channel, and yeah we sell games over it and that’s great, but whether people buy games at GameStop, or GAME UK, or on Steam, we get paid.”
“So for us, whichever cash register you want to pay at, that’s fine.” Love the honesty, and you know what, it’s all about consumer choice in the end.