PC Game Digital Distribution Growth Strong

Giff Constable games, metrics

steamWhile the sales of new games in retail have struggled recently, Gamasutra recently reported that the digital download services continue to see strong growth:

  • Valve’s Steam service revealed a 97% increase in download sales, year-over-year
  • IGN’s own direct download service, Direct2Drive, has also surged year on year, according to the company, posting gains of 56% compared to twelve months previously.
  • paid downloads on Xbox Live increased 73 percent over the 12 months through June, as a total of 20 million users are now on the Xbox 360’s online service.

It is good to see areas of resilience in gaming/online entertainment.  There are headwinds, but more of a slowdown than a plummet.

Of course, on this topic, I spoke to one small PC game developer last night who has found online to be an extremely poor distribution channel, but has been thrilled lately with their sales performance at Walmart, Target, etc. So it is clearly hard to extrapolate micro situations from the macro data.