“Publishers are creating a monster – we are telling suppliers to stop using Steam in their games.” said the digital boss at one of the biggest UK games retailers according to a report by MCV.
According to the report, at least two major retailers will demand that publishers remove Steam from their games – or they will not sell them in any form. Currently some of the biggest PC games – such as Modern Warfare 2, Fallout 3, Empire: Total War and Dawn of War II to name just a few – use Steam regardless of whether or not you buy a retail copy or purchase it there directly.
Major UK retailers are now afraid that Steam has a monopoly on the download market and that by integrating the technology in retail copies as well, that they are essentially pushing forward a competitor. According to industry insiders, Steam is currently serving 80% of the PC gaming distribution online. Some retailers are now preparing their own competing services to Steam.
As much as we here at Mana Pool like competition – we really don’t like the sound of that. It’s difficult enough keeping track of your games through all the distribution methods available now so unless they all use some uniform system for distribution and downloading, things will become very messy indeed! Never mind the various social networks, chat clients and what more that come with it. All your friends will be on different distribution platforms and doing anything together will be getting more difficult, whilst it should get easier!
Time will tell. Meanwhile, our own solution is very simple: We just don’t buy at any of these ‘major retailers’ and stick solely to digital distribution. Hey, if you don’t stock the games we love on the platform WE choose, you leave us no choice!