Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Retailers angry about Steam; consumers shrug.

Some British retailers are all in a snit about Steam and are threatening to not carry titles that are sold online.

I'm not quite sure how this is any different than the way things are now. The last time I stepped into a video game store the PC games section was non-existent save for the token Sims copy, replaced almost entirely with used copies of Gears of War and Halo.

Buying games in a store used to be a treat, you'd get a well designed box loaded with a decent manual, perhaps a book detailing the back story, and sometimes collectors memorabilia. Before the days of the collectors edition that's what you would get if you bought the normal run-of-the-mill standard edition.

Now game boxes contain nothing but the slimmest of slim manuals (soon to disappear, mark my words), and an online activation code. This is somewhat understandable as video game prices have remained static in the last 15-20 years even in the face of ever increasing costs and inflation.

Buying online saves the trip to the mall, waiting in line, pre-ordering, you name it. I get the game I want, when I want, and these days I'm not missing any part of the experience.

Retailers are free to stop carrying PC games but, really, they already stopped three years ago.

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