Direct2Drive Sells Out

By Alec Meer on May 25th, 2011 at 2:57 pm.

Business!

There is Steam, and then there is Direct2Drive, the IGN-owned PC game download service. It perhaps doesn’t get mentioned here as often as does its esteemed rival, despite it having been on scene almost as long and having had a big old slice of the market. I guess it just doesn’t seem to reflect the strange and rapid evolution of PC gaming in quite the same way, even if its catalogue is suitably fat. Perhaps things will change as it moves into the next phase of its seven-year-old life – IGN have just sold Direct2Drive in its entirety off to someone else…

The new owner is a firm known as GameFly, who primarily specialise in game rentals by post in the US. Direct2Drive presumably now allows for the possibility of game rentals via broadband, although there appear to be no specific discussions of post-acquistion plans.

IGN aren’t entirely removed from proceedings, retaining a small stake in Direct2Drive, but GameFly will essentially be calling all the shots. What happens now? A bigger, better Direct2Drive with added rental options, or the slow backgrounding into a digital infrastructure for GameFly’s existing operations – especially given D2D has already been experimenting with digital rental? And what of Europe, given GameFly seems so US-centric?

Those questions remain unanswered for now, with GameFly headfly David Hodess offering only the following: “We’re very excited to bring the D2D team onboard at GameFly and expand our ability to deliver games to consumers. Only GameFly can offer a complete library of physical and digital games for the PC, Mac and consoles in one place.”

What we also don’t know why IGN sold it off, or how much for. Perhaps it was struggling to compete with Steam, perhaps the sprawling Murdoch empire wanted to refocus its efforts, or perhaps it’s simply a matter of an eye-watering cheque being waved. Then there’s the recent news that IGN would be partnering with US high street megaretailer GameStop for various in-store and on-site promotional hoojum. Perhaps Direct2Drive, being essentially IGN’s own retailer, was getting in the way of that arrangement somehow. This is, of course, mere speculation. I can’t help it. Speculating’s my thing.

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94 Comments »

  1. CMaster says:

    Well, not being ultimately owned by Murdoch makes me keener to buy from them I guess.

    • noom says:

      Seconded, though I do wonder how much of a holding News Corp still has in it.

    • bookwormat says:

      I agree with this. In theory, most of NewsCorp’s entities shoud be run by more-or-less independent teams. But the reality is that one is as cheap and dishonest as the other. E.g. Content from both Fox News and IGN feels like baked in the same oven.

    • arienette says:

      One must concur, I refused to buy from D2D because I didn’t want Murdoch getting my money. Much evil in the world can be traced back to him, fact.

    • Dozer says:

      Same here. Stuff Murdoch. I refused to buy from D2D before; now I can. And if they don’t make much changes to their operating strategy then I will be buying from them – there were many offers Lewie Proctor brought to my attention that I didn’t take!

    • Tonkatsu says:

      FWIW, I also never purchased games on D2D specifically because it was ultimately owned by News Corp. At this point I’m not going to start getting games from them, but nice to know that I now have that option.

  2. Daniel Rivas says:

    Perhaps the lack of interest is because it’s called “Direct 2 Drive,” which sounds like the sort of dodgy garage that is only ever found next to an ASDA and across the road from the Toymaster and Dixons.

    • Ian says:

      Whereas Steam shares a name with an East 17 song! All the kids still love East 17, right?

    • Dominic White says:

      As opposed to Steam, which sounds like a gay bar and/or sauna?

    • Rii says:

      @Dominic White

      I laughed.

    • Daniel Rivas says:

      Steam to me sounds like a cool and dynamic gay bar, where the mayor hangs out and gives you missions.

    • Hunam says:

      @Dominic White

      A regular sauna or a gay sauna?

    • Dominic White says:

      @Hunam Apparently there’s was some drama because the Wikipedia entry for Steamworks used to take you to a page for a gay spa/sauna, rather than Valve’s highly popular digital publishing package…

      So, the latter, I guess.

    • Bioptic says:

      Yeah, to clarify:

      All physical Augmented Editions come with the soundtrack, making-of, motion-comic and physical artbook.

      The European physical edition also comes with the “Explosive Mission” and “Tactical Enhancement” packs (which include the extra mission, money, weapons etc).

      All other physical and digital editions will come with either one or none of the packs, depending on the retailer you buy from. Yes, this is completely atrocious. Yes, I am still paying £25 for my copy and feeling unjustifiably smug.

    • strange headache says:

      Oh you ignorant little beings:

    • Dozer says:

      @bioptic HAHA RONG THRED LOL although you’re reading the same two articles that I’m reading today.

      @strange headache Thanks for bringing more Peter Gabriel music to my attention.

    • Kerbobotat says:

      @DrGonzo

      East17…oh god my secret shame. Right up there with Five.

    • arghstupid says:

      Do you have any money?
      I want to spend all your money,
      at the Ga.. er, steam.

    • Zelius says:

      @arghstupid

      It all makes sense now!

  3. Gnoupi says:

    As long as they still sell cd-keys for Steam for half the price (ex. Brink), I’ll be fine.

    • mundox says:

      This. I just preordered Deus EX: HR for $38.21 using the 15% off from their referral program ( http://direct2drive.tellapal.com/a/clk/d0bCW ), if you get people to use your link they give you a 20% off code (of it is above $29.95), I really hope they don’t drop this either.

    • Rush Ton says:

      As long as they sell steam keys for steam play games that you cant actually buy on steam. eg, Brink.

  4. Lukasz says:

    ugh. IGN selling it off means that it didn’t make huge amounts of monies for them.

    that makes me worried. i only own bioshock and civIV complete from them (which i bought via a proxy) and preffer steam…

    yet. the worst situation for everybody (in a way including valve too) is for steam to become defacto a monopoly.

    I am incredibly worried about the sale…

    • edit says:

      I’m not at all worried about a Steam monopoly as, ideally, the future is direct sales from developers to customers without middlemen. In every case I bypass steam if I can purchase from the developer’s own website. It’s only going to get easier for developers to bypass publishers.

    • pandora says:

      The problem with direct sales is most developers want to be on Steam for the same reason they’d love to be in every grocery – visibility – most people don’t dig around looking for games, they just skim through Steam front page (or go to their nearest store and look over bestsellers section). For the same reasons Hollywood and pop/rock idols won’t really die; selected performers earn more, and lazy people have easier ways to find content with bigger chance to share their experience/feel self-realised culturally and socially. See, we are just to lazy to have everything decentralized.

    • Zelius says:

      What we need is a centralized platform where developers get all the money from game sales, and the owners of the platform simply make a profit from advertising.

      …what? Duke Nukem Forever has gone gold! Anything’s possible!

  5. Ricc says:

    “And what of Europe, given GameFly seems so US-centric?”

    Maybe that’s why http://www.direct2drive.eu has been closed about a week ago. No more regional pricing with Euros. That part of D2D had the worst deals selection (none, basically) and pricing anyways, though.

    • mouton says:

      I always used the UK part of the store which, despite being UK, allowed most of their games to be sold in Europe as well, at UK prices. That alone made it vastly superior to Steam.

  6. Lewie Procter says:

    For those interested in marketshare. My data suggests that D2D is roughly as popular as GamersGate with SavyGamer readers, and both of those are about half as popular as Amazon (for all formats), although you obviously can’t extrapolate that data across the whole market.
    D2D actually launched a rental system a while back, although I was mightily unimpressed by it. It was pretty terrible value.
    Edit: Although it’s done on a game by game basis. If Gamefly are considering an all you can eat subscription model, that could be interesting.

    • Dominic White says:

      I’d love to see Gamefly take a stab at an all-you-can-eat rental service ala Metaboli, but I doubt they’ll even try to go for an international audience, being a previously US-only service up til’ now.

      Also, Metaboli is an all-you-can-eat game rental service in europe and it’s pretty good. I’ve been subscribed to them for ages. It’s something like 8 quid a month if you go long-term, and I’ve gotten a lot more use out of it than an MMO subscription.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Dominic

      We have (had?) Gametap for that over here in the U.S. Come to think of it, I’ve no idea how they’re doing or indeed if they still exist, being as picky as I am about control of games I’ve purchased I obviously never tried them.

    • HeavyHarris says:

      I loveee Gamer’s Gate. I’ve only ever bought games from them and Steam. D2D just never appealed to me, they kind of felt like the Gamestop of digital distribution; high price, low selection.

    • Dominic White says:

      @Vinraith Gametap collapsed horribly years ago under Time-Warners epic mismanagement, and Metaboli bought them up. It’s basically a (slightly weaker, but cheaper) US version of the EU Metaboli service now.

      And while I can understand being picky about ownership, it’s rental – the entire point of rental is that you don’t own it. If you never rent things, I’d imagine you’d spend a ridiculous amount on books and videos if you consume either regularly.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Dominic
      Renting movies makes sense, I may only wish to watch them once, and paying $15 for a DVD I’ll watch for 2 hours and then never touch again makes no sense. Any game worth playing is worth playing for a long time, IMO, so the only reason to “rent” is as a paid demo. With Steam sales as they are, they serve that purpose just fine, and it’s an indefinite rental that way, rather than a temporary one.

    • Dominic White says:

      I’ve found one of the biggest strengths of Metaboli is that it gives me an excuse to have a proper try at games I otherwise never would have looked at. Having a single subscription to a constantly growing (they add about 3-5 games each week) library lets me just sample and graze.

      Given my short attention span and love of testing the waters on EVERYTHING, that appeals to me.

    • malkav11 says:

      My issue with Gametap was that it wrapped everything with such a thick layer of DRM that you had access to neither game files (for modding) nor saves (well, for some games – others would plop them in one of the six or seven directories Windows insists on maintaining on your C: drive despite your deliberate installation of the games elsewhere). After uninstalling Gametap actually deleted all my saves for several games, I quit their service immediately.

  7. mjig says:

    I always knew IGN was shit, but I didn’t realize it was owned by News Corp until this story.

    It all makes sense now.

  8. Kaira- says:

    If this means that D2D can “bounce back” and provide proper competition to Steam, all the better.

  9. rocketman71 says:

    Well, most of us thought something like this was going to happen, given the poor quality of service they had with the Brink EU fuckup. It’s like they weren’t even trying.

  10. Alexandros says:

    IGN launched its own PC store a while ago, so this must have been brewing for quite some time. I’m guessing that Gamefly just made them an ofer they couldn’t refuse. If D2D wasn’t profitable enough, they wouldn’t have opened a new PC store, it doesn’t make sense.

    • Sadraukar says:

      Yes, I had come here to post this as well. This part of the story seems to have slipped under the radar of many. When they launched this new store it really raised the question of their reasoning.

      Their recently launched “other” store if anyone is interested:
      http://pcstore.ign.com/

  11. Yazoo says:

    I just hope they’ll still offer competitive prices for gamers buying on UK website and not a $1 > 1€ policy like steam.

  12. pernake says:

    “possibility of game rentals via broadband”

    [Obligatory comment trolling about how buying digitally is basically just renting anyway, because they'll eventually just take your games away for the shits and giggles, so you should just pirate everything instead.]

  13. Tei says:

    Theres another interesting point.

    How this will affect Fileplanet? Fileplanet stoped being important eons ago (the world changed), but is still a historical site.

    • Matt says:

      Fileplanet offers free hosting for any file, so they’re still pretty useful (and relevant?). Plus suckers pay them for faster downloads I suppose….

  14. Dreamhacker says:

    Game rentals by post? What is this, 1994?

    • malkav11 says:

      No, this is consoles circa 2011. They’ve never supported PC.

  15. Lewie Procter says:

    It looks like the IGN store is (currently) USA only. IGN UK are still linking to D2D.

  16. MDevonB says:

    Hopefully they bring more attention to the fact that they have a software client and are not just web-based. And that they also remove anything Gamespy related from the client.

    Good luck to them getting the established base off of Steam Chat though, because if theres anything thats going to cause a problem for them, it’s the fact that theres a whole community sprouted around a storefront.

  17. nootron says:

    esteemed rival

    *rimshot*

  18. Zoolooman says:

    Without D2D as a third player, I really, really fear Gamestop will push their awful promotional strategies, since Steam will be their only competition.

  19. Greg Wild says:

    Hurrah! I’ve been refusing to buy from them before due to the Murdoch connection.

  20. DrazharLn says:

    Gamersgate and gog.com remain my favourite DD services. Steam is nice, but DRM, y’know? (That said, I own more games on steam than on either of my “favourite” services)

  21. Jonathan says:

    I much prefer to believe that them selling out means that they’ve run out of downloads.

  22. Ertard says:

    I really hope I can still buy games in pounds. Quite often it’s about 60% of the price on Steam for me as a swede.

  23. Vandelay says:

    I’m going to go ahead and assume that this is a case of an offer IGN couldn’t refuse, rather than they weren’t making money from the service. D2D has been fairly competitive of late, particularly with great deals of pre-orders and codes that give a good percentage off, so I hope that continues. Whilst that anti-cunt angel that sits on my shoulder won’t kick me in the head for giving money to Murdoch.

    An online game rental system could be interesting, if the pricing is right.

  24. colinmarc says:

    I tried gamefly for a bit in school. The time it took for them to mail me my new game every few weeks was really ridiculous.

  25. mbp says:

    Much as I love Steam the industry needs a few strong competitors so I hope this all works out.

  26. WMain00 says:

    I don’t think i’ve ever used Direct 2 Drive. I’ve used Gamersgate more often, as I can find alot of indie, eastern or unusual games on there that don’t always hit the major stores/steam (Precursors or The Tomorrow War for instance).

  27. Freud says:

    When I buy games on release date, I invariably buy from D2D.co.uk (despite not being from UK) because the prices are at 60% of Steam. As long as that don’t change I don’t care who owns what.

  28. omgitsgene says:

    Hey guys? What if Gamefly takes another feather out of Netflix’s hat and allows you to stream games or temporarily download/install X # of games for a set price? Wouldn’t this also set up the infrastructure for that as well? I know this is idle speculation, but for a company intent on copying Netflix’s success only with games it seems like the next logical step.

  29. Kaihekoa says:

    Impulse was sold about a month ago too so there goes Steam’s biggest digital distribution competitors. They aren’t going out of business though so perhaps new management and direction can make them profitable, successful businesses.

    Personally, I only buy from Steam because they have the best sales, in terms of frequency, discount %, and selection, and because that’s where I have 99% of my games. Having them all in one place and buying them from the same, easy-to-use website makes things easier and more organized without everyone’s third party download/game apps.

    The Steam program itself provides anti-piracy measures for developers/publishers, organizes them well (love the grid view), and adds extra features/functions, such as automatic patching, friends list/tracking/IM, community groups and profiles, achievements, news for specific games, and finally the newly added user recommendation reviews, screenshot collection, and video footage recorded in-game via Youtube.

    The most important aspect is the sales which no one else is matching in the three areas previously mentioned. I see no need for me to use other companies’ products when I know Steam will inevitably have the same or better sale of a game as a competitor and adds all the extras mentioned.

    • GC says:

      For good games I don’t like to wait 6 month for sales, so I buy from D2D, which let me pay in $, or £ or €, unless Steam that forces me to pay in that foreign and overpriced € money.

  30. checkit says:

    Direct2Drive is my favourite place to buy steamworks games as they are usually much cheaper especially if you are burdened with euro prices.

  31. Sigh says:

    This is really interesting. In the span of a few months several digital game distributors have changed ownership. First Impulse was sold to Gamestop (triggering me to uninstall it) and now D2D is sold to Gamefly. A lot of movement here, I wonder if it is coincidence or if a pattern is developing: such as Steam controlling the market more than industry outsiders realize and current competitors are jumping ship and handing off their failing business to some other hopeful curator. Sort of like how Time-Warner purchased/merged with AOL thinking that they could make a dying concept relevant again. Just idle speculation.

    I actually liked D2D, at least for the deeply discounted Steam keys that pop up every once in a while.

    I hope the new owners don’t do anything to change Commrade D2D’s downloading client…it is a beautiful creature. It is what Steam would look like if it was released in 1999 and refused to update or innovate.

    • rivalin says:

      I’d say it’s bricks and mortar retailers/renters realising that the days of physical media are numbered. What’s nice to know is that these behemoths are generally utterly useless no matter how much money they have to throw around, so it will be nice watching Gamestop slowly go to the wall over the next decade or so. Still, it should help keep Steam on its toes which is always a good thing, competition and all that.

    • Sigh says:

      About the brick-and-mortar stores I agree with you rivalin. However I was thinking one step beyond that. I am worried that all of us hapless consumers are not really aware of how dominant Steam is in the digital distribution space. I know that Impulse was losing money (I believe Brad wrote this in a blog of his…he considered having Stardock’s software division carry Impulse with their profits from the crapware they load on Dell machines but thought it was a lost cause). I thought D2D was financially strong, but maybe I was wrong there as well.

      I want competition to Steam/Valve and I often gave a share of my games money to D2D, Impulse, and Gamersgate but the prospects of continuing that are looking bleaker: I won’t purchase anything from Impulse now that Gamestop owns it and I will be wary of D2D until I see how Gamefly manages it.

    • quijote3000 says:

      When Impulse was sold, I remember reading that Impulse was actually bringing most of the revenue for Stardock. It was actually more profitable than the company for itself. The reason they sold it was that it was becoming more complicated running both the game company and the download service

    • Ysellian says:

      As long as gamersgate and gog are left untouched I’ll be happy. I find that both actually offer much better service than their American counterparts. (apart from maybe the old impulse)

  32. Cryotek says:

    Just… UGH. Guess I’ll be avoiding D2D as well as Impulse now. Steam, it’s just you and me again.

    • Lukasz says:

      why don’t you like the new owners?

    • Dozer says:

      So… you liked D2D when it was owned by Murdoch, but now it’s owned by some unknown (but apparently independent) company you don’t like it?

      edit: nvm. re Tyshalle two posts below this.

  33. steamingnewell says:

    Gog.com only here.

  34. Tyshalle says:

    Now that GameFly has their hands in this, I will never use this product again. GameFly is the most seedy of businesses I’ve ever had the displeasure of dealing with. And while the comparisons to Netflix are obvious, it should be noted that they’ve basically copied what Netflix does, while implementing just about every shady business tactic they could think of to get as much of your money as possible.

    1. With Netflix, if you put your return movie in the mail on Monday, you are almost guaranteed to get your next movie by Wednesday. That is a beautiful turnaround time. With Gamefly, if you put the return game in the mail on Monday, it’ll take about 3-5 days for them to get it in the mail, and then another 3-5 days for you to get the next game. Oh, this is BUSINESS days, so weekends don’t count. So if you put it in on Monday, you would get your next game the following Monday at the earliest, but possibly as late as the following Thursday. If you do the math on that, that means that you’re paying $20 a month, and at best you will be able to rent 2, MAYBE 3 games a month. And that’s assuming you’re able to beat each game within 24 hours of getting it. Sure, you can always pay the higher subscription fees to get more games, but that’s the whole point. That’s what they want you to do.

    2. With Netflix, even brand new movies have like a 95% chance of being shipped to you when they first come out. If they are completely out of the movie you want, they’ll ship you the next movie at the top of your queue. With GameFly, they couldn’t give a damn about your queue order. If they don’t have the game you want, they seemingly pick games out at random. No exaggeration here, I had a queue of like 20 games, and they shipped me 1 from the top of my queue, and one from the bottom. And they did this frequently. It got so bad that I had to remove all the games except the two or three I wanted right away from my queue completely, and then re-add them whenever my queue was empty. Which is a serious problem, because pretty much every game worth playing on GameFly is always unavailable unless it’s been out for a year or two already.

    3. With Netflix, if for some reason you want to cancel your account, you just cancel the goddamn thing. You get to keep your movies until your subscription ends, and then they give you like another week or two to get the games back. With Gamefly, the process to cancel your account is idiotically difficult. First of all, good luck even finding the goddamn button to cancel the account. That’s a puzzle game that requires you to think with Portals in of itself. Once you manage to find the thing, it will proceed to ask you about 17 times if you’re absolutely, positively certain that you want to cancel. They will ask why you want to cancel, and then they will use that information you give them against you, with more popup windows basically bribing you with deals if you’ll just stick around. If you refuse the deals, they will then proceed to threaten you. Maybe threaten is too harsh of a word. But let’s say that you decide to cancel, but you’ve just been billed again, so technically you’re paid for another 30 days or something. If you cancel then, well, they are just gonna stop shipping you new games. You’re done. And you have like 5 days to ship them back any games you already have of theirs.

    Think about that for a minute. What other service do you know of that you pay a monthly fee for will completely cut off service if you cancel with them, not even letting you finish out the rest of the time you’ve paid for? None I can think of.

    4. Remember that bribe I mentioned before? Here’s a situation that happened to me: I decided that, because of all of the above problems, I didn’t want to subscribe anymore. Unfortunately I was right at the beginning of my new billing month, so once the threats started I got a little irritated about the thought of losing out on $20 for the rest of the month. Still, there weren’t a ton of games that I was particularly interested in, so I just decided to take the loss. So they asked me why I wanted to quit, and I cited something, like, “Shipping times are too long.” So then came the bribe: They told me that if I didn’t cancel, they would upgrade me to 3 games out at one time, instead of 2. I decided that that, combined with the fact that I already paid for it anyway, I may as well take advantage and just remember to cancel on the last day. So I told them, okay, I won’t cancel.

    What did they do? They charged me for another month. Another month, on top of the month I had already paid for. I checked the fine print. There was NOTHING there that suggested they’d do this. So I just got screwed on another $20 for another month of a sucky service that I didn’t want all that much anyway!

    5. Customer service is a joke.

    Yeah, I’m a bit bitter at these fuckers. But I have cause, having been screwed out of something like $40-$60 from them.

    • Tyshalle says:

      Oh, and an addendum to point #2. The reason this is such a big issue, is because you will likely put every game you even have a remote interest in on your queue, but the last half of the games you don’t have *that* much of an interest in. So when you have a perfectly good Arkham Asylum at the top of your queue that claims it’s in stock, and then at the very bottom of your queue, you have Rapala Fishing Frenzy 2009, you’re gonna be a little pissed when you get the game you were just thinking about renting should you plan on getting drunk with your buddies.

      So when you remove all of the games except the ones that you absolutely want right away, well, you might go 3 weeks or more without a single game being shipped out, even if you have 5-6 games in your queue. It’s like the whole system is designed to fail.

    • Sigh says:

      Your post makes me even more suspect of D2D and less likely to purchase from them again for the same reasons that I won’t shop at Impulse now that it is owned by Gamestop (another paragon of shady down-your-throat sales tactics).

    • Trousers says:

      Thanks for the info sir. I had always assumed gamefly would follow the same program that netflix does (which is awesome). Will definitely be avoiding D2D from here on out.

    • malkav11 says:

      A couple of points:

      1) Gamefly is a much, much smaller operation than Netflix. Netflix has shipping centers in major cities across America. There’s one right in the metro area for me. They also have the clout to get priority treatment from the postal service. Of course you’ll get great turn around times if the disc is going from a local mail truck to the post office to a special delivery truck to Netflix all in about one day. Gamefly used to have exactly one shipping center, in California. if you lived in California, I’m sure that was great. I don’t. Postal mail from CA is usually a 3 day affair. Now they have one in Pittsburgh and one in…I think, Florida. This is still a long way from the kind of coverage Netflix has. And they’ve done other things to correct for this. For example, they introduced a service called FastReturn, where as soon as your returned disc is scanned in the post office, they begin the process of shipping you a new game. Is this reliable? not really, but it’s something.

      2) Actually, Gamefly operates Monday through Saturday, same as the post office. Netflix does not. They do not process disc shipments on Saturday, something which has irritated me greatly over the years prior to the growth of their streaming option.

      3) While I agree that the slowness of Gamefly’s shipping was an issue that has only been partially alleviated by their expansion and FastReturn system (it now tends to be about 2 days each way), it’s also true that I do not finish and return games anywhere near as fast as I do movies. Even short games are usually a few days worth of play to a movie’s two hours.

      The queue skipping is annoying but remediable by careful management. I’ve never tried to cancel, because Gamefly suits my needs quite well – I can try console games without investing $60 in the process, and I can purchase them cheaply with case and documents intact (including any one-time DLC codes and similar) if I care to own them – they only ship the discs to renters, and those other materials stay at their warehouse until someone buys them. And while your mileage on dealing with the admitted faults may vary, I think they’re the best game in town as far as console rental goes. Local stores can’t compete on breadth or convenience, much less pricing, and I’ve heard real horror stories about competitors in the rent-by-mail business. I look forward to seeing what they do with Direct2Drive, which could not possibly have worse website or client design and which has never especially impressed with its overall management.

  35. PaulOHara says:

    I won’t be using Direct2Drive again after it’s acquisition by Gamefly Media, same as I did with Shacknews and Fileshack. I only have one game from them (a copy of Sacred 2 which I got for free for winning one of their twitter contests), but I do wonder what kind of hoops they’ll make me jump through to patch it up should I consider installing it again. For me buying games, it’s either Steam or retail packaging from here on out.

    • treat says:

      I’m in the same boat, though I avoided using them entirely to begin with. I got off lucky though. The only game I ever purchased from them was Tribes: Vengeance which ultimately vanished off the face of their site and my account/purchase history without any sort of mention whatsoever, so I guess I’m coming out of this clean.

  36. StingingVelvet says:

    Worth noting that tagline was never true for most of their catalog, since they use DRM. That should be GOG’s tagline and no one else’s.

  37. GreatUncleBaal says:

    Always quite liked Direct2Drive myself, used it more than Steam for quite a while, even though the website design always seemed to look five years out of date and be a pig to navigate through.
    Downloads are always speedy enough, and never had problems retreiving any keys or backups.
    True, it’s not quite got the broader range of PC titles that Gamersgate and now Steam have, but I still think it’s improved its catalogue a fair bit in the last year or two, and it’s had a few good sales in the same period of time.
    I probably use Steam, GG and Direct2Drive about equally nowadays, so I hope that this sell-off doesn’t change too much.

    • 8-bit says:

      the website may have been a pig to navigate but so is steam if you go beyond the main page, I think GOG is the only one I can tolerate looking through.

  38. LionsPhil says:

    At this point, trying to compete with Steam is like trying to compete with World of Warcraft.

    • Tyshalle says:

      I agree, but I don’t know that this is necessarily a bad thing. I used to have a huge problem with Steam like 5 years ago before they got their shit together and the program actually worked. But now a days I pretty much don’t buy from anyone else unless Steam doesn’t offer that game and I really want it (like Minecraft). A lot of people seem to really hate Steam, but I just don’t get it. They offer a great product that lets you keep all of your games updated and launchable from the same menu, have great deals, give great rates to developers, and really help promote indie developers that wouldn’t be able to get very far as quickly. Plus they’re one of the few companies that doesn’t seem to actively try to be evil, and instead have just decided to create a product that people will actually want to pay money for instead of lying and cheating to make a quick buck.

      Plus, as far as DRM goes, Steam is pretty easy to get along with.

  39. 8-bit says:

    They were sometimes cheaper but now I mostly just use gamersgate, steam and GOG, all of which have a better selection and better sales. I would use gamersgate and GOG exclusively but steam always seems to manage to beat gamersgate when it comes to the big holiday sales.

    I don’t think they really were making a profit on it, If anyone remembers a while back they had a sale where every one in five orders were free, they even put the figures up to show how many people were ‘winning’. I think that was the first time any digital distributor had released any kind of info on the number of customers they were getting, and I remember people commenting on how low those numbers seemed to be.

  40. markcocjin says:

    This is why if ever you decide to buy a game digitally, since you don’t have a physical product, you buy through Steam.

    Buying games digitally means that you are also investing in the store you bought it from. When your digital store goes bankrupt, gets sold to another company, or decides to change certain rules, you most likely screwed.

    Valve are trustworthy guys. They are a company that is run by people who own it. They actually care and can relate to gamers. Removing Steam from Valve is like removing Half-Life from them.

    As for if and when Valve shuts down, well, that’s all up to us isn’t it?

    • Ysellian says:

      Or you just pirate the game and when police come along just show them your receipt. It’s not as good as the official copy, but I don’t think there will ever be a scenario where one loses the ability to play their games which they purchase online.

  41. MythArcana says:

    It’s either GamersGate or the highway for me. No circus clown show from \ /@ | \ / 3 on my hard drive, thanks. From there, my games archive to CD with my serial and license info – done. I get my updates from the developers site – done.

    The problem with the Circus way of doing things is that it caters to laziness, dependency, and an opportunist monopoly machine which thrives on mediocrity. This mega-monopoly also biases the media and press to swing their direction every time. If you sell the kids the crack, they will need you forever.

    Besides, after the bureaucrats get done tearing apart our beloved Internet in the future, I’ll have all my stuff right here in my hand while everyone else is in a Sony-esque jam.

    • d34thly says:

      @ MythArcana
      If you don’t cheat on multiplayer, i fail to see what “circus clown show” you refer to on your HDD. Maybe you just visit too many “questionable” websites? Steam allows you to back-up all your games on DVD/CD. DRM is nonexistent on the 30something games I have on Steam( Steam doesn’t add any DRM, the game developers do if it ships with it). Steams VAC anti-cheat actually works most the time(all of the time if you help report hacks, anyone I’ve reported has never returned to steam on same game license and steam account).
      “Besides, after the bureaucrats get done tearing apart our beloved Internet in the future, I’ll have all my stuff right here in my hand while everyone else is in a Sony-esque jam.”
      It bothers me that you compare a company of gamers to a soulless corporation like sony. Your defeatist attitude bothers me even more. That’s like saying ” these 3 guys raping my wife could really put me in the hospital and if I interfere they’re still just going to rape her so I may as well just let them do it and avoid a brush with the hospital because that is the wisest move.”

  42. TheLastBaron says:

    I bought something from D2D recently but I have no idea what it was. I hate good deals on games that I dont even remember.