95% Of Paradox’s Revenue Is From Digital Distribution

By Craig Pearson on February 7th, 2012 at 5:43 pm.

Back, traditional media! Back into your cave!
Paradox’s CEO Fred Wester has revealed the startling growth of Paradox’s digital distribution revenue. I’ll put it in the man’s own words, because not long afterward he himself grew in relation to the number. He’s a giant now, and incapable of understanding numbers. He said.

My own experience of digital distribution is that we made 1.5 percent of our revenue from digital distribution in 2006, while the digital number in 2011 was over 95%.

Blimey! I’m having brainthinks about the numbers. They’re both surprising, and yet if you sit and stare at the desk your PC is on, I’ll bet any discs are starting to look out of place and a bit dusty.

Its not just customers replacing one medium for another. Paradox have a made a huge push digitally, with their games on most platforms. But both notions underpin the digital distribution frontline pushing back traditional media, as Wester points out.

One of the reasons for this growth is that we have made a big push for digital, but the other reason is that customers always strive for more convenient forms to consume entertainment. My own personal view is that one of the major reasons that piracy ran rampant in the early 2000’s was the inherent conservatism on big portions of the music industry that refused to look at new distribution models. Many companies say customers are conservative and do not like change — my experience is quite the opposite. Companies are typically conservative and like the old ways of working and making money, basically because it is more convenient for them, while customers always strive for the easiest and most convenient way to consume their products.

I DO strive for more convenient forms to consume entertainment. I’m lazy enough to buy a digital version of a game I already own just to avoid the horror of digging around for a disc. Anyone else?

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111 Comments »

  1. Meat Circus says:

    Plastic discs? WHAT THE ACTUAL.

  2. Velvetmeds says:

    Well doh, it is PARADOX, their games aren’t exactly sitting on many shelves.

    • Cooper says:

      In the UK, NO PC games – regardless of publishers – are sitting on any retail shelves.

    • Sarlix says:

      What about HMV or Game? Surely they must have some small corner for PC games still?

    • Valvarexart says:

      Let me check…. Mount and Blade: Warband? Yeah, that’s all of theirs on my shelf. I do prefer nice cases over binary code, though… Well, I still get the binary code but the nice case is an added bonus.

    • Archonsod says:

      Some of the supermarkets still do them. Not too shabby either – my local Morrisons had Skyrim for £15 last time I was in.

    • lordcooper says:

      As my username makes fully clear, I am far superior to the regular Cooper. PC games can be bought in stores in the UK. GAME, HMV and Gamestation definitely stock them, and I’m fairly sure a few of the supermarkets do too.

    • nimrod123 says:

      try new zealand, skyrim was $100 USD on release (YES 100 UNITED STATES DOLLARS) = $145 local

      on nzgameshop.com (ships from the UK within 14 days) it was $60 NZ = $42 USD, no f***ing im buying of steam

      the same applies for; ASSCRED rev, SR3, MW3, Batman AC. (all these are still $100 USD)

    • Droopy The Dog says:

      Doesn’t “retail” cover physical media from online retailers, amazon, play.com, etc.? So it’s not that unfeasable to get decent retail sales still.

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  3. sneetch says:

    “They’re both surprising, and yet if you sit and stare at the desk your PC is on, I’ll bet any discs are starting to look out of place and a bit dusty.”

    Well, yeah, because increasingly you put the CD-Key into an online service like Steam or Origin and after installing you put the disk back in the box and on a shelf. Having a game come on a physical disk really isn’t that much of a drawback but retail is still far cheaper and will be my preferred method of purchasing until the digital services drop their prices by 20% or so.

    • Meat Circus says:

      It’s the price you pay for inconvenience, grandad.

    • Velvetmeds says:

      The inconvenience of not being lazy vs the inconvenience of paying more

      Hmmmmmmmm…. That sounds like an easy decision.

    • Brun says:

      Time and money are interchangable units of the same currency. Some people are willing to pay with money to save time. Other people are willing to pay with time to save money.

      A very simple economic concept that a staggering number of people fail to understand.

    • Velvetmeds says:

      You don’t waste time buying retail, something that *some people* fail to understand.

    • Brun says:

      Sure you do. You have to spend the time to drive to the store (you also have to spend money on gas to drive there, but I’ll ignore that for now). Whether you consider that a “waste” depends on how highly you value your time, and the value of buying retail will depend on whether the reduced cost of buying there offsets the cost of the time spent driving to the store.

    • sneetch says:

      @Meat Circus
      “It’s the price you pay for inconvenience, grandad.”

      I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here Meat Circus. I pay 20% less for the the “inconvenience” of dropping into that game store on my way to lunch on a Friday and picking up that game I wanted? Or are you saying that I pay 20% more for the inconvenience of waiting for a game to download.

      Hell, inconvenience is probably a good thing for you whipper-snappers and your crazy mixed up language! This is “wicked”, that is “badass”, the other is “sick”, woah this experience is totally “inconvenient” like a “bawss”, “dudebro”!

      Damn kids, get off my lawn etc.

      (Actually, it’s often more like 40% off as my closest game store is PC World and whoever sets their PC prices recently is insane (in a good way), €30 for Batman: Arkham City at launch, for example.)

    • Wild_Marker says:

      Where exactly is retail cheaper than digital? Certainly not on Day 1 (unless you’re in russia?)

    • Brun says:

      @Wild_Marker:

      I’ve been wondering the same thing. Day 1 Retail prices are usually the same as Day 1 digital prices, at least in the US. One reason I quit buying retail.

    • Velvetmeds says:

      @Brun

      Huh? Buy and pay online, just like Steam, then wait (and possibly do other things!) until it arrives, you install it faster than you’d download it… and voila.

      Wild marker and brun – pretty much everywhere except US

    • Brun says:

      So you’re talking about ordering from Amazon or something. Okay. You’re still spending the time for the game to be delivered, which depending on how you decide to ship it, will likely take MORE time than physically driving to a GameStop.

      As for the faster install speed from disk, that’s a personal preference. Personally I think the added convenience of buying from Steam or GoG offsets the faster install, even if the price might be higher than through a retail outlet.

      EDIT: In the US the price difference between retail and digital is usually negligible. On Amazon you may get a few dollars off. The value of a retail purchase in your country may be greater if the retail price is significantly cheaper there.

    • Premium User Badge

      Gundato says:

      It really depends on the game and service. Quite often Steam will have much better sales than the retail chains (for the same games). And it is harder to miss out on a Steam sale (especially now that Valve are pushing a phone/tablet app).

      Honestly, I think it is just console digital distribution (and probably EA and Battle.net :p) that is consistently more expensive.

    • Velvetmeds says:

      How is the time “spent”? You go on about your business doing stuff that has no relation to the actual process of purchasing the game. It’s only spent at purchasing and opening the order when it arrives. We’re talking about something else now, and that is impatience.

    • Chris D says:

      The main reason I use digital is that it’s the shortest distance from “I want a game” to “I now have a game”

      And you never have to worry about them being out of stock.

      And I’m far more likely to not be able to play a game due to a list being lost or damaged than I ever am due to Steam going bust.

      The three main reasons why I use digital are… I’ll come in again.

    • Azhrarn says:

      @Wild_Marker:

      it’s probably location dependent, but Digital Distribution games, when priced in euros are generally quite a bit more expensive than the box copy of the game I can order from Amazon.co.uk. :) It usually shaves 20% or so off the price, even when I include the shipping cost.

    • Premium User Badge

      Colthor says:

      @Brun
      As an example, in the UK my pre-order of Skyrim from an online retailer was £21. From Steam it would have been £35 (maybe £31.50 if it’d had 10% off). The box turned up on release day, and my DVD drive is much faster than my net connection’s 13Mb/s. Much saving, little inconvenience.

      Digital distributors’ sales are often cheaper, but not even always then if you use a comparison site like find-game.co.uk. Or follow SavyGamer on Twitter.

    • Jimbo says:

      I’d say it’s typically ~25% cheaper in the UK to order a physical copy of a new game online (assuming you buy from the cheapest place) than to buy the same game from a digital distributor. Stupid when you consider the physical copy has to be a) produced and b) hand delivered to the customer’s door, but that’s how it is.

    • Splynter says:

      One thing nobody has commented on is the price of bandwidth. I will still prefer physical discs over digital downloads for as long as ISPs in my area of the world charge ridiculous amounts for overage on their tiny bandwidth caps.

    • Brun says:

      Not sure how popular it is in Europe but in the US most ISPs do not have data caps.

    • Splynter says:

      Well, in Canada, the land where competition in cable/satellite and internet amounts to little, we still do.

    • Advanced Assault Hippo says:

      Yes, in the UK it’s a no-brainer. It’s usually around 25% cheaper to order through retail on release than Steam – plus far less GB down the pipe so less chance of ISP charging you extra.

      I’ve never once bought a single game on Steam on release, only months later on a deal. As soon as the prices become more reasonable, I’ll start buying digitally on release.

    • HothMonster says:

      @Brun

      You are possibly misinformed or grandfathered into an old contract. Most US ISPs are now using caps.

      http://news.cnet.com/8301-30686_3-20058933-266.html
      http://www.ozymandias.com/update-on-comcast-data-cap-situation-including-complaint-with-wa-attorney-general

    • Archonsod says:

      “Not sure how popular it is in Europe but in the US most ISPs do not have data caps. ”

      Most in the UK don’t either.

      Another thing in Amazon’s favour is that if I pre-order, the game will usually turn up on the day of release (and once or twice the day before) with the morning’s post. Digital on the other hand tend to be US timezones (except GG of course) so it’s usually tea time before the game is available for download, which means by the time you’ve got it downloaded, installed and ready to play you’re pushing midnight.

    • LintMan says:

      Yeah, here in the US, it’s rare to find a PC game cheaper at retail than on Steam. And by retail, I mean Amazon. (Brick and mortar store PC sales are a dying thing here – lousy prices, poor selection.) I know this because I frequently price compare between Amazon and Steam and buy where it’s cheapest – and I end up buying very few games from Amazon.

      I guess downloads are more convenient, but with Amazon Prime, I get the game delivered in 2 days, I actually get a disc for it, and potentially am free of the Steam DRM (if the game isn’t bogged down with Steamworks). There are very few games I can’t wait 2 days for, especially when Amazon will pre-ship on some major releases so they arrive on release day. If I wasn’t as price-conscious, I’d buy more retail.

      I wonder if the UK stores just have superior prices than the US ones, or if Steam is just screwing its UK customers. I suspect the latter…

    • BULArmy says:

      For me buying retail sometimes can be a lot cheaper than digital. Steam’s 1$=1 Euro policy and than 1 Euro into 1 unit of my currency(Bulgarian Lev) can make some games 25% cheaper on retail. Buying Skyrim retail saved me 20 levs(little over 10 Euro) and as games stores here are located on convinient places like malls make it very convenient for me and I don’t loose time, because I do another thing along the purchase of videogames.

    • Subatomic says:

      Pretty much what archonsod said… as long as Steam is overpriced by up to 20% on new releases and only marginally more convenient than ordering via amazon (which often enough gets you the game earlier anyway), I’ll stick to those antiquated “DVDs”, thank you very much.

      Steam is still great for indies and sales on older games, it just sucks for AAA releases, at least in Europe.

    • Dr I am a Doctor says:

      In Poland retail can be up to 50% cheaper. I remember I could buy SR3 either on Steam for 50€, or in retail for what’s about 21€.
      (Console games, though, usually have the international price of ~60€. That’s because most of the PC games are translated, which prevents them from being sold on ebay or something)

    • Highstorm says:

      As LintMan said, here in the US you aren’t likely to find any sort of good deals in a brick & mortar store, if you can find PC games there at all. In the end it actually ends up cheaper to buy from Steam as you don’t have to pay sales tax there. A $49.99 game is just that, where it’d run me $53.61 at a store (plus gas).

    • Drayk says:

      As much as I love steam there still is some silly pricing.

      Exemple: Mafia 2 is 9.99 euro on amazon while it’s still 39.99 on steam.
      I mostly buy on steam during sales nowadays…

      I paid my Skyrim retail box 13 euro cheaper in pre-order on Amazon. This is ridiculous.

    • Jimbo says:

      @Lintman: Oddly, in this case I think it’s that retail copies of new PC games can be found cheaper here in the UK. Steam typically works out at approx. $50. Ordering a retail copy online you can usually get new games for $35-40 inc. tax and delivery.

      You might not save that much if you wait right until release, but if you keep your eyes open for a month or two beforehand you can usually find a decent price. If you buy enough games, it soon adds up compared to just buying everything from Steam.

    • Derppy says:

      Having a game come on a physical disk really isn’t that much of a drawback but retail is still far cheaper and will be my preferred method of purchasing until the digital services drop their prices by 20% or so.

      And this is exactly why the retail games remain cheaper.

      Retail is a big business and that business is very afraid of digital distribution for obvious reasons. However, since the business is so big, it’s also powerful and it can use that power to fight digital distribution.

      Lets take something like Activision for an example. At least 80% if not more of their profits come from retail, because console market is huge and there’s still quite a bit of retail market on PC.

      Now any sane person knows digital version of a game should always be cheaper, since there’s no shipping or packaging costs. It’s also much easier for the publisher to handle. Naturally, digital distribution is appealing for Activision and they’d want to sell their games for cheaper in there, because it’s cheaper for them and it would be only beneficial for them if people moved to digital distribution.

      So Activision is on it’s way to put new Modern Warfare to Steam for 40 bucks, while planning to sell it for 45 in retail, but suddenly he gets knocked out and dragged to a dark alley.

      Activision slowly wakes up in the alley. Gamestop, Wallmart and other big names in retail market step forward from the shadows.

      Gamestop grabs the publisher, hits him a few times with a wrench and says:

      “Listen, punk. We don’t like Steam and we’d like to sell your game, but we are afraid we can’t do that with your current pricing policy.”

      Wallmart proceeds to kick Activision in the chest and whispers to his ear:

      “Wouldn’t it be a shame to lose hundreds of millions because of all this?”

      They release the poor publisher, he crawls out of the alley. He got the point, it’s probably for the best to sell the new game in Steam for higher price, no matter how stupid it sounds.

      When you buy retail games, you give money to retail business and it can keep it’s grip on all the publishers who rely on console market. Buying CD-keys from services like g2play is also retail business, even if you intend to activate the product in digital distribution platform of your choice.

      So pay the extra 5 bucks to buy the games directly from digital distribution, then the retail business doesn’t get a cut, they slowly lose the grip on PC business and give up, so we can (in theory) enjoy fair pricing.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Hanban says:

    When I wanted to play Mechwarrior Living Legends I ended up buying Crysis on Steam because it was too much of a hassle to go up the attic and look for the disc.

    Incidentally I just bought Crysis Wars so that I could keep playing Mechwarrior Living Legends but Steam and EA’s working relationship seems to be so poor they can’t even give out proper CD-keys for playing online. All’s not quite well yet.

  5. James Allen says:

    I have bought several games on Steam because I didn’t want to search through and insert a disc that was located outside of arm’s reach on my desk.

  6. pakoito says:

    I would love to insert my old game disc in my low-performance netbook because those are then only ones it can play. Too bad it doesn’t have a drive.

    • LionsPhil says:

      USB CD-ROM drives don’t really break the bank, and are pretty handy things to have in general.

      Obviously this is completely knobbled if the game has a damn CD-check.

  7. S Jay says:

    ABSOLUTELY. I bought games I had in disc just to not look for it.

  8. Spengbab says:

    Sure, love Steam. Just not looking forward to more digital providers, like Origin and Impulse etc etc. Just keep it nicely on 1 account, thank you, none of this “EA games = Origin, FREE GAMES OF THE WORLD = Steam, old shit = GoG, games Im never gonna play = Impulse” tomfoolery.

    Of course, competition should drive down prices, but not a day goes by without Steam shoving its daily/weekend/midweek sales down our collective throats (try picturing that), it’ll be tough competing with that.

    • Brass_cankles says:

      Competition is absolutely necessary, and I really don’t have that much of a problem with there being many providers. What I do have a problem with is that for each provider, the games seem slightly altered, as well as the hassle of having a ton of “platform clients” installed (Steam, Origin, Capsule etc) and they often provide their own twist in regards to DRM (and I also like to keep my computer as clean as possible – meaning without all sorts of crapware). Basically, we’re seeing fragmentation of the games themselves. If they could all be like GOG, I’d be a happy puppy. DRM-free, no forcing you to be connected to the net 24/7, no client – “download from our servers and play whenever you’d like”.

      Unfortunately, I can’t see that coming any time soon, as each platform seeks customer loyalty. Steam is complete shite compared to the GOG scheme, but it seems as if gamers nowadays have been conditioned into seeing the lesser evil as something that’s actually good. /end rant

    • paterah says:

      GOG has games that you can’t find on Steam and most likely won’t enter Steam’s library any time soon. No problem with that.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      @Brass_cankles I find using a client with auto-download, auto-resuming and auto-checksumming of files much more handy that downloading 20 Gigs through my browser. Auto-updates are awesome for anything involving multiplayer: I found getting 4 people up-to-date to play a game a nightmare before Steam came along. Gog doesn’t have to face that problem since 99.99% of their games will never get updates (given the confused mess that Witcher 2 updates were, that’s probably for the best).

      That’s without mentioning friends list and seeing what your friends play, the excellent Steam group audio chat, inviting friends effortlessly into a game you’re hosting, etc.

      Really, if Steam games were drm-free (i.e. client needed only for multiplayer, and no online activation of games) I’d consider it the perfect gaming experience.

  9. Lev Astov says:

    I, too, have purchased digital forms of games just to avoid digging for the old disc; in some cases I even did it for the activation code hidden in the manual!

  10. UnravThreads says:

    I wonder if that’s anything to do with 95% of Paradox’ releases being DLC and/or expansions, not to mention their near-perpetual sales.

  11. Turin Turambar says:

    I buy whatever is cheaper, retail or digital (supposing there is no crippling DRM on a specific version of the two). Yes, I am that cheap.

    For some games, at release date, it’s retail.
    For games bought later, it’s digital on a special sale.

  12. Kaira- says:

    But… but I like physical copies more. And I’ll gladly pay more for them. ;_;

    • Phantoon says:

      THOU ART A DINOSAUR.

      Prithee, good sir, let us come play Descent and Populous II.

  13. Demiath says:

    As a matter of principle, I refuse to buy disc-based copies of games even when they’re considerably cheaper. With the exception of the mostly phony “Collector’s Edition” nonsense (flimsy over-priced needless stuff which has more to do with increasing the profit margin than creating added value for the customer), I can’t see a sensible consumer-oriented reason for non-digital versions to even exist at this point.

  14. dsch says:

    For some reason, it irks me when people talk about buying a digital copy of a game because they can’t be bothered to look for the disc. It’s kind of ‘let them eat cake.’

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      I thought of a meaningful rebuttal to your sentiments, butifelttoolazytotypeitout

    • joel4565 says:

      Well sometimes it is not just look for a physical disc…

      Playing game from disc
      1. You find the disc to install the game.
      2. Hope the cd key card is with the game disc/cover
      3. Install the game, hoping the installer works on Windows 7
      4. Track down the patches for the game since your disk is v1.x
      5. Have to have the disc in the drive every time you play it

      Buy on Steam
      1. Click buy on game store page, and I agree after that
      2. Wait a few minutes while it downloads***
      3. Click play button in library

      *** – The download time may or may not be longer than installing from multiple cds. For multi cd games, my 15Mb internet probably downloads/installs faster than 4 cds + cd swaps.

    • dsch says:

      Yeah, I understand why people do it. I guess it’s just the casual, (probably unintentionally) ostentatious way it’s talked about that comes across as a bit brash.

    • spleendamage says:

      Yeah, I understand why people do it. I guess it’s just the casual, (probably unintentionally) ostentatious way it’s talked about that comes across as a bit brash.

      I sometimes buy a game again on GG when I can’t be bothered to open Steam. The time I save not hunting for that icon on my desktop, clicking it twice and waiting for it to open, makes the extra expenditure well worth it.

  15. Belsameth says:

    Anything that can prevent me from lifting my arse off this chair is a worthy cause. Digital Distribution all the way. I don’t often play old games, so I rarely rebuy (tho I have Majesty on 3 different platforms) but when I can choose between digital and store I almost always go digital. If not, I have it delivered.

    Besides convenience, however, I think growing download speeds help as well. Downloading a bunch of gigs is far less of a monster effort now that most civilized countries (*cackle*) outgrew their 4Mbit connections and data plans.

  16. Greg Wild says:

    I have enough clutter as it is – game DVDs are a storage hassle I can do without.

  17. Snargelfargen says:

    I wanted to play through the Baldur’s Gate series, but I didn’t want to dig up all my old disks again, so I decided to get a digital copy.

    I realised that I would have to type in my credit card details and address to buy a digital copy and that was too much work, so I torrented the games instead.

    Now I am ashamed of my laziness.

  18. MythArcana says:

    Considering the fact that today’s CD/DVD media is about half the resiliency of what it used to be, I’ll take my chances on my TB drives. Back in the day, you could drive over a CD and it would still read just fine, which is a far cry from the quality of anything I’ve seen in 10 years. Then there’s the recycling issue and all that Green crap we need to adhere to as Earthlings.

    I’m more concerned with said products being released with game-stopping bugs than caressing a box and DVD in my hot little hands.

  19. Koozer says:

    *Reads tags*
    Could we get this guy killed?

    • Premium User Badge

      Craig Pearson says:

      People have tried. And by “people” I mean “kittens”. And by “tried” I mean “licked my face”. So by all means, send a kitten death squad my way.

    • Koozer says:

      The kittens fail me again! I knew I should’ve gone with the badgers.

  20. Nice Save says:

    Don’t Paradox own GamersGate? Is the income from that included you reckon?

    • Kaira- says:

      Not anymore, at least directly. It’s a company in its own right, at least if Wikipedia is to be trusted.

    • Brass_cankles says:

      Paradox started GamersGate, but the companies split up. I suppose that the individuals in Paradox see the money from GamersGate, but the companies’ economies proper would be separate.

  21. Todpullen says:

    Bleh. Virgin’s ’20Mb’ cable internet is flakey in the evening (20kb!?), and Steam’s offline mode doesn’t work properly, and Origin’s offline mode doesn’t work at all for me. If it wasn’t for some of my games being on disk I wouldn’t be able to play games at all some evenings/weekends. i.e. when I am not at work (where I can’t play games anyway).

    Suspect the ‘offline mode’ problems are to do with the flakey internet (i.e. it apparently being there but not really). Though it does disappear totally for hours on end once or twice a week. Other ISPs are as bad round here. ‘Round here’ being the UK probably.

    • Belsameth says:

      As stated many times in various comments regarding this issue:

      Unplug your network card or turn off your router and then launch steam.
      It has problems with launching into offline mode when there is an active network connection, this fixes that.

    • Kaira- says:

      As stated many times in various threads and forums regarding the subject:
      it doesn’t always work. Sad but true.

  22. Sarlix says:

    “Anyone else? ”

    Personally I would always go with a retail release over digital as long as it comes a decent manual. And I actually don’t mind fumbling through 5 CD’s to install a game. It’s all part of the experience.

    • Premium User Badge

      Colonel J says:

      This.

      If ever there were games that would benefit from having a thumping great paper manual on your desk while you play, it is Paradox’s strategy games. Alt-tabbing back and forth to look at pdfs just isn’t the same. And yeah I have a printer but a proper glossy manual used to be part of the pleasure of game ownership.

      Though the only Paradox game I’ve bought in retail was Crusader Kings Complete and that didn’t have anything in the box other than the disc. I had to google and download the manual.

    • Sarlix says:

      I’m surprised that Crusader Kings didn’t come with a paper manual.

      Mr. Wester, this is not right.

    • NathanH says:

      The original release of Crusader Kings came with a manual, but it was swiftly rendered out-of-date by patches.

    • buzzmong says:

      I recently bought a couple of games on dvd, namely BF3 and Skyrim. These were the first (new) retail disks I’ve bought in at least a year if not two.

      I’d forgotten about the “new game smell”.

      I’ll be buying retail versions more frequently from now on.

  23. frenz0rz says:

    If retail Paradox strategy games came with a limited edition map like Skyrim, I bet they’d probably get a lot more retail sales. Mostly due to of the sheer size they’d be – people could use them as cheap wallpaper! And classy wallpaper, at that!

  24. Was Neurotic says:

    “I’m lazy enough to buy a digital version of a game I already own just to avoid the horror of digging around for a disc. Anyone else?”

    Yep. D2D (now GameFly unfortunately), GOG and the Steam sales have allowed me to slowly replace much of my back-catalogue with digital copies of my collection. NWN Platinum – a few gigs’ download, or a box *full* of discs? Thanks digital.

    Having said that, certain games I will continue to buy boxed – Elder Scrolls, HoMM and Civ games for example, because they look awesome lined up on my shelf. Also things like Age of Conan or SWTOR because I have no desire to download 20+ Gigs of data for one game.

  25. Navagon says:

    What would be wonderful about that is if they were still making the same kind of money off of retail (as in actual profit, not percentage thereof). Paradox is one of the few publishers I really want to see thrive.

  26. Silphatos says:

    What a surprise!

  27. Joshua Northey says:

    I think I have bought maybe 1 or two hard copies of games since 2007. Pretty much just Distant Worlds I think?

    Everything else I have really wanted to play has been on gamersgate, steam, or impulse. There have been a few games I couldn’t find online, but those were ones I wasn’t that interested in.

  28. MondSemmel says:

    I built a new computer in ~09/2011, and after installing Windows 7, I removed the DVD drive from it. I haven’t missed it since. (For games, at least. For some other things, it was slightly annoying, but not enough to warrant having an annoyingly loud DVD burner in my PC nor enough to buy a better one.)

  29. pertusaria says:

    Most of the games I have at the moment are ones I bought digitally, but I am planning some retail purchases this year. If I get a Paradox title, it will probably be retail because of the broadband cap issue several people mentioned already.

    That said, I’ve lost several of my music CDs over the past ten years or so, and Steam, GOG et al. appeal to me because there’s no physical copy to get lost or to haul to the next house (just a digital copy you don’t have any control over that might vanish at any time, but let’s try not to start the DRM wars again).

  30. DickSocrates says:

    Somewhat related: Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 Deluxe Platinum Super Amzing version is £20 on Steam! And £4.85 on Amazon.co.uk.

    This means I am not going to get it, because I can’t be bothered to order it on Amazon and get it delivered and then have discs and boxes and all that out of date nonsense, and I’m not paying £20 for an 8 year old PC game. In short: Atari, drop the price of RCT3 on Steam.

  31. McCool says:

    WESSSSTTEERRRR

    Ahem.

    This is seriously great though. Also of note is that if it wasn’t for online piracy (hahaha) not only would I not have played any of Paradox’s game, but it wouldn’t be the case that I have legally bought all of them, and have many of my friends. All through online distribution. It makes the process of buying so casual and easy, the leap from theft to buying is one you’d have to be a huge asshole (or literally penniless) not to make.

  32. InternetBatman says:

    Retail just doesn’t lower prices quickly enough for me. I have to wait a year and a half to see the price of a DD sale. At that point I’ve already beaten the game.

  33. Spinoza says:

    In-the-middle

  34. Ultra-Humanite says:

    I haven’t bought a physical copy of a game since Fallout 3.

  35. dsottum says:

    I always go with whichever is cheaper, you can always just link programs/games on your PC in the Steam client. Most games nowadays in disc form require you to connect to the internet to authenticate your copy anyway so you can go disc-less after install.

    BTW – Anyone know what game that is shown in the picture?

  36. Premium User Badge

    jrodman says:

    So uh, what if you’re a gamer with slow internet? Will you wind up unable to purchase games?

  37. enobayram says:

    I demand that Craig comes to my door, and reads this article in person!

  38. DougyM says:

    To just throw in some semi related information regarding my own experiences with physical to digital sales.

    The only 2 disks to enter my computer in the last 2 years have been Windows 7 install disk and Starcraft 2′s install disc, the later of which because i had a brain fart and attended a midnight opening rather than just buy it from blizzards online store.

  39. Heliocentric says:

    I honestly feel the PC-DVD (Personal computer – digital versatile disc)header on my games where I have boxes is disingenuous..

    I submit PC-PoPwKC
    Personal computer – Piece of paper with keycode.

  40. rustybroomhandle says:

    You youngsters and your interwebs. Back in the day we had to load our games off a cassette tape, which would entertain us with several minutes of psychedelic colour patterns and noise, only to find that we were unable to calibrate our Lenslok anti-piracy encumberance because the swanky new television was too big. Good times, good times.

  41. catmorbid says:

    I haven’t had a disc drive for 1,5 years now. Every time a situation comes up that I start considering the purchase of such drive, I come up with a way to do what I needed to regardless. So yeah, they are becoming rather useless. The only point of annoyance is that you generally can’t get a digital version of a physical game you own legally, so if I want revisit an old game I have on a plastic disc format it’s either the illegal way (which from a moral point of view would be legal, since I have a physical copy of the product, essentially having purchased a license to the intellectual property), or buy them again – which is kind of against what I believe in.

  42. Cynik says:

    What is the game shown in the pic for the article?!