Friday, March 13, 2009

Where do you buy your games from?

Walking into a store to purchase a computer game has sometimes led to being told they were out of copies at the moment, either because of popularity, or lack thereof. Other times, maybe because I'm a girl, it's led to an employees trying to tell me what my preferences in a game are, such as trying to get me to buy World of Warcraft instead of, or along with the purchase I had in mind, Team Fortress 2.

These kinds of experiences, although only nuisances at times, have changed the way I purchase games. It's been a long time since companies like Best Buy and GameStop have seen my face around their establishments. Recent years have brought along digital distribution services that have so far, exceeded my expectations as a customer. Services such as Steam, Good Old Games, and Impulse have allowed me not to have to deal with the poor customer service, and although their game libraries don't include every single title out there, what is available never runs out of stock.

Once downside to this innovative service would be that some games would take days to finish downloading on a slower internet connection, but at the same time you would never have to worry about where you last saw the disk required to play the game. Recent weeks have also brought along some pricing experiments from one of the distributors, Steam, which has resulted in the argument that selling games at lower prices would increase overall revenue and make the community much more enthusiastic about the game.

For an example of the effects seen from Steam's experiment, click here.