Posted on May 31, 2008, Chris Valve’s Digital Sales Ready to Overtake Those at Retail
We know that Valve is raking in the cash from games sold through Steam, but Valve prez Gabe Newell has revealed that within the next several months, they’ll be making more from digital distribution than they do at stores, according to GI.biz.
“We see sub ten per cent growth rates in our core, packaged retail business,” Newell said. “Right now we’re seeing close to 200 per cent growth in the alternative ways of connecting with customers.
“It will actually pass over in the next three months, how much of our business is coming from retail versus how much is coming from other channels,” he said.
Many gamers would still prefer to have a physical copy of the game that they can hold. And who could blame them? A reporter pointed this out, to which Newell said, “At this point, people have had Steam long enough that their experience is that Steam is more reliable than physical media.”
Add in support for Steam Cloud and the ability to access your games and saves from any computer, and it’s hard to really argue with him. Lose or scratch a game disc, or misplace the CD-key, and you’re suddenly out of luck.
Newell also addressed the concept of Steam distributing non-game related media, and how Valve is looking at that in the long-term. “It’s something that we’re looking at,” he said. “Right now we’re focused on games… but I think as we get more mature, there’s no reason that we wouldn’t.”
One thing that got me very excited about that possibility: Newell talked about the potential to distribute Firefox, where Steam Cloud could be used to allow you to access your bookmarks and settings.