Are retailers in the United Kingdom discriminating against games that dare to associate themselves with Valve's popular digital distribution system? One publisher says says yes. According to Russian publisher 1C Company, some brick-and-mortar retailers are refusing to stock its PC titles that have ties with Valve's Steam platform. 1C Company claims that UK retailers have told them that if their game uses Steamworks, they won't be allowed on store shelves.
"[Steam's confidence] compares very favorably to that of the retail chains," 1C's UK publishing director Darryl Still told CVG in an interview. "[Those retail chains] recently sent a command to publishers that if they include Steamworks in their title it will not be stocked."
"Those guys need to grow up, stop bullying, and focus their attentions on making their offerings as attractive as the people they are obviously looking over their shoulders in panic at," he added.
Still went on to say that it makes sense for them to publish their games wherever they can - including at retail and via platforms like Steam. Being where they are and the admittedly obscure nature of many of its games, putting their games on Steam makes sense because it gives them greater exposure to European and North American markets.
Retailers in the UK have said in the past that they would fight against digital distribution for obvious reasons: it cuts into their profits. Last year they were threatening to refuse to stock PC games that required the use of Valve's Steam service to install or operate. Apparently the fight is alive and well in the UK. Meanwhile, American companies such as GameStop are finding ways to offer their own digital distribution solutions..
Embrace the idea or say hello to the Dodo bird for the rest of us living in the present.
Source: The Escapist