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  • Downloading vs. Box game purchase?? Why?

    Ok folks... I know if you have Downloaded a game (purchase and Dloaded)... from Direct to Drive, Steam, EA etc... you may have questioned why the thing is the Same $$ as the box you get at the local retailer... I mean generally $49.99 (in the US)... is it just me that questions the logic of paying the same price, when the manufacturer/publisher has less costs?

    I am not sure what ,lets say GameStop, pays for a Boxed copy of a new release, but they gotta be making some profit..right? and the publisher had to cover the cost of the CD/Box and any BS literature (maybe even printed manual ??!!) right?

    So what does the consumer get, besides convenience, with a direct download of a game?? I probably have Impulse bought online my last 3 or 4 games... at the same price or more then I could go down to Best Buy and get...

    I'm sure there are contractual issues with the Stores that limit the price that the Publisher can release online at... but I don't think the promise of Online Game downloads is going to benefit the consumer..just the pubisher..as they eventually cut out the middle retailer and make the big $$...

    My 2 cents..

    |TG|ARMA Pathfinder
    ..now where did I put my keys?

  • #2
    Re: Downloading vs. Box game purchase?? Why?

    There's not much else other than convenience for the consumer. I don't mind that it costs the same. Actually, it's usually less for me over Steam because of the current conversion from USD to CAD. Plus, I don't pay tax so I save even less.

    I do like Steam and haven't tried anything else for online purchases. It tracks which games I own and I never have to remember what my cd key is. It even updates my games. I think Steam is a wonderful service that is simple and easy to use.

    - It's who you game with.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Downloading vs. Box game purchase?? Why?

      Originally posted by peardog View Post
      I'm sure there are contractual issues with the Stores that limit the price that the Publisher can release online at... but I don't think the promise of Online Game downloads is going to benefit the consumer..just the pubisher..as they eventually cut out the middle retailer and make the big $$...
      I think you hit the nail on the head. Until they get us all trained to buy downloads, they need to maintain the relationship with the brick and mortar retailers. Since they aren't likely to get us all on-board choosing downloads over physical copies I suspect we'll continue to pay the same regardless of method.

      I'm new to Steam, but so far I think it's great and will continue to use it whenever possible.
      |TG|Melee
      Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose!

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      • #4
        Re: Downloading vs. Box game purchase?? Why?

        One company that I liked the approach of digital downloads for a game was Stardock. http://www.galciv2.com/Purchase.aspx

        I bought Galactic Civilizations II downloaded it and had the option to have a retail box with cd, serial etc mailed to me for only adding S/H. Shipping was about 5 bucks. I also ordered the expansion this way and they sent a cd, no retail box. I just put the expansion cd into the main retail box. This would be a great way to see other game download companies go. Not only do you get the download right then, you also get your box and disks in a few days. Now that is convenient. :)

        I know some download sites have a limit on the number of times you can download and activate your game. Steam doesn't and I've been very happy with them, I don't think twice about getting a game from that service.

        I do find it easier to give older games to friends when I have a disk and box to hand over to them. And I imagine if you tend to sell your used games, a digital download with no disk would be a big turn off.

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        • #5
          Re: Downloading vs. Box game purchase?? Why?

          Originally posted by =Sarc= View Post
          I do like Steam and haven't tried anything else for online purchases. It tracks which games I own and I never have to remember what my cd key is. It even updates my games. I think Steam is a wonderful service that is simple and easy to use.
          LIES

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Downloading vs. Box game purchase?? Why?

            Originally posted by peardog View Post
            I don't think the promise of Online Game downloads is going to benefit the consumer..just the pubisher..as they eventually cut out the middle retailer and make the big $$...
            I don't really care who profits. Steam is better than retail box and I'd be willing to pay ten percent MORE just to get something via Steam.
            Become a supporting member!
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            • #7
              Re: Downloading vs. Box game purchase?? Why?

              Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
              I don't really care who profits. Steam is better than retail box and I'd be willing to pay ten percent MORE just to get something via Steam.
              Heh... I sense Sarcasm.. ;-) (Or you work for them)
              |TG|ARMA Pathfinder
              ..now where did I put my keys?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Downloading vs. Box game purchase?? Why?

                Unfortunately the majority of downloads are fubared with any number of ridiculous 3rd-party activation-type apps. that many times dont work. I learned my lesson with digital downloads for a few games and stopped doing it unless it was done MMO-style where I'm given a grace period until I get a boxed serial, along with a lack of a 3rd-party activator.

                Why people say that DD is AWESOME is beyond me. DD is NOT a substitute for retail box, it is a tool to make distro easier... and that's as far as it should go. You're getting screwed any way you cut it by the mere fact you're not given a physical item and are paying the same, along with being stripped of wonderful literature that many times comes with the games (and no, server usage doesnt even come close to making up the price difference). You're ALSO getting screwed by the fact you've got no reliable backup unless you go through the trouble to do-so yourself. You many times end up with twice the data on your system because you've got a huge original download plus the installed .exe. Lastly, it can be a pain in the rear to transfer your games to another system.

                The original premise behind DD was simply to get games to us quicker and more cheaply. That original vision is now perverted with middleware and folks who just want to make an extra buck at our inconvenience. It also has grown to cover markets that in reality it shouldnt.

                My advice to those that are thinking about doing it. Only do it if you're playing an MMO, and even then... try your damnedest to get a box also. If it's SO important you get into your FPS server on release-day, then again... make sure you get a box, are given a better deal if you dont, and that the distro. and activation company arent a bunch of nooblets.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Downloading vs. Box game purchase?? Why?

                  Originally posted by Gambit7 View Post
                  Unfortunately the majority of downloads are fubared with any number of ridiculous 3rd-party activation-type apps. that many times dont work. I learned my lesson with digital downloads for a few games and stopped doing it unless it was done MMO-style where I'm given a grace period until I get a boxed serial, along with a lack of a 3rd-party activator.

                  Why people say that DD is AWESOME is beyond me. DD is NOT a substitute for retail box, it is a tool to make distro easier... and that's as far as it should go. You're getting screwed any way you cut it by the mere fact you're not given a physical item and are paying the same, along with being stripped of wonderful literature that many times comes with the games (and no, server usage doesnt even come close to making up the price difference). You're ALSO getting screwed by the fact you've got no reliable backup unless you go through the trouble to do-so yourself. You many times end up with twice the data on your system because you've got a huge original download plus the installed .exe. Lastly, it can be a pain in the rear to transfer your games to another system.

                  The original premise behind DD was simply to get games to us quicker and more cheaply. That original vision is now perverted with middleware and folks who just want to make an extra buck at our inconvenience. It also has grown to cover markets that in reality it shouldnt.

                  My advice to those that are thinking about doing it. Only do it if you're playing an MMO, and even then... try your damnedest to get a box also. If it's SO important you get into your FPS server on release-day, then again... make sure you get a box, are given a better deal if you dont, and that the distro. and activation company arent a bunch of nooblets.
                  Bravo!

                  I just installed a patch on Armed Assault. Asked me to re-activate my license.. Because I installed a patch? BS

                  And I lost the activation email I got. So now I have to beg softwrap to play the game I paid for. BS
                  Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                  - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                  - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                  - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                  - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                  - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                  - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Downloading vs. Box game purchase?? Why?

                    Originally posted by peardog View Post
                    Heh... I sense Sarcasm.. ;-) (Or you work for them)
                    I'm dead serious.

                    Look, I don't want to have to keep track of a bazillion disks. I've got one login and password that gives me access to, let me count, 37 games (only 14 of which are installed on my PC). I don't have to worry about CD keys. I don't have to find the disk so I can play the game. I can go to a LAN party with nothing, borrow a computer, login to Steam, download and install any of the games I've paid for, and when I'm done playing, all I have to do is delete local content and log out to make that computer just like it was before I used it. I don't get silly boxes that are nothing but marketing tools. I don't have to keep a manual on the shelf of my computer desk to collect dust because it slightly resembles "wonderful literature", even though I haven't touched it since the day I bought the game.

                    In short, there's nothing good about buying boxed games. It's wasteful, takes up space, and if you lose the CD key or damage the disk, it's gone forever. With Steam, I have none of those worries.

                    Some people try to make a big deal about owning a disk. Big deal, I can buy disks for a penny each. A disk doesn't mean anything, the value comes from the program that is on the disk. Does it matter if the program is on a CD or on my HDD?

                    That said, I bought the BF2 booster packs from EA's download service. Those bastards won't let me download it from them anymore. They say that I should've burned it to disk. Screw that. If I had wanted a disk, I would've gone out and purchased one. Stay away from EA's service. I haven't used any other downloading services, so I can't comment on anyone else...

                    Steam has done it the right way, and yes, I would seriously be willing to pay more than retail in order to have a game on Steam instead. But don't tell them that!
                    Become a supporting member!
                    Buy a Tactical Duck!
                    Take the world's smallest political quiz! "I was touched by His Noodly Appendage."
                    TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran:

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                    • #11
                      Re: Downloading vs. Box game purchase?? Why?

                      You make valid points CD.. but I would like a Cost savings also... Like $10 a game... Then they have me hooked. (well..they already got me... but I am trying to fight the force!!)...
                      |TG|ARMA Pathfinder
                      ..now where did I put my keys?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Downloading vs. Box game purchase?? Why?

                        Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
                        I'm dead serious.

                        Look, I don't want to have to keep track of a bazillion disks. I've got one login and password that gives me access to, let me count, 37 games (only 14 of which are installed on my PC). I don't have to worry about CD keys. I don't have to find the disk so I can play the game. I can go to a LAN party with nothing, borrow a computer, login to Steam, download and install any of the games I've paid for, and when I'm done playing, all I have to do is delete local content and log out to make that computer just like it was before I used it. I don't get silly boxes that are nothing but marketing tools. I don't have to keep a manual on the shelf of my computer desk to collect dust because it slightly resembles "wonderful literature", even though I haven't touched it since the day I bought the game.

                        In short, there's nothing good about buying boxed games. It's wasteful, takes up space, and if you lose the CD key or damage the disk, it's gone forever. With Steam, I have none of those worries.

                        Some people try to make a big deal about owning a disk. Big deal, I can buy disks for a penny each. A disk doesn't mean anything, the value comes from the program that is on the disk. Does it matter if the program is on a CD or on my HDD?

                        That said, I bought the BF2 booster packs from EA's download service. Those bastards won't let me download it from them anymore. They say that I should've burned it to disk. Screw that. If I had wanted a disk, I would've gone out and purchased one. Stay away from EA's service. I haven't used any other downloading services, so I can't comment on anyone else...

                        Steam has done it the right way, and yes, I would seriously be willing to pay more than retail in order to have a game on Steam instead. But don't tell them that!
                        I like Steam. It works. They did it right and I have never had a problem with them. My only question is will they be around 10years from now. And will they have the downloads still available then?

                        Just recently I installed Master of Orion 2 and Starcraft. Both of those are 10 years old I think.

                        But most DD companies are, unfortunately, not as good as Steam.

                        It is still early though. I don't think even Steam has it down perfectly yet.
                        Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                        - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                        - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                        - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                        - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                        - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                        - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Downloading vs. Box game purchase?? Why?

                          I've got similar feelings to Cingular.

                          I really like Steam. It's easy and keeps all my games in one neat location. I got started with Steam with Valve shut down the WON network and converted everything over to Steam. At first I was skeptical, but after re-installing my PC and realizing it was as simple as logging back in and picking the games I wanted re-installed, I was completely sold.

                          Last year when I went to London I decided I wanted to play a bit of CSS. I only had my laptop with me but that was enough. I installed Steam, logged on, and told it to install CSS. Voila! I was ready to play.

                          I've used other various download services and I disliked them. I dislike the EA service for similar reasons to Cingular. I found it to be flakey from a technical standpoint and also didn't like the way they managed my purchases.

                          As far as the pricing goes, this was an issue when HL2 was released. The verdict was that companies like Valve needed to charge the same price via Steam as what was being charged in retail outlets in order for those retail outlets to actually agree to carry the game. Best Buy isn't going to buy 500,000 copies of a game to be sold for $49.95 when you can buy it direct from the developer for $39.95.

                          I don't mind paying the same as retail. I'm not so worried about who is making the money, as long as I'm still getting the product that I want. I'm not paying MORE than retail, but I'm saving on time, gas, sales tax and frustration trying to find keys and CDs when I need to re-install. But just to be clear, this comfort zone only exists with games released through Steam.
                          Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Downloading vs. Box game purchase?? Why?

                            STEAM is amazing.

                            I have serious issues with installing from multiple discs. on both CSS/DoD and Orange box it FAILED miserably after the second disk. Steam resumed the installation/download from where it last left off, with no problems. All I had to do was enter my CD key. Sure, I bought the box, but that's damn good service.

                            Also, Steam often has alot of sales on ALOT of games that I like. So I really love steam.
                            Skud


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                            • #15
                              Re: Downloading vs. Box game purchase?? Why?

                              I'd rather give $20 to Valve with a direct download than $10 to Valve and $10 to Best Buy. Valve at least tries to take care of the customers that keep Valve in business. Best Buy will draw butterfly knife and put it between your scapulś as soon as you turn your back.

                              Everyone heard about the tiles, right?

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