Online Distribution

Blizzard may be patching every day but I am certainly not posting that quickly.

Recently there was an uproar in the UO community about how Stygian Abyss is going to be distributed online online. In other words, it will not be sold in retail stores. Some UO players feel this hurts the game due to a lack of shelf presence. What they do not realize is that the video game business is at a point now where having a box on the shelf no longer equals game success.

This has been further reinforced this week by Sony’s and Microsoft’s commitments to online publishing. Sony has gone so far as to have no physical media at all in their latest handheld, the PSP-GO. Until very recently Eve Online was online distributed via online sales. They were growing subscriptions the entire time, up to around 400,000 now I think.

The industry has evolved, just as nearly everything does. Anyone heard of a thing called newspapers? They are in big trouble because most people get their news through the internet. It is faster, cheaper and more convenient. Just as downloading a video game can be.

Whether the Stygian Abyss expansion is a success depends on the content. Unless they decide to release a Nintendo Wii version, which then a box on the shelf would make a difference.

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