GameStop, EB digitally distributed

Zuma, Worms, Airport Tycoon among the PC games now being offered online by North America's top game retailers.

In 2001, EB Games stepped into the digital distribution ring with EB1. Powered by Into Networks' proprietary IntoMedia platform, the service offered several PC games--including Oni, Hitman, Serious Sam, Thief II, Unreal Tournament, and Tomb Raider: Chronicles--online for a limited time. For an average price of $4.99, gamers could download the games and play them for 72 hours--after which time the games would lock up and no longer be useable.

Within months, EB1 shut down, thanks to a tepid response from consumers. However, that hasn't stopped EB--or more precisely, its new parent, GameStop--from taking a second whack at digital distribution. This week, the online stores of both companies, EBgames.com and GameStop.com, launched their own PC-game download centers.

Instead of offering rentals, the stores offer full-sized versions of games for unlimited use. Boasting a catalog of more than 1,000 titles, the catalog includes simple arcade classics like Capcom's 1942 ($9.99) and the original Driver($9.95) and recent games such as 2K's Civilization IV ($49.99). The games list also includes more obscure offerings, such as AddGames Italia's Beach Volley Hot Sports ($17.99) and Atari's Freddi Fish 4--The Case of the Hogfish Rustlers of Briny Gulch ($19.99).

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31 comments
_Sam_
_Sam_

I don't care for digital distribution... at least not yet

PixyMisao
PixyMisao

No wonder Gamestop/EB is raising the price of Nintendo games, they've lost their minds!

need_id07
need_id07

ROFL how can you all not see how valuable this is? As gamers we all know the bulls*** involved with getting games on lanuch day, what with bad industry methods for non killer titles (halo, madden, ect.) this means you can actually pick up the game midnight of the day it lanuches instead of whenever you friendly piece of crap gamespot gets their copy (if they didnt already sell your reserved copy as a brib for more trade-ins)

cjcr_alexandru
cjcr_alexandru

Yes, I agree that the digital distributed versions of a game should be less expensive than the boxed ones and it beats me why this isn't the case. I can't think of a really good reason why this isn't happening (maybe cause it's 11:30 pm :)).

SqueekyC1ean
SqueekyC1ean

i agree with chrisdojo i wouldnt pay more than 5$ for the older games and the newer ones should be cheaper cause you dont get instructions or the nifty box lol

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

cool, but as usual with older games, they are charging too much.

jakeboudville
jakeboudville

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

cubbiesx
cubbiesx

Like everything else, this will appeal to some, and turn off others. To those who are devaluing the digital version of these games because of the lack of a box, manual, etc...well you are also NOT taking into account the ADDED value of convenience and "on demand" qualities that are all the rage right now. I am definitely one of those who can benefit from this and will/would take part should a title I desire be available in this way on launch day. As long as the downloaded app included at least 2, preferably 3 licenses. The boxes and manuals end up cluttering my apartment anyway (or in the garbage).

VegetaMaelstrom
VegetaMaelstrom

superbrett2000: "Ok... So if the digital version of a game (lacking a box, manual, disc, and adding annoying DRM) is the same price as the retail version that nets you a box, disc, and potentially no DRM, what incentive do I have to download and buy a game?" . . Exactly. Why should I get Half-Life 2: Episode 1 over Steam for $20 when I can get it from a store for that same amount and get a CD, box, etc. At least then I know when I build a new computer 5 years down the road and itching for some Half-Life, I'm not out of luck with my purchase. If Valve or whatever company saves money bypassing retailers and distributers and publishers and printed and boxed materials, then why the hell are they not offering their game at a cheaper price online? Beats the hell out of me. If a developer pockets $5 of every $20 game sold at a store and 18$ of every $20 game sold online you would think they might charge less for the online product (maybe from $20 to $15) to further boost online sales and with that more total profit with the same number of sales. Maybe it's not this way because there are a lot of impatient or idiotic gamers who are willing to pay more for less and companies are just trying to see what they can get away with before there is a backlash like with a certain horse armor debacle. Who knows? All I know is that I refuse to become one of them.

superbrett2000
superbrett2000

Ok... So if the digital version of a game (lacking a box, manual, disc, and adding annoying DRM) is the same price as the retail version that nets you a box, disc, and potentially no DRM, what incentive do I have to download and buy a game?

nintendorocks
nintendorocks

Sounds cool. I guess the retailers are figuring out that digital distribution is a booming success right now but Gametap has a pretty good head start.

robfield
robfield

That's way too expensive...

Da1ShrpSh0trGrl
Da1ShrpSh0trGrl

Well EBgames needs to drop the prices a bit. They are such a rip off sometimes. If they make more competitive prices more people will go to the stores.

ObiKKa
ObiKKa

Good move by them. Whenever I'd go to an EBgames shop in Australia, I'd thought that they'd crash out of business coz the digital distributions are gonna take over the retail game shops.

umbrae
umbrae

They should definately put release dates after the titles. Otherwise, some people will be pee'd off...

TintedChimes
TintedChimes

sounds pricy, too bad most of them are cheaper at best buy or gasp, steam

Ryvvn
Ryvvn

They are overcharging for a lot of the available games. Word of warning if you consider downloading anything; do some research, you may find a boxed retail copy somewhere for cheaper of even the same game through a different digital channel for cheaper (Uplink for example goes for $10 I think on Steam but they are charging $20)

doomsoth
doomsoth

Wow, I missed Worms, I might have to get that game.

Ryvvn
Ryvvn

hmm time to dive in and see if I find any sunken treasures over there...

Hitman4Hire
Hitman4Hire

Its a great way to get games that are out of print

edubuccaneer
edubuccaneer moderator

I don't think it's worth it. Getting a PDF manual isn't the same as getting a printed one. Of course it's much more environment friendly this way, but the price should be lowered, due to lower costs to produce.

LordAndrew
LordAndrew

Hope it works out better than EB1

superkoolstud
superkoolstud

CyphenX Emulation is illegal and the FBI will bust down your door someday. You can get anything on digital for free from tv and games, to bootleg CDs and DVDs. Just because you can download it for free doesn't make it legal.

birdinflight
birdinflight

CyphenX - "(not to mention that you can get it free through emulation)." You can get it for free, but it's not exactly the most legal option. You might as well not buy any games then. You can get almost everything for free, provided you know where to look.

SilV3RSix
SilV3RSix

@CyphenX People are still buyin it though, man. Look at XBox Live. People are slurpin it up like crazy. I guess $10 bucks for a classic is better then $60 for a brand new mediocre game.

CyphenX
CyphenX

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

CheddarLimbo
CheddarLimbo

Meh. I guess there's a market for games like this...but usually digital distribution is reserved for the titles that are so white-hot they can't be shipped and sold fast enough.