GamersGate: “We’re not afraid of Steam”, Valve’s service “peaking”

By Brenna Hillier, Tuesday, 8 February 2011 02:23 GMT

GamersGate CEO Theo Bergquist has told IndustryGamers that the digital distibution war is about get a lot more interesting as the “other” portal posts record holiday sales highs.

“To be honest, we’re not afraid of Steam,” Bergquist said. “We think they are peaking now while the market is still very hardcore. … Once digital sales are superior to physical sales, we believe Steam will have a harder time remaining #1.

“Steam’s marketshare will shrink in the future and … GamersGate is well positioned as one of the digital distribution platforms that has strong momentum to gain marketshare.”

GamersGate considers itself a natural alternative to Steam, with Bergquist citing “premium customer support, a client-free experience, a robust reward program, and a DRM-friendly policy” as reasons gamers might choose the Paradox Interactive-founded portal over its major competitor.

“We know from the feedback we receive from customers, one of the reasons we have such great growth is because many gamers out there don’t like Steam and see Gamersgate as a better alternative,” he said.

The company has some hard figures to back up their claims: a 25 percent increase in repurchase ratio after the rewards program went live, and a catalogue of over 2,600 games, outweighing all comers.

GamersGate’s other competitors include Direct2Drive, Impulse, publisher’s own online stores, and smaller portals created by retail chains and interest sites.

GamersGate sales increased by 72 percent over the holiday period with some individual publishing partners seeing sales rise by up to 120 percent.

“Digital distribution is no longer a business development project for publishers; it’s an integral part of the sales organization,” the CEo said.

“They look at the greater revenue split they can get from digital as compared to physical, and it’s easy math to decide that they should focus on digital.”

Looks like the industry agrees; in its recent Q3 financials, EA made its intention to power on with digital sales more than plain.

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