1C blames retail for PC sales decline, says digital will reign by 2011

By Stephany Nunneley, Wednesday, 13 January 2010 20:15 GMT

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1C’s international publishing director, Darryl Still, has said that due to retail “failing to support” boxed PC games, publishers will go the digital format only route by 2011.

Still claims that retail stores show disdain for PC titles by refusing to stock certain titles, and by pushing PC merchandise “to the back of the store”.

“In the PC market at the moment the growth in digital is phenomenal,” Still told MCV. “If PC games manage to get listed at retail, then they’re rarely getting any exposure because they’re appearing at the back of the store.

“There is still demand, but retail is forcing PC games out. Digital is fantastic, and we’re very pleased with it. But it is not us as the developers and publishers driving products to digital – it is because the options for the PC at retail are so limited.

“You just have to head into a games store and look for their PC titles, and you’ll see there is no focus, listings or promotions for them. It is extra strange because there is a much better margin on PC games,.

“The industry should be embracing PC more enthusiastically.

“Q1 2011 is my estimate as to when PC games will be sold completely via digital. I have seen the predictions that by 2013 more than 50 per cent of our revenues will be earned digitally. But if the PC games market has to wait until 2013 then we are all in trouble.”

Despite this, Still admits there are hurdles when distributing titles digitally, as publishers need to pick the right services and ones that can provide decent revenue numbers.

Yesterday, NPD reported that digital-only purchasersmade up 46 percent of US game consumers, with 79 percent of games acquired for portable, PC/MAC, mobile and smartphones, being purchased in physical format.

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