For many PC publishers, digital makes for roughly half of sales these days -- a ways ahead of console titles, and especially impressive given how fast it's happened. Paradox Interactive (Magicka, Mount & Blade) are ahead of the curve, estimating 90 percent of their sales are currently digital.
"Retail sales are like a bonus for us now," says CEO Fredrik Wester, elaborating on the importance of the relatively new medium. "We don’t really need retailers any more and that is a [relief] because retailers have not been good for the industry. They’ve not been good for the creative part of the industry, for finding new cool games.”
Would co-op action RPG Magicka have been possible without digital? We're going with 'no.' An independent, fresh idea, it recently hit the 600,000 mark -- no small feat.
“People complain to publishers that there are only sequels on the market, but that’s because retailers want to see sequels, because they can do their chart diagrams for how things sell and things like that. So one of the things preventing more creative gaming has been the retail challenge.”
“I can only say this now because we’re not depending on them, so it’s really relieving to be able to say that.”