Stardock

I murdered our retail plans today

By on February 21, 2012 9:14:40 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Draginol

Join Date 03/2001
+102

Sorry gang,

I decided to not allow our next two titles to be available at retail (Sins rebellion and Fallen Enchantress).

The cost/benefit ratio just isn’t there at this time. 

It is cool to tell people your game is at the store. But as a business, until the retailers adapt, it doesn’t make sense to deal with them at this point.

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February 23, 2012 10:55:27 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Our new titles are typically $39.95 in 2011 dollars.  Pac-Man for the Atari 2600 was over $90 in 2011 dollars.  

Games are vastly cheaper today and you get a lot more.

How dare you compare FE to Pac-Man.   (Just making fun of guy who had a problem with this post.)

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February 23, 2012 12:19:14 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting StevenAus,
Maybe Stardock could start a system for those with poor internet connection to make a DVD with all the latest updates on it, and even if there was a cost for postage, some may be thankful that they can get a physical copy. It could be like the concept of the latest patch discs that Stardock was going to make for the first Elemental game could be used for the second Elemental game. Maybe there could be a postage charge upon buying the game and getting sent by mail the install disc, but subsequent updates have a minimal (or zero) cost for posting?

 

That's ... wow I haven't heard of this concept in many many years. Living in a poor internet location, this would be a neat idea! Not quite sure how it would work with steam but *shrugs*

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February 23, 2012 1:16:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I was thinking of games bought directly from Stardock that did not have a Steam requirement (if there are any).  I do hope that Fallen Enchantress and other Elemental releases don't require steam, although I wouldn't mind if they could be bought from the Steam store without Steamworks, as one of several choices, as well as buying directly from Stardock.

Although I do suspect that Elemental games in the future might require Steam with Steamworks even if bought directly from Stardock - any Stardock reply on this issue?

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February 23, 2012 1:21:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

FE for sure won't require Steam if bought from SD Store.  It's also not a MP game so no need.

 

 

 

Quoting StevenAus,
Maybe Stardock could start a system for those with poor internet connection to make a DVD with all the latest updates on it, and even if there was a cost for postage, some may be thankful that they can get a physical copy.  It could be like the concept of the latest patch discs that Stardock was going to make for the first Elemental game could be used for the second Elemental game.  Maybe there could be a postage charge upon buying the game and getting sent by mail the install disc, but subsequent updates have a minimal (or zero) cost for posting?

 

It's been stated before several times over the years that this was planned.  Whatever happened to this?  I doubt more then maybe 100 people would take you up on this, but it's a nice touch. 

 

Also, one other question/suggestion: Is GalCiv II complete on Stardock's own store?  I noticed Impulse was no longer selling the individual GalCiv II games.  Perhaps those with GCII+all expansions should get their registrations on SD's store replaced with GCII Complete.  Mentioning this because a month or so ago I saw someone say they wanted Twilight, but couldn't buy it (they had the first two games), and didn't need Complete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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February 23, 2012 1:24:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

We have that for 

Quoting Alstein,

 

Brad, you've started before several times over the years that this was planned.  Whatever happened to this?  I doubt more then maybe 100 people would take you up on this, but it's a nice touch.

 

 

We did that for War of Magic v1.4 (you can contact sales@stardock.com and get a master DVD shipped to you for just shipping cost). 

I don't know what we'll be doing going forward yet.

 

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February 23, 2012 3:08:52 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

Quoting Thoumsin, reply 46
Quoting Campaigner, reply 45I think it's for the better. Cut out the middleman and make it cheaper to get your goods.

Well, from what i see, they cut the middleman but don't make the goods cheaper... they only make more benefice for share holder...

It is the same thing with food... by example, your hamburger become more expensive when price of beef meat increase but it never become cheaper when price of beef meat lower...
Our new titles are typically $39.95 in 2011 dollars.  Pac-Man for the Atari 2600 was over $90 in 2011 dollars.  

Games are vastly cheaper today and you get a lot more.

Well, let make a deal... i am ready to pay 90$ for a boxed version of rebellion who don't need steam who will allow me to enjoy sins forever everywhere... agree without problem to a one time activation via the future new stardock central and the obligation to have a legit stardock central registration for install patch...

In fact, i don't need a boxed version, a online archive download is good too... the point is that i wish to be able to play the game until the last day of my live... that if Stardock or Steam die before me, i can continue to play the game...

Price is not a problem for me, in fact, game are on the cheap side when compare to other software that i buy... My poser pro 2012 is 500$ and i am not sure that they work more that you with sins when i see the few new features added to poser... have already spend more that 100$ on sins ( kalypso version was not cheap + the 2 expension ) and i don't regret it... if i divide these 100$ by the amount of hours that i have play, it end up with entertaiment who cost me only a few cent by hour...

Personally, i have no problem to pay more for games when it is a quality product... the only problem that i have is that i will maybe not be able to play my loved game in some possible near future if steam go down...

Can you promise that if steam die someday or if you have a different with steam and that your product is removed from steam ( like it have happen with Dragon age II or other game ) that you will allow people who have buy on Steam to redeem their Rebellion game on the new Stardock central for a version who don't need Steam... i trust Stardock but i don't trust Steam...

Well, there is maybe a between solution... will it be possible to buy Rebellion by Stardock using pay-pal once the beta is released... so, the business transaction will be between me and Stardock... don't care if i need to pay something more at a later stage for redeem it on steam since i will remain a stardock customer for Rebellion due to the purchase on stardock central and i am pretty sure that in case of problem with steam being dead or Stardock game being removed from steam due to different, Stardock will support their own customer and provide them with a working version who don't need Steam anymore...

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February 23, 2012 6:44:29 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Our new titles are typically $39.95 in 2011 dollars. Pac-Man for the Atari 2600 was over $90 in 2011 dollars.

Have just check... In 2012, on Amazon, a new Pac-man for Atari 2600 cost 29.99$ ( http://www.amazon.com/Pac-Man-Atari-2600/dp/B0009V1CO8/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t )... by the way, you don't wish to compare your games with the Pac-man for the Atari 2600 ( http://www.pcworld.com/article/127579-4/the_10_worst_games_of_all_time.html )... a game was have never reach his planned sales, where a large amount of cartridge was returned... game port was rushed and game critic have hate it... in fact, this game is one of the reason for the video game crash of 1983 in US... when market revenue have drop from 3.2 billion in 1983 to less that 100 million in 1985...    

By the way, Rebellion is not a new title... it is the old sins from 2008 with entrenchment, with diplomacy and the last expension called Rebellion... it is not because a new paint is put on a old car that these old car become a new car !!! Rebelion is nothing more that a DLC with everyting released before bundled together... i think that you have already receive a fair share of complain from old soase customer who have buy sins and all expension, not being able to buy Rebellion as a stand-alone  like it was for entrenchment and Diplomacy... Don't insult their intelligence by calling Rebellion a new game... it wil be a new game for the large amount of 15 year old who populate steam but not for people who are fidel to Stardock for several years...

And Fallen enchantress is in some way how War of Magic have must be... if it was good made the first time...

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February 23, 2012 9:18:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Thoumsin,



Can you promise that if steam die someday or if you have a different with steam and that your product is removed from steam ( like it have happen with Dragon age II or other game ) that you will allow people who have buy on Steam to redeem their Rebellion game on the new Stardock central for a version who don't need Steam... i trust Stardock but i don't trust Steam...

 

Steam isn't going anywhere for a number of years obviously, barring some massive hack or EMP pulse, in which case we got bigger problems then games.

If in 20-30 years Steam is gone, some abandonware site will have a crack.  Also, I'm pretty sure Steam isn't needed to run the game, so just keeping the game on a hard drive should be sufficient.  

 

While I do have concerns with Steam, I don't worry about them going under without plenty of warning.

 

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February 23, 2012 10:58:01 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Steam is already cracked itself.  If it went under without Valve releasing it, you'd have an alternative available before it's demise even came about.

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February 24, 2012 1:20:38 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Alstein,
Steam isn't going anywhere for a number of years obviously, barring some massive hack or EMP pulse, in which case we got bigger problems then games.

If in 20-30 years Steam is gone, some abandonware site will have a crack.  Also, I'm pretty sure Steam isn't needed to run the game, so just keeping the game on a hard drive should be sufficient.  

While I do have concerns with Steam, I don't worry about them going under without plenty of warning.

Everything can happen at any moment... Who have believe that bank or country can know bankruptcy... There can be a release of a new client who is better that steam, who can slowly drain the life out of it... several major game publisher have choice to quit steam and use their own system... so, it can be that Steam survive hundred year or die tomorrow, nobody know...

About warming... well, be warmed don't solve the problem... According to the Steam Subscriber Agreement, Steam's availability is not guaranteed and Valve is under no legal obligation to release an update disabling the authentication system in the event that Steam becomes permanently unavailable... in fact, if you read their steam subscriber agrement, they have no obligation at all :

C. NO GUARANTEES.

VALVE DOES NOT GUARANTEE CONTINUOUS, ERROR-FREE, VIRUS-FREE OR SECURE OPERATION AND ACCESS TO STEAM, THE SOFTWARE, YOUR ACCOUNT AND/OR YOUR SUBSCRIPTIONS(S).

As for crack, i know that they exist... will maybe seek one once i have purchase a legal version... but it is not a good solution... using a crack simply promote the work of hacker/pirate, give them a justification... a crack in all case, remain illegal in regard of the Eula of any game... Better for game dev to propose a legal solution that push people in the hand of hacker/pirate...

 

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February 25, 2012 12:22:11 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I am glad you made this.

 

Retail and record labels need to die. as soon as possible. They were living off your hard work.

 

I have no problem pqaying the same money for FE to you rather then to some ppl who just sit around shelving stuff...

 

And,

is it really true FE doesn't have multiplayer?

 

Can it be added later on?

 

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February 25, 2012 7:19:38 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting athelasloraiel,
Retail and record labels need to die. as soon as possible. They were living off your hard work.

Because you think that Steam don't take his share too... the share of Steam is around 30%... yet it better that the almost 70% of retail...

Best was when Stardock owned Impulse or will be with the new stardock central... 100% is for the devs...

About people who have pre-order Rebellion on the stardock store, it was wrote that they can redeem it on Steam later... Well, no real choice since steamwork will be integrated... for the redeem step, will it be free or people will need to pay a supplement of 10$ or so ( share of steam )... ask it because redeem game on Steam is not always free...

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February 26, 2012 12:57:03 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Thoumsin,
ask it because redeem game on Steam is not always free...

I call BS on that - do you have any source for such nonsense?

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February 26, 2012 6:17:56 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Rebell44,

Quoting Thoumsin, reply 62ask it because redeem game on Steam is not always free...
I call BS on that - do you have any source for such nonsense?

Certain games sold through retail channels can be redeemed as titles for user's library within Steam by entering a product code within the software.For games that incorporate Steamworks, users can purchase redemption codes from other vendors, and redeem these in the Steam client to add the title to their library.

Well, it is somehow logical... if you buy a game on Steam, Steam have a share of the selling... if you buy it somewhere else ( stardock store ) and the redeem is free, they receive nothing...

In the majority of cases, it is the one who have sell the game ( stardock store by example ) who deliver at their own cost a Steam code who allow to redeem a game on Steam...Like Steam buy serial to Stardock, Stardock will need to buy Steam code for redeem Rebellion...

Well, everything is possible... nobody know the term of the deal between Stardock and Steam for Rebellion... and it is why i ask about it...

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February 26, 2012 7:04:58 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Thoumsin,
Quoting Rebell44, reply 63
Quoting Thoumsin, reply 62ask it because redeem game on Steam is not always free...
I call BS on that - do you have any source for such nonsense?

Certain games sold through retail channels can be redeemed as titles for user's library within Steam by entering a product code within the software.For games that incorporate Steamworks, users can purchase redemption codes from other vendors, and redeem these in the Steam client to add the title to their library.

Well, it is somehow logical... if you buy a game on Steam, Steam have a share of the selling... if you buy it somewhere else ( stardock store ) and the redeem is free, they receive nothing...

In the majority of cases, it is the one who have sell the game ( stardock store by example ) who deliver at their own cost a Steam code who allow to redeem a game on Steam...Like Steam buy serial to Stardock, Stardock will need to buy Steam code for redeem Rebellion...

Well, everything is possible... nobody know the term of the deal between Stardock and Steam for Rebellion... and it is why i ask about it...

Your post seemed to suggest that customer  might have to pay for activation of Steam CD key.

One of advantages of Steamworks is that they dont pay anything for activation of CD key, so they can sell Steam CD keys from their website and take 100% of money soent by customer and customer gets Steam CD key which he will activate on Steam.

[URL=http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/163/1738.jpg/][/URL]

 screenshot abote was taken from Steamworks pdf

More Steamworks games is being sold, more customers Steam has and lots of those users make future purchases via Steam and from those transactions Valve takes 30% (70% goes to publisher developer).

Forbes estimate put Valve income at 2.5-3 billion $ per year and profit in hundreds of millions $ - not bad for company with around 270 employees

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February 26, 2012 10:22:00 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

If the serial is a steam serial, there will be no problem at all... my concern was only about people who have pre-order ( and will pay ) on Stardock store... a redemption code will be needed from Stardock for redeem the game in the Steam client... will be these redemption code for free or for a fee ???

As for the 30% taken by Steam, it is not a Golden rule... it is a case by case... it is very possible that because soase have sold very good in the past, that review of the game was very positive that Stardock have can negociate a bigger share... The release of Rebellion is not a risk like the original release of sins, where Stardock was the only one to believe in the game...

And as i wrote before, i am a steam customer too... for me, there was never really other alternative... too much "US only" on Impulse and really bad story with a few other ( by example, Kalypso digital version of Armada 2526... a problem with a patch have mess up my game installation... not possible to download the game again unless i purchase a extended download thing... something like this cannot happen with Steam )... Sure, i don't trust steam, sure i have my share of bad story but it is better that nothing at all... Personaly, i will have like that soase remain with the upcoming new stardock central... Yes, i am unhappy with the actual move but it will not stop me to buy my prefered game when it is released ( have no credit card for pre-order, only pay-pal and bank card... in europe, more and more people use online banking for pay on the internet )...

As Steam profit, Stardock was making a lot of money with Impulse too... well, they have sell it and you know the actual result... let say that valve make the same move, concentrate on their own games and sell Steam to some moron... what will happen ? I have no problem with Stardock using steam ( like recently with the release of trinity on Steam ), i have problem with the steam exclusive thing...

 

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February 26, 2012 10:30:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Thoumsin,
If the serial is a steam serial, there will be no problem at all... my concern was only about people who have pre-order ( and will pay ) on Stardock store... a redemption code will be needed from Stardock for redeem the game in the Steam client... will be these redemption code for free or for a fee ???

As for the 30% taken by Steam, it is not a Golden rule... it is a case by case... it is very possible that because soase have sold very good in the past, that review of the game was very positive that Stardock have can negociate a bigger share... The release of Rebellion is not a risk like the original release of sins, where Stardock was the only one to believe in the game...

And as i wrote before, i am a steam customer too... for me, there was never really other alternative... too much "US only" on Impulse and really bad story with a few other ( by example, Kalypso digital version of Armada 2526... a problem with a patch have mess up my game installation... not possible to download the game again unless i purchase a extended download thing... something like this cannot happen with Steam )... Sure, i don't trust steam, sure i have my share of bad story but it is better that nothing at all... Personaly, i will have like that soase remain with the upcoming new stardock central... Yes, i am unhappy with the actual move but it will not stop me to buy my prefered game when it is released ( have no credit card for pre-order, only pay-pal and bank card... in europe, more and more people use online banking for pay on the internet )...

As Steam profit, Stardock was making a lot of money with Impulse too... well, they have sell it and you know the actual result... let say that valve make the same move, concentrate on their own games and sell Steam to some moron... what will happen ? I have no problem with Stardock using steam ( like recently with the release of trinity on Steam ), i have problem with the steam exclusive thing...

 

You take the game you've purchased elsewhere (not from Steam), log into Steam, enter your activation code/cd key under "Add a new game", Steam checks the code and then adds the game to your library.  Not only does it not cost extra money, but it takes all of 15 seconds.  I have added many Amazon digital download games that are also sold on Steam to my Steam library this way.

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February 26, 2012 1:59:07 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Only for valve games and retail CD key from third party listed in the following list : https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=7480-WUSF-3601

In the case of Rebellion, there will not be a retail version ( opening post )... only a digital download buy on Steam and a digital download pre-ordered on Stardock store... so, in this case, the following apply :

For games that incorporate Steamworks, users can purchase redemption codes from other vendors, and redeem these in the Steam client to add the title to their library.

Your digital download purchase on Amazon are simply game with Steam serial... in their description, you find something like "A Steam account is required for installation and online play"...

In some way, it is like Stardock sell serial to Steam, and Steam sell some of these serial to Amazon... Not sure that Steam contract will allow Stardock to sell directly serial to Amazon for a game who need to be used on Steam since it will cut them from their 30% share...

Well, like i wrote before, everything is possible... maybe Stardock have make a deal with steam, so that key from pre-order on Stardock store will work on Steam directly... i don't know, you don't know, nobody know... in fact, only Stardock know but they don'y inform their customer or potential customer... on the stardock store page for rebellion, it is always writen "Impulse::Reactor support for chat, friends, achievements and more." ( https://store.stardock.com/product/ESD-SDE-W011 )... if some people have not make a review article on the upcoming Rebellion, we will have never know about these Steam thing... not a very honest move to change one of the game feature without informing people who have pre-order the game, people who discover it by reading a external review article...

 

As car analogy are often used on these forum... you order Rebellion with features like :

and you end up with a Rebellion steam version with features like :

only useful for maybe 0.1% of the actual customer who build... sorry, play ... online


 

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February 28, 2012 7:36:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I wanted a Fallen Enchantress Collectors edition Box too. Granted I'm already getting a free copy, but I would have gladly shelled out some more money to put up a cool CE box on my collection wall. It sees less and less love these days.

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February 29, 2012 5:59:40 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

That's OK. I prefer to buy retail boxes for brand new $50-60 games, but I'm perfectly willing to buy digital copies if it's a company I really like or if the price is low enough. (I buy all my PSP games digitally, and I will buy digital stardock games for sure new.)

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March 3, 2012 8:01:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

So I'm still not clear on something:  Will we at least still be able to purchase a physical boxed copy of FE from Stardock? 

 

 

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March 21, 2012 5:21:40 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

As it turns out, retail is starting to die out anyway:

GAME over on the High Street?

Not that I especially want my local store to close, but as many people have pointed out, they're a tad overpriced.

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March 21, 2012 2:15:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
We have that for 
Quoting Alstein, reply 54
 

Brad, you've started before several times over the years that this was planned.  Whatever happened to this?  I doubt more then maybe 100 people would take you up on this, but it's a nice touch.

 

 

We did that for War of Magic v1.4 (you can contact sales@stardock.com and get a master DVD shipped to you for just shipping cost). 

I don't know what we'll be doing going forward yet.

 

I hope you do.  It's little stuff like this that brought me along, Brad.  

It started with you guys helping out on Demigod and jumping into DD with Impulse.  Then, I heard how much gamers loved Sins.  While I tried the demo and didn't like it, I was amazed that a non-EA company could still compete so well.  

Then WoM launched.  It was rough, but the moment you stepped up and stated you were going to discount the future Elemental games for WoM buyers, I knew I had to buy it. I'll be honest, it was like a good album.  Not a pop album that you immediately love after one song and then quickly get bored, but rather something much more complex.  I initially hated it...  but then, it grew on me.  I started exploring, and with each patch the game grew on me.  The next thing I know, I'm having another 4 AM just-one-more-turn,-honey moment with it.

Now FE is coming along, and I can honestly say that I would pay $30 for the game in its current state.  The fact that it is still in only beta 2 is astounding.  The vast majority of design issues that initially pushed me away from WoM are gone.

Keep doing things right.  

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March 21, 2012 3:44:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting MarvinKosh,
 they're a tad overpriced.

FX Interactive (publisher company) keeps selling new boxed games at 20 euros (like the upcoming "Yesterday" by Pendulo Studios, creators of "The Next Big Thing" or "Runaway"). It has been like that for years and they are not out business and still make profit. And they are so shameless as to dare to translate the manuals and voiceovers to spanish, offer for free some DLC included with the base game or similar stuff (those details depend of the game though, like Tropico 4 coming with some DLC or what you call "The Next Big Thing" including for free the previous installment of the game*). I'm quite sure that they have to suffer the same cut from retailer as other publishers.

 

But yeah, the blame is only in the retail stores... or maybe not.

 

* known here as Hollywood Monsters

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April 19, 2012 11:11:42 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,
Sorry gang,

I decided to not allow our next two titles to be available at retail (Sins rebellion and Fallen Enchantress).

The cost/benefit ratio just isn’t there at this time. 

It is cool to tell people your game is at the store. But as a business, until the retailers adapt, it doesn’t make sense to deal with them at this point.

PC Game Retail is currently a joke.  I don't understand why every publisher isn't going in this direction.

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