THE BUZZ: Digital distribution has brought a number of benefits to the world of video game publishing—benefits that Ubisoft are now soundly behind.
Speaking to UK video game industry site MCV, Ubisoft digital publishing manager Thomas Paincon said that his company now sees digital distribution as one of the best platforms for releasing new gaming properties. So much so, in fact, that Ubisoft has ten download-only releases in the works.
“There is less risk releasing a new game digitally,” Paincon told MCV. “At retail, if you don’t have a 90 Metacritic score and millions of fans, it’s very risky to launch a new game.
“Look at From Dust, we sold half a million units on XBLA and PSN. Why? Because the prices were lower, but also because it was a new experience and people using digital platforms are more willing to test a new IP.”
EGM’s TAKE: There are, of course, some downsides to digital distribution—the lack of a physical copies of the game, the lack of being able to sell/trade a game once purchased, the potential problem with issues such as DRM, and so on.
However, I’ve been a staunch supporter of digital distribution for a while now, because it can often mean the difference between us getting a game, and us not. Look at the release I just reviewed here on EGMNOW yesterday—the Japanese PSP horror title Corpse Party. That game would never have made sense as a physical release due to a number of factors. Without digital distribution, we simply would never have received an English-language version of Corpse Party period.
So, while there are still a number of kinks and issues that need to be worked out when it comes to downloading digital versions of our games, I still believe that—in the end—the positives will outweigh the negatives.