Digital Distribution market share

By on November 30, 2009 10:53:51 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

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Apparently the Stardock Customer Report 2009 struck a nerve with Direct2Drive’s Sutton Trout who claimed that the report’s findings that Impulse’s market share, at 10% puts it at #2 in market share for digital distribution platforms was “misinformation at best”.

As evidence of Direct2Drive’s superior market share, Mr. Trout points to an NPD report from earlier this year that lists Direct2Drive as one of the leading digital retailers. A report, I might mention, that does not include Impulse, Gamers Gate, Metaboli or other competitors.

This would be akin to Renault accusing Ford of spreading misinformation for saying that it sells more cars than Renault and pointing to an article that lists top car makers in France as proof of Renault’s superiority.

The data on digital platforms (as defined in the report as a digital retailer that allows users to purchase and download third party software that is also available through B&M retailers as well) came from surveying the publishers.

While it is true that if you took out Stardock’s own titles from the mix, Impulse would indeed fall to #3 or even as far as #5 because after Steam, the others are really pretty far behind presently). Then again, if one took Valve’s titles off of Steam, Steam’s total market share would drop drastically as well.

No one ever promised life was fair.

But what I think can be promised is that vendors publicly complaining about the right to claim they’re #2 in getting the scraps Steam leaves behind look silly.

The best thing these services can do is focus on making themselves better. Because they will need to be better if they want to effectively compete with Steam.

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November 30, 2009 11:19:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Haha, that's hilarious

Quoting information that ignores competitors always works. "I have the fastest computer in the world... you know... not counting those supercomputers... and $2000 gaming rigs... and any computer made in the last 2 years... but yeah! I'm the fastest!"

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December 1, 2009 12:18:03 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I like Impulse, but let's be honest:  This is like arguing about which of the Baha Men's songs was the second-biggest hit after "Who Let the Dogs Out".

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December 1, 2009 12:25:33 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like Impulse, but let's be honest:  This is like arguing about which of the Baha Men's songs was the second-biggest hit after "Who Let the Dogs Out".

I agree. That's the point I was trying to make.

The Stardock customer report survey wasn't to go "w00t" Impulse is #2 but rather point out that Steam is not just #1 but number one by a mile and that we all have a lot of work to do if there is going to be viable competition.

Direct2Drive referring to an NPD report (That lists Direct2Drive with only 7% of the market and excludes Impulse, Gamers Gate, Metaboli, etc.) is not what I would call "good PR".

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December 1, 2009 3:39:56 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

My apologies but I don't believe any of data presented by individuals who actually have a stake in it. I am not convinced that any of the data being gathered is being gathered in the same way (when comparing different reports) or actually including everyone involved. MMOs and microtrans, where do those fall in anyway?

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December 1, 2009 3:55:49 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Theres that troll again, when will he learn?  

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December 1, 2009 4:51:11 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Impulse is an excellent service that I will continue to use. I like the ability to install any game to any directorty/drive, the minimal or non-existent DRM,  and the auto patching from Impulse. I also like Steam very much however all things bieng equal I would purchase the game from impulse first.

 

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December 1, 2009 5:01:56 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

@FutileEmotion

Coming from an analyst background myself i must say that Nesrie has a strong point here.

It doesnt matter in this discussion tho, 'cause Frogboys point was something completly different, as i understand.

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December 1, 2009 5:17:57 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Impulse is fine, except for non english-games. Lot of games has been published in non-english languages, but in impulse you can download only the english version. This should be addressed with the publishers, which, I suppose, are the real responsibles of this issue. Meanwhile, I'll keep buying the game in impulse, and looking for traductions in forums

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December 1, 2009 6:32:35 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

@Neroir : i totally agree : i downloaded GalCiv 2 and Sword of the stars ultimate this Week-end and they were both in english (i am french), i was quite surprised as for Sins of a solar empire, i got the choice of the language before downloading and galCiv 2 has been released in france (sword of the stars ultimate, i am not too sure). It is ok for me because i can read english pretty well but i would have liked to know the language before the purchase.

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December 1, 2009 7:20:51 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I personally prefer Impulse mainly because I don't need steam to be running to start the games bought through it, but there are some titles that Impulse just doesn't offer.

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December 1, 2009 7:52:31 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I own several games on Impulse and on Steam, and will continue to shop with both. I go where the better deals are, where the better titles are and simply where the better service is. Impulse is a better Computer Program than Steam, which is bulky and resource draining for no reason. And don't get me started on background downloading and unauthorised Data Mining. However, as of right now, you simply can't beat Steam's catalogue.

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December 1, 2009 8:42:05 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I love Impulse as well and most games I'm interested in they do carry.  But there are some they don't like Fallout 3 and other Bethesda products and so this weekend I ended up going to Best Buy to get Fallout 3.  I refuse to use Steam so tried and true physical media it was.

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December 1, 2009 8:50:16 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting bonscott,
I love Impulse as well and most games I'm interested in they do carry.  But there are some they don't like Fallout 3 and other Bethesda products and so this weekend I ended up going to Best Buy to get Fallout 3.  I refuse to use Steam so tried and true physical media it was.

I drop Steam and use Impulse and Gamersgate.

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December 1, 2009 11:49:10 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

The biggest request I have is that Impulse fall over itself to court and provide 'retail' space for indie developers.  With its previous game distribution and current effort, Stardock has the pedigree of supporting small developers and I'd love to see an even more active market for these.  This would be one of the main things that could differentiate Impulse from the others if SD nurters a "we're the place to go for Indie developers to do well" reputation. 

It would be great to see things like Fl0w, Crayon Physics, and Osmos up here.  And I know they're pretty self sufficient, but convincing Spiderweb and Basilisk to come to Impulse would be quite a coup.

That said, I'm all about the big titles too.  So umm, Assassin's Creed II?  Divinity II?

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December 1, 2009 12:02:02 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

I'm curious whether Stardock's non-game products that are available through Impulse (ObjectDock, Fences, etc.) are included in the ranking numbers? 

Regardless, competition is good, and the fact that Stardock is developing a viable alternative to Steam will lead to a better situation for everyone down the road.

Chris

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December 1, 2009 12:04:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I have Impulse and Steam, but I use Impulse first if a title is on both.

 

Some of those people in that article are familar, to bad they hate us...

 

Ya I hope Impulse gets Assassins's Creed II. And I agree more Indie games... I was surpised with AI War... Good stuff...

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December 1, 2009 2:12:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The question is, how do you overcome Steam's advantages?  I don't think the Impulse model will ever be #1 in the market, but it will work well for being #1 in some markets (strategy games for example)


I really think you'd have to take heavy risks and losses (basically start a flat-out price war) to compete with Steam except in the longest of terms.  

 

That said, Impulse is my #1 choice for DD now, and I have noticed in general gaming forums, Impulse has a lot more respect then it did a year ago, though many still wish a Steam Monopoly for some reason.  (proving that not all consumers are rational)

 

That said, D2D, I got one game from them years in the past, and now it's DRM'ed out, even though the game itself has no copy protection.  I had to get the .exe file from another friend to run the game.

 

 

 

 

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December 1, 2009 2:33:10 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting arstal,
The question is, how do you overcome Steam's advantages?  I don't think the Impulse model will ever be #1 in the market, but it will work well for being #1 in some markets (strategy games for example)


 

Impulse would have to change a lot to become better than Steam. For me it is like comparing the Stone age and Renaissance though. Steam just feels more proffessional, although I have much respect for Stardock as a company and seriously hope Impulse will get much. It is much cheaper

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December 1, 2009 3:14:48 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Honestly Frogboy, I wouldn't even have responded to Direct2Drive.  The baha men analogy seems dead on and it was pretty clear when reading the report that it was the point that was being communicated.  Also that analogy is HILLARIOUS!

Cheers,

Than.

P.S.  I'll say it again, that report was wonderful and thank you for producing it.

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December 1, 2009 3:46:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

To beat steam Impulse needs to get as good as steam first. 

At the moment the only thing Impulse does better than steam is that you can actually choose where to install the software.

On the content side Impulse is still lacking, and not only because of fewer titles but also how these titles are presented. You basically copy steam there. You do the same thing they do but have fewer titles. Steam wins.

I think what both services really lack is an ability to browse through the software items.

If you would add links to critics reviews and user reviews, and options to browse for similar titles this would potentially add more sales, and it would be a feature to distinguish Impulse from Steam. For every game, let users discuss the game. Let users add reviews etc etc. Integrate the Impulse community features into the sales features.

Head over to gamespot.com. Check out what these guys did for browsing reviews. Imagine GameSpot was Impulse, while you browse the site you can immediately buy a game you like or pre-order directly from a game preview.

That is if amazon doesn't hold the patents on semantically linking sales offers...

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December 1, 2009 3:54:03 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

What is D2D supposed to do if it think it's no. 2 based on the data it subscribes too most and someone else claims the spot, just sit there? This is business, they're going to say something. If you have a company using data set 1 and another using data set 2 and the two aren't even remotely the same, well there is going to be disagreement and bickering. No matter how you slice it, Steam seems to be at the top either way because no one is going to exclude them from the study, so all that is left to bicker about is no 2 and down until the other stores pick up well "steam".  I am curious how close something like BigFishGames might come to steam, or Pogo or Real Arcade. I was under the impression these casual stores have huge amounts of money going through them and very little attention brought to it. Those are still games, and a chunk of the studies shove them aside even as Impulse and Steam and D2D and company pick up similar titles in their catalog. Pushing those aside naturally would be beneficial, assuming the casual games are drawing in as much as rumors say they are and that is a big assumption to make I admit,  to Impulse and D2D and company.

So what's my point, the studies are already skewed in a pretty major way which means if you are going to claim a title from one, you better be prepared to have that claim challenged by another equally skewed report.

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December 1, 2009 4:30:25 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

What is D2D supposed to do if it think it's no. 2 based on the data it subscribes too most and someone else claims the spot, just sit there

I would have not pointed to a report that didn't include its main competitors and still listed it as only having 7%. 

If roles were reversed, we would have not said anything. The Baha men analogy is apt.

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December 1, 2009 4:49:10 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

What is D2D supposed to do if it think it's no. 2 based on the data it subscribes too most and someone else claims the spot, just sit there


I would have not pointed to a report that didn't include its main competitors and still listed it as only having 7%. 

If roles were reversed, we would have not said anything. The Baha men analogy is apt.

Point taken.

Your approach is probably the smarter way to do it, but I don't think D2D is going to get much bad PR from this move except from those who are already loyal to their competitors, and it does get them in the news.

I want to add, in case people think otherwise, I enjoy Impulse thus far. I have never purchased D2D games, although I knew about them for years and heard some not so good things about them over that time, and Steam, yes I use them but it's not a preference so much as a way to pick up really cheap games.

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December 1, 2009 9:22:06 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

At the moment the only thing Impulse does better than steam is that you can actually choose where to install the software.

Don't forget that you don't need to run Impulse to run the games. And you don't even need Impulse installed to play the game. And Impulse doesn't automatically install when you buy a Stardock game. And its download speeds are faster. And the Stardock exclusive games are awesome (Sins, Demigod, GalCivII, etc). So yeah, Impulse only does one thing better than Steam

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December 1, 2009 10:23:33 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

I've never been a fan of D2D. The limitations imposed on its buyers drove me away to Steam and Impulse.

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