In order for digital distribution to work, says GamersGate, companies are going to have to start trusting consumers.
Buying games online is a tantalizing prospect, but among its many catches are the limitations game publishers put on it. Security measures like DRM, requiring an online connection, or limiting the number of machines on which a game can be installed may help preserve a few sales here and there, but GamersGate CEO Theo Bergquist says it's ultimately driving away potential customers:
Unlike platforms like Steam, GamersGate allows players to transfer games between accounts at any point in time, ensuring that they always have access to the products they have purchased. "For us, it's all about anywhere, any time," Bergquist explains. "We want gamers to access the games wherever they are, and we trust them." Though this policy opens the door for unscrupulous players to abuse the system, it's a source of comfort for the service's customers.
Sounds wonderful, but the question remains as to how realistic a business plan it is. Publishers want to give their customers options, certainly, but not all of them are willing to sacrifice control of their products. To learn more about GamersGate's vision of the digital future, be sure to read Christos Reid's article, Gateway to Gaming in Issue 212 of The Escapist.