Or is it just another internet marketing fad?
You may have heard of, if not used, the Steam digital distribution platform before. But do you know about the other players in this newly emerging market?
This application was developed by the DesuraNET team and runs on the Microsoft Windows and Linux platforms, a Mac OS X version of the client is currently in the works.
Unlike Steam Desura primarily focases on content from the small independent developers instead of the larger mainstream software houses. It is uses a similar games distribution system to Steam and also has its own community features and automated game updates. But there is another aspect to Desurs, it also has a strong MOD and independant developer community assosiated with it and provides additional resources for this market.
Both these componies, especially Steam, have already become quite established in their own ways, but their small corner of the web market looks set to get a lot bigger and a low more mainstream.
Like the two more established sites the Origin client also offers social networking features, including user profile management, direct game chat, and an interactive overlay showing both local community and external networking site integration. The Origin site's external capabilitys offer links to Facebook, Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network. The aime is to match Valve‘s Steam service in terms of compatability and value.
But a new bread of independant app-based digital distribution sites are also snapping at the heals of these pionears, eger to get a peice of the newly forged market. Sites like wildtangent and other start up outfits see this as a more accesable route to diectly ditributing their wares. So the future may become a very interesting place for the digitaly distributed games industry.
We shale have to waite and see.