Introduction to Digital Distribution Servicess
In the video game industry, digital distribution is the process of delivering video game content as digital information, without the exchange or purchase of new physical media. This process has existed since the early 1980s, but it was only with network advancements in bandwidth capabilities in the early 2000s that digital distribution became more prominent as a method of selling games. Currently, the process is dominated by online distribution over broadband internet.
To facilitate the sale of games, various video game publishers and console manufacturers have created their own platforms for digital distribution. These platforms, such as Steam, Origin, and Xbox Live Marketplace, provide centralized services to purchase and download digital content for either specific video game consoles or PCs. Some platforms may also serve as digital rights management systems, limiting the use of purchased items to one account.
Digital distribution of video games is becoming increasingly common, with major publishers and retailers paying more attention to digital sales, including Steam, PlayStation Store, Amazon.com, GAME, GameStop, and others. According to study conducted by SuperData Research, the volume of digital distribution of video games worldwide was $6.2 billion per month in February 2016, and reached $7.7 billion per month in April 2017.