I am not a strong-willed man. I can at least proudly proclaim that I surpassed purchasing Burnout Paradise at the god forsaken EA Store, despite their steamy proposition to access the game a full three days ahead of the official PC release. My love lies with Valve's gift to mankind: the Steam digital distribution platform. However, certain events have be doubtful about my loyalty in this particular instance.
For one, all of EA's upcoming titles that they plan to release on Steam have been listed under the Coming Soon tab on Steam's Storefront, minus a certain chaos-filled racer coming soon to the PC platform. That's okay, though, right? After all, we still got two more days until the "official" release on the 6th, and Steam has been known to just "pop" games on to their store upon the day of release with no prior fanfare. Plus, my computer still has some Kentucky Fried RAM, so it's not like I would be playing it anyway.
So what's the problem? Well, there's two problems.
- For SOME REASON, Direct2Drive is able to offer the game 2 days ahead of the official release day, making the game available for download and play on this very day. Still, though, my RAM is fried, so what's the big deal?
- My RAM arrives today from Newegg.
And now we're up to speed on my plight. I worry that if my RAM arrives in just a matter of time and there is no word of a Burnout Paradise release on Steam, I will break my resolution to wait and just buy the game on Direct2Drive, which in of itself isn't a bad thing, but I would prefer that all my games be under one account, that is Steam.
The reason that I bring this up is that for one, I just like to ramble about these things to kill time and stress, and also, it makes me wonder what exactly is going on behind the scenes of digital distribution. Is it truly the publisher's decision whether or not to distribute their games digitally? Because it seems that, sometimes, the finger is pointed at the developers when a game does not make an appearance on a certain digital store, and it would seem that a publisher would want their game to be as widely distributed as possible (depending of course on the royalties of using different programs).
If it is the decision of the developer's themselves, I can understand not wanting to distribute on many different stores, although I think it would be more beneficial to cover all of your bases. Also, to exclude distributing on the largest and most well-known instance of digital distribution doesn't make alot of sense to me.
However, another problem arises if, in two days, Burnout Paradise suddenly "pops up" on Steam's storefront. If it is indeed the responsibility of the publisher to work out digital distribution, then a move like this would certainly make EA seem a bit more shady. Would it be a tactic that they would use to discourage users to buy on Steam, and instead, choose a different means of purchasing? I say this because I've noticed a pattern in distribution with a few EA games of recent times.
- Release on the OFFICIAL EA Digital Store, usually several days before the official release date
- Release on another digital distribution platform, usually Direct2Drive, a day or two LATER
- Release on Steam (if ever) days after that
Mirror's Edge has followed this guide to the "T". It's obvious that Steam and EA haven't always been the best of buddies, but it makes me wonder if EA is deliberately trying to persuade consumers to buy their products by different means. I could hypothesize about the reasoning behind this for quite some time, but I hope that I'm just thinking too hard about these events, and that EA isn't as petty as these events might portray them to be.