Valve sees online distribution eclipsing retail soon

Last month, Valve's Doug Lombardi laughed off claims about the demise of the PC market, giving several reasons why he thought the market wasn't doing nearly as badly as everyone said. As Shacknews reports, Valve co-founder Gabe Newell has added another reason to the mix: recent PC game sales numbers only count retail, but online distribution is growing big timeā€”so much so that it may actually become the dominant distribution method before long.

Newell says he expects sub-10% growth rates in retail sales over the next three months, while online sales (or "alternative ways of connecting with consumers," as he says) are seeing near-200% growth. Newell reportedly showed a graph "illustrating that the company anticipates online revenue to dwarf retail by 2012."

That said, Valve's Jason Holtman added that online distribution sales aren't necessarily cannibalizing retail sales. When the company made Day of Defeat: Source freely available for a weekend, Holtman says, "Everyone who participated and had fun with Day of Defeat, a lot of people took us up on the digital offer, a lot of other... went to Wal Mart, Best Buy, GameStop, and bought the game."

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