Print 41 comment(s) - last by derricker.. on Jul 26 at 2:31 PM

Services like Steam and Direct2Drive continue to mount in popularity

It's no secret that digital downloads of video games -- be it on the console or PC -- are growing in popularity.  However, the latest numbers may come as a surprise to some.

According to a newly published study by market researchers at the NPD Group, entitled "PC Games Digital Downloads", almost half of the purchases of PC games in 2009 were done online.  The survey estimates that 21.3 million PC games were purchased online, while 23.5 million games were sold in U.S. retail stores last year.

That places the percentage of downloads at about 47.5 percent.  Overall Steam was the most popular download service, followed by Direct2Drive, Blizzard's direct download system, EA's direct download system, and the World of Warcraft MMO.

Online social network gaming is also on the rise with 4.3 million users jumping on board between Q3 2009 to Q4 2009.  Those gains have hurt the casual gaming download market, which was topped last year by Big Fish Games.  Casual gaming titles, which typically feature addictive gameplay and shareware schemes of some sort, are slowly losing ground as customers discover free or cheap options on smart phones or social networks.

Overall, the report delivered good news for those in the gaming industry who make PC games.  A previous NPD report had shown retail gaming sales to be down as much as 15 percent in June.  That report only looked at offline purchases, though.  The industry may have actually grown when online purchases were factored in.

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RE: makes sense to me
By GodisanAtheist on 7/23/2010 12:00:29 PM , Rating: 3
Ugh sorry lemme try that again:

You don't even have to waste time downloading your games again if you have an alternate drive to load steam to. Just copy paste your entire steam folder to another HDD, format your primary, then copy paste the folder back.

Launch the steam app manually, it'll re-register itself and you'll have all your games and saves waiting for you after its done.

RE: makes sense to me
By Mitch101 on 7/23/2010 12:34:42 PM , Rating: 2
Thankyou for that tip I made the ISO's on another drive but havent burned them. Figured I would if I needed to re-install but this sounds much easier to do and I can set up SyncToy to do the copy for me.

RE: makes sense to me
By JKflipflop98 on 7/26/2010 2:50:02 AM , Rating: 2
Alot of games actually save your play data in the MyDocuments folder nowadays. Be sure to back all that up, too.

RE: makes sense to me
By Akrovah on 7/23/2010 12:41:43 PM , Rating: 3
Another option that has worked well for me was to simply install steam to the alternate drive. Then when I reinstall my OS I just re-isntall steam right over the top of the old directory, no copy/paste needed.

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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