In my opinion, the sad story is that Free to Play with ingame money graves, Facebook browser games, subscription based games and the like are the true "Saviour" of PC gaming. So one could say, not Steam is the Saviour of PC gaming as Brian Fargo thought in the recent other thread. Nothing that interests me in the least.
I am not sure if we - we as PC gamers - will benefit much from such a development. I mean if the multi-million Dollar AAA productions will mainly be made for consoles because they sell well there for the $60 price tag while on the PC these games may barely cut an average of $20 price in one of the many predictable 75% off sales, what do you think the publishers strategy will be? More F2P stuff and all the other shallow game experiences and mini games for the PC in the first place and then occasionally deliver a cheap console port or release a multiplatform title some weeks later after the consoles had their releases first sales high. Business as usual!
From what I've heard around the net, though, is that slightly more than 50% or PC game sales is retail. I haven't seen that number sourced anywhere, however, but it is what it is. That has always seemed too high, but then again I live in the US, and much of the retail space in other countries is fairly to significantly different than here. Maybe that's just over 50% for retail of AAA titles, maybe that includes the console market, I don't know.
I do agree with your assessment on where most of the money for PC games is coming from, or at least that's where the most amount of growth in the industry is at the moment. And that market share is one that I am certainly NOT a part of. That's the cancer of my beloved hobby.
Good. Now to ensure the DRM-free revolution increases their market share..
Incidentally, does anyone have any sales statistics comparing DRM with DRM-free games?
Only for some individual games like Defenders Quest : http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/186940/defenders_quest_by_the_numbers_.php
Wow, this was really eye-opening. I am going to assume that when selling direct they do not include DRM (that's the trend I've seen with the few small developers selling direct that also have a DRM free version in the market), so GOG and Direct sales combined equals approx. 32.5% of the market. That is a huge win for DRM-Free in my book, if my assumption is true. Also, that's over HALF of Steam's "stranglehold" on the market. Fair competition is chipping away at the stone giant!