Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Published on February 21, 2012 By Draginol In PC Gaming

Sorry gang,

I decided to not allow our next two titles to be available at retail (Sins rebellion and Fallen Enchantress).

The cost/benefit ratio just isn’t there at this time. 

It is cool to tell people your game is at the store. But as a business, until the retailers adapt, it doesn’t make sense to deal with them at this point.

Comments (Page 3)
on Feb 22, 2012

Island Dog

Quoting KarmaGirl, reply 23Much rather concentrate on the game and ignore the retail politics.  In the end, it's much better for the gamers.


Quoting KarmaGirl, reply 24I was think art prints or posters or some collectable, personally.  Could have something much cooler than a box and we could mail it direct.  We'll need to see what doors open once we adjst to the "no retail" idea.



This model is starting to take place in what I consider the sister genre to TBS games (fighting games), collector's editions sell very well there.



on Feb 22, 2012

I wouldn't knock Retail Outlets for their business model.  Typically people are being self centered and short sighted when they bash Retail.  Yes Retail has its issues and draw backs, BUT...their ONLY goal is to MAKE money.  They do that by stocking items that are the most likly to generate MORE income than it costs to stock the shelves.   While I can see that software sales really do not belong in the brick and mortar retail environment there are still PLENTY of products you want to go see and touch before comitting to, TV's,  appliances etc, so things like movies, and software and music should rightly be leaving the Retail brick and mortar stores.

But still there is a place for those establishments, just like all of us in the real world, need to be more efficient and frugal so too do they.  Just sayin.

on Feb 22, 2012

i used to be against this, but I think the last boxed PC game I purchased was sins original release.

Same here... my last boxed game was the Kalypso version of sins for the French localization... since Kalypso version was a lot more expensive that the Stardock one, that they have never made any localization for the patch, i have end up with a game speaking French and English !!!

Almost forget, for these last boxed game, a trip to a other country was needed because it cannot be found in any game computer store in my country and nobody was wishing to order it !!!

On the other hand, with other game, i have a good experience with Steam game who have localization... game are easy to found and order...

Only problem is the size of game... before if have no speed limit but only 60gb month transfer... with newer game being over the 15gb in size, it was becoming a problem... well, i have now a limited speed ( 2 line at 2k mbits ) but unlimited transfer ( up and down )...

Anyway, boxed version remain useful for third world country where the general population continue to use dial-up modem... by example, i am thinking of the distributor 1C that Stardock have use for russia... maybe you receive only 15$ on the 40$ sale but it is better that receive nothing or almost nothing ( only in big russian city, people have good internet connection ) because of no sale... piracy/hacking is rampant in country like Russia and not local boxed release will only improve it...

And about risk... don't say that you are afraid of taking risk... Stardock have publish sins of solar empire, a game that no other publisher was wishing to release, a game that nobody have believe in it... Stardock have take the risk and it have pay-off... before trinity, stardock have already sold over 2 million copy... today, it is less a risk that in the past because sins of solar empire is well know in the gaming world...

By your own words, majority of sins sales are from retail... is it a good financial strategy to cut of from retail when they make the majority of your sales... seem like the Impulse syndrome : "We make too much money, so we need to get rid of it"... by the way, pretty sure that Steam take is share of profit too, maybe not so much that retail but a stardock central release will have be 100% income for you... why make a new stardock central when your product end-up to need Steam...

I am really curious to know what Stardock team have be smoking lately... selling impulse, moving to steam exclusive, killing the retail... what will be the next step... Is it Stardock trying to suicide itself... each option that you wipe out lead to a lost of customer, it will come a time when you will not have enough of them for survive... it is sane for a business man to kill it main distributor? If i was holding share of Stardock, i will begin to sell them because there is something not right going on !!! Open new door for more opportunity is great ( using steam platform like for trinity ) but closing door is bad ( selling impulse, killing retails, steam exclusive )...

on Feb 22, 2012

Well at the same time I do like Stardock's boxed copies I am still very happy with this because I'm still getting the games themselves!

on Feb 22, 2012

I think I'll always shop retail on some level ... but DD has a lot more pros vs cons now than it did several years ago.


on Feb 22, 2012

I only buy games through digital distribution as it is (unless I find an exceptional deal somewhere else - as its trended the last few years, the best deals end up on digital platforms).  As you'll likely be releasing E:FE on multiple DD platforms (or so I'd assume), you'll have even more exposure when you do go live.  I think dumping retail is the smart move here. 

on Feb 22, 2012

To be fair, the only retail games I've bought for myself (for the past 3 years or so) have been PS3 titles.

on Feb 22, 2012

Could always make downloadable a lightscribe template for the dvd burner and a case sleeve print for printing.  Would be a nice touch.

on Feb 22, 2012

Sounds good to me.  I can't even remember the last game I bought at retail.

Plus there are *NO* PC games at retail anyway.  Walk into Best Buy and all you see is WOW, couple shooters, a wall of SIMS and that's about it.  Seriously.  No way would either Rebellion or Fallen Enchantress get any shelf space outside of maybe 1 or 2 copies if you're lucky.

Retail for PC games has been dead, dead, dead, for a while so don't sweat it at all.

on Feb 22, 2012

On a $40 game we net about $15 these days at retail. 

There's MDF, which is effectively a slotting fee, as well as the manufacturing, the distributor's cut, the retailer's cut and that's before taking into account the costs of having a retail sales force to go out and negotiate with each retailer, attend their shows, etc. 

That's just how retail is.  They still sell more units than digital (at least for us) but there is also a lot of risk and cost associated with it.


Ouch, ~62% off the top has gotta make it hard to turn a profit after all the internal expenses.  I'm surprised there are as many retail games out there as there are.

on Feb 22, 2012

I would purchase, direct from Stardock a Collector's edition box if it came with cool content ... maybe even a disc.

on Feb 22, 2012

The Half-rack at Gamestop that may still house PC games won't miss you.  They are not in the PC game retail business, they are going digital as well.  As for other retailers,  you can't really call the stuff I find for PC at Target games per se.

on Feb 22, 2012

I don't mind at all. Ever since the early 2000's when they switched from the large boxes to the DVD sized boxes, I stopped caring about the physical prodcut. The manuals became low quality, there were few if any extras, and the discs are more of a hassle than convenience. Also, the physical stores get too large of a cut for the low quality experience they provide.

What you can do, however, is a kickstarter project to sell physical items to collectors a few months after the game is released. This way there is no risk involved and you can make your fans happy.

on Feb 23, 2012

Unfortunately if you live in rural or low internet access areas you will suffer, but the majority lives in areas with good broadband, or wifi. I haven't bought a game at a retailer since '05, and Lord Xia is right. You look in most retailers these days, and they have no decent PC game selection. No new releases. The same old WoW, Sims, or FPS crap.

So i say good call as well. More profit for SD = They can spend that profit for More, and Better games in the future, and they can charge a little less, because they dont have to deal with retail crap.

on Feb 23, 2012

The digital world is coming closer and closer.

It's quite interesting that we are now in the middle of a change.

I think it's for the better. Cut out the middleman and make it cheaper to get your goods.