The State of Gaming in 2011

Vancouver’s Elastic Path is an ecommerce platform and consulting firm in the digital goods space.

Today, it released a new research paper. The free white paper is titled “The State of PC Gaming 2011: The Shift from Packaged Goods to Digital Distribution” and highlights key consumer behaviours and attitudes toward game buying in North America.

It’s no surprise that more and more things are going digital, with games being no exception—in fact, being at the forefront of this dramatic shift. 

“Our study indicates that the PC gaming industry is undergoing a revolution,” says Amanda Dhalla, ecommerce consultant at Elastic Path. “As sales of digitally distributed titles surpass physical purchases, the publishers and retailers that win will be those who understand that this is not just a change in how software is sold, but a fundamental shift in how consumers want to find, own and play their games.”

In the paper, Elastic Path proves how necessary digital distrbiution is for future success. The rapid rise of smartphones and tablets—two legitimate gaming platforms—are digital only, and more and more PC and console users are seeking the digital route when consuming goods. And the newfound mobility of the gaming experience has seen game playing reach an all-time high. Multi-platform games allow users to experience your product wherever, whenever, and however, broadening the appeal tremendously.

Digital distribution, the paper says, lowers the barrier to entry. And with costs able to be lowered by the developers, the initial financial commitment also drops for the user, boosting the accessibility on all major fronts. It is the essence of a win-win for companies with the know-how to capitalize.

Still, there are downsides to digital distribution and most consumers are aware of them. First, there are no backup discs. Second, the games can’t be resold—not on Craigslist and not to a store like GameStop.

There’s plenty more valuable information in Elastics research paper, so check it out.