According to newly released statistics, competing PC digital distribution services Steam and Direct2Drive have posted significant year-over-year revenue growth, while Microsoft Xbox Live download services has seen big gains in download counts.
The figures come during a year when industry retail sales have consistently suffered
, although the total size of the digital distribution market is still known to be considerably smaller than the retail market.
Thus, it's not surprising that, speaking to consumer game site IGN
, a number of the bigger players in the PC and console space have revealed some major growth.
In particular, Valve's Steam service revealed a 97% increase in download sales, year-over-year, as it continues to sign major publishers such as LucasArts
and Rockstar Games to its PC download service.
IGN's own direct download service, Direct2Drive, has also surged year on year, according to the company, posting gains of 56% compared to twelve months previously.
Finally, as recently noted
in a Gamasutra interview with Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg, paid downloads on Xbox Live increased 73 percent over the 12 months through June, as a total of 20 million users are now on the Xbox 360's online service.
While market size quantifiability continues to be an issue in this area, with most companies keeping their overall digital revenues closely held, the trends are nonetheless clear.