It's no secret that Steam dominates the digital download market, but that doesn't seem to scare Theo Bergquist, CEO of digital download service GamersGate who told the media that he believes that Steam has reached its peak and can only grow down from now on.
Talking to Industry Gamers, Bergquist was bullish about the two companies' relative future prospects, buoyed by strong figures form the Christmas period which saw GamersGate's sales rise by 72 per cent.
"To be honest, we're not afraid of Steam," he told Industry Gamers after boasting that GamersGate's sales rose by 72% through Christmas. "We think they are peaking now while the market is still very hardcore. In fact, we know from the feedback we receive from customers, one of the reasons we have such great growth is because many gamers out there don't like Steam and see Gamersgate as a better alternative."
"Once digital sales are superior to physical sales, we believe Steam will have a harder time remaining #1," he added. "We don't have any market breakdown of the overall numbers. Some people say Steam has 50 per cent of the market, some say 80 per cent, but we don't know."
"What we do know is that Steam's marketshare will shrink in the future and that GamersGate is well positioned as one of the digital distrubution platforms that has strong momentum to gain marketshare."
Bergquist then expressed his belief that 2011 might be the year when digital downloads overtake physical media sales.
"You should never underestimate the importance of the physical store," he explained. "At the same time, the market is moving faster now. Some of our partners tell us that in only a year their revenues from digital downloads have moved from 10-20 per cent of their revenue to over 50-80 per cent."
"I think 2011 will be a tipping point for digital downloads in which they should really take off. Digital distribution is no longer a business development project for publishers; it's an integral part of the sales organization. They look at the greater revenue split they can get from digital as compared to physical, and it's easy math to decide that they should focus on digital."