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Amazon to enter digital download arms race

Chris Holt | Oct. 12, 2011
Online mega store Amazon looks to offer preorders for digital PC games later this week.

Amazon will be entering the digital download arms race and the PC gaming landscape may never be the same. Per a CNET piece, Amazon is expected to start allowing consumers to preorder digital game downloads on the PC later this week.

The digital download service field has become crowded these last few months, with Steam, Direct2Drive, and GameSpot recently having to make room for EA's Origin. Despite years of speculation that PC gaming was on its way out, many companies have instead invested in new ventures to further reach a PC audience. While Amazon already offers some video games for digital download, the latest news suggests that the online-mega-store will be expanding its offerings and could dramatically shake up the industry.

An Amazon representative told CNET that "preorder pricing could be up to 30 percent off launch list price." With those twelve words, Amazon put all other services on notice. While Amazon is late to the party, the company has the infrastructure, networking ability, and popularity to dramatically shift the PC gaming landscape. If Amazon can get exclusive discount prices for AAA titles, then Amazon quickly goes from being the new kid to the most popular kid on the block. Why settle for a game on Origin and Steam when you can get the same title, at launch day, for cheaper on Amazon?

Already, Amazon has revealed it will take preorders for such AAA titles as Battlefield 3, Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Saints Row: The Third, and Sims 3: Pets. Like other digital download services, through Amazon players will be able to get bonus items that often come prepackaged with pre-ordered titles: maps, guns, skins, etc.

The introduction of Electronic Arts' Origin service was seen by many as a move to get in on some of Steam's action. Now with Amazon's entry, we're beginning to realize how seriously billion dollar companies are taking the PC gaming community. While this may mean gamers will be forced to utilize different services to get the games they want (rather than one stop shopping), it only gives gamers greater flexibility and heck, a choice.



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