GameStop/EBGames launch online digital distribution

Posted by Mark Raby

The online stores of retail chains GameStop and EBGames have launched a new channel for PC games that are available for download immediately after being purchased. Games range from $5 simplistic, time-killer titles to the latest $50 software.

Games are sorted into "casual" and "core". With a growing infatuation with casual games in the country, EBGames is trying to tap into that market, while at the same time appealing to their main target, the hardcore gamers.

Several titles in the new digital download store also provide a free trial version of the game. Purchased versions of software can be downloaded on up to three computers, depending on the publisher.

EBGames, which was acquired by GameStop in 2005, tried a similar service about five years ago. With its EB1 platform, users were able to "rent" PC games for a period of 72 hours, in similar fashion to online movie rental services like Movielink. Because of the substantial time commitment to most computer games, the service was not well received and promptly shut down.

The new digital download store, which offers the more popular download-to-own method, is the first time EBGames or GameStop has offered a digital download service since EB1.

Since the merge of GameStop and EBGames, the two companies have gained more cred among gamers and video game publishers. Most notably, it was reported that GameStop will be the exclusive pre-launch carrier of Nintendo Wii kiosks.