Weekend Open Forum: Where do you buy your PC games?

By on March 11, 2011, 6:26 PM
According to stats released by NPD last summer, digital game downloads surpassed retail stores in terms of units sold. During the first six months of 2010, gamers bought 11.2 million digital PC games versus 8.2 million physical units. That trend is spurred by the incredible prices and convenience offered by services such as Steam. Valve's digital marketplace reportedly earned $1 billion in 2010 and the company claims it's more profitable per employee than Google and Apple.

With that kind of cash flow, it's no surprise that a ton of competitors are scrambling establish a presence in the digital PC market. Just this week, Microsoft promised to improve its Games for Windows Live platform. Given this year's intimidating list of anticipated titles, we thought it would be a great time to ask: where do you buy your PC games? Steam undoubtedly earns the bulk of my game purchases, but I won't ignore a good deal elsewhere, especially on new releases.

User Comments: 91

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Quinneypoo said:

thepiratebay, bitgamer.

KG363 KG363 said:

95% Steam, sometimes Best Buy

Guest said:

I stopped after the gamesellers (GameStop...etc) decided they weren't worth their while.

TitoBXNY TitoBXNY said:

Now that Best Buy's PC section is nearly obsolete, Steam. GameStop's customer service is just awful, so Steam for me.

Guest said:

Steam is the best.

Guest said:

Steam, duh. those spinning media formats are so 2010...

Cueto_99 said:

Well, I guess most of us will say Steam... Reliable, big discounts and excellent multiplayer platform... what else do you need?

Raswan Raswan said:

kg363 said:

95% Steam, sometimes Best Buy


Guest said:

I buy 90% of my games from Steam, 5% from Impulse and 5% from Direct2Drive. Think it's been about 5 years since I bought a boxed game.

Route44 Route44, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

I will still buy from the likes of Walmart, Best Buy, etc. if they have what I want. Amazon definitely and had a first good experience with Gogamer.com.

There have even been really good deals on eBay.

Guest said:

Stardock (Impulse), Target, BestBuy

howzz1854 said:

steam and direct2drive

Nima304 said:

Buy? Who buys PC games?

treetops treetops said:

At the game vendors site if its new if not amazon or ebay. I also go to best buy every so often to buy a new game or to browse new\old games. I doubt I will ever buy a old game from best buy again.

mailpup mailpup said:

I still only buy boxed games. I don't buy a lot of games but usually they're from Best Buy.

motrin said:

all of last year bought countless games off of steam


2 from Games for Windows. (10 cents age of empires and MS points for one of the Stalker games)

Guest said:

Steam, is there some place else ?

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Steam, GOG and occasionally Direct2Drive.

mrtraver said:

I mostly buy boxed games, at walmart or best buy. A few downloads from GOG.com, but I still prefer physical media. Just old-fashioned I guess!

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:


Guest said:

EB Games (way overpriced in australia) , Steam

TrekExpert TrekExpert said:

I use to always by my games retail as until recently the fastest internet in my area was 500kbs. I just got a "speedy" 1.5mbs internet connection so I have been considering using steam.

boybrushdred boybrushdred said:

i buy from steam specially on BIG sale events!

MrAnderson said:

Amazon (all platforms), Newegg (all platforms), Steam (PC lalala of course), GOG.com (oldies), and Gamestop

Downloads are tuff (can take a while if you have a I want it now factor), and well although Steam has good sales when you catch them... all d/l for PC you don't see any savings from having no box until there is a sale...

edison5do said:

quinneypoo said:

thepiratebay, bitgamer.

"Buy? Who buys PC games?"

For people that think that way PC Gaming its so ******* Held Back!

Guest said:

Steam for sure...

T3x said:

Steam, Gamestop or amazon if I want a collectors edition.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Steam,Steam,Steam, and occasionally Walmart

DokkRokken said:

Steam, eBay or Craigslist.

be_patient said:

Steam, ozgameshop

Guest said:

Steam for just about everything! If I rebuild my computer all I have to do is install the steam client and then log in and let all my previously purchased games automatically download, install and update while I sleep and by morning all my games are ready to play. Top that!!!

Panda218 Panda218 said:

Steam Holiday sales FTW xD

herpaderp said:

Steam primarily, followed by Direct2Drive. Both have a large selection of games, between them, I'll usually go for whichever has a particular game I want for less money. Also, sparingly, GamersGate and Impulse, usually only whenever they have a great deal on a game I want. Amazon takes the rest of my money, such as when I'm trying to find an older title for as little money as possible.

Leeky Leeky said:

I buy all mine from Steam, though I usually get them when they're on offer rather than pay full retail price.

fpsgamerJR62 said:

I buy boxed games at the mall where there is a computer software store.

63Jax said:

i buy them from Demonoid and The Pirate Bay, they have very good prices

Issun said:

Nima304 said:

Buy? Who buys PC games?


Is the problem.

yowanvista yowanvista said:

It get them for free, never ever bought a game legally

ramonsterns said:

Issun said:

Nima304 said:

Buy? Who buys PC games?


Is the problem.

This is the solution.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Local shop for local people...

Steam looks good but not on my connection.

Guest said:

I usually download games from torrent and try it as a demo.

If I like it I go on steam and buy it if not available on steam and no other way to buy it over internet in digital format I am simply not buying.

Guest said:

I buy all my games in store. Would probably buy from steam if I didn't stay in South Africa. Only way to download games form steam is to have a 4mbs or 10mbs internet connection (fastest home connections in SA btw), else it takes about 100-200 hours on a 384kbs line like most people in SA have

Lurker101 said:

I almost always buy physical copies of my games, either from local retail or online stores such as play.com. It's only the few small indie games that aren't available on physical copy that I purchase via download.

Yeah, downloading is convenient and all that crap, but there's something special about having shelves filled with rows of games dating all the way back to Day of the Tentacle and Sam & Max, up to todays titles like Mass Effect 2 and Fallout New Vegas.

Lokalaskurar Lokalaskurar said:

I've always been buying my games from a local gaming-guru. But the municipality opened up a state-run game shop nearby and forced him out of his business (... greedy ***'s).

Since I acquired Internet access (exactly) one year ago, I've been purchasing my games online. (Not through Steam - never got it up and working )

andreasf93 said:

Steam is way too expensive, I buy from Amazon/Ebay.

aTree said:

Steam - but only if there is an offer on (+ I dont like selling my soul!).

Otherwise depends on the age of the game and what it is! Amazon, Gamestation & Game are usually my go-to people for games.

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