Across all streams of entertainment there is a trend towards online distribution.
DVD sales are being eaten into by Netflix, Lovefilm, and iTunes; CD sales are now competing with iTunes, Amazon MP3, and Spotify; Book sales have been in decline since the Kindle was launched; and Video Game sales are being shifted from in-store to online via Steam, EA Origin, Xbox Live and Playstation Network Store.
Having seen their competitors struggle and then go out of business, I feel confident predicting that within 10 years HMV and Game will no longer exist on the high-street and over the next year we will see more examples of online distribution.
What the ever growing popularity of Steam and the console stores has caused is a steady increase of independent games, offering a cheaper (and often far more inventive) alternative to the AAA titles, which if Ubisoft are to be believed are no longer viable for the big studios and are as likely to disappear as the high-street stores.
This is a collection of, what in my opinion are, the 10 Greatest Downloadable Games of 2012.
It’s worth noting that there are no titles on this list which existed are available in stores, because as much as I would like to put Diablo III and Far Cry 3 on this list, these were designed with disc sales in mind with an option to download, rather than designed as downloadable games. (NB. I do break this rule
once twice, but I have my reasons.)
Honourable Mention: Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition
2012 saw the release of the Xbox 360 version of the incredibly popular Minecraft, which whilst still being a couple of releases behind the original PC version has proved very popular, by virtue of the fact that the PC version was formally launched in 2011 (having featured an open alpha and beta since 2009) it will not appear in the Top 10.
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