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Retailers threaten Steam game ban

Yank download service links from your games - or else, publishers to be told

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Major retailers may stop selling games that connect to Valve Software's Steam download system.

That's the threat at least two big, but unnamed players are going to hit publishers with, according to trade paper MCV.

Their argument is that it's bad enough that so many punters acquire games through Steam rather than high-street or online stores without publishers encouraging them to do so by incorporating Steam tech into their titles.

That, say the retailers, will hinder their own efforts at establishing game download services.

A fair point - it's like HMV being forced to sell CDs with links to iTunes on - but any ban on Steam-linked titles could backfire by simply encouraging even more gamers to source games on Steam.

According to MCV, games industry insiders reckon Steam already sells 80 per cent of all PC game downloads. In the US, more games are downloaded than bought on physical media, a point that will be reached over here soon enough. ®

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