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Digital Distribution

Find online sources of video games

Media companies have jumped on the digital distribution bandwagon in a big way, and you can now access an incredible range of game content through licensed, legal providers. Accessing game content through a valid digital distributor ensures that programmers and other creative personnel are fairly compensated for the untold hours of work they put into the product, and will be able to continue to develop new games for you to enjoy in the future. Many digital distribution companies even offer a number of titles free of charge to paid subscribers, allowing you to play free games online, including a number of popular classics.

An Overview of Digital Game Distribution Companies

Some of the options you have at your disposal for digital game distribution include:

  • Amazon Digital Services. A longtime force in the digital media distribution industry, Amazon added a Mac game download store to its lineup in 2011 and expanded it in 2012 to include a proprietary game department, known as Amazon Game Studios.
  • Desura. Offering content for Mac OS X, Linux and Windows operating system, Desura is one of the very best places you can go to access PC game content.
  • GameStop. While GameStop first made its name as a traditional retail outlet, the company has made the move into the world of digital distribution. Through the company's website, you can access hundreds of popular game titles for play on PCs and Internet-connected devices.
  • Games for Windows Live. Microsoft's digital game distribution platform offers an exclusive library of licensed content, giving gamers a plethora of exciting options to choose from.
  • Steam. This popular distribution platform uses a "steampunk" motif, and is one of the largest operations of its kind on the Internet. Steam distributes titles by major game producers as well as independent developers and smaller game studios.
  • Origin. Formerly known as EA Download Manager, Origin provides subscribers with exclusive access to hundreds of popular Electronic Arts titles, including many of the company's most popular games of all time. Origin Mobile is expected to be released in the near future, which will offer an expanded Origin library of titles to users of smartphones and gaming tablets.
  • GOG.com. If you're looking to play classic video games on Windows or Mac OS X platforms, GOG.com offers a broad list of titles, including many of the most popular computer video games of all time. GOG.com has distribution deals with a number of prominent game companies, including Activision, Apogee, Electronic Arts, Epyx Games, Hasbro, Revolution, and many others.
  • GamersGate. Based in Sweden, GamersGate is an online distribution platform for over 250 of the world's biggest and most popular video game companies. It was among the very first distribution networks to offer PC video game downloads, and it remains a major force in the digital game distribution industry.

These are but a few of the many options available to you if you want to access online video game libraries. Prices and terms of use vary from distributor to distributor, with some offering unlimited access to their libraries for a regular subscription fee or one-time payment, while others allow you to download single games at low prices. Regardless of which distributor you plan to patronize, you should always take the time to familiarize yourself with the acceptable terms of use and your subscription options before completing your registration.

You should also browse the distributor's library, and look at the complete range of available titles instead of just the particular titles you're interested in. Many titles are available through multiple digital game distributors, and taking the time to find the distributor with the most titles you're interested in the best way to get maximum value for your money.

Games