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Capcom: "Retail is falling away"

Digital sales of PC titles more important than selling on High Street, says exec

Capcom has said that digital downloads of its PC titles are more important than selling boxed copies at retail.

As well as targeting consumers directly through online partners, Capcom's VP of strategic planning Christian Svensson, said that online services also help to cut down on returns from the High Street, where consumers are getting a poor retail experience.

Asked by Rock, Paper, Shotgun whether digital distribution was more important to the PC than retail, Svensson said: "Absolutely. No question in my mind. Digital distribution on PC ties directly into our strategy."

Svensson claimed that the publisher was already leading digital releases in the console space, and the PC is set to follow now Capcom has built a network of partners.

"Capcom is trying to lead in digital distribution, and I would go as far as to say that in the console space we are already the leading software publisher. We’ve had the highest revenue-generating Xbox Live title, we’ve had the highest revenue-generating Wii title, we’re definitely in the top three or four on the PlayStation network," he said.

"To that end, on the PC side, I’ve spent the past year building up a digital distribution channel that has about twenty different partners. We’re ready on the console side, and we were the first Japanese publisher to do anything on Steam."

Svennson said that Capcom sells as many PC title digitally as it does at retail, and digital downloads allows it to improve the sales process for the consumer.

"One of the problems, to be candid, is that retail is falling away," he stated. "What are the reasons for that? Partly it’s that return rates are very high. Returns of a PC title are usually double that of a console title - why? Because it’s not a great consumer experience because there’s variation in minimum spec, and it requires a lot of consumer knowledge to figure out exactly what is in their box, and what that will run.

"If we can improve that, if we can improve issues with DRM and create an anti-piracy policy that is friendly to consumers, that will remove barriers to sales, and improve the ecosystem."

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