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GameTap merger with Metaboli adds "credibility" to digital distribution

Scott McDaniel, Exent CMO, says the merger further legitimises digital distribution as alternative to retail

GameTap's acquisition by Metaboli lends "credibility" to the subscription-based digital-distribution business, according to Exent.

The digital-distribution services company commented to GamesIndustry.biz that the acquisition deal, announced last week, is an important part of the games business and that it would lend "additional awareness and credibility" to games-on-demand business models.

"We feel that the merger between GameTap and Metaboli is an important partnership in the games business. GameTap was aggressive in their drive to build awareness of subscription gaming to the core gamers in the US, and we commend them for this," commented the company.

"Subscription gaming services, such that Exent offers to its broad array of partners, builds significant long term customer value, while truly offering a highly cost effective incremental distribution channel to retail and try-buy games distribution models."

Adding: "This merged entity will serve to lend additional awareness and credibility to the games-on-demand subscription business and other digital distribution models of which Exent is a major player."

Exent claims to have over 450,000 subscription customers worldwide.

Scott McDaniel, Exent's CMO, also told GamesIndustry.biz: "This merger will strengthen and further legitimise digital distribution of PC games as an alternative platform to the retail model, which has many challenges, not the least of which is limited shelf space."

"Digital distribution and subscription services offer publishers a solid and wide reaching 'second release window' and offer consumers a very cost effective way to acquire and play titles that may not be available at retail anymore."

McDaniel went on to comment on the future of bricks and mortar retail spaces, saying he believed the two were not mutually exclusive and each played a different role.

"I believe that digital distribution and bricks and mortar distribution can co-exist. If you think about it, digital distribution of PC games has been going on for quite a few years now," he said. "What we are seeing on the consumer front, from our own white-label services and others, is a desire for more variety and back catalogue titles."

He added: "To draw an analogy to the film business, brick and mortar equates to theatrical release window, while digital subscription offerings equate to the DVD and home entertainment release window. Both are terrific revenue generators, however, one is significantly more 'hits driven' than the other. Digital distribution models offer the 'long tail' recurring revenue to game publishers, and we believe this is even more valuable now as development costs increase and consumer want wider access and greater value for their dollar."

Extent provides software solutions to companies looking to become digital distributors and includes both Metaboli and GameTap among its customers.

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