Metaboli executive Paul Howes has told GamesIndustry.biz that publishers must recognise the benefits of digital distribution - or risk finding themselves left behind.
Speaking in an exclusive interview, Howes said most publishers are "very receptive" to Metaboli's Games on Demand service, which sees users paying a monthly fee to download games direct to their PC.
"Most seem to understand what we are trying to achieve; some have been very pro-active in the digital space, having seen the benefits of a multi-channel distribution strategy very early on," he continued.
"Others are more reluctant to enter into an area that they feel may impact on their traditional boxed product sales, but gradually they are recognising how digital can be used to heighten product profile, grow distribution and extend the life cycle of titles.
"Our advice to publishers is to get involved, partner with Metaboli and learn about the digital market rather than watch it grow from a distance."
Metaboli recently signed a deal with Eurogamer Network (the same company which publishes GamesIndustry.biz) to offer games through Eurogamer.net. The company is currently in talks with other potential partners as it prepares to launch a full retail download service by the end of the year.
However, Howes said he does not believe digital distribution will overtake physical media "in the short term".
"We believe it presents an opportunity to improve the way games content is marketed and delivered to a large number of end users, both hardcore and casual gamers," he stated.
"It should complement traditional methods of delivery, and be regarded as an integral part of the multi-channel strategy publishers and retailers are beginning to adopt."