Stardock’s claim a while back that they have the largest share of the digital distribution market next to Steam is being refuted by competitor Direct2Drive. “Stardock’s recent assessment of its service [that Impulse holds a clear number two position in the digital distribution space] is misinformation at best.” Direct2Drive’s VP of digital content, Sutton Trout has told Gamasutra.
Trout referred back to the PC Games Digital Downloads: Analyst Report, a report made by the NPD Group earlier this year that revealed differing figures. The report, which was created based on activity made from January to March of this year, placed Steam at the forefront of the market, with Blizzard.com and EA.com trailing respectively. Direct2Drive was fourth, Stardock’s Impulse however, was not even on the list.
Responding to Direct2Drive’s claims, Stardock CEO Brad Wardell said, “The data we used came from the publishers. When you add in the fact that Sins of a Solar Empire, Demigod, Galactic Civilizations, etc. are sold exclusively on Impulse, that is what allows Impulse to edge third parties.” Continuing on to acknowledge how significant their titles are, “Without [Impulse’s] own titles, Direct2Drive would indeed be number two. But then again, without Valve’s own titles, Steam would be nowhere near 70 percent of the market either.”
Trout is certain that without a standard for reporting such information, the digital market would continue to endure conflicting information saying that Direct2Drive is in talks with data-collection groups to best figure out how to implement a standardized reporting system.