Mac Shareware Distribution

MacWorld’s Peter Cohen writes about commercial games taking up the shareware distribution model in his The Game Room column:

Shareware isn’t exactly a new idea. But the distribution model for shareware is being adapted by commercial game publishers for a new breed of commercial game that’s starting to impact how Mac games are sold.

Cohen mentions that the stalwarts of the Mac game industry, Macsoft, Aspyr, and Feral Interactive are “painfully aware” that they are missing the boat on download-based delivery of Mac games, and to expect them to jump on the bandwagon in the future.

I’m left to wonder, what has taken them so long? Electronic distribution is such an obvious mechanism, it’s hard for me to understand why they are not already fully invested in such a strategy.

Granted, most of these triple-A games are huge and would have very large bandwidth requirements, but bandwidth is cheap these days. Certainly it’s cheeper than printing DVDs, producing retail shelf boxes and shrink wrap materials, not to mention the “overhead” of dealing with middlemen and retail outlets.