When it comes to buying games don’t limit your options. Digital distribution of video games has really expanded in recent years, in more ways than one. Today I will be discussing the top six digital distribution services for video games. Some of these services are well known, but others can be hidden gems. So grab your wallet and let the savings begin.
One of the last bastions for video game rentals, GameFly has several plans that lets you rent games each month. Plans typically start at $15.95 a month, with a 30-day free trial available. While this service doesn’t include PC games, it does have thousands of titles to choose from for the counsel crowd. New titles are constantly added, with some classics available too. GameFly also has a “try before you buy “program that lets you purchase the game you’re renting at a discounted rate, mailing you the box and manuals at no extra charge.
5. GOG (formerly Good Old Games)
Often considered the place to go for classic PC games, GOG has since added a few recent titles as well. Truthfully its library is small compared to most competitors, but the majority of its games are DRM free, meaning you don’t need a specific service or internet connection to play them. The company also offers the GOG Galaxy app, allowing you to chat with friends and connect to their games. Even if you aren’t interested in DRM free games it’s worth returning to the site once in awhile to check out their latest sales.
4. Amazon Prime
In recent years Amazon has become a huge competitor in both physical and digital game distribution. Besides their sales, Amazon offers Prime members with several benefits. The biggest perk is that members are able to get a 20% discount on pre-orders and purchases on recently released titles. You can also enroll in Twitch Prime at no additional charge, granting you free exclusive game content each month. Amazon even offers an exclusive credit card to Prime members, giving them an additional 5% from purchases as points. Prime costs $99 a year, but students are able to enroll in the service at a special price of $49.99. With so many awesome benefits it’s no wonder more people are getting their games off Amazon.
3. Green Man Gaming
Odd name, but great service. Green Man Gaming is a digital game distributor based in London. GMG constantly features sales for upcoming and released games alike, and some pretty big ones. In the past I’ve pre-purchased games here, usually receiving a 30% or more discount for doing so. Additionally, they host a large library that isn’t exclusive to PC games. Currently they offer digital codes for the PC and PS4, with support for Nintendo and Xbox coming soon. I highly recommend signing up for their email alerts, you might just get a few deals you can’t pass up.
2. Humble Bundle
If you’re not familiar with Humble Bundle then let me enlighten you. This company sells individual and bundled games at discounted rates, giving a portion of the proceeds to charity. Customers are able to choose what charity receives the proceeds and get some great games to play. While individual discounts vary, most bundles offer steep discounts you can’t find anywhere else. These bundles usually consists of indie games, but they are among the best games available. I’ve purchased several bundles from this service, spending only about $50 for a few hundred dollars worth of content.
The king of digital distribution, Steam reigns supreme. No other service is quite like it, and none have had such an impact on PC gaming culture. In fact, I don’t know any PC gamer that doesn’t use the service. Steam constantly runs sales, whether it’s the midweek sale, weekend sale, or a publisher sale. In addition to these, Steam launches annual sales in the summer and winter that are guaranteed to drain your wallet. These sales inspire memes about the events themselves and Steam’s founder Gabe Newell. But Steam doesn’t just focus on games. It hosts an amazing friend network, customizable profiles, and community hubs for every game. Steam is truly one of a kind, and I can’t wait to how it continues to develop.