Reports are coming in that GameStop will no longer be carrying Relic's Dawn of War II as the game appears to have been removed from the retailer's database. Some are speculating that it could be due to the game's integration and partnership with Steam.
Recently, the Dawn of War II beta launched through Steam, which could have insulted GameStop, as it loves to run beta programs in return for delicious pre-orders. The retailer is still carrying other THQ titles, but Relic's title appears to be gone. A quick look at other retailer websites shows the game perfectly available for pre-order.
GameStop has been reducing the size of its in-store displays for PC titles over the last few years, but this is the first time I can recall a major PC title being delisted. Additionally, GameStop was running a pre-order bonus for the game with some exclusive in-game wargear. No longer.
A quick call into my local GameStop was met with confusion and an attempt to get me to trade-in all my games. Also, they assured me that they were "sold out" of the game... which isn't out yet. It was pretty much a waste of my valuable AT&T rollover minutes.
This is pure speculation, but if GameStop stops stocking PC games that are also being sold on Steam, or games that go with a digital distribution platform for their betas or exclusives, it's just going to push people to other retailers or digital distribution platforms.
I already buy all of my PC games through Steam if they are available on Steam and it has spoiled me for a few things. While it doesn't really apply to console games, Steam is by far the friendliest DRM solution and allows me to install my games on any amount of machines. It also makes release dates actually make sense. There's no "ship date" on Steam. When the game is out... it's out.
Do you use Steam for your PC games? Do you order the boxed copy online or do you shift through GameStop's tiny display for your PC gaming needs?