So which is better? Buying the game directly from the developers or getting it at the store?
The simple answer is: Whatever way is best for you is best for us.
Now for the more complicated answer (which still amounts to the same):
If you buy a game for $39.95 from us directly, we see all $39.95 minus a couple dollars in electronic processing. If you buy the game from a retailer, then we'll see approximately half of what you paid for it.
But we need people to buy it at retail for the game to succeed. The reason for that is that most people don't want to download games. They want the box. Or they want the manual. Or they don't want to download a gigabyte of stuff. Or they just aren't comfortable buying on-line. There's a lot of reasons for that.
Moreover, there's an astonishing number of people who simply buy games while casually browsing the store. They literally buy a game based on its box or vaguely from word of mouth. All the ads, all the websites, all the PR, ultimately don't really come into play as simple word of mouth, having a nice box, and being on a store shelf. We don't have a precise percentage of how many games are bought in this way but I would be willing to bet it's well over 50% of sales are from this.
To be at retail you have to be able to sell typically 4 units PER store, PER week. At the end of the month, the store looks at the same, sees its sales, and decides whether to continue stocking it. Some retailers based future stocking based on those sales. So even though buying direct means that we get twice as much money per unit, it takes away a retail purchase that might make the difference between staying on the shelf another month or being taken off the shelf.
What about mail order places? They're fine. They often have good prices and good service. You won't see us promoting them here, however . Whatever is the best way for you to get your game is good for us.
The best thing that people can do with a game they like is word of mouth. It makes a huge impact on smaller publishers/developers (we're both). If you like the game, recommend it to someone. That will ultimately do the most good. The rest will take care of itself.