Physical PC games are a dying breed what with publishers opting for digital distribution methods like Steam or simply shipping PC games to retail with keys or codes in boxes rather than discs, usually for Steam or whatever platform they’re on. If you’re a PC gamer in India who can’t use Steam, Origin, GOG, or Epic Games due to lack of local payment options or simple steadfast defiance, Games The Shop is now an option.
The Indian retailer is now offering PC game Steam keys via its website. The Mako Reactor spotted the new section for PC digital games with titles from Warner Bros. popping up. Pricing is in-line with what you’d pay on Steam, so if you were expecting a better price point as per regional pricing guidelines from Valve, think again.
Considering Games The Shop is owned by E-xpress, India’s biggest games distributor, it’s safe to say we should see games from some of its other publishers soon enough such as Square Enix, Capcom, Sega, and Ubisoft to name a few. Speaking of Sega, if Sega games do show up on Games The Shop’s PC digital section, the retailer hopefully becomes a part of Sega’s approved partner program as this would assure Indian customers of pre-order bonuses.
At the moment you can buy games online using debit card, credit card, net banking, PayTM, or MobiKwik. There’s no option for cash on delivery (something which Steam offers in India) and you’ll receive any purchased codes in your email inbox. Not all games on display are available for purchase. Right now, just a handful such as Batman: Arkham City can be bought. Other games are greyed out for purchase with a ‘Sold Out’ label.
The advantage of using Games The Shop over Steam, Epic Games Store, Origin, or any of the other big storefronts has to do with payment options. In our experience, Indian debit cards are notoriously finicky and Games The Shop’s compatibility with local payment gateways and options makes it an ideal fit for those who don’t want to deal with payment declined errors on larger international storefronts.
Hopefully, buying these PC Steam keys will be available offline too, allowing users to pay in cash, which is still the dominant payment method in India. It’s something Games The Shop has successfully done with its PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Store prepaid cards. Perhaps when the ongoing pandemic subsides and Games The Shop reopens its stores, this may happen.
The Mako Reactor reached out to Games The Shop for comment after spotting this on the site and did not receive a response at the time of publishing. We will update the story if we hear from the company.
This isn’t the first time a specialist Indian retailer has sold PC Steam keys. That would be the now defunct Game4u which introduced the concept long before with its Downloads4u line-up.