Valve has dismissed worries that digital distribution erodes retail sales of software, adding that promotions via its own online service Steam actually boost bricks and mortar demand.
Speaking to Gamesindustry.biz, the game publisher's vice president of marketing Doug Lombardi claimed that recent online promotions with its successful franchise Left4Dead had seen a boost in retail sales.
"A lot of the 'Steam is there to compete with retail' stuff is sort of sensationalised," he told the website.
"When we do our free weekends on Steam for our products we see an increase in player numbers, obviously, and then we'll see a spike in sales at the end of the weekend on Steam and at retail.
"Recently we've seen data that shows Left 4 Dead free weekends increase the sales of Left 4 Dead on Steam, at retail and on the Xbox 360, which we would never have guessed could have happened, but it's just that word of mouth."