Eurogamer: When it first became clear that digital distribution was going to be a big part of the future for game software, one often-stated fear was that the industry's big publishers would never be able to co-exist on a single digital distribution platform. After years of duking it out for prominent positioning in bricks and mortar retailers, with little other than mounting point of sale marketing budgets to show for it, the temptation to do in the digital world what had been impossible in the physical world would be too great. Every publisher would build their own store, with their own products displayed in the shop window and their own direct relationship to the customer. Problem solved.
Problem solved, that is, for everyone except the consumer. The put-upon PC gamer would end up having to install a digital distribution client for every single publisher whose games he wanted to play. He'd need a unique login for each of those stores, he'd need to trust each of them with his personal and financial details, and to make matters worse, he'd probably end up having to maintain separate friends lists on each service, since the chances of inoperability didn't look high.