Nostradamus will be published by Microids in the US. I haven't heard anything definite as far as a US publisher for Cleopatra.
But, I would be curious to know the distribution of sales between serious & casual buyers i.e those that would have, & those that wouldn't have bothered, to buy a game on-line in the event of unavailability in a bricks & mortar store?
I don't know anything about that, though I agree, it would be very interesting to find out.
Okay, I can hear the problem of Piracy being screamed at me! But, as mentioned earlier some downloadable games are commanding the same price as a boxed disc version without all the production costs. Also, you can't resell a downloadable game so if this also applied to any CD or DVD made of the game it would make pirated discs obvious. It probably wouldn't stop piracy & another potential problem could be alternative websites turning up with pirate download copies but I can't help thinking this would be on a lesser scale than the problem with boxed disc versions which can be harder to spot?
I'm not sure how piracy figures into all of this. The pirates seem to put games up on piracy sites within days of the games being released (and sometimes even before they are released).
This puts pressure on game publishers in general to "hype" games as much as possible before publication, because their sales will inevitably drop as soon as people can steal the game by downloading it for "free."
One positive element to sales of adventure games is that games in the adventure genre have a longer shelf life than average -- partly, I feel, because the adventure gaming community continues to buy adventures even after they are available in pirated form. It speaks volumes for the typical adventure gamer's integrity (IMHO, of course) that these gamers continue purchasing games for weeks and months after they've shown up on illegal sites.