Worried that those pesky digital shelves are going to put your local brick-and-mortar out of business in the next few weeks? Worry not, friends, as Valve's Doug Lombardi is here to put all your worries to bed. Talking to GamesIndustry.biz, Lombardi claimed that "free weekend" sales on Steam (among others) actually help to bolster sales at physical retail locations as well as online.

"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," says Lombardi. Furthermore, he waves off talk of bad blood between Valve and GameStop over the developer's Steam service, saying, "We spent more money at GameStop in the US promoting Left 4 Dead than we did at any other chain ... we sold more copies of Left 4 Dead at Gamestop than we did at any other chain ... for us, whichever cash register you want to pay at, that's fine." Not that it matters to GameStop anyway, given the lack of a threat posed for at least another five years, right?

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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