. Consumers still take their music, movies, TV shows and games in the traditional methods, but there has been this undeniable surge of force and potential from digital marketplaces.
XBLA, PSN. WiiWare, Steam, publisher shops and independent developer websites all make buying games online possible. We’ll go as far as saying that the PC side of the digital distribution market will almost certainly whittle down the retail presence of physical PC copies; thank the wondrous land of Steam for that one.
Namco Bandai VP of Marketing Carlson Choi told MCV that, despite the efforts of publishers and marketplaces, game retail representation isn’t going anywhere.
“Retail is never going to go away…It is going to be there forever…But we need to understand that fine balance between retail and digital. It is a challenge. [Apple’s Steve] Jobs changed the way the gaming market works. The question is, how will that evolve over the next couple of years and how can retailers stay relevant?
…About three years ago digital accounted for one per cent of most publishers’ revenue, today it’s about 15 per cent…”
Remaining relevant shouldn’t be too much of a challenge for retail in the short term. Competitive prices and less than stellar internet connections coupled with impatience make retail viable.
But, perhaps the long life of retail depends more upon people’s resistance to change than pricing and connectivity. Digital distribution will definitely rise up and fight for a larger chunk of the market than retail, there’s no denying that. But their may be people that simply don’t want to give up physical copies and purchasing in a store that will keep retail alive and well.
What’s your preferred method of content delivery?