"Retail Will Always Have A Place In Our Future"
Analysts, developers, hacks and gamers are currently debating the shape of our gaming future, which would appear to be predominantly digital. Capcom concurs, but suggests that there'll always be a place for traditional retail, with redeemable tokens for downloadable games replacing discs within the next five years.
Speaking to Gamasutra, Capcom's senior vice president of strategic business development (yikes) Christian Svensson reckons that traditional games retail won't die out as we enter the next console generation, but instead of discs, shops will likely stock downloadable content tokens bundled with a toy or plushie.
Retail will always have a place in our future. But five years down the road, the value proposition of retail, to publishers, will change. Retail's role will shift from planned purchase to impulse purchase, predominantly. And planned purchases will increasingly happen online, just for sheer convenience's sake.
Five years from now, more likely than not, we'll not have plastic discs in a box, but we'll have tokens in a box, something that is gift-able and able to be bundled with other hard items like figurines or plushes - or something else that has tangible value that can't be downloaded over a wire.
However, Svensson is also certain that the fully-digital future is "going to happen" sooner or later.
Very obviously, certainly sometime before five years from now, every game will be digital and retail. To quote my friend Paul Raines, the CEO of GameStop, they don't disagree on the inevitability of it, they disagree on the timing of it - when it's going to happen.
I definitely think that's going to happen very, very quickly. It's going to depend a lot on what the first party [console manufacturers] do in the next generation of console hardware.
With GAME's current woes firmly in mind, it's nice to hear that publishing execs still support high street retail.