UK trade body TIGA have issued a statement in the face of a week that has seen a number of high profile high-street chains slip into administration - not least HMV and Blockbuster - saying that the decline in physical retail has been driven by consumers embracing a digital revolution that will only move forward with greater momentum."Blockbuster’s and HMV's fall into administration is very sad, not least because of the probable job losses," said Jason Kingsley OBE, TIGA Chairman and CEO, and Creative Director at Rebellion. "But their decline and fall has been driven by the decisions of consumers to embrace digital downloads. The DVD space is being eaten away by services such as Netflix and Lovefilm, CDs have largely been made irrelevant by iTunes, Steam has made the PC a buoyant gaming platform and mobile platforms have made consumers more at ease with buying for non-tangible products.”
"The future of games development will increasingly lie in direct marketing to consumers and this will not only enable developers to communicate directly with their buyers but it will also allow them to be more creative.”
We've seen this before, and TIGA board member Patrick O'Luanaigh suggests that the entertainment sector is only going to get tougher in the face of an "unstoppable" digital shift.
"As someone who has spent a great deal of time and money in Blockbuster and HMV stores, I really hope that the companies are able to come out of administration in some form. Sadly for Blockbuster and HMV, there is no doubt that entertainment retail is an increasingly tough sector with more and more gamers spending their money on digital downloads with Apple, Steam, Google, PSN and the like. Like the music industry, I really do feel that this trend is unstoppable, and I hope that Blockbuster, HMV and other entertainment retailers are able to adapt their businesses to fit into the changing environment.”
The recent spate of administrative slumps comes nearly ten months after the UK's leading gaming high-street retail chain - GAME - went under. It was rescued thanks to a buyout from OpCapita, although with another OpCapita-run company (Comet) slippng into the abyss just before Christmas, the big purple Lazarean retailer is not out of the woods yet.