1. Post #1
    Gold Member
    imadaman's Avatar
    August 2008
    10,925 Posts


    [release]Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard believes that the decline and eventual closure of high-street retailer The Game Group is now inevitable.

    Speaking as part of an expert panel at the BAFTA Question Time event, sponsored by GamesIndustry.biz, Gerhard stated that the efficiency with which the internet serves the modern consumer's needs - easy access to a wide range of content at lower prices - has started a process that will eventually eradicate physical retail for games.

    "I think, 10 years out from now, we'll be talking about [physical] retail nostalgically, as a museum piece," he said. "I don't think there's much there that would give it a second life."

    Physical retail, Gerhard explained, is part of a system that takes "huge chunks of margin" from developers, facilitating the decline of the independent development sector.

    "That all erodes the economics for developers being able to make money," he continued. "They take a chunk - say 20 or 30 per cent - the publishers take a bit, and after inflation it's no wonder that the independent games industry isn't alive and vibrant, because they're not making any money."

    Mark Gerhard, Jagex posted:
    I think, 10 years out from now, we'll be talking about [physical] retail nostalgically, as a museum piece
    "[Developers'] response is almost desperation. 'We're going to go straight to the customer. We're going to go online. We're going to bypass the sequence that's taking so much from us...' I recognise that it's sad, but I think it's a fait accompli."

    "It's sad to see an institution decline, but the writing has been on the wall for quite some time - the internet didn't happen yesterday... People are still playing games. They're still doing business; they're just doing it in a different place... If you don't adapt you die. It's as simple as that."

    Jason Kingsley, owner of the UK studio Rebellion, compared watching the rapid decline of companies like HMV and Game to studying a mass extinction on the fossil record. He admitted to always being puzzled that the games industry sold data, "on bits of plastic wrapped in cardboard and the cellophane and put on the back of lorries."

    "I always thought data should go down wires and fibre optic cables," he said. "It's a reforming of an industry, and a refocusing away from selling data - which is more easily distributed in other ways - to offer a very different kind of service."

    UKIE's Jo Twist warned the other panelists not to "undersell" the importance of a one-to-one retail experience with engaged sales staff. To those unfamiliar with gaming or shopping for somebody else it can be the only way to make an informed purchase.

    However, Kingsley disagreed, arguing that personal recommendations through social networks already provide the same service in a more meaningful way.

    Frontier Developments' David Braben went further, saying that major chains like Game and HMV never offered the level of service Twist described, and were instrumental in the decline of the independent retailers that once did.

    "In a sense, they're just getting a taste of that medicine," he said. However, Braben also added that internet speeds in the UK weren't yet capable of supporting a full scale shift to digital retail for "the next year or two."

    This will give physical retailers some time to find an effective way of serving the needs of consumers, and potentially allow a more passionate independent retail sector to regain some of the market.

    Nevertheless, Braben echoed Gerhard's belief that, in 10 year's time, it would be "hard to imagine" any games being sold in "shrink-wrapped retail."

    "Whilst I am tremendously sympathetic to all of those that work in the shops, the fundamental problem is that they've got to look at their business to reposition it anyway - that's irrespective of whether it's a good or bad thing."[/release]
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  2. Post #2
    Black's Avatar
    December 2009
    3,073 Posts
    In my time, boy, we stored our games on CDs!
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  3. Post #3
    Proudly supporting the JIDF
    Dennab
    July 2010
    22,111 Posts
    The rise of steam assures this.

    Ever since I downloaded steam for the first time 5 years ago, I have only bought a single physical game.
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  4. Post #4
    2014 SH Pun Award Nominee
    Awesomecaek's Avatar
    January 2009
    21,487 Posts
    I say 5. At least vast majority of it.
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  5. Post #5
    Ask about my EBOLA fetish
    GameDev's Avatar
    February 2010
    12,434 Posts
    The rise of steam assures this.

    Ever since I downloaded steam for the first time 5 years ago, I have only bought a single physical game.
    The last physical I bought was BF3, since it was the limited edition

    All of my other physicals are Valve games
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  6. Post #6
    Gold Member
    Jasun's Avatar
    June 2009
    3,474 Posts
    I doubt console games will stop being retail.
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  7. Post #7
    Gold Member
    Chrille's Avatar
    August 2005
    5,458 Posts
    Even console games?
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  8. Post #8
    Glod Member
    ZombieDawgs's Avatar
    March 2009
    10,001 Posts
    The good thing about this is that companies like Game will have huge difficulty starting up with platforms like Steam dominating - competition is good I understand but people like Game don't deserve to have any power over the digital distrubution, they'd be like EA with origin except 10x worse.
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  9. Post #9
    Gold Member
    PyroCF's Avatar
    June 2008
    7,214 Posts
    I'd have no problem with this but as it stands not everyone's internet connection is fast enough to make it a viable option. For me it's a lot quicker to just go into town and buy a game.
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  10. Post #10
    Gold Member
    Robber's Avatar
    January 2006
    6,207 Posts
    I'm still buying all my AAA games physically. I can't justify paying 20-40% more just to get it 2 days earlier especially when it doesn't come with a nice looking case and takes forever to download.
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  11. Post #11
    Gold Member
    GetBent's Avatar
    August 2006
    6,970 Posts
    Unless I get a better alternative to 1.5 Mb DSL in the next 10 years I hope not.
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  12. Post #12
    Gold Member
    Dennab
    August 2005
    12,791 Posts
    The rise of steam assures this.

    Ever since I downloaded steam for the first time 5 years ago, I have only bought a single physical game.
    I think I bought a few more than that, but then sold them back and bought them on steam, or at least plan to do so when I get some money.

  13. Post #13
    Gold Member
    Pepsi-cola's Avatar
    July 2009
    4,121 Posts
    I think the last PC game I bought in a shop was HL2.
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  14. Post #14
    Gold Member
    Raidyr's Avatar
    February 2007
    23,979 Posts
    PC titles maybe, but I can't imagine physical console media sales going down unless the next generation systems have built-in game downloading, which would be pretty cool.
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  15. Post #15
    iSnubWaitWhat's Avatar
    January 2009
    1,114 Posts
    Last thing I bought retail was Battlefield 3: Limited Edition vv
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  16. Post #16
    Oh no, what have I done!
    Dennab
    November 2007
    22,049 Posts
    I still buy retail games if they're for my PS3, or have a super cool collectable in it, like Dead Rising 2's Zombrex pen, or Skyrim's map.
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  17. Post #17
    Gold Member
    markg06's Avatar
    September 2006
    11,053 Posts
    I haven't bought a PC game retail in a very long time, mainly because the only thing that shops are stocking is WoW, old games that most people already have regardless and The Sims, I literally went to about 6 games shops in 3 cities to try and find Anno 2070 and there wasn't a single copy so I ended up getting it off of steam and waiting until midnight because PlusNet are a fucking stupid ISP, I can't see console gaming changing from a retail format either considering the big attraction is still buy game, put disk in, go not wait 2 hours for your game to download.
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  18. Post #18
    Gold Member
    Electrocuter's Avatar
    December 2005
    6,178 Posts
    Even console games?
    Well, it's not that much of a far-fetched idea that, in a future console, you'll be able to buy and download games into it.

  19. Post #19
    Gold Member
    Zezibesh's Avatar
    May 2008
    19,064 Posts
    PC titles maybe, but I can't imagine physical console media sales going down unless the next generation systems have built-in game downloading, which would be pretty cool.
    They almost certainly will, but they'll also support physical media.
    But if we have to use proprietary hard drives like in the xbox 360 I don't see it catching on.
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  20. Post #20
    Gold Member
    Gareth's Avatar
    July 2006
    2,631 Posts
    i still buy retail games every now and then, it's nice to have the box. too bad it's just not worth paying 5-10 on travel to buy a game in a store when i can just order it online for free

  21. Post #21
    Gold Member
    Sir Whoopsalot's Avatar
    August 2010
    23,097 Posts
    For PC games? Totally. Steam just keeps growing and growing.
    Console games? Fuck that.
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  22. Post #22
    Gold Member
    Chonch's Avatar
    July 2009
    7,214 Posts
    Last time I bought a physical PC title was way back in 97.
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  23. Post #23
    Kljunas's Avatar
    August 2011
    2,908 Posts
    I buy a physical version when the game is new and not on sale on Steam. As long as downloadable copies aren't significantly cheaper than physical ones I have no reason not to buy physicals.

  24. Post #24
    Gold Member
    pebkac's Avatar
    January 2009
    2,645 Posts
    The PC market is already moving fast towards the dominance of digital distribution, however consoles are probably going to hold back for a while. But come think of it, in 10 years consoles will hopefully already have advanced by 2 generations, so anything's possible by then.
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  25. Post #25
    Gold Member
    Lhuth's Avatar
    July 2011
    237 Posts
    It looks inevitable but I hope this doesn't really happen.

    My issue with digitla distribution is that if one company folds (not going to happen with steam, but will inevitably happen at some point if other companies begin launching their own platforms), then you're suddenly left with absolutely nothing. 100 of games can disappear in an instant. I kind of like being old fashioned and having a physical copy.
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  26. Post #26
    Gold Member
    damnatus's Avatar
    October 2006
    5,530 Posts
    I buy physical copies because it's a lot cheaper (in Russia)
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  27. Post #27
    Gold Member
    Mr MP's Avatar
    April 2009
    1,898 Posts
    Well, I buy physical copies when I see some sorts of packs (for example Crysis Maximum Edition.) or when they happen to be on sale in some shop. (I mean, come on. Battlefield Bad Company 2 for 22 polish monies? Fuck yes.)
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  28. Post #28
    We're made of star-stuff
    LarparNar's Avatar
    February 2009
    10,265 Posts
    It looks inevitable but I hope this doesn't really happen.

    My issue with digitla distribution is that if one company folds (not going to happen with steam, but will inevitably happen at some point if other companies begin launching their own platforms), then you're suddenly left with absolutely nothing. 100 of games can disappear in an instant. I kind of like being old fashioned and having a physical copy.
    I'm pretty sure Gabe or someone else in Valve said that if they ever go bankrupt, they will release some sort of program that opens up Steam so you can at least play all of your Valve games, even without Steam servers.
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  29. Post #29
    Hullu V3's Avatar
    October 2009
    6,412 Posts
    It's a shame.

    Not that this is relevant, but I didn't have an internet connection on my computer before my 14th birthday so physical copies were the only way for me to play something. Though Steam was still Gabes wet dream when I was 14, so it's not like there were many options available back then.

    Though this problem isn't very relevant in this day and age, because kids from 5-year up have internet.

    Point being, if your parents don't let you go to the net, you're fucked.

  30. Post #30
    One of these days, I'm going to cut you into little pieces.
    AJisAwesome15's Avatar
    May 2011
    5,929 Posts
    I just kinda like having a physical copy in my hands

    I bought the Diablo 2 Battle Chest a while back because I liked the box

    The game is good too by the way
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  31. Post #31
    Gold Member
    Asgard's Avatar
    July 2010
    3,681 Posts
    The last thing I bought retail was the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Collectors Edition. And it was worth it. No e-book, e-download, e-crap version of it would replace the beauty of it.

    Oh and it came with the WoW TCG. I love TCG's.

  32. Post #32
    Gold Member
    wraithcat's Avatar
    December 2007
    13,065 Posts
    Even console games?
    Considering how much console devs hate resells definitely. Things like XBLA and the PSN store will just become the sole outlet where you can buy the content on the console.


    Though I personally still buy the majority of my stuff retail (or well physical copies ordered of online stores) because it's still roughly 20% cheaper than steam on good days.
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  33. Post #33
    Marik Bentusi's Avatar
    June 2010
    6,316 Posts
    I like to look at a physical library, but Steam is offering so much good service (including ridiculous 75% off sales) it's hard to justify not buying from Steam instead. It's a real shame they don't offer you to get a physical copy for a few extra bucks, but that option would probably be more trouble than it's worth for Steam.

    So I sometimes buy Steam games and after a while when the price has dropped really low I buy a second physical copy if the game was really worth it.
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  34. Post #34
    White Fusion will love him forever and ever~
    Rents's Avatar
    January 2012
    10,936 Posts
    The only time I buy physical copies of PC games is when I want the fancy case and collectables, like the X Superbox or Civ5, or when I see something dirt cheap in the bargan bins.
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  35. Post #35
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  36. Post #36
    Sourcegamer8's Avatar
    June 2008
    4,668 Posts
    I really do hope PC games still release retail. They're as of now, still faster than downloading.

  37. Post #37
    Gold Member
    The mouse's Avatar
    March 2009
    8,417 Posts
    I bet Jagex will be gone in 10 years aswell.
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  38. Post #38
    What's brevity?
    ironman17's Avatar
    June 2006
    19,817 Posts
    If retail turns out cheaper than download for a certain game, I sometimes buy a physical version, like how recently I preordered my copy of ME3 from Amazon since it's cheaper than the Origin price (Origin asks for 35, I got mine for 30 on Amazon). I did a similar physical ordering for Skyrim, shaved off about 6-7 off the Steam price. But the last time I ever actually went into a store to buy a game was on impulse many months ago, buying Assassin's Creed 2 and Stalker: Radioactive Edition.

  39. Post #39
    Gold Member
    MR-X's Avatar
    January 2005
    7,386 Posts
    In my time, boy, we stored our games on CDs!
    In my day we stored games on floppy.



    and cartridges
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  40. Post #40
    intercontinental mexican sausage filler
    frankie penis's Avatar
    October 2009
    2,594 Posts
    If retail turns out cheaper than download for a certain game, I sometimes buy a physical version, like how recently I preordered my copy of ME3 from Amazon since it's cheaper than the Origin price (Origin asks for 35, I got mine for 30 on Amazon). I did a similar physical ordering for Skyrim, shaved off about 6-7 off the Steam price. But the last time I ever actually went into a store to buy a game was on impulse many months ago, buying Assassin's Creed 2 and Stalker: Radioactive Edition.
    Same here, I can find games that activate on steam in bargain buckets for sometimes half the price. Origin is also a massive ripoff with SWTOR too, 40 digital and as low as 28 retail in some places
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