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Digital is changing the landscape

Yesterday Kwalee CEO and Codemasters co-founder, David Darling, wrote a blog post about the digital revolution, the rise of free-to-play games and the fall of game consoles. According to him consoles are fast on the way to becoming like dinosaurs heading for extinction. His reason for this, digital distribution has made boxed games obsolete. Thereby eliminating the demand for platforms to have DVD drives, which in turn should make these machines cheaper.

“Are we in the middle of the biggest revolution that video games have ever seen? Physical media like DVD is dying out and gaming is rapidly moving to digital distribution. If hardware manufacturers such as Sony and Microsoft do not manage this transition soon, they will be overtaken and left behind by companies who are embracing digital distribution wholly and completely. Companies like Apple and Google are not tied to brick and mortar retailers with shackles and are not being held back by them.” David Darling

David Darling.JPG

With Steam and Origin we have already transitioned from buying boxed games to downloading it. Let’s take a brief look at the impact this has had on the games industry.

  • Games should be less expensive for the consumer because the middle man in the production chain has been cut out. In my opinion, we have not yet seen the price cut in especially main stream games that we should see.  Indie and mobile games, however, have closed this price gab. As a result, both of these are fast becoming a favourite choice for gamers to spend their hard earned cash on.
  • Almost instant gaming.  With platforms such as Steam, Origin and Apple’s App Store, you can pay up, start the download and play within a few hours.
  • Variety at our fingertips. Steam is the platform that pioneered the easy to use, quick and variety at your fingertips method of game purchase.
  • Real time response and feedback. Many games provide an in game feedback and response tool whereby gamers and developers can communicate in real time. This allows gamers to have input into the games they are playing and it extends the responsibility of the producer beyond the delivery of the game.
  • Extending the life span of a game. With the rise of Downloadable Content (DLC) gamers can choose to invest in more game time, without the massive cost of buying a whole new game.

Darling adds that “Consoles have become like dinosaurs heading for extinction as their natural retail habitat begins to change. These ancient beasts must now adapt to a new environment where platforms like Steam, Facebook and Apple’s App Store are pushing innovation. People are already playing more games through digital download than physical media. For instance, Angry Birds has had more than one billion downloads, a sales figure totally beyond what can be achieved by boxed games sold in the likes of Game and GameStop.”

In the world of technology, where change is the only constant, companies need to adapt or become obsolete. We are experiencing a gaming environment where the end user’s demands are starting to weigh more than just delivering the next AAA title.

Head on over to the MWEB GameZone Facebook page and answer the question of the week.

What is your method of choice for procuring a new game?

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