Retail games stores could soon be on the way out, set to be almost totally replaced by digital distribution and online games sales within the next year or two according to the predictions of some in the industry.
Notably, GamersGate CEO Theodore Bergquist has said that the digital distribution market is predicting 200 percent growth this year on the PC alone. GamersGate apparently had more than 100 percent growth in the last year and is forecasting further successes despite the credit crunch.
"When I talk to all the publishers - both small, and really, really, big - digital distribution is on everyone's lips,
" Bergquist said in an interview with GI.biz
. "Obviously some publishers are really ready to take these steps, while others aren't. Some still see digital distribution as something awkward, and they don't really know what to do with it, while some are really professional and they have it as a main strategy.
Bergquist goes on to say that once that all the publishers see the digital platform as the future, both for PC and consoles, then the move away from bricks-and-mortar stores will be both sudden and inevitable.
"I think digital distribution is absolutely the biggest threat they can ever have...Whether it'll happen this year or next, I'm not sure - but I think it's that kind of time frame we're talking about.
"I think they'll get better on the hardware side, selling hardware together with games,
" he said. "But if it's games only, then no way - I can't see [them surviving]. I've been in e-commerce since 1996 and I haven't seen a goods business model better than this. It's so pure online in its nature - I can't really see how a traditional retailer can survive, unless they decide to go online themselves.
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