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Reader Comments (36)

Posted: Feb 21st 2012 9:37AM avaloner said

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I sort of agree sadly. I also think book stores, new agencies and music/DVD stores will be going the way of game stores. It will be a sad day when you know longer can hold a game disk in your had and have a games collection on your shelf.

I have many old games in my collection still and I sometimes go through some of my old games from the 80's and 90's (stil in their orignal cases no boxes thou) and play them sometimes.

I do like things like Steam but I can sit there and look at the list of games I own on it and don't really get the same satisfaction I get at looking at a manual and game disk.

That said it would be nice if digital games cost a bit less when they first come out because as far as I can see they cost about as much as buying them in a stop even thou it costs much less to "ship" it to you.

Posted: Feb 21st 2012 9:44AM Natester21 said

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Not on my watch.
I personally don't like downloading games digitally because it soaks up my already little bandwidth per month, but yes I do agree that eventually games will be all digital but 10 years is maybe to soon.
Think it will mostly depend on how the internet will evolve in those years rather then the gaming industry itself

Posted: Feb 21st 2012 9:45AM MrSquiggles said

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I think it will be a shame. *shock horror* I actually like owning something physical.

Posted: Feb 21st 2012 6:26PM StClair said

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@MrSquiggles
What do you really own, though? According to most EULAs these days, you don't actually "own" anything - the company graciously grants you a license to use their software. A CD or DVD? Useless without online authentication, one-time or always on; might as well be a coaster. A manual? No one actually prints manuals anymore. You're lucky if you get a PDF on the disc.

Wait, I've got it... a pretty DVD case. Which you could approximate by downloading some images from their website and 'shopping an ESRB rating and a Games For Windows bar on before printing it out.
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Posted: Mar 2nd 2012 3:01PM Jef Reahard said

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@StClair

You own the ability to resell property that is yours, which is the reason why publishers are so keen on removing that option via digital distribution.

They think the first-sale doctrine shouldn't apply to them (I guess because they're lazy/greedy, not really sure why they think they're special).

Sad to see, though.
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Posted: Feb 21st 2012 9:51AM Space Cobra said

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Not saying he is wrong and we are seeing such things permeate the market now. Digital distribution is getting bigger and it does help indie companies.

It can go either way. Really, if this is true, I can see it bringing its own set of problems like Ratings of games and parental oversight (which admittedly certain parents fail at even now). It's just I have seen these kind of predictions in the past and many things that have gone away are still here and widely used. Then again, I've also seen obvious things go away.

The main thing is will there be such a market? I think so. Brick and Mortar may change to be even more digital. I can't see consoles turning totally digital (unless they become like online cable TV game services). I can see the PC side atrophying more, since even now, it's hard to find a wide variety of computer games in stores and that may point to other such games.

ATM, gaming has a wide audience with all age levels. Some folks like to browse a store in the physical sense. Really, look at those "Apple stores", are those things really needed now? They serve as physical advertising to a segment of the population, even others are following Apple's example (Sony and Microsoft being examples).

Posted: Feb 21st 2012 9:54AM Halldorr said

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As long as my ISP has a bandwidth cap I'll make use of local stores especially since both me and my wife buy the same games and my son gets his own. We'd be smacked so hard with overage fees.

Posted: Feb 21st 2012 10:03AM Space Cobra said

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@Halldorr

And that is a VERY good point I hadn't taken into consideration.
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Posted: Feb 21st 2012 12:09PM PhelimReagh said

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@Halldorr

Within the 10 year time-frame he talked about, technology will continue to march on so that the download/upload limits will be immaterial.

Provided, of course, the governments of the world don't stick their noses in and kill innovation. Pretty sure they'll find a way, though.
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Posted: Feb 21st 2012 12:40PM Beau Hindman said

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@Halldorr This is something I've wanted to look into foe a long time. I need to get on it. Basically I have unlimited, fantastic internet here in Texas. I talk to friends in other countries who have caps and it effects their gameplay.

I've talked about browsers being *the* next delivery system, even for major games and I still believe that to be true. BUT, large files are going nowhere anytime soon. The browser might help streamline the process but the file size will still be an issue for those with data caps, if they remain. There's a chance they won't, of course.

Hmmmm...got me thinking! haha


Beau
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Posted: Feb 21st 2012 10:10AM Wic said

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I agree with him. Im surprised they have lasted as long as they have now. I think the next gen consoles will kick them in the teeth.

Posted: Feb 21st 2012 10:30AM Jef Reahard said

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This is ultimately bad news for the consumer. Game devs love digital so hard because it turns owners into renters and allows firms to charge the same prices while saving on box production costs. It's presented as more convenient (and it can be), but the downsides are never mentioned.

MMO players have been dealing with this business model for many years obviously, but I am not looking forward to the day when my single-player offline games come laden with online DRM and an artificial shelf life.

Posted: Feb 21st 2012 11:14AM Masync9 said

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@Jef Reahard

Spot on and these are my concerns as well.

It's all about content control and removal of property rights. "Sorry this digital content is no longer available and has been removed by its author..." Does not matter how much $$ you shelled out, your rights are zero.

Always on DRM, changes EULA's "You can't sue us if we screw you over" in these online environments.

We have had a few wake up calls, such as users losing access to all the content they have purchased. Despite the warnings people keep buying up digital content like its a fire sale. I keep waiting for when the pendulum will swing back the other way towards consumer rights.

Only bright light I see so far are companies like Good old games.
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Posted: Feb 21st 2012 6:29PM StClair said

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"I am not looking forward to the day when my single-player offline games come laden with online DRM and an artificial shelf life."
Too late - that day's already here. Good luck finding a game from a major label that doesn't require you to go online, at least once, and authenticate.
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Posted: Mar 2nd 2012 3:04PM Jef Reahard said

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@StClair

I don't think it's here yet, but you're right, it's coming (and people are lapping it up because it's so convenient, yay!).

Luckily there is a 20-year backlog of awesome games -- that I didn't have time to experience during their first run -- that is still available offline. After that, well, I don't lack for other hobbies, lol.
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Posted: Feb 21st 2012 10:36AM drunkingamebar said

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Technology needs to get a lot better, and a lot cheaper before this time.. I don't think 10 years will do it, or at least in the US, and parts of EU. He's a bit ambitious, I think.

I think the restrictions would kill the industry.

Posted: Feb 21st 2012 10:36AM willflynne said

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Personally I'll believe it when I see it.

I work in retail, and as time as gone by I haven't seen any sort of real reduction in the size of the area set aside for video games, PC and console. At the store I work at, it's either stayed the same or grown over the years.

Those predictions also assume no negative changes or mishaps with online services. 10 years is a long time, and all it would take to see physical retail continuing strong is one major malfunction with the internet or some bad legislation to get through.

Posted: Feb 21st 2012 10:44AM avidlurker said

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"saying that retailers take a slice of profits away from studios"

This mentality is really the problem.

So far retailers are providing the valuable service of distribution.
It is not taking away from anyone but enabling studios to actually sell stuff.

Yes, once bandwidth caps go away, probably brick and mortars will go the way of the dodo as well.
But does he really think network providers might take offense at the again vastly increased bandwidth usage of dramatically increased digital "sales" and come knocking at the studios doors?

After all, the studios will then be costing the network providers money and "eating into their profits".

Posted: Feb 21st 2012 11:14AM drunkingamebar said

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@avidlurker

Yup, the cost will be passed on, but in the end games will just be far to expensive to play for 1 person let alone families. They have it dicked right now, but as history shows, we tend to ruin it for the future generations.
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Posted: Feb 21st 2012 11:04AM DemonXaphan said

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In a decade..hahahaha, not gonna happen, love seeing people in the gaming industry make these comments. Eventually yes PC games will move from physical to digital download but in what time frame no one can say. You never hear this kind of bull from the big gaming companies ever.

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