Sony: Web sales will rule by 2018

Sony Computer Entertainment UK MD Ray Maguire has predicted that 90 per cent of games sales will be taking place online in ten years’ time.

Speaking at an ELSPA press conference with Dr Tanya Byron last week, Maguire read out his concerns with recommendations in the Byron Review – focusing on his worries with the online space.

While games are recorded media and we have something on a packet, the recommendations in the Byron Review are okay,” he said.

But ten years from now the ratio of games sales will have gone from 90 per cent in-store to 90 per cent online.

Therefore, we have a situation that if you’re a retailer, you’re currently responsible for the goods that come through your chain.

But that’s not true with ISPs in the future. This isn’t merely a games industry issue. It’s an issue for every industry with companies that have a website – and when we look at user generated content, it’s a people issue.”

Maguire also called for the Government to act, and politely criticised Byron’s decision to make BBFC ratings the ‘consumer facing element’ of all boxed gaming product – for both commercial and ethical reasons.

We now have these UK BBFC ratings on all products, which is not a good thing in terms of thinking about European trade – that’s something I’ve discussed with you before,” he told Byron.

But if we have to do that, we have to do that. We accept that. But that will not work online.”

Byron pointed to her recommendation for a UK Council for Child Internet Safety in her reply, and told the audience that many key members of the games industry” had chosen not to discuss the online future of games with her when she was compiling her research.

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