There are plenty of industry execs who remain fully committed to retail. Clearly Epic Games founder Tim Sweeny is not one of them.
In fact, he believes the entire chain – games on discs, discs in shops, ads on TV, people on the High Street – is very much destined for extinction.
And he's seemingly delighted by the idea.
The market is inefficient now,” Sweeney told Edge. You run ads on television so that people walk into a retail store, buy a piece of plastic and stick it into their digitally connected device. I think we have a lot of latitude – publishers and developers alike – to increase the efficiency of that.
Once you have a game, it's available pervasively online, and your devices are all Internet-connected, do you really need to run television ads to get people to find it at the top of the App Store?
I'm looking forward to our digital future. Development budgets are going to be the dominant cost in the industry, and [increasing] the efficiency of building games will directly improve profitability. As we move more sales of games out of retail, that creates a lot more flexibility for developers to make games at different scales and price them differently.”