Red Dead Publisher Predicts The Games Industry Will Soon Become 100% Digital

As more and more games become available for digital purchase and download, it seems this prediction by the Red Dead publisher isn’t quite so far-fetched. More and more gamers are choosing this alternative rather than purchasing physical discs for many reasons, a few being less clutter, no lines, or wait times, and so on. During the Credit Suisse 21st Annual Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference, Take-Two president, Karl Slatoff, predicts that the video game industry will become entirely digital sooner than later.

I think over the long-term, it will be 100% [digital]. I just can’t predict whether that’s five years, 10 years, or 20 years. It’s probably less than 20 and maybe more than five, but I think it ultimately gets there. That’s the zeitgeist. Things are moving in that direction.

Why I think it’s a little quicker than people imagined is honestly, Sony and Microsoft have done a really nice job with their services. You’ve got more people on Xbox Live, more people on PSN, and it helps. The friction is going away at a quicker rate because these platforms have been really well developed, and the consumers love it.

That isn’t to say the physical retail market doesn’t make a majority of the revenue. In fact, Slatoff admits that it is a “majority of our business”. In fact, it would be in the industry’s best interest to continue supporting that area of consumerism, but it’s a matter of looking at the current trends and responding in reason.

“The truth is physical retail is still the majority of our business, and very important partners of ours,” Slatoff stated. “And we want to do everything we can to support that environment. And we do. They’re very strong marketing and distribution partners for us. But again, it’s out of our control. Whether we want it or not, it looks like it’s going to happen eventually.”

This exponential change has helped publishers, developers, and other stakeholders involved to form a new market that focuses itself in the form of micro-transactions – a concept gamers are all too familiar with. With the recent and continual controversy that EA has exacerbated with their determination to include micro-transaction in Star Wars: Battlefront II, the publisher has received a considerable amount of flack. Will this trend continue or flop?

In the end, the Red Dead publisher believes that developers need to keep their respective community happy and engage with them. Currently, the video game industry has to focus on “overdelivering on content” and as long as that’s happening, the business will continue to thrive. On the other hand, there will be certain markets and strategies that will not follow through. As a matter of fact, Slatoff says:

You can’t force the consumer to do anything. You try to do your best to create the best experience you possibly can to drive engagement. And driving engagement creates value in entertainment. That’s just how it’s always been and always will be.”

What are your predictions for the physical and digital market in the video game industry? Do you believe the Red Dead publisher has the right mindset? Let us know in the comments section below or start a conversation on Don’t Feed the Gamers Facebook page. To stay up to date on gaming news as it happens, follow us on Twitter! Here are some of our latest:

Hoi Duong1947 Posts

Hoi is an elusive figure at DFTG, whose favorite past-times include chillin' in the Fade, reading manga, watching anime, collecting novelty items, and gaming.

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