Download Your Games... In The Future
Posted by Anthony Dickens
EA's big European boss reckons digital download distribution will replace physical media within the next 10 years.
Dr. Jens Uwe Intat of EA Europe states "within the next ten years all entertainment media will be downloaded to a device". Bold statement? actually no, it's probably about right.
Speaking at the firm's European HQ in Chertsey, Dr. Intat told GamesIndustry.biz that ten years from now "CDs, DVDs and boxed games will be as antiquated as cassette tapes and vinyl records."
Instead, gamers will download content directly to their consoles and run games from storage devices such as hard drives. Imagine it as iTunes for games if you will. Why? there are actually plenty of reasons, the main one being product accessibility, you won't have to wait down at GAME at 12 midnight in the freezing cold, or worry about them selling out of the latest, greatest title - you can just browse the online catalog and hit "Download".
But is this actually possible? Yes. The Steam project by Valve software (those guys that made Half-Life) has already proven its more than possible to distribute games in digital form. Hard drives are getting bigger by the week and broadband connections are quickly speeding up.
However, Dr. Intat goes on to explain some of the problems the music industry has, in his opinion, been self-inflicted and therefore allowed a monopoly such as iTunes to occur.
"Right now, iTunes is pretty much a monopoly," he continued. "They have, I don't know, around 80 to 90 per cent market share. We still have three large players in the console business, plus we have the PC as a fourth hardware device, not to mention the handhelds. This is a much more fragmented industry - we don't have one company that has a monopoly - and we as a total industry, software publishers and hardware manufacturers, are already sitting together and working on business models. We're actually trying to make the cake as big as possible, rather than fighting over the crumbs."
Its really good news to hear that people are already communicating and trying to come up with a universal method for digital downloads, lets hope everyone can agree on something that benefits everyone, including the consumer.