Microsoft's casual games boss, Kim Pallister, has told our sister site GamesIndustry.biz that he doesn't believe the growth of digital distribution will have an effect on retailers - at least not in the near future.
Speaking in an interview at the Montréal International Games Summit last week, Pallister said, "In terms of the short term, I don't think they're going to suffer a great deal for a number of reasons.
"Number one, most of the digital distribution today, the vast majority of it is done in places like the casual games space where the download size is not so formidable as to limit that. We're still a ways away from a six gigabyte image being something you can easily transfer out.
"So in some ways, it doesn't overlap. It also grows the industry in different ways; it allows for titles that maybe couldn't do the volume for an individual retailer to justify the shelf space."
Pallister went on to suggest that an increase in digital distribution could even benefit retailers by allowing them to reach different types of consumer who wouldn't normally visit games shops.
"You see some of the more successful casual games that kind of bubble up eventually doing boxed products to tap into that type of consumer who likes to shop in that environment," he added.
"So in the short term, I don't think there's necessarily a threat; I think they complement one another, if anything... It'll cause some shifts, but I don't think [retailers are] doomed any day soon."
When asked about the possibility of full size Xbox 360 games being distributed digitally, Pallister replied, "Will we eventually get there one day? Possibly, but it's quite possible that the games grow in size and outsize the bandwidth growth or whatever.
"I think it's really a matter of giving consumers choice and different paths to getting to their content," he concluded.
To hear more from Pallister, look out for the next edition of the GamesIndustry.biz podcast.