Shops are old news, says EA
Downloading is The Future.
Forget popping down to the shops for all your videogaming needs once The Future arrives - within a decade, we'll all be downloading stuff instead.
That's according to EA bigwig Dr Jens Uwe [no relation] Intat, anyway. Speaking to our sister site, GamesIndustry.biz, Intat said that within ten years, "All entertainment media will be downloaded to a device," adding that "CDs, DVDs and boxed games will be as antiquated as cassette tapes and vinyl records."
Just look at iTunes, ringtones and digital books, Intat said - they're all hugely popular, and clear indicators of where the games industry is heading.
However, Intat believes EA and other game publishers won't follow of the example of the music industry - where Apple's dominace with the iTunes Music Store has allowed them to set prices, regardless of what the music companies want.
"Right now, iTunes is pretty much a monopoly. They have, I don't know, around 80 to 90 per cent market share," he said.
"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."
Intat went on to concede that there are still consumers who'd rather hold a box in their hands than download games online, stating: "There will always be - well, always is a little too far-reaching maybe, but for a very long time there will still be distribution of physical products. We should not underestimate the value of the reach that we do have today with our products - the impulse purchases that people are making, and that there are a huge amount of consumers out there who still want to buy physical products.
"The gift market also, the parents and grandmothers who still want to purchase presents for kids, and will still continue purchasing products in physical form," he concluded.