Back in July, I wrote an article about Digital Distribution.
And the thing is, I noticed a common theme in the comments for the article:
The fact that retailers, specifically GameStop, could crush a revolution in digital distribution before it got off the ground.
Now, I put a lot of thought into this problem, since it does completely stymie the idea of digital distribution ever gaining a foothold in the retail market. Then I realized that there's an equally simple solution. So join me for a three-part series of articles on exactly how publishers can take power away from retailers and make them a single link in the chain in one of many revenue streams instead of being the all-powerful titan that they are.
We'll start with the first bit: The Threat of a Retail Ban Is Without Merit
If any publisher, or more likely multiple publishers acting together, takes this route, there will be a transition period. Sales will slump a bit, and how much sales are hit is entirely dependent on the preperation and deals the publisher or publishers make to ensure that their customers have as many avenues as possible which are convenient for getting their products. However if done properly, GameStop won't have a leg to stand on and their only path of action will be to accept what's coming gracefully and attempt to regain their relevance before what little credit they have finally dries out.
Like it or not, digital distribution is on the way. The path has long since been paved first by songs, and then movies and books. Physical media, like it or not, is eventually going to become out of date and not worth the effort of producing. Likewise digital distribution is going to become even more convenient than it already is, with easier, better ways of getting the games you want to play in your hands than traveling to a store and picking up a copy. In part two
, I'll be discussing just how GameStop and other retailers can hope to stay relevant in a world where customers can download the latest releases directly to their game consoles.
LOOK WHO CAME: