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When are we going see a bigger leap towards digital content delivery?

#1levyjl1988Posted 2/4/2013 2:22:13 PM
Currently as it is, games are being sold through retail and digital services.

Games sold through retail has it's pros and cons. Pros being users don't have to have a good internet connection to download the game on demand, it's readily available on the disc. Although one might have to install the game to their HDD to have a better experience, good internet connections have become vital for speedy game updates, downloading of DLC, and online multiplayer excursions.

If games were removed from retail completely then gamers would be less likely to shop for their products. Currently as it is retailers are paying off publishers to have exclusive content extracted from the main game and distributed as a bonus to encourage gamers to buy their products day 1, this is called store exclusive pre-order bonuses. What is infuriating about this is that gamers can't acquire all the content. They have to pick and choose which retailer to shop from, in which getting one content and missing out on the other. Depending on the contract this content may or may not hit the marketplace for purchase.

Anyways the road to purchasing digital content can be quite detrimental as well.
We are seeing that when we move forward towards digital distribution there is an inherent draw back. Digital content is tied to a service. The purchases that we make through these services have us only licensing the content bought. Over time this content however will retire whenever the service does and the only way of preserving such content is through storage on your HDD. If the HDD fails and the service is gone then that content is lost forever.

Companies are keeping a tight leash on the control of the games after the initial purchase, because we are seeing games known to be products becoming a service. So if you bought a video game with an online component, it's a service, if it has microtransactions attached to it, it's a service, no longer are we seeing more games dependent on itself, it's always connected to something else. Once that service is extinguished, either through it's own fault such as bankruptcy, or any legal issues it may have it will affect the game that you bought. Imagine a multiplayer server shut down, achievements that were once possible to earn are now non existant. Not just the core game is affected, but also the purchasable content such as bonus items, levels, skins, etc that is tied to the service.Granted you question the security of your purchases as it doesn't stand the test of time. This becomes more abundantly clear as we move towards a microtransaction future.

As we move towards this digital direction, we see more stores and employment opportunities close.
http://n4g.com/news/1166282/gamestop-to-close-over-500-stores-in-2013

Microtransactions will be in all games.
http://www.gamespot.com/news/microtransactions-will-be-in-every-game-says-ea-exec-6383445

Further reads.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2013/01/30/is-50-worth-of-dead-space-3-dlc-still-a-microtransaction/

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/170243/When_digital_dies_where_does_that_leave_game_preservation.php#.URA0c1rjkRF

Anyway what are your thoughts for the future of digital content delivery, does it make you uneasy where we are headed.
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