SXSW: "Publishers are dead, they just don't know it."
The venture boys in Silicon Valley listen to Bridges, because he's got the cred: from a management position at Netscape, and from launching both Netflix and ZoneLabs. The four Netscape vets who started Multiverse are all staunch gamers, particularly of MMOs, which Bridges always describes as "the killer app," that will draw everyone into virtual worlds.
Interesting. I didn't know WoW nearly bankrupted the publisher. It's paid off handsomely, though.
And, yes, the traditional distribution methods died a while ago without noticing. It will take the publishers a while to phase out, however. Their influence will be there still, and for a while; it'll just be diminishing over time.
An interesting article. Especially since I'm in the middle of trying to get in the industry...
The profit margins are an obvious issue, as are development costs. (although profit margins like that are typical for creative industries; Ask a writer what their margin is on the sale of a book...)