Atari Pres: Soon Gamers "Will Never Buy a Game in a Box"

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Atari Pres: Soon Gamers "Will Never Buy a Game in a Box"

image

Phil Harrison is standing firm in his belief that digitally distributed titles are the wave of game consumers' future.

"There's a generation of kids being born today and probably already alive who I'm pretty confident will never buy a physical media product. They will never buy a DVD, they will never buy a CD, and they will never buy a game in a box," commented former Sony president Phil Harrison in an interview with Edge.

Harrison recently joined Atari to revive the dying brand and invigorate its online efforts to give the company direction.

"I don't see that we're going to be making huge-budget, single-player games in the future. Now, that doesn't mean that we won't have ambition to do really incredible games that have high quality, high execution, and high innovation, but they won't be one-player, narrative-driven, start-middle-end games," said Harrison earlier this year, shortly after his switch to Atari.

Will gaming go completely digital in the next 20 years? That is a long time in technology terms, yet the existence of retail products is heavily installed in society and could take just as much time to be removed.

Permalink

I don't think boxed games are completely dead, at least not on consoles, but I can certainly see PC gaming going digital download only within the next five or ten years...possibly sooner than that. Retailers already relegate PC games to the back corners of the store where you have to know where to look in order to find them, and it's clear that it's just not a priority to promote the PC platform.

With Steam, Impulse, GamersGate, Direct2Drive, and other digital download services growing more and more each year, and with Internet advertising and marketing maturing at the same rate, the entire transaction from contact to checkout can be initiated without using a single "traditional" media channel, in the process revitalizing the industry as targeted ads and no physical inventory overhead means greater profit margins (even when piracy is accounted for, DRM or no DRM), which in turn will entice developers and publishers back into the sphere.

As soon as EA and Ubisoft give up on the PC completely, the industry can finally start to take off again.

He brings up a good point, and I have to agree as far as PC, Downloading is the way to go. In time consoles will be doing the same, within the next generation.

Hevoo:
He brings up a good point, and I have to agree as far as PC, Downloading is the way to go. In time consoles will be doing the same, within the next generation.

If that is true, then the used game market would eventually go away.

We'll never buy a game in a box if it comes from Atari, that's for damn sure.

If it's a good game I really don't care on what it comes on. It could be written on used toilet paper, as long as it's great i will buy it.

Somethingfake:
We'll never buy a game in a box if it comes from Atari, that's for damn sure.

QFT

I haven't bought a game in a box since BF2142. Haha I can pre-empt analysts and industry moguls!

Is this the same Atari president that was so desperate to embrace the future that he signed up to publish EVE Online in a box - a game that's been doing just fine for the last 5 years as a digital download :D

As long as there are gamers that don't have the capability to buy and download a full game off of the internet, the boxed game will not die. Developers and publishers will continue to release physical copies just to get the stragglers of their target market that can't download the game. That aside, there are gamers out there that prefer to have a disc in a box when they purchase a game, if only so they have something tangible.

I wont download my games, I like having them in the case, I don't know why I just do. This will definitely catch on more and more as the years go by though.

If this is how we are actually going to turn out, we will end up like Wall-E. Our planet will be full of trash from our incessant eating, and we will soon forget the technique known as "walking", and be left to sit in hovering chairs eating away our lives. I hope people don't get so lazy and call walking to the store to pick up a game "incovenient", that this is how we turn up. I, for sure, am going to be dead by then.
This is all a hyperbole however.

For the PC, it's inevitable, hat with the boxed PC games becoming less and less pronounced in retail stores. With consoles however... I'm not going to make any guesses.

Boxed games will never die as long as nintendo is around to make sure that their consoles don't have ANY storage.

Somethingfake:
We'll never buy a game in a box if it comes from Atari, that's for damn sure.

So, you don't want Ghostbusters?

Zapatero:
Is this the same Atari president that was so desperate to embrace the future that he signed up to publish EVE Online in a box - a game that's been doing just fine for the last 5 years as a digital download :D

Good one, but they probably saw some appeal there and a way to make a nice bit of cash, so can't blame them. It's just good business sense.

This will certainly hurt the stores that sell boxed games and the publishing companies, won't it?

Logan Frederick:

"I don't see that we're going to be making huge-budget, single-player games in the future. Now, that doesn't mean that we won't have ambition to do really incredible games that have high quality, high execution, and high innovation, but they won't be one-player, narrative-driven, start-middle-end games," said Harrison earlier this year, shortly after his switch to Atari.

I guess you don't want my money, then, huh?

There is something I'm afraid of though, with as large as some games are getting nowadays (upwards of several GB of data?), will it not take a long time to download for those people who could not otherwise afford high speed internet? I have high speed, but it still takes me a while to download certain releases from Steam.

How, also, would families who have a computer but have no access to internet (people who live out in the country, for example) get their "download only" titles? If they DRM the titles to death, then how would they even play them if they wanted to download the game from another location without hauling their whole system along?

Unless they make super-fast internet free, or relatively cheap, and available to everyone, I don't see boxed games going away completely.

As for CDs and stuff that is already trying to make this jump, I have always preferred buying a CD over downloading songs at a preset bit rate and covered with DRM inhibiting stuff. Not to mention, they put like a 90 day limit on the time you can download them, so half of the music I've tried downloading (legally, I gave up pirating music) is no longer available, and I've since lost it or changed computers.

ChocoCake:
If this is how we are actually going to turn out, we will end up like Wall-E. Our planet will be full of trash from our incessant eating, and we will soon forget the technique known as "walking", and be left to sit in hovering chairs eating away our lives. I hope people don't get so lazy and call walking to the store to pick up a game "incovenient", that this is how we turn up. I, for sure, am going to be dead by then.
This is all a hyperbole however.

I actually think this is already happening. How much do people actually walk when they are "running" to the store? If you simply walk out to your car, drive to the store, walk in, buy, walk out, drive home, there isn't much walking involved anyway. If you include global warming, the unnecessary number of new cars available on the market, etc, we are already working on it.

Wait if all we can do is download, then what would happen if an EMP bomb explodes and your computers fried?what now huh!? you saved your game on the hard drive and you can't acces it? what will you do now?

Speaking about digital distribution, I was wondering whether steam getting a monopoly would be good or bad. On the one hand, monopolies are tradtionally terrible for the consumer, however Valve has been faithful to it's audience in the past, and more than one platform could lead to a format wars similar to the consoles. What do you guys think?

The only game im looking for atm comes in a pizza box.

I think theres alot to be said to shifting towards digital distribution. It of course hits the snag of limited bandwidth broadband, since games are getting increasingly huge filesizes. I dont really see it happening in a major way unless both retailers & ISP providers change their tunes. As for Atari. For all I care they could sell their games on mountains of marshmallow & icecream. Would just be trying to plug holes in the sieve their sailing in.

Time for market-babble translation!

Logan Frederick:
Atari Pres: Soon Gamers "Will Never Buy a Game in a Box"

image

Phil Harrison is standing firm in his belief that digitally distributed titles are the wave of game consumers' future.

"There's a generation of kids being born today and probably already alive who I'm pretty confident will never buy a physical media product. They will never buy a DVD, they will never buy a CD, and they will never buy a game in a box," commented former Sony president Phil Harrison in an interview with Edge.

"There's a generation of kids who don't know better we can fleece"

Harrison recently joined Atari to revive the dying brand and invigorate its online efforts to give the company direction.

"I don't see that we're going to be making huge-budget, single-player games in the future. Now, that doesn't mean that we won't have ambition to do really incredible games that have high quality, high execution, and high innovation, but they won't be one-player, narrative-driven, start-middle-end games," said Harrison earlier this year, shortly after his switch to Atari.

"We can make short crap and they'll eat it up! And then PAY for download content that should've been in the game to begin with!"

Will gaming go completely digital in the next 20 years? That is a long time in technology terms, yet the existence of retail products is heavily installed in society and could take just as much time to be removed.

Permalink

'Not bloody likly, Phil'

Wasn't there a console introduced at a past E3 that tried the digital download only deal? Seeing as I can't remember the name they probably didn't do to well but I would like to see digital downloading become a reality, but the employees of Gamestop and EB Games would be fired because no one would be going to stores to buy anything any more.

this is an idea that might catch on, if every console came with a terabyte of memory considering the size of games these days, your hard-drive will fill up pretty fast. Digital distribution is all fine and good, but I also do like getting the instruction manual, so i can jot down 3 small pages of notes. Maybe a six disc changer is a better idea for a console rather than digital distribution.

Groundbreaking information. Someone should come up with some sort of program that allows gamers to download their games online and play using their accounts. I think I'll travel back in time six years and inform Valve about this.

i think he is on drugs

Am I the only person that actually likes boxes?

Anyways that will piss off a lot of companies like EB etc. Admittedly they deserve it but still sad face.

Digital distribution is, I think, going to remain as a supplement to the hard copy game, not a replacement. Broadband would have to become a LOT more widespread and bandwidth prices would have to go down a lot more for DD to become the only sales outlet for the publishing world. Even Valve, who has the most successful digital distribution system out there in the form of Steam, still puts their games in boxes to sell at Wal-Mart. I don't think this guy really has any idea what he's talking about, or he's engaging in wishful thinking.

Of course, if Atari's games are going to go in the direction he's describing, I won't be buying many of them in any form. It almost sounds like he's taking Atari in the direction of being a casual game only developer, in which case digital sales may work. The games tend to be smaller and less expensive, so there's a lot less margin on retail sales. The online model works for those. I'm just not one to buy that kind of game.

Reaperman Wompa:
Am I the only person that actually likes boxes?

Anyways that will piss off a lot of companies like EB etc. Admittedly they deserve it but still sad face.

I love the boxes too, but just so that I can sniff the manual. I never buy anything off of Steam, I buy it in a box then register it on Steam.

I like boxes. I have bought things off of Steam, yes, when I was too impatient or it was an impulse buy. Thats what digital distribution is. It's the "White Castle" of Videogame Sales, nothing more.

People still want a product.

What the hell does Atari know about gaming that is current?

Reaperman Wompa:
Am I the only person that actually likes boxes?

Anyways that will piss off a lot of companies like EB etc. Admittedly they deserve it but still sad face.

Steam all you want, but leave boxes for people like us. Its the same with CD's and DVD's. Sure its basically the same product, but I do like to actually have the manual, the box, the box art, the disc and all the rest on a shelf somewhere.

Its probably just so I can brag to my kids about how cool I was back in the day.

Armitage Shanks:

Reaperman Wompa:
Am I the only person that actually likes boxes?

Anyways that will piss off a lot of companies like EB etc. Admittedly they deserve it but still sad face.

Steam all you want, but leave boxes for people like us. Its the same with CD's and DVD's. Sure its basically the same product, but I do like to actually have the manual, the box, the box art, the disc and all the rest on a shelf somewhere.

Its probably just so I can brag to my kids about how cool I was back in the day.

The same way my stepfather brags to me about how cool he was back in the Seventies by showing me eight-tracks of the Steve Miller Band and Bachman Turner Overdrive? I like classic rock as much as the next guy, but it's hard to look cool when you're showing off ancient technology. His CDs of those same bands are much cooler, and those aren't as cool as a Zune with MP3s of "Jungle Love" and "Roll On Down the Highway" would be.

SimuLord:

The same way my stepfather brags to me about how cool he was back in the Seventies by showing me eight-tracks of the Steve Miller Band and Bachman Turner Overdrive? I like classic rock as much as the next guy, but it's hard to look cool when you're showing off ancient technology. His CDs of those same bands are much cooler, and those aren't as cool as a Zune with MP3s of "Jungle Love" and "Roll On Down the Highway" would be.

Yeah, no doubt my grandkids will be thinking "What a loser, I can't believe they used those shiny donughts, thankfully we all download videogames into our brain implants these days" but at least I'll feel cool.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here