Take-Two: Games Will Go Fully Digital In A Few Years’ Time

The gaming landscape has changed quite a bit over the past few years, with consumers having the [...]


The gaming landscape has changed quite a bit over the past few years, with consumers having the option to pick up a game either digitally or physically – well, mostly with the AAA releases, anyway. But Take-Two president Karl Slatoff noted that things will be changing again, and aren't too far off from doing so.

According to GamesIndustry International, Slatoff noted that physical game sales will probably go the way of the dodo sometime between the next five to twenty years. He recently spoke at the Credit Suisse 21st Annual Technology, Media & Telecom Conference, explaining how digital will be taking over.

"I think over the long-term, it will be 100% [digital]," Slatoff said. "I just can't predict whether that's five years, 10 years, or 20 years. It's probably less than 20 and maybe more than five, but I think it ultimately gets there. That's the zeitgeist. Things are moving in that direction.

"Why I think it's a little quicker than people imagined is honestly, Sony and Microsoft have done a really nice job with their services. You've got more people on Xbox Live, more people on PSN, and it helps. The friction is going away at a quicker rate because these platforms have been really well developed, and the consumers love it."

But does that mean stores will be going away, like GameStop? Not likely, as they'll still be needed down the road. "The truth is physical retail is still the majority of our business, and very important partners of ours," he said. "And we want to do everything we can to support that environment. And we do. They're very strong marketing and distribution partners for us. But again, it's out of our control. Whether we want it or not, it looks like it's going to happen eventually."

It's an interesting stance, and one that makes sense for some consumers. However, there are those that still savor the idea of having a physical copy of a game in their hands, if only to bolster their collection or proudly show it off to others – not to mention play at a friend's house without needing to download the whole thing again.

We'll see how much the industry changes over the next few years, but there's definitely an argument here. The question is how many people would buy more into the convenience of digital, rather than purchasing a physical disc.