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LGC: 40% of the industry’s underprepared for digital distribution

Wednesday, 7th October 2009 15:36 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

lgc

According to discussions set to take place during this month’s London Games Conference, with digital distribution “poised to outstrip traditional retail sales within three years,” 40 percent of the games industry is underprepared for the shift.

Speakers during the LGC will address the issue, along with Nick Parker of Parker Consulting, who believes that 2013 and 2014 will be the “likely dates for the next generation global launches” from Microsoft and Sony.

“For the first time ever, the games industry has a way of alleviating the pain that traditionally befalls it during generational decline, through online gaming in its many guises – it’s a genuinely exciting time for the industry and the London Games Conference is perfectly timed to discuss these opportunities,” commented Parker.

Speakers at the conference include Mark Gerhard from Jagex, Kristian Segerstrale from Playfish, Nick Pili from Sega, Pete Edwards from PlayStation Home and Neil Thompson from Xbox, along with an opening address from Ed Vaizey, Shadow Minister for Culture.

PR is through the break. The event takes place at BAFTA on October 27.

Digital distribution is poised to outstrip traditional retail sales within three years and 40 percent of companies within the games sector are unprepared for the rate at which this shift will take place. These are just two of the claims that will be made by speakers at the London Games Conference, which takes place at BAFTA on Tuesday 27 October 2009.

The conference will look at every aspect of this seismic shift within the industry with speakers drawn from the development, publishing, retail and distribution communities.

Nick Parker, of Parker Consulting, will provide an overview of how the digital map is set to change over the next few years. He believes that 2013 and 2014 will be the likely dates for the next generation global launches respectively from Microsoft and Sony, and that, as a result, from 2010 traditional box product sales will begin to fade. However he predicts that digital distribution, along with online gaming, will potentially make up the shortfall during this period.

“For the first time ever, the games industry has a way of alleviating the pain that traditionally befalls it during generational decline, through online gaming in its many guises – it’s a genuinely exciting time for the industry and the London Games Conference is perfectly timed to discuss these opportunities,” commented Parker.

Speakers at the conference include Mark Gerhard from Jagex, Kristian Segerstrale from Playfish, Nick Pili from Sega, Pete Edwards from PlayStation Home and Neil Thompson from Xbox.

The conference will also feature an opening address from Ed Vaizey, Shadow Minister for Culture.

The event forms part of the London Games Festival and is supported by ELSPA.

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13 Comments

  1. Syrok

    So are 80% of the consumers. :)

    #1 5 years ago
  2. No_PUDding

    Which is why it’s not yet a fucking reality, yet.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Gekidami

    I dont really see how digital distribution will ever take off if its constantly going to cause retailers to go on wobblies and start boycotts. I mean the PSPGo seems to be exactly want the games industry is aiming at yet now that its here no one wants it.
    Just goes to show that digital distribution is totally awesome… As long as it never happens for real…

    #3 5 years ago
  4. blackdreamhunk

    it’s very much a reality, and it’s a huge and growing fast.

    #4 5 years ago
  5. freedoms_stain

    Sell licenses for cheap and let gamers get the data any way they like, i.e. torrents.

    #5 5 years ago
  6. draknahr

    I don’t know about you guys but in the last year I went from buying maybe a total of 5-6 games (total) through digital distribution to at least 15-20 games for my pc and probably at least another 10-15 on psn this year.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. freedoms_stain

    I have to say my purchase rate of digital games (from Steam) has drastically increased over the last couple of years, mostly due to the increasing catalogue of games and the frequent deals. I think the only full price game I purchased was Braid though.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. Bulk Slash

    As long as the DRM is fair and I don’t end up with a game that won’t work when the authentication servers die I don’t mind digital distribution. But so far I don’t think there’s a single system out there that is fair.

    I’m a huge fan of replaying old games, I still have my Dreamcast, Super Famicom, Famicom and PS1 hooked up, and other systems often get dragged out for short blasts. I cannot seriously imagine my Xbox 360 working in 2030, so how will I be able to play Shadow Complex if I buy a working second hand Xbox in 20 years time? If I copy the game onto that system it will just run in demo mode without Xbox Live to sign in to.

    I know there’s emulation, but the complexity of modern systems means emulation is becoming less and less feasible. We still don’t have very good PS1/Saturn/N64 emulators, let alone the GC/Xbox/PS2 because of the difficulty in emulating all the components. I seriously believe we’re in danger of losing the ability to revisit videogame history by locking everything up with DRM.

    #8 5 years ago
  9. freedoms_stain

    @8, I run all my old PS1 games via an emulator flawlessly, I’ve also used the project64 emulator which is awesome, I tried a Dreamcast emulator that worked pretty damn well a few weeks ago, and PS2 emulators are “getting there”.

    In 2030 PC hardware will be unrecognisable as advances are made in carbon based architecture.

    Also, if all this cloud gaming shit takes off there’s a decent chance we’ll be able to play anything we like from any generation without even needing the hardware in our homes, and it’ll be super slick and lag free down our 2030 10TB broadband connections.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. Gekidami

    “Also, if all this cloud gaming shit takes off there’s a decent chance we’ll be able to play anything we like from any generation without even needing the hardware in our homes”

    Yep and it’ll only cost you money.

    #10 5 years ago
  11. freedoms_stain

    More than buying vintage hardware and software? Doubt it.

    If it DOES take off chances are you’ll be subscribed to it anyway for playing the games of the day, so it wouldn’t actually be costing you anything extra.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. Bulk Slash

    @freedoms_stain

    Yeah there are some good PS1 emulators, but I wouldn’t call their emulation flawless, there are quite a few games that don’t work or have annoying glitches. Same for PJ64, many games work well but there’s still a lot of games that don’t (and I don’t feel like paying for the PJ64 1.7 Beta). NullDC is good when the joypad plugin isn’t broken, like it currently is, which means tagging in Jet Set Radio and turbo starts in Daytona are out.

    Still, I do love emulators it’s just I don’t see hobbyists being able to keep going on the ever increasing complexity of modern consoles. I shudder to think of the specs needed to emulate the Cell! :D

    #12 5 years ago
  13. Gekidami

    With ePSXe nearly everything will run without any problems. The only games i’ve had trouble with was Diablo and In Cold Blood.
    DC on the other hand is a whole different story, i havnt checked the emulation scene for ages but DC emulators were pretty much worthless last time i did. Most of the projects seemed to be abandoned to.

    #13 5 years ago

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