A portion of an EventHubs interview with Capcom’s vice president of strategic planning and business development, Christian Svensson…
EventHubs: Do you foresee console games heading into a digital only space and dropping retail altogether at some point?
Svensson: As big a proponent of digital as I am, that will never happen. Retail will always have a place because it will always be important to facilitate impulse purchases, cash based transactions, giftable (in the physical sense) objects even if that object is nothing more than a token in a box, etc. Secondly, I do believe that some retailers like Gamestop do offer value to less educated consumers (think your mom) when it comes to directing them to products they or someone they’re buying for might enjoy. Sure there are ways that user reviews and the like could provide similar guidance, but for your average non-gaming consumer, they aren’t going to do the research online. They’re just going to walk into a store and ask a clerk for a recommendation.
The difference in the future is that retail won’t be the predominant channel and thus the power exchange will flip from retailers to consumers, which ultimately is better for the entire ecosystem.