The UK retail industry has had it a bit rough in recent times. GAME entered administration last year, while both HMV and Blockbuster have followed in the past couple of weeks. While administration doesn't mark the death of a company – thankfully we've seen GAME find its feet once again - it's a reflection of both the difficult financial times the country has gone through as well as competition from online stores and the rising popularity of digital content.
Are these early warning signs or do boxed games and high street shopping still play an important role in the games industry? Although digital downloads have a lot of benefits (arguably including being green for the environment and often costing less), there are a lot of people who really have an emotional attachment to physical media - especially when it comes packed with limited edition goodies!
In fact, if you look at the digital ecosystem of Kickstarter, three of the highest-backed games of 2012 found that the most lucrative pledge tier (ie, the one which raised the most money) was the first one to offer a boxed copy of the game, despite cheaper tiers offering digital-only versions.
So what do you think?
- Do you prefer physical media over digital downloads?
- When's the last time you bought something from the High Street, or do you predominantly buy from online retailers?
- How do you think we'll be accessing new games in the future?
As always, share your opinions with us in the comments. Feel free to discuss the topic and engage with each other’s ideas - but please be nice; there are no wrong answers.