Once upon a time ago, current Kwalee CEO, David Darling, co-founded Codemasters with his brother. The man has been with the industry of home video gaming from its beginnings. He's seen ebb and flow and he thinks it's time for a change.
Speaking via his blog, Mr Darling is not mixing his words when he says:
"Sony and Microsoft cannot let the retailers dictate game prices going forwards if they want to break free from the current over-priced model... " well, ok, technically and under law they have to let retailers dictate pricing, hence RRPs. But he has a stronger point:
"...their next consoles, PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 need to be digital only, or they will fail. Once Apple add an App Store to Apple TV they could take over the living room games industry like they have taken over the handheld games industry with the iPhone and its flexible pricing and lack of distribution costs. The industry is transitioning from boxed to digital games."
And he also goes Jurassic, "Consoles have become like dinosaurs heading for extinction as their natural retail habitat begins to change. These ancient beasts must now adapt to a new environment where platforms like Steam, Facebook and Apple?s App Store are pushing innovation. People are already playing more games through digital download than physical media.
"For instance, Angry Birds has had more than one billion downloads, a sales figure totally beyond what can be achieved by boxed games sold in the likes of Game and GameStop. Since 2008, the sales of console games have been falling each year
, as shown by this research from July 2011."
We should also bear in mind that Mr D runs a company that makes unboxed titles such as Pussy Flip