Dino Patti, head of Limbo developer Playdead, believes that the boxed retail model for videogames “has always been and still is broken” and that it’s time for platform holders to “embrace the download space even more.”
Speaking at the GameCity6 festival, Patti said:
“From a developer’s point of view… driving discs in a big van all over the world is really inefficient. I don’t understand how anyone can make money out of this. Driving a truck to Japan just to get it delivered to people when they can download it from the net?
“Hopefully new consoles will embrace the download space even more.”
While we agree with Patti that distributing games digitally makes economic sense, more and more developers are already taking advantage of download channels. EA pushed their Origin service incredibly hard in the run up to Battlefield 3’s release, they also released the console edition of the original Crysis exclusively via digital means – as did Capcom with the Resident Evil HD titles.
Plus (and this may make me sound somewhat fickle), I like the extras that come with boxed products – they somehow make the whole package seem more interesting and valuable. It doesn’t bring much pleasure to collect things digitally. Friends and family don’t tend to be impressed by a large iTunes library, for example.
Patti also reserved a few words for the installation requirements on many console games:
“All the new games today also need to be installed. Why did I get a console if the games need to be installed? That sucks. That’s a PC.
“When it takes an hour to install Gran Turismo 5? I don’t know. Obviously it improves performance, but they should be able to build consoles with better performance from the disc drive.”
We recently named Limbo one of six games you should have been playing this Halloween.