Jagex: Physical Retail Will Vanish within 10 Years

According to the developer of Runescape, physical retail copies of games will be extinct within 10 years.

Jagex chief Mark Gerhard told an audience at the BAFTA Question Time event:

I think, 10 years out from now, we’ll be talking about [physical] retail nostalgically, as a museum piece. I don’t think there’s much there that would give it a second life.

It’s sad to see an institution decline, but the writing has been on the wall for quite some time – the internet didn’t happen yesterday… People are still playing games. They’re still doing business; they’re just doing it in a different place… If you don’t adapt you die. It’s as simple as that.

The times, they are a-changing. Personally, I miss the big ol’ computer game boxes, complete with giant manual filled with lore, art, and complete instructions. But you can’t argue with the convenience and “production” cost reduction of digital sales.

via Eurogamer

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7 Comments on Jagex: Physical Retail Will Vanish within 10 Years


On February 22, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Hardware cases might go away but game stores will never be gone, they will just change to either sell basicly USB sticks with the game on or they will email you a link or program to download your game

Why? because there will always be people who either cannot or will not use digital distribution (me being among them).

Buddy Acker

On February 22, 2012 at 7:18 pm

“Adapt or die” is a stupid attitude to happen. If the physical retail goes away, there is a good chance that nobody will buy games anymore. Then the folks in the video game industry will have to adapt back to making discs or their industry will die. I personally will no longer play video games if they are not on a disc. Hardware crash? No thanks.

Buddy Acker

On February 22, 2012 at 7:19 pm

“Adapt or die” is a stupid attitude to *have.


On February 23, 2012 at 3:09 am

hahaha what a joke.

You think Sony will let their beloved optical discs die?
The next console will still pack physical discs and probably the one after that.

On the PC side of things most likely 80% of games or software will be purely distributed digitally, only the biggest budget blockbusters will have retail and its already getting there.

I don’t think consoles will drop physical medium anytime soon, regardless of being an optical disc or NAND based card its still a physical medium.


On February 23, 2012 at 2:17 pm

The US will have to vastly improve its broadband internet over the next 10 years for this to occur. There are still many ruraly areas that don’t have broadband access. Nobody is going to buy a game that requires a 10 GB download over a dial up connection.


On February 25, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Man. I miss the days when I’d go to a store, sort through hundreds of PC boxes only to find there was one last copy of the game I was looking for, buying it and taking it home. Then the fun began. It took awhile to unbox and go through every thing contained within. Cloth maps, thick instruction manuals…etc.

Now? Click. Enter Credit Card Info. Wait for Download. Install.

I’m just glad I grew up in a time that knew what it was like before.


On February 26, 2012 at 1:11 pm