Nov 1, 2011

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GTA V to Be Digital Only?

GTA V to Be Digital Only?

Tomorrow marks the big reveal for the Grand Theft Auto V trailer, but today rumors are circulating (based on statements from Newzoo’s CEO Peter Warman, an independent analyst) that the next GTA might be a retail-only release, with boxed copies of the game including a code to download the game, rather than a disc.

“There are a lot of reasons why publishers are pushing towards digital distribution of triple A games. Speaking out loud might harm the relationship with retail partners, but the benefits have become too large to remain silent about the desire to go completely digital. The ultimate objective being to launch games faster, create continuous revenues on a title and simply to make more money. Will retail disappear from the picture? Of course not. Retail will always remain an important channel to promote and distribute games. Retail has a strong hand to play when it comes to eyeballs and… boxes make a nice gift. Boxed games will not disappear, but what is in the box will. That is why the boxed GTA V version will contain a collectible piece of merchandise and a download code. No disc.”

Despite this statement, it seems a bit of a stretch for all versions (including console) of GTA V to be digital only. Even if the new title arrives on the next generation of hardware (with conceivably large hard drives included in all models), not all gamers have internet access, or access fast enough to download a mammoth of a game such as GTA V. While games might be heading toward an all-digital future, the industry isn’t quite ready for full-sized console game downloads, let alone exclusively digital games of that magnitude. While Steam and its like have been around for a while, and many PC gamers have gone all digital, it’s only been recently that consoles have offered full-length games for download.

What do you think? Will GTA V be the first major title to release as a digital-only game, or will Rockstar still offer a retail, disc version?

[Source: IndustryGamers]