I was reading one of your letters from the other day regarding the digital-only market. This works only to a degree, as has been discussed before, but what I wanted to say was on the subject of game shops. Where I live in the North East we are lucky as we have CeX/GAME still and about four small locally-owned game shops. Thank goodness we do as their modern and retro games and don’t always cost a second mortgage to buy.
To be honest, I never use GAME anymore. How ours has stayed open I’ll never known from the poor service you receive to just the lack of games, they literally only now stock Xbox One and PlayStation 4 and a handful (one to two shelves only) of Switch and 3DS. And PC, well that’s more or less gone altogether. But its also the fact they charge more pre-owned then they do new, I’ve seen that before.
I used their buy online, collect in store service and when I got there was told my game wasn’t there and to take it up with the website. After a bit of back ‘n’ forth it turned out the staff just hadn’t bothered checking.
Luckily, I am not really into consoles these days. I kept my Xbox 360, 2DS, and Game Boy Advance, but that’s all. I now play everything else on PC. Now before anyone jumps in, this isn’t, ‘Oh PC is better than console, etc.’ it’s just my preference. I am not an online game player, I still love old skool games like Command & Conquer. I hate the fact we can’t really buy physical PC games anymore and I am not fan of Steam. I use it because I have to but luckily (and others like Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft could learn from this) GOG they sell all their games DRM free. They also offer amazing deals like free games, and not just random indie titles, I mean well-known titles. They gave me Alien Versus Predator just for testing their galaxy beta. Only used it maybe twice, as I was saying I’m not a big online player.
They use a trust system with their buyers and, yes, I guess it is a risk to allow buyers to buy and download and burn to DVD if they wish.
Maybe console will go this way in the future but with the type of DRM that means it can be backed up offline to disk, but will be linked to your console’s motherboard (bit like Windows 10). Who knowns. I believe there will always be a market for physical media, just not as big as it was.ChrisPS: The way GAME are going I think they could end up going under yet again.