GAMING BLEND

Torchlight Dev: Kill Game Discs, Boxes With Fire

By Pete Haas 2012-03-16 16:40:29 discussion comments
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Over the past few years the gaming industry has been moving away from brick-and-mortar retail stores and toward digital distribution. Max Schaefer, CEO of Torchlight developer Runic Games, couldn't be happier about this shift. He says that the traditional retail model "starves" developers.

"I'll get in trouble for this, but I look forward to the end of boxes and disks. Kill them with fire for all I care," Schaefer told GamingNexus. "The retail market has historically starved developers and narrowed the market for available games. Now we need to take advantage of services like Steam with innovative pricing, business models, and games."

Torchlight debuted on Steam in October 2009. The game hit one million sales in the summer of 2011 thanks in part to discounts through that service. The game was also eventually released in boxed form throughout the United States and Europe, though, so even Runic isn't comfortable enough to abandon traditional retailers just yet.

A future without game boxes or discs seems plausible. Digital distribution of PC games passed physical purchases back in 2010. The shift toward digital has been slower in consoles but still real. The latest rumor is that the next Xbox won't even have a disc drive.

I think that eventually all games will be download-only. It's not going to happen in a couple years but in a decade, well, who knows? In the mean time, I'm happy to have the option of buying online or boxed copies.
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