Speaking about Microsoft’s DRM reversal, Codemasters founder Robert Darling has said he’s disappointed in the platform holder’s decision, saying it’ll allow Google and apple to take over living rooms. Physical media, he says, is like having “a dead body handcuffed to you.”
“It was interesting how the market did pull back with Microsoft. I don’t think Microsoft sold it in the right way – they weren’t strong enough,” the former Codemasters boss told GamesIndustry.
“I don’t think they should have had a physical drive on Xbox One – it’s like having a dead body handcuffed to you. It’s dragging along this dead body and it’s going to slow them down. They’ve let the market pull them back but I think that was a mistake.”
He believes physical media keeps game costs high, and that sticking with that traditional medium give Google and Apple the leverage they need to take over.
“They’ve given Apple and Google a chance to get into the living room – they’ll come along with new machines and take over the market,” he said.
“Apple has already announced a gaming controller so they’ve got developers starting to think how they can make games for that controller. If they release this new machine with a new App Store then suddenly they’ll have a device in the living room which can steal the market away from Xbox One and PS4.
“It was only a few years ago that people were saying that the iPhone wasn’t a threat to traditional handhelds, but Apple has taken over what you could call the ‘pocket’ market from things like PS Vita and 3DS. The same thing could happen in the home.”
“There’s a lot of potential in what those two companies can do in the living room with their technology,” he said, adding, “The price of console games has to drop otherwise they will not be competitive with Apple and Google.”
He genuinely believes that physical media is on the way out – and with game companies reporting that most of their revenue is coming digitally, he could well be right.
“The industry will definitely move in that direction, and I think it will move very quickly. It’s a bit like flipping a coin – at some stage it will just flip.
“It will change in six months and everybody will wonder why it never changed before. There’s no point in distributing physical media when the internet exists.”
As much as I’m moving towards digital distribution (Thanks, uncapped internet!) I still like my physical media; there’s a special feeling that comes in unwrapping a brand new, eagerly anticipated game; and much in the same way that the Kindle and other e-readers haven;t made actual books disappear, I don;t think games on physical media will go away either.
Last Updated: August 2, 2013