Retail will always have a place in our future. But five years down the road, the value proposition of retail, to publishers, will change. Retail's role will shift from planned purchase to impulse purchase, predominantly. And planned purchases will increasingly happen online, just for sheer convenience's sake. Five years from now, more likely than not, we'll not have plastic discs in a box, but we'll have tokens in a box, something that is gift-able and able to be bundled with other hard items like figurines or plushes - or something else that has tangible value that can't be downloaded over a wire. Very obviously, certainly sometime before five years from now, every game will be digital and retail day and date. To quote my friend Paul Raines, the CEO of GameStop, they don't disagree on the inevitability of it, they disagree on the timing of it - when it's going to happen. I definitely think that's going to happen very, very quickly. It's going to depend a lot on what the first party [console manufacturers] do in the next generation of console hardware. But I'm not privy to those details today so I couldn't possibly predict what is going to happen there. I'll tell you something I'm hoping for, I'm hoping for a much more fluid means of providing updates to consumers, being able to have a much more rapid turnaround in between when content is submitted and when content goes live to consumers, to provide a higher level of service to them. I'm hoping that the networking and the processes in the future are built with that in mind. I'd like to see more server-based backends that are more under publisher-developer control, rather than being forced through systems pre-defined by the first-party. That would enable experiences online that are not currently available in today's console marketplace."That's quite a mouthful and something for local retailers to consider in the coming years.
Source : Gamasutra