Shops "waste resources" on physicality and have "unreliable employees" whereas online can be "more entertaining" virtually. China 'embraces' store-less retail.
"In the (not so?) distant future there wouldn't be much need for a bricks-and-mortar retailer," declared American McGee. Spicy Horse recently released Alice: Madness Returns for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC - this is possibly their last full console title.
"Why waste resources on a physical location and unreliable employees when the entire experience can be made sharper, cleaner and more entertaining in the virtual representation?" Cloud platforms could revolutionize us even further.
"China provides a working model of the store-less retail model -- millions of people purchase real-world items online (taobao.com) each day - making Western electronic stores like Best Buy nothing more than places to fondle physical goods you're going to buy online anyway (Best Buy went out of business in China in less than 2 years, by the way)."
If digital is on the rise and will 'phase out' the traditional store for purchases then what's going to happen with the trusty PC? "The PC will never go away - it'll just get smaller, more portable, more like the things we're currently calling mobile phones," he said.
"Same for consoles. We'll have different shape formats, but our "personal computer" will just get more personal. Eventually it'll be the dashboard for our cars, the ticket for our air travel, the location of all our work effort and the home to all our gaming - a powerful local processor able to access the cloud and provide input/output interface options."
American McGee sees the games industry has a worldwide goliath still waking up.
"It can only get bigger and more pervasive. The technology we've been building to create virtual environments in gaming, the monetization models emerging in free-to-play games, the hardware in our pockets (mobile devices) will continue to converge, reaching into every aspect of our lives, entertainment and business," noted the studio boss.
How long before digital store eclipses the physical retailer? "I live in China, that future is already here, and it's pretty cool actually." Check out the between American McGee and IndustryGamers.
Retailers 'wasteful', online can give "sharper, cleaner" experience
13 September 2011 | By Simon Priest