He predicts in 5 years time that retailers will be peddling "tokens in a box," and not discs. They'll more than likely be accompanied by "figurines" to give them "tangible value".
It'll be the only way for retailers to keep their stake in the video games industry going, reckons Svensson. Offer tokens for digital products with hard items to give it physicality.
"Retail will always have a place in our future, but I think that five years down the road, the value proposition of retail, to publishers, will change. I think 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," said Capcom's Svensson.
"I think 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."
"I'd like to say that within five years, certainly well-north of 50 percent of our revenue will be coming from digital," continued the Capcom US exec, adding that "significantly higher" than 50 percent of their operating profit will be digital. "Very obviously, certainly sometime before five years from now, every game will be digital and retail day and date."
"On some platforms that’s already the case, as it is on Vita. In Europe, the PlayStation 3 is already that way. I wish it were that way here in the States as well. But I’d say that’s an inevitability. No one is really fighting that, but the question is when that will occur." Retailers tend to 'bully' for digital releases to be delayed so the stores can draw sales.
"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 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," he added.
The senior vice president of strategic business development at Capcom US hopes that consumers can enjoy better updates to their games via the console networks next-gen. "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."
More power of control for studios: "I'd like to see more server-based backends that are more under publisher-developer control, rather than being forced through systems that are bit more pre-defined by the first-party. That would enable experiences online that are not currently available in today's console marketplace."
"In many ways, I hope that first-parties react to what's happening in the PC and smartphone space, in that the barriers between developer and consumer are much lower there."
"And console makers need to be aware that that's what they're competing against, and that's increasingly what the customer expectation is, in terms of responsiveness and engagement."
Check out thebetween Christian Svensson and Gamasutra discussing what lies ahead.