I was just reading this article with Playdead's boss Dino Patti. I'm a little puzzled by his claim that the typical software distribution model is broken and always has been. Obviously it must work when plethora of companies who do business this way, and have been doing for many years, continue to make sizeable profits. Could the profit margins be greater with a switch to pure digital distribution?, certainly, I think it's more than likely some years from now, but certainly not now or even early next gen.
The majority of consumers, of all kinds, are still very much in love with the whole retail experience, and what's more tangible to them, by that I mean physical copies. Also, there are countless business models today which are clearly inefficient, yet continue to make significant profit margins despite.
I suppose it's understandable that he'd say this given his companies focus on download products, and his natural want to see a new age of digital distribution ushered in asap...
"The retail model has always been and still is broken, from a developer's point of view. Driving discs in a big van all over the world is really inefficient. I don't understand how anyone can make money out of this. Driving a truck to Japan just to get it delivered to people when they can get it from the net? Hopefully the new consoles will embrace the download space even more."
- Playdead's Dino Patti