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Kotick: Digital Distribution 'Far In Future'

In a new report by the New York Times about video game industry share declines precipitated by the ...
In a new report by the New York Times about video game industry share declines precipitated by the current hardware transition, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has commented that he does not feel that online distribution of entire games for consoles is feasible in the near future. Kotick particularly referenced “bandwidth and hard-drive limitations" as his reasoning for this commentary. "The idea of full downloadable games is so far in the future that it's almost incomprehensible as an opportunity," noted Kotick to the Times. He conceded, however, that there are opportunities for new revenue streams to be had with regards to selling additional content such as "characters, new weapons, new missions, or auctioning off places" within a virtual world or environment. Of course, his statements contrast the growing appeal of such digital distribution for PC games, a practice spearheaded by Valve with its popular Steam online content delivery system for the PC, which is used to provide downloadable access to titles produced by Valve and third parties. But with next-gen console titles continuing to grow in size, Kotick's comments make sense in the long-term, with only limited forays by publishers into higher-budget downloadable content for console, most notably Rockstar's agreement with Microsoft to "provide exclusive episodic content for Xbox Live" on the Xbox 360.

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