For reasons that frankly escape me, last week’s gaming sites devoted more than a few digital column inches to the “news” that Peter Moore had abruptly caught on that maybe we wouldn’t all be buying games on disc forever. At last week’s PLAY Digital Media Conference, Mr. “Y’know, things break” was giving a talk on microtransactions when he uttered what was apparently a dark incantation to nether deities:
“I’d say the core business model of video games is a burning platform. Absolutely. We all recognize that, and we’ll recognize it 10 years from now when we tell our grand kids,” he said. “We’ll tell them we used to drive to the store to get shiny discs that have bits and bites on them and we’d place them in this thing called a ‘disc tray,’ and it’d whirl around…and they’ll go ‘What?'”
“So, the concept of physical packaged discs and the core business model that is video games as it currently stands is a burning platform.”
[redacted to make the man look bad]
“As an industry, I still think we may be as many as a decade away from saying goodbye to physical discs,” Moore added. “The important question is, what does the next console look like? Does it actually have a disc drive?”
A snarky man would insert a picture of a PSP Go here.
I don’t understand why absolutely everyone had to cover this non-statement. Because Peter Moore said it out loud during a panel about subscriptions and microtransactions? For God’s sake, he’s a professional hype man; all he was really doing was hyping the thesis of the panel he was speaking on. He’d have been an idiot to say “disc-based media will be around forever, and digital distribution will remain, at best, a supplement to it” during a panel on digital distribution, and a liar to boot. There are successful products and entire companies built around this same essential understanding of the direction in which gaming, if not computing as an entire technology, is heading.
Jeez. Moore busts out one half-decent metaphor and everyone’s on his knob. Meanwhile, Fyre and I are slaving away here in the (metaphorical!) trenches, and nobody gives a toss. No justice, I tell ya.