PopCap CEO: Digi-distribution is foreign to most consumers

Popcap Games is best known for its downloadable puzzle game Peggle, but while publishers rush to exploit digital distribution, the small studio is instead trying to expand its retail presence. Quite rightly too, as PopCap CEO Dave Roberts points out just how far away from the digital future we are.

“I think, for certain products, there’s a lot of comfort for buying a disc and having it,” he explains. “We kind of all forget about that.”

“A large percentage of Wal-Mart customers don’t even have credit cards. This whole idea of putting in your credit card and downloading something is a little bit foreign to a lot more people than we’d like to think.”

This is certainly true, and it’s easy for we gamers to believe that digital distribution is close at hand, since we’re nearer the heart of the business. However, when you put it in perspective and realize just how many consumers are behind the times, you start to understand that retail will still be around for a very long time. 

In a way, I’m almost thankful for that. I somewhat dread the day publishers get complete and utter control over the sale and ownership of their games. On that day, breakfast will be served, and it’ll be a bowl of rape.

Jim Sterling