I refer you to the recent allusion by Marek about the decline in the number of PC Gaming outlets and that ArmA III's primary market is likely to be Digital Distribution; Sprocket, Steam, etc.
The move to web based distribution meaning out of town shops would decline over the long term as a result, is something I pointed out in 1996 to the head of Tesco distribution for SE England, at the time he poopoohed it and the rest of the people there laughed and said customers will never buy their shopping that way; Tesco is now one the biggest Internet shopping site in the UK, and is rolling out the model in China, the Czech Republic and Poland and this year.
I buy the bulk of my shopping online from Tesco with visits to corner shops for essentials and then my local market for bits and pieces or deli counter type purchases.
I certainly buy all White Goods on line; as well as a recent electronic Piano, but I would buy a guitar or mechanical piano from a shop. TVs I went to see before buying. Computers I spec on line then buy in person.
But overall I am buying more and more online.
In the games market retail has been in decline for some time. The retail shops moved to the consoles in the vane hope of the physical security of the DVD/CD would reduce piracy but the reality is that the only long term security model is a dynamic one, which is why those that stuck with PC games like BIS release constant updates and DLC improvements. A security model that can react to piracy cracks and encourage users to constantly download new content, that stays ahead of the cracks, is the future.
A constant drip feed via subscribers is the most successful business model so far. Shown in the Eve Online/WWO/Steam business model.
That is why Sony and Microsoft and Nintendo have moved in that direction too.
It is not that the future is consoles. They were just a reaction by the developers to their constantly loosing Intellectual Property(IP) to an increasingly commercialised Piracy market.
Consequently I predict the death of the Retail Games Stores, Producers and the CURRENT wholesale business, with the last physical Retail outlets being unmanned kiosks, that pump out DVDs or USB files written at the time of purchase, and person who services it from a van filling it with writable DVDs, before it too disappears.
Surprisingly I think there will be a resurgence in the PC market, but with PCs that full fill a gaming standard. In fact I think the future is a black boxed virtual that sits in a PC or Linux or MAC or Android etc providing a standard game environment that developers can then slot their game into.
Anyway I throw this electronic missive in to the forum to start a debate.
I am sure some one will pop in to insult me soon.
Kind Regards walker