The Future of Digital Distribution

The biggest names in the gaming industry explore where digital distribution, cloud computing and streaming multimedia have the potential to take video games, movies, music, TV and more. Plus, a look at how streaming multimedia and downloadable content (DLC) promise to change home entertainment forever. Features commentary from a litany of video game business experts and insiders including Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, Electronic Arts/Digital Chocolate founder Trip Hawkins, Gaikai CEO David Perry, Disney Interactive Studios head Graham Hopper and THQ CEO Brian Farrell, plus leading reporters from The Los Angeles Times, MSNBC, VentureBeat and others.

About Scott Steinberg
Scott Steinberg is CEO of strategic consulting and product testing firm TechSavvy Global, and a noted keynote speaker and business expert. Hailed as a top tech expert and parenting guru by critics from USA Today to NPR, he’s also an on-air analyst for ABC, CBS and CNN.


  1. Call me old-fashioned, but I have always taken comfort in the idea that as long as I have electricity I can play my games. But, now that I’m buying games that need persistent internet connections to work properly or that are entirely non-physical I feel like I don’t own these things.

    I’m just leasing them and they don’t feel like they’re really mine.

  2. The cloud demos should be time limited… say 3 hours because many games could be beat in double that time. I would say it would work for a game like Civilization or maybe an rpg, not for something like GTA that’s quick to beat.

  3. I’m only speaking for myself, but digital distribution will end game playing for me altogether. I refuse to pay for a game that three days later the company says, ‘Sorry we’re not supporting this game anymore.’ and you’re left with a game that you can’t play and you’re left with a $60.00 bill. I won’t do it. I don’t pay for DLC and won’t in the future and I certainly won’t pay for entire digital download only games. If I’m spending $60.00, or $40.00 or even $20.00 for a game I want the physical media. I want the disk, the instruction manual, and the case. Bottom line, if I own the media, I control the media. If they own the media, they control the media. You’re not buying anything with digital distribution you’re merely renting it, and on their terms as a matter of fact.

  4. The unspoken assumption here is that the consumer no longer owns the game, the corporation does. Corporations for decades have gradually gained more say in what individuals can and cannot do. Digital distribution is not only a replacement for spinning media, it is a way to take ownership from the consumer. If the downloaded game stayed on the consumer’s machine so that it could be played again without resort to the (unreliable) cloud, without depending on the continued health of the distribution company, then digital distribution would indeed be the panacea. As it stands, I won’t spend money for games as a service.

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