As digital distribution becomes more prominent in the game industry, there are some that believe it means physical games are doomed in the long-run. Grasshopper Manufacture’s Akira Yamaoka however, doesn’t think that’s the case, as to him, the emergence of digital platforms doesn’t represent the end of retail.
Yamaoka, probably best known for his work on the Silent Hill series, told Siliconera that he’s hoping to branch out to digital platforms such as Steam and Origin in the near future. When asked on his thoughts about Steam, he bluntly stated that retail games won’t die out.
Grasshopper’s 2011 release Shadows of the Damned sold abysmally at retail, despite being a solid action title. It’s nice to hear that the team hasn’t given up on retail releases, which is especially evident in their hopes to make a sequel.
“I don’t think that packaged games will die out, but Steam has a lot of potential since it works with different hardware.”
While Grasshopper does have another retail game out in the coming months in Lollipop Chainsaw, they’ve already begun spreading out to digital services. The team recently released an XBLA exclusive titled Sine Mora, which ended up becoming a hit among our staff and the gaming community at large.
As for the eventual branch out to mobile and digital platforms, Yamaoka doesn’t just want to port over old Grasshopper titles, but to make completely new games. The CCO of Grasshopper is also interested in making horror games, so who knows, maybe we’ll get to see a PC exclusive spiritual successor to Silent Hill in the near future.
It is really refreshing to see Yamaoka’s attitude, as opposed to the physical media doom and gloom sentiment many analysts and developers seem to have. Digital doesn’t have to kill physical, and vice versa; both mediums have their own advantages and disadvantages, and as someone who prefers a physical disc to a download code, I look forward to placing Grasshopper’s games on my shelf and not in my download list.
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