By listening to and judging the mood of the market, System 3 has spent the past 18 months readying itself for a dramatic shift from physical game distribution to a more streamlined business model that represents zero wastage and ultimately better guaranteed revenue returns.
‘Digital Download’ has been something of a watchword in the electronic gaming industry for some time, with many companies expressing an interest in moving towards this model as the best way to serve consumers directly without the risk of overstocks clogging up both the warehouse and retailer channels.
While other companies are only just realising the huge potential in digital downloads, System 3 is ready for the changeover now. The firm will utilise digital downloading as the best way forward for all future premium game releases and are keen to get on with it as soon as possible. Rather than just talk about it System 3 has taken the initiative and got on with leading the digital revolution.
System 3 CEO Mark Cale revealed:“Having recognised the potential in digital downloads some 18 months ago we have kept our powder dry, preferring to gage market and consumer reaction while quietly planning a downloadable release strategy to steal a march on our rivals.
Obviously we are not moving away fully from boxed product as we are committed to maximising our games across all formats and Wii games, for example, are still only released as physical product. But we have been extremely proactive in working on a full digital onslaught for a long time and they don’t come much bigger than the first one - Ferrari The Race Experience.”
The latest in a long line of critically acclaimed racing games from the award-winning publisher, Ferrari The Race Experience once again utilises the prestigious Ferrari license and looks set to become this years jewel in System 3’s crown. In creating the very best race engine technology, System 3’s Ferrari franchise has been consistently regarded as the most realistic racing experience on the PS3 to date. Ferrari The Race Experience will be the company’s first AAA game released as download only content for the PS3 format, via Sony’s online PSN Network, and will be followed by another 6 key titles on PS3, PSP, Apple iPad and iPhone (Apple Store) over the next 3 months.
In selectively bypassing traditional retail routes System 3 has handed the responsibility back to consumers to purchase what they want and not what retailers themselves decide to carry in-store. Shelf space for all new releases has become a growing problem and as more and more games are released year on year, retailers are increasingly hedging their bets and cherry-picking what titles to stock.
Add to this the vast amounts of money required in securing a decent in-store presence through co-operative marketing and it is easy to see why some games are doomed before they start. By going down a download only route, System 3 is quietly confident that it can service consumer demand directly and efficiently via the Sony PSN and Apple Store online networks. System 3 recognises that this is a bold move, particularly for such a high profile title like Ferrari The Race Experience, but is confident that the time is right for change and that the increase in sales volume via download only sales will go a long way to justify their new business model.
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