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Retail: A Pre-emptive Eulogy

Thom Dinsdale asserts that digital distribution isn't to blame for retail's decline, but the retailers themselves.

The prognosis may be terminal, but retail isn't dead yet. Images of each Black Friday and Thanksgiving weekend, with its frenzy of commercial lust, make it easy to forget that the model of selling entertainment in plastic boxes is in existential turmoil. The combined attack of digital downloading, piracy and used-game sales have been sapping the wealth from the business for some time. Now, however, the state of the decay is obvious enough and alternative models are sufficiently well established that developers no longer need to fear the wrath of publishers (and publishers, the wrath of store buyers) in crying its demise.

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