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"Digital delivery is challenging a lot of people" - Zattikka

Current monetisation models can be "grotesque", but next gen consoles will rely entirely on digital says product head

The digital distribution business model is challenging a lot of company's and working out how to monetise it is the biggest problem of working within it, Zattikka's head of product development Matt Spall has told GamesIndustry.biz.

"The challenge is really finding the ways and discovering new business models," said Spall. "There are a bunch that are already established, but we're just looking for new ones."

He added that monetisation routes currently being pursued can be "a little bit grotesque".

"If someone buys your game and then halfway through you charge them for more game it's like going to the cinema and watching half the film and then having to pay to see the rest of it," he pointed out.

"With things like an upgrade halfway through the game it feels a bit jarring as a user."

Despite the work that still has to be done on fine-tuning the digital model however, Spall says he "absolutely firmly believes" digital is the way games are going to go.

"It's going to be a while I think before a 2-3GB game is delivered over the air to a console. Harddrive technology is getting cheap, but how long it's going to take a 1 terabyte drive to turn up in a console I don't know, because that's still a substantially expensive part of that piece of electronics.

"The people that work in the games industry might have a 20MB internet connection at home, but even with that it would probably still be quicker for me to walk down to the shop and buy it. It's convenience for the user. Which is why probably the hardcore market might be the one that props up the retail.

"I seriously don't believe that the next generation of consoles will have standard media delivery any more. They'll probably have DVD slots in them but I don't necessarily believe that that's the way that games will be delivered."

In the future, the model could switch from a hardware manufacturer trying to sell hardware to users to a manufacturer of "some piece of equipment" selling a network, a service and a way of connecting friends, he speculated.

Spall points to the route television is currently taking as evidence of the trend - "they drive you online to look at more content that carries more advertising. I think what they're doing is trying to discover new business models for ways of creating more broadcast content."

"And that's really what we're doing as well. But what you've got to do is take apart the old model and try to work out how it works the new way."

The full interview with Matt Spall, in which he discusses his company Zattikka's plans in the wake of new investment, the opportunities PSPgo development brings and the iPhone gold rush, can be read here.

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