Activision Shuts Down Only US Distribution Center
The gaming industry is evolving each and every day, yet with the evolution, come some drastic changes. One of these changes includes the closing of distribution centers. Today, Activision announced they have officially closed their one and only distribution center in the United States.
It’s officially happened! The rise of the digital age has begun to take hold, as one of the biggest companies in the industry is unable to justify keeping the doors of their sole distribution center in the US open. While digital games are not only popular, but extremely accessible, they are impacting the industry immensely. Of course, while most of these impacts are quite positive, there are other negative effects as the trend towards digitization increases, including job availability.
There isn’t enough justification to keep up with the cost of having a distribution center open as the industry shifts how games are produced. As the market for physical games decreases, so does the need to have people to package the game discs etc. Activision told MarketWatch that the closure of their distribution center in Fresno, California, effective January 5th was “unrelated” to the rising trend of digital downloads.
Despite this, a prominent analyst says otherwise. Michael Olson, “It’s clear to us (and many others) that console games will be 100% digital in the future, but the timing of this is hard to pinpoint. It’s important to keep in mind that in the midst of the continuing trajectory toward 100% digital full game purchases, the growth of digital add-on content continues; the positive of digital add-on content is it both drives a higher digital mix and creates incremental revenue.”
If you wondering what the Fresno distribution center was focused on, it centered around a variety of Blizzard titles like World of Warcraft, as well as the Call of Duty franchise. Considering both are very digitized, it’s not hard to see that Olson might be right. This closure won’t have any impact on sales, though it is reported that over 50 people were laid off. Our thoughts go out to those affected, and hopefully they can find something else very soon!
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