"There are a lot of reasons why publishers are pushing towards digital distribution of triple-A games. Speaking out loud might harm the relationship with retail partners, but the benefits have become too large to remain silent about the desire to go completely digital," Newzoo CEO Peter Warman said in a recent report on DLC. "The ultimate objective being to launch games faster, create continuous revenues on a title and simply to make more money. Will retail disappear from the picture? Of course not. Retail will always remain an important channel to promote and distribute games. Retail has a strong hand to play when it comes to eyeballs and... boxes make a nice gift."
And then he gets to the interesting bit. "Boxed games will not disappear, but what is in the box will," he continued. "That is why the boxed GTA V version will contain a collectible piece of merchandise and a download code. No disc."