I feel like the price needs to come down on digital goods by a large amount, in order to make it worth my while to go digital. Currently, digital games still sell for $60 at launch and you often have to pay local sales tax on them to boot (tax on digital goods makes zero sense). Meanwhile I can still get my physical games from Best Buy with a 20% discount, 8% cash back on my credit card, and double Best Buy points. In the end my physical games often cost me $33 to $43, depending on whether or not there was a $10 gift card for pre-ordering.
I'm really rooting for Epic's new store, because I feel like a 12% take is more than fair for a digital storefront. A game could launch at $47.73 on Epic's store and still make the developer just as much money per copy as selling it on Steam for $60. And since lower priced games tend to sell more copies, developers would have an even bigger incentive to lower the price even further. I could easily see games launching on Epic's store for $45, and then permanently going on sale for half off a year later.
Finally, we need to get rid of the JC Penny style sales that go on. Marking a ten year old game at $20 and then putting it on "sale" twice a year for $10 is not a sale. It's a scheme that is designed to force impulse buys, by only pricing the game fairly twice a year. This sort of "sale" is inconvenient to people that just want to buy the game right away. Even worse, these sales on digital games often aren't even as low as physical copies go for. DB FighterZ was $23 for a physical copy on Black Friday, and that's without any of my Best Buy discounts. MHW was $30. These prices were for the game brand new. A used copy sold for even less. Meanwhile the digital versions of both games were $4 to $10 more expensive than even the new physical copies.
$60 at release is the standard, cost of making video games is going up and many video games (especially niche games) are struggling to turn a profit. if you want a viable industry, you should still be willing to support developers or we will get stuck with a bunch of crappy free to play style of games.
Cost of digital has similar deals right now compare to physical. I buy all my Microsoft gift card at Costco for 44.99 for $50 gift card. That's a 10% discount, + what ever cash back on credit card (I don't know how you get 8%). If you don't buy games on release day, they quickly get discounted on the store front, I bought Assassin Creed Odyssey at $53.59CAD compare to 79.99CAD at launch that's a 33% discount not adding in the Costco discount and Credit Card cash back. I bought Mad Max for $7.50 compare to 29.99 (75% discount).
I also bought 6 month of Xbox game pass for $35.97, That saved me buying Forza Horizon 4 it's on for $51.99CAD, the value of game pass is harder to quantify but for me it's already saved me 30% or 55% if I would of bought at launch on just Forza Horizon 4.
You haven't mention the benefit of re-selling your game to make some money back, but considering I share my game library with my nephew and we both get to enjoy every single digital purchase I make. I can guarantee that i'm getting more bang for every digital purchase I make compare to your single user physical copy.
Digital landscape are constantly having deals year round that rivals any brick and mortar.
Buying a game with a 30% cut doesn't support developers though. It supports the greedy storefront that thinks it deserves nearly 1/3rd of the money just for hosting a server. The cost of hosting a server is 4% of the price of a game according to Epic. So even at an 8% cut a storefront could double their investment on every sale. I learned in business class that any company making $1.10 for every $1 it spends is insanely profitable.
Most game companies that manage to get a physical copy into stores aren't going anywhere. Atlus continues to make Etrian Odyssey games despite selling abysmal numbers. Why? Because the development costs of making a 3DS game are low enough, that they still turn a profit. I'm happy to buy Indies digitally, because the price difference is more than fair. Indies are usually $30 for the physical edition and then $10 to $15 for the digital version.
What's the price of a Costco membership? Do they sell something other than MS gift cards for that 10% discount? IMO, (and a lot of people on this site agree) XB1 is the worst current gen platform. So to get those discounts for a system that I don't own or plan on owning is kind of a moot point. For PS5 I'd go digital if there were a good deal like that. Something like 5% cash back on a card plus the 10% discount for buying a gift card would be perfect. Next gen games will be over 100 GB on two disks so the price of physical might go up. I'm calling this the double disk tax.
Yeah PS+ and MS Gamepass are both really good deals. Free games for about $3.33 a month if you buy a year sub at Black Friday prices is a great deal for several $10 to $20 games a month and the ability to play online.
I can share my physical games with friends too. My collection is so big that the odds of both me, and a friend wanting to play the exact same game at once is practically zero. I rarely start a game at launch, because I'm usually finishing the last game I started.
I use https://www.pricecharting.com to compare physical vs digital prices, and physical just beats the pants off digital prices most of the time. This is even when you use key reseller sites like Kinguin.
For example: Shadow of War is $12.49 used vs $18.74 on Kinguin.
MHW is $19.50 used vs $33.59 on Kinguin.
Dragon Quest XI is $32 used vs $52 on Kinguin. Or $42 on Steam. A new copy was selling for $30 on Black Friday at many retailers.
NES, SNES, Genesis, PS1, PS2, GBA, GameCube, Wii, PS3,
Wii -U, PS4, Switch, and PC.