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Forums - Gaming Discussion - CDPR reveals Witcher 3 platform split and physical/digital split.

I've long held to the theory that digital sales have much better legs than physical. I've also called people out before for claiming sales of a game to be 30%+ digital first week and the like. Clearly that wasn't the case here (on console at least where physical is actually relevant). The 30%+ digital figures companies give out are for lifetime sales, it makes sense to me that the digital % would start out quite a bit lower than that and build up through a games lifetime and these sales seem to support that theory.

PC having better legs also makes sense to me, although I've always thought that would be more noticeable over the longer term. The majority of yearly sales being on PC within 3 years is a bit of a surprise. My reason for thinking PC would have better legs over the long term has been due to the permanence of the platform other consoles. I wonder if used game sales could potentially explain why PC has taken the yearly sales lead so early?



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jason1637 said:
So glad to see digital out doing physical.

Did it though? 2015 sales were likely much higher than 2016/2017, so that 71% in 2015 may well be enough that overall physical sales are still higher than digital.

Why would you be glad about people spending more money for the same game though?



Ka-pi96 said:
jason1637 said:
So glad to see digital out doing physical.

Did it though? 2015 sales were likely much higher than 2016/2017, so that 71% in 2015 may well be enough that overall physical sales are still higher than digital.

Why would you be glad about people spending more money for the same game though?

I'm glad that digital sales are above physical In 2018.



jason1637 said:
Ka-pi96 said:

Did it though? 2015 sales were likely much higher than 2016/2017, so that 71% in 2015 may well be enough that overall physical sales are still higher than digital.

Why would you be glad about people spending more money for the same game though?

I'm glad that digital sales are above physical In 2018.

What if they're not though? They never gave data for 2018

Given the sales trajectory it seems likely, but stranger things have happened.



AngryLittleAlchemist said:
flashfire926 said:

For averaging to work, all three years need to have to have the exact same sales. It doesnt work when the years are different.

For example, PC's 50% in 2017 is way smaller than PS4's 48% in 2015. We cant tell the average for sure until they give ratios to compare the years or give us sales numbers for each individual year.

If you stack up all the blue together, versus stacking up all the grey, the blue is ahead by a considerable margin.

Not really. Averaging DOES work for the yearly ratio of sales, it just doesn't work for how many sales there are. 

On Steam the game has 4.8 million sales. On PS4 it should have about 6.54. But The Witcher 3 is heavily advertised on GOG, a store owned by CD Projekt Red. So I wouldn't be surprised if the difference between sales was only a million, maybe even less.

But except it doesnt work like that. 

Lets take a look at this made up scenario. Witcher 3 had 90% of its lifetime sales in 2015, with the remaining 10% in 2016.

Lets say the split was 75% ps4 and 25% pc in 2015, while in 2016 was 10% ps4 and 90% pc. The way you would calculate it,  PC would have 57.5% of sales, and PS4 would have 42.5%. 

But that would be wrong. In reality, PS4 would have 68.5% of sales, and PC would have 31.5%. Since the gap in 2015 in terms of units sold was way in favor of PS4, and the 2016 gap between PC and PS4 is much smaller in terms of units sold, because it had very little sales in 2016 when compared to 2015. When the amounts for each year are different, just adding up the percentages and dividing doesnt work because the amounts each year arent equal.

In this scenario, percentage doesnt tell the whole story, since the gap in units sold between ps4 and pc is much smaller in 2016, even though the percentages are heavily in favor of PC, because 2016 only counted for a small fraction.



Bet with Intrinsic:

The Switch will outsell 3DS (based on VGchartz numbers), according to me, while Intrinsic thinks the opposite will hold true. One month avatar control for the loser's avatar.

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Ka-pi96 said:
jason1637 said:

I'm glad that digital sales are above physical In 2018.

What if they're not though? They never gave data for 2018

Given the sales trajectory it seems likely, but stranger things have happened.

They probably are due to huge deals in digital stores. Still don’t understand why someone would be happy about that. Especially with a game like The Witcher games, where great retail boni like maps, figures, cards etc. were what made the games stand out.



flashfire926 said:
AngryLittleAlchemist said:

Not really.  Averaging DOES work for the yearly ratio of sales, it just doesn't work for how many sales there are.

On Steam the game has 4.8 million sales. On PS4 it should have about 6.54. But The Witcher 3 is heavily advertised on GOG, a store owned by CD Projekt Red. So I wouldn't be surprised if the difference between sales was only a million, maybe even less.

But except it doesnt work like that. 

Lets take a look at this made up scenario. Witcher 3 had 90% of its lifetime sales in 2015, with the remaining 10% in 2016.

Lets say the split was 75% ps4 and 25% pc in 2015, while in 2016 was 10% ps4 and 90% pc. The way you would calculate it,  PC would have 57.5% of sales, and PS4 would have 42.5%. 

But that would be wrong. In reality, PS4 would have 68.5% of sales, and PC would have 31.5%. Since the gap in 2015 in terms of units sold was way in favor of PS4, and the 2016 gap between PC and PS4 is much smaller in terms of units sold, because it had very little sales in 2016 when compared to 2015. When the amounts for each year are different, just adding up the percentages and dividing doesnt work because the amounts each year arent equal.

In this scenario, percentage doesnt tell the whole story, since the gap in units sold between ps4 and pc is much smaller in 2016, even though the percentages are heavily in favor of PC, because 2016 only counted for a small fraction.

Did you miss the part in my comment where I literally already said this? 

"Averaging DOES work for the yearly ratio of sales, it just doesn't work for how many sales there are."

What do you think I meant by that honey? I already said it so that you wouldn't have to write a long reply restating what I've already said. 



jason1637 said:
Errorist76 said:

Why?! Main reason for this is deals anyway plus lack of early bonuses which came with the retail game.

Regardless...it might be understandable, but why would anyone be happy about such a development?

Because I like digital better.

So what benefits does it give you? Besides from missing out on the extra content and not physically owning the game?



I'd like to see an exact physical-digital split by platform. I can't say for sure, but assuming at least 90% of PC copies were digital, then the vast majority of PS4 & XBO owners who have a copy bought it on disc.



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Ka-pi96 said:
I've long held to the theory that digital sales have much better legs than physical. I've also called people out before for claiming sales of a game to be 30%+ digital first week and the like. Clearly that wasn't the case here (on console at least where physical is actually relevant). The 30%+ digital figures companies give out are for lifetime sales, it makes sense to me that the digital % would start out quite a bit lower than that and build up through a games lifetime and these sales seem to support that theory.

PC having better legs also makes sense to me, although I've always thought that would be more noticeable over the longer term. The majority of yearly sales being on PC within 3 years is a bit of a surprise. My reason for thinking PC would have better legs over the long term has been due to the permanence of the platform other consoles. I wonder if used game sales could potentially explain why PC has taken the yearly sales lead so early?

Things have certainly changed now. First 10 days for assassins creed Origins was 35% digital, up from 15% for syndicate. 

South Park: The fractured but whole did 50% digital in its first 25 days.

edit: look at this article: https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2017-11-02-the-uk-console-game-sales-now-30-45-percent-digital

Last edited by flashfire926 - on 24 March 2018

Bet with Intrinsic:

The Switch will outsell 3DS (based on VGchartz numbers), according to me, while Intrinsic thinks the opposite will hold true. One month avatar control for the loser's avatar.