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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Last generation for physical copies? Capcom: Game sales are 80% digital, and rising

The company confirmed that its digital sales ratio on games is currently sitting at about 80% and trending upward.
"for the time being we are promoting our digital strategy with an objective of 90%, since there are some customers who prefer to own discs"

This subject came up when we were about to enter this generation, but the consensus was that it was too soon.
It came up again in the middle of this generation as digital sales started to rise, and it still seemed to be too soon. I thought PS5 and the next Xbox would have physical drives.

But now we know that PS5 will launch with a digital version. Microsoft having already done this with the SAD edition will probably have a digital version at some point as well.
Coupled with the quick growth in digital sales for at least Capcom (last year it was at 53.3%), which is probably affected by the pandemic, if other publishers are having similar results, there's going to be an increased pressure on platform holders to shift over to all digital.

The reason for that is because (I think it was Activision that recently said this) the publisher's cut on a game sale is 40% for physical, but 70% for digital.

I think at this point, yes.
If this trend keeps going, it's likely that Playstation 6 and Nextbox will be digital only.
Nintendo tend to go their own way a lot, but I think if that happens with Sony and MS, Switch 3 will have to do the same. Or they'll run into a much more amplified problem with third party publishers than there already is with those thinking cartridges are too expensive.

Last edited by Hiku - on 10 July 2020

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Yeah, I brought this up when EA first broke 50% digital some time ago. Guess it really depends on what percentage we get to toward the end of the generation. The PS6 may be all digital, though I expect Nintendo to hold out for an extra generation.

I think it is a near certainty that this is the last generation for physical media. I was all physical until just a few years ago. But, even for me the convenience of digital has begun to sway me. I'm around 2/3 physical now, and trending down.

The day will come when physical copies MSRP is marked up significantly higher than digital simply because they aren't making much money off them.

Indeed I've had the same thought in mind - but how much would you estimate such an increase to be? Can't quite wrap my head around it, perhaps 4 dollars or 5? How much is "significantly higher"?

Edit: geez, it's been ages since I posted and it shows. Should've used the 'quote' tag. This is directed @Dulfite

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Yup I doubt physical is going to last much longer. There m8ght still be disk skus for backward compatibility purposes with physical disks but most games will be all digital in a few years.

How much of that 80% includes PC and digital-only releases?

EDIT: To elaborate upon that, we never seem to get real details about these sorts of things. PC game sales are over 90% digital. Lots of re-releases of older games (including many Capcom games re-released over the past couple of years) are digital-only, with no physical option. What's the split for the PS4 versions of Monster Hunter World, Resident Evil 2 Remake, DMC5, and other $60 AAA console releases with physical copies as options for purchase? Details matter. Saying "80% of our game sales are digital" doesn't tell the whole story

Last edited by Shadow1980 - on 10 July 2020


In accordance to the VGC forum rules, §8.5, I hereby exercise my right to demand to be left alone regarding the subject of the effects of the pandemic on video game sales (i.e., "COVID bump").

Are they counting that as a part of half the game is a download on physical copies on some games?

Bite my shiny metal cockpit!

IIrc FFVII Remake was and still is £60 digital (which was equivalent to about $75), while you could pick the damn thing up £40-£50 physical. If consoles ever did go all digital, I would hope the price of the digital games would at least come down to match what would have been the price of the physical copies, because as of right now, that all digital console life is looking pretty silly expensive.

We've got one more generation of discs imo, which equates to aboot 15 years. Capcom is 80% but Playstation is as whole said 50% of games were bought digitally.

Lets assume that ends at 80% in 2027 and thats still a huge market for console makers to risk loosing to competitors.