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Forums - Sales Discussion - The Digital Future

A lot of people have opinions on physical vs. digital games. There will always be reasons some people want to buy physical (ownership of the actual game not attached to an account that could be hacked/locked/or deleted from a company that goes out of business, for example). There have been many reasons presented of why digital is better for some others (less things to carry around, no swapping discs/cartridges or worrying about them getting damaged, ability to access games on multiple devices, etc.). None of these are the main point of this thread. The main thing I want to do is highlight something very beneficial that, at least to me, feels overlooked.

Money. “Whose money,” you ask? Everyone’s money! You get money, and you get money, EVERYONE GETS MONEY! (The child in me that was forced to watch Oprah had to get that out of his system).

  1. Developer’s Get more money - Below is a chart of how game revenue is split up with physical sales, according to Los Angeles Times:

So, if we count it up, the publisher only gets $27/60, or 45% on physical sales. Digital? Steam and Apple both get 30% of the cut on those. Assuming Nintendo/Sony/Microsoft have similar cuts (please correct me if I’m wrong on that so I can adjust the numbers, thanks), that means with digital sales, publishers (and their developers) get 70% of the revenue, because they don’t have to waste money on retailer margin, returns, or distribution and cost of goods. That’s 25% MORE of the $60 that goes into the pockets of the publishers and their developers. Think of the raises developers, designers, etc. would be able to get with a 25% increase that they wouldn’t get without. Think of the ability to studios to expand with that level of increased revenue and profit from it, hiring more talented people that want a chance. Think of how bigger games would be made more quickly because of this. Think of how more games would be made, especially risky ones, because there is a lower barrier to success required now. These are really exciting positives!

  1. We get more money - If there is a 25% reduction in lost money, then developers may, in order to increase sales figures, decide to reduce the cost of games by a decent chunk. Not the full amount saved, but still some amount. Maybe instead of $60 games we see $50 games? Or maybe, on a less noticeable level, the increase in digital sales in the market may have been the reason we haven’t started seeing widespread price increases for newer generation games. Maybe this is why GamePass is able to be a thing and save all of us butt tons of money. Studios are making less money on each game sold now compared to 30 years ago, if you adjust for inflation, and so they are making up for that with controversial DLC options. Maybe studios will have more complete games at launch that don’t have seemingly necessary parts of the game locked behind DLC pay walls, making all of our experience of games improved.

These are the main reasons I’m excited for the digital future. On paper, consumers and developers have a lot more opportunity to walk away with more money in our pockets for a larger amount of complete, unique, quality games, that are finished in quicker timeframes, all because people are more and more buying digitally. The digital future is going to help the video game industry expand and thrive. The only people that won’t benefit, as far as I can see, are people working in retail like GameStop. But that’s how capitalism works. If your company becomes obsolete, you either adequately change your business model (hellp Funko pops! At GameStop) or you fall, and your workforce ideally moves into industries that have needs for an increased workforce.

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This thread could be tolerated if it had been written in the year 2005, but in 2020 it's plain delusional and stupid, because the future you talk of has already been observable reality for more than a decade.

Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Shipments

This is obviously done to troll epic well played

 "I think people should define the word crap" - Kirby007

Join the Prediction League

Instead of seeking to convince others, we can be open to changing our own minds, and seek out information that contradicts our own steadfast point of view. Maybe it’ll turn out that those who disagree with you actually have a solid grasp of the facts. There’s a slight possibility that, after all, you’re the one who’s wrong.

Debating digital sales sounds so outdated for me

Any other media industry is already moving its digital business from traditional sales to an on-demand/subscription model

Not to hijack your thread, but a better debate would have been exactly how or when physical sales on consoles would die off.

Eg. Do we see digital prices remain at like $60 and then physical versions of the same game go up to like $70? Or do they ax physical versions altogether and only bundle a physical disc along with a digital code for the game with Special/Collector editions of the game priced at like $99+?

That's where I see them going, I see physical copies becoming treated like some sort of Premium collectors type product. Or te claiming that physical copies have to go up in price due to "covid"... (everything's Covid's fault apparently)

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kirby007 said:

This is obviously done to troll epic well played


We get more money?

Physical game: £45
Digital game: £60

Yeah, jog on. Digital is a rip-off, plain and simple.

Ka-pi96 said:
We get more money?

Physical game: £45
Digital game: £60

Yeah, jog on. Digital is a rip-off, plain and simple.

Couldn’t be further from the truth.

Digital give us much more value. With digital:

-We can have access to our games on multiple consoles, at multiple locations without the need to take our library of physical discs from room to room, or location to location. We can log into any Console in the world, and access our games.

-We can access our entire library via Remote Play or xCloud, and not be limited to a single game that is left in the disc drive.

- We can share our games with our families, and play together. If your primary account is on a device in the family room, a family member or friend can play the game on there account, and you can play the game on another system, as long as you are connected to the internet.

-If in the worst of circumstances, you are hit with a natural disaster or are robbed, you take no loss on software, and only need to purchase a new console, and redownload your library.

-You games will follow you to the next generation no matter which way physical media goes. Digital is digital.

Stop hate, let others live the life they were given. Everyone has their problems, and no one should have to feel ashamed for the way they were born. Be proud of who you are, encourage others to be proud of themselves. Learn, research, absorb everything around you. Nothing is meaningless, a purpose is placed on everything no matter how you perceive it. Discover how to love, and share that love with everything that you encounter. Help make existence a beautiful thing.

Kevyn B Grams


Dulfite said:

There will always be reasons some people want to buy physical (ownership of the actual game not attached to an account that could be hacked/locked/or deleted from a company that goes out of business, for example).

If anyone's still using that as a reason to buy a physical game in this day and age, they haven't done a good job of noticing all the installation and activation bullshit they're forced to go through before playing the game.

As for the rest of your OP, I think those were some of the most naive things I read all year.

Digital future will happen maybe as soon as the next generation considering PS5 Digital Edition.

Personally I think the way consoles handle digital needs to improve, specially with refunds. There really should be a simple way to get refunds like it is on various PC store fronts instead of having to contact support and beg.

Secondly, the store needs to not lag. Like seriously. I don't know why my PS store lags but I sure hope that with the PS5, that won't be the case.

Other than that, I don't have much issues as I have been using steam for a very long time and I am happy with digital games.


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