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Forums - Sales Discussion - Prediction: This is the last decade a game will sell over 10 million physical copies

 

Which decade will be the last a game sells over 10 million physically?

2020's 12 31.58%
 
2030's 10 26.32%
 
2040's 3 7.89%
 
2050's 0 0%
 
Never, physical will live on forever 13 34.21%
 
Total:38

Digital really started to take off on console last gen and it seems this gen could be when it just about fully takes over. Now there are digital editions making up a notable percentage of sales particularly the Series S making up nearly half of Xbox Series sales in the UK resulting in COD Vanguard having an astounding 90% digital share on Xbox there. While the digital share isn't as high on PS5 I expect it won't be that long till big releases on that reach the 90% mark as well there and other places over time and this could make it so massive titles like COD and FIFA never have over 10 million physical copies produced for them ever again before much longer.

An obstacle to this is Nintendo and Rockstar since the former has a much lower digital share though it is increasing fast and should become majority digital in a few years and both make games that sell so much that even a really low physical share could maybe still surpass 10 million in the 2030's for their top titles. Another obstacle is regions with relatively low digital shares like Japan but it's increasing in those places as well so despite those factors I think it's likely to happen this decade.

What decade do you all think is most likely?



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Maybe never just because games like GTA V being bundled will probably include the physical version to make it feel like you get something. GTA V sold 150m or something like that so if GTA VI is 90% digital, that is still 15m physical.



Probably, digital ratio is rising every year. Doubt we'll see any games sell 10m physical after 2030. Physical ratio will be either too low or physical won't exist on the newest systems at all.



Games will just sell over 10m digitally.
Wether those sales get accurate tracking is a another story.

But yeah, physical media is dying. 



Call of Duty Modern Warfare (2019) had the highest first year sales in franchise history, selling 30m and two thirds of sales were digital, so 10m physical, 20m digital. So we're already at the stage where a series like CoD will probably never sell 10m physical again.



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Zippy6 said:

Probably, digital ratio is rising every year. Doubt we'll see any games sell 10m physical after 2030. Physical ratio will be either too low or physical won't exist on the newest systems at all.

Makes sense in platforms like Micro's (my plan is to buy an Xbox SeX and get Gamepass), but I would never stop buying Nintendo games physically if I have the option. Kind of hard to believe so many people would stop buying in this format in such a short amount of time. Not saying it won't happen, it most likely will, but still can't grasp it. 



My bet with The_Liquid_Laser: I think the Switch won't surpass the PS2 as the best selling system of all time. If it does, I'll play a game of a list that The_Liquid_Laser will provide, I will have to play it for 50 hours or complete it, whatever comes first. 

Games are getting bigger and bigger and drive space seems to be getting smaller, ps5 is only little over 600gb. Digital will not take off until next gen. Even then, a lot of people will still prefer discs as you have so many advantages to discs.



victor83fernandes said:

Games are getting bigger and bigger and drive space seems to be getting smaller, ps5 is only little over 600gb. Digital will not take off until next gen. Even then, a lot of people will still prefer discs as you have so many advantages to discs.

I was under the impression people are ok with deleting and reinstalling games, especially as higher Internet speeds are gradually becoming more available in developed countries. 



My bet with The_Liquid_Laser: I think the Switch won't surpass the PS2 as the best selling system of all time. If it does, I'll play a game of a list that The_Liquid_Laser will provide, I will have to play it for 50 hours or complete it, whatever comes first. 

Farsala said:

Maybe never just because games like GTA V being bundled will probably include the physical version to make it feel like you get something. GTA V sold 150m or something like that so if GTA VI is 90% digital, that is still 15m physical.

Yeah if any game could make this not come true it's a 100+ million seller like GTA though I don't see the bundling happening unless it's a collector's edition since that'll decrease profit.

Zippy6 said:

Probably, digital ratio is rising every year. Doubt we'll see any games sell 10m physical after 2030. Physical ratio will be either too low or physical won't exist on the newest systems at all.

That's an aspect I was considering adding to the OP, Microsoft and Sony potentially not making a version of their next consoles with a disc drive. Assuming a 2027 release date it'll be at a time where physical share is starting to get fairly low but they might not wanna take a risk and give an advantage to the other since if only one offered a disc drive all the physical die hards would pick that one.

Zippy6 said:

Call of Duty Modern Warfare (2019) had the highest first year sales in franchise history, selling 30m and two thirds of sales were digital, so 10m physical, 20m digital. So we're already at the stage where a series like CoD will probably never sell 10m physical again.

That stage will happen a bit sooner than I expected then so we might already be at the point where it's just Nintendo and Rockstar selling over 10m physical copies of their biggest games.

victor83fernandes said:

Games are getting bigger and bigger and drive space seems to be getting smaller, ps5 is only little over 600gb. Digital will not take off until next gen. Even then, a lot of people will still prefer discs as you have so many advantages to discs.

The number of people preferring discs will decline overtime, a look at DVD/Blu-ray sales over the past decade shows that convenience will win over the overwhelming majority. Drive space is a concern though so slow internet speeds or data caps in certain parts of the world do decrease the chance of the prediction happening.



The more digital things we have replacing physical things the better. Less trash all over the place years later when no one wants the discs/boxes anymore except for the super hardcore, niche, minority of people that like to collect.

I view physical gaming like I did Will Smith's character in iRobot. One day your going to be driving around on your gas motorcycle with everyone else in the world looking at you like your crazy lol.