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EA expects console game sales to be 40% digital this year

Lady Gaia

Member
I agree, it's probably a myth that new AAA game prices will go down, if there would be no retail.
Like you said, why would Microsoft and Sony lower the prices if there's no real competition.

Price elasticity is a very real and well understood phenomenon. In a digital world where there are extremely low costs associated with distribution and zero per-unit manufacturing cost you can make really aggressive trade offs. If a million people would buy a game for $60 but a ten million would buy it for $10, what do you think a publisher should choose?

Having physical copies at retail alongside digital currently restricts this kind of extreme flexibility in pricing. It also creates a shadow market for resale that the publisher sees not a penny of. GameStop's existence is largely at the expense of profitability in actually developing and publishing games. Once retail is no longer a dominant part of sales they're going to find out how wise it was to push their luck. That's part of what was offensive to me about Microsoft's original DRM plan: their announcement actually enshrined GameStop's leech status, catering to GameStop's needs instead of mine as a consumer.

Yes, I expect the counter argument from those who sell games to offset costs — but remember whose pocket is getting lined in the process, and what it does to game prices. The industry is much healthier and there's less upward pressure on game prices when everyone who plays a title is paying the publisher and developer for the privilege. Consider the usual transaction: I buy a game for $60 and sell it back for $15, then GameStop resells it for $55. Consumers have spent $115 in this scenario. Let's say GameStop makes $10 off the new sale, and clearly they make $40 off the used sale. The publisher gets $50. Cut GameStop out of the equation altogether and the publisher could sell the title at $30 to both consumers and still make more money while both consumers spend less.
 

Nirolak

Mrgrgr
We have price elasticity and price discrimination.

They're done via special editions, season passes, and sales/price cuts.
 
The game industry along with the any sort of industry involved with streaming should be lobbying for better speeds and prices if they want people to go all in on digital. It's just not viable for a lot of people.
 

jroc74

Phone reception is more important to me than human rights
2 things:

1. I expected this to be a Nirolak thread
2. leeh redeemed?

As long as XBL and PSN keep have amazing sales, it will keep getting higher.

Like right now I dont have a PS4. And I'm about to buy 2 games digital for PS4 because they are on sale.
 

Terrell

Member
We have price elasticity and price discrimination.

They're done via special editions, season passes, and sales/price cuts.

Not at the MSRP level, we don't; one could argue that the consistent raising of game prices and the near uniformity of the $60 price tag has made games only accessible through retailer-dependent sales to many people. And that's the big win, to get the right own-price at the MSRP level, as it's a universal gain to all consumers, not just the savviest shoppers.
 

Lady Gaia

Member
I'll become a PC gamer when that happens, which I feel it is :(

Can you explain your rationale here? The PC is already much more heavily skewed toward digital than consoles. I suspect it's inevitable that both will go 100%, it's just a question of time with a few obvious issues that need to be addressed to make it viable for everyone.
 
Can you explain your rationale here? The PC is already much more heavily skewed toward digital than consoles. I suspect it's inevitable that both will go 100%, it's just a question of time with a few obvious issues that need to be addressed to make it viable for everyone.
The main reasons why I primarily game on consoles is due to physical format. If consoles go digital only, I don't feel comfortable that my purchased will be long-term/permanent compared to Steam and other services on PC. I think the gen after PS5 might be digital only, but I would not surprised me if PS5 was digital only since digital keeps increasing at a high rate per year. Perhaps around 2019 and 2020, digital might be 60-65% of console game sales.
 

Kill3r7

Member
The day this happens I'll just move to PC entirely. I've been enjoying the benefits of having multiple systems. But the day I lose physical media for resale purposes is the day consoles lose their main value feature for me.

And they will just sell you games on PC out of their storefront.
 


I'm 100% digital this generation - prices are kind of junk in the UK (wish I'd started off with a US account) but sales and falling prices over time are way better than last gen, where stuff just hung around £50+ forever while you could have a disc for a tenner.

If you game share though and it's equitable you could consider that everything is half price, or 2-for-1 rather.
 
And they will just sell you games on PC out of their storefront.

Oh yeah I know. I'm just saying if I have to go all digital it's going to be on PC, which already is, and is significantly more open than consoles. Too many benefits, that I will sometime out aside in order for the lower "risk" physical media gives me.
 

Trup1aya

Member
Maybe, maybe not, and even then they would have to be amazingly frequent to make up for having lost dozens of both physical retail and online retail shops competing for their attention.

I can't see the PSN store and the eshop slashing their prices to anywhere near what Amazon and co. sell physical copies for in the UK. For an end result of constant promotions reducing the price of everything by £10-£15, can you really see the store executives and publishers encouraging that? I can't.

Fortunately a digital-only future is at least a decade away (I can't see the next PlayStation dropping a drive that 60% of its customers use yet) so there's plenty of time for the situation to adapt.

Why are publishers so aggressive on steam?

In a world where there is only one mall to shop in, vendors within that mall HAVE to find ways to attract customers.
 

Teppic

Member
All digital sucks as it is now on consoles. It's a lot more expensive. Can't lend/borrow games. Can't sell games. Can't copy games to a new system when the online store eventually is taken down. Takes a lot of time to download.

The only positive things I can think about is that you don't have to use or change discs, and that you can share the game with one other person (on PS4 If you give up offline play). Also no delivery time.

If they want me to care about digital they need to work more on the negative points.
 

Mooreberg

Member
GameStop is fucked.

Good riddance.
My first thought. They are not going to be able to sell enough overpriced refurbished iPhones to keep up with this.

I hope the digital storefronts on console keep the pace of sales going once retail is less of a concern. But I also hoped PS+ wouldn't stall on games once MP became part if the package. I guess there is always Steam.
 

ArtHands

Thinks buying more servers can fix a bad patch
I've never understood this. I'm a console gamer, but I have feet, I don't mind getting up and swapping discs..

I've been gaming since the late 80's. I love collecting (physical) titles. If it went all digital then I'd have no choice obviously - but hopefully there will be always be a market for people like me who prefer physical.

Look at ebooks - people thought at one point that kindle etc would destroy the print medium - but actually no it hit a plateau and now both sit alongside each other. Hopefully the same will happen with games.

its like the "fiddling with settings everytime you play a pc game" that console fans bring up to explain why they buy a console (although you only need to spend like half min to adjust setting once per PC game and no need to touch that for subsequent play). Changing disc go against the plug-and-play/couch gaming experience. That whole "i just want to sit down and play some game".
 

statham

Member
If you guys want me to add anything to my OG post, PM me. IMO this is huge, I think most of us thought DD was around 20-25%
 
It's a reasonable prediction, things have changed a lot over the past few years

Digital will certainly become the dominant format one day, question is when & if physical will still be able to exist alongside it.
Digital console games are just too expensive though - even when they eventually go on sale you can usually find them cheaper physical (at least here in the UK). I've no faith that this will change as digital continues to grow, there's no incentive for it
Plus I just prefer physical products so hopefully there'll be room for both formats for a good while yet.
 
This is lame, people should buy more RETAIL for obvious reasons, don't tell me you're too lazy to swap disc for 5-10 seconds in your life? Are you too busy? With what?

Digital: COST MORE, FEW SALES, NO RESELL.
Retail: COST LESS, SALES LATER in few months, RESELL, PREOWNED, SWAP with friends etc.....

The moment RETAIL is gone (IF), i'm done with console. :(

Since I've moved to digital I'm buying more games than ever and spending less money. It's only more expensive if you're too impatient to wait for sales.

I also don't care about reselling or lending to friends. Physical offers me no benefits. It's fine if you prefer physical but I wish people would stop acting like people only buy digital because they're too lazy to swap discs.
 
Can anyone explain why?

I mean sure as someone who is from Europe it makes sense that I will sign up for the digital US store and buy my games from there since it's cheaper, but I'm sure there are only few who are like me and the vast majority consists of people who actually choose to buy digital even though:

1) it's more expensive or as expensive
2) No physical box and manual so you can't build a nice collection on your shelf or enjoy looking at the box on your way home and enjoy that new game smell ;)
3) You can't really loan it to your friends or trade it with them (and no sharing your user name and pass to a friend is not a good enough solution)
4) You can't sell it
5) No refund or trade in like you can with a physical copy at the store
6) Most of the time you are actually getting it later than most since lots of places breaks embargos
7) Always having that fear that someday your digital games won't be supported

Resons to buy digital:

1) No need to get out to the store
2) No need to switch discs

Hmm is it me or physical currently is like>>>>>>>>>> over digital?

And still so many people still choose digital, it's baffling.

Those last two genuinely outweigh the rest for a lot of folks.

People are lazy bastards and recklessly wasteful and irresponsible with money.

There's a reason most people have both debts and fuck all savings.
 
Digital: COST MORE, FEW SALES, NO RESELL.
Retail: COST LESS, SALES LATER in few months, RESELL, PREOWNED, SWAP with friends etc.....

This is not true anymore, if you wait long enough, thanks to PSN sales. Last month I grabbed Nathan Drake Collection for $8 while still being sold at $20 at retails. For people who don't live in the US digital is the only logical choice because they don't have access to retail discount like GCU.

The digital games also fit people with on-the-move lifestyle. I have to move to a new place every few years due to my job and it's a blessing that I don't have to carry around game boxes anymore. All I need to do is packing my PS4 and a controller in a suitcase and bam! the whole game library come with me.
 
Proud and better off being the 60%. No way is "convenience" worth an extra £15-20 (which is a huge % of the price) and no resell value. I'll continue to reap the savings and able to therefore purchase more games if I wish. It'll be a dark day if retail was ever to disappear and £50+ price points for Day1 were the norm.
 
2. That's a plus in my book. I hate stuff lying around in the.

2. No pesky boxes or manuals to clutter up my home.

2) I don't want the added clutter of a collection.

Glad to so many people mentioned this point. To me, eliminating the clutter is the biggest reason to go digital. Even more so than the convenience factor, or saving money via digital flash sales, though those are both big positives as well.

Same reason I stop buying magazines, FTM. I mean, yeah, obviously the ease of information on the Internet played a HUGE role, but ultimately, I stopped buying physical magazines for the same reason I have stopped buying physical media across the board, whether it be games, movies, music, magazines, etc. I hate clutter. I hate having unnecessary junk.
 

Trup1aya

Member
The main reasons why I primarily game on consoles is due to physical format. If consoles go digital only, I don't feel comfortable that my purchased will be long-term/permanent compared to Steam and other services on PC. I think the gen after PS5 might be digital only, but I would not surprised me if PS5 was digital only since digital keeps increasing at a high rate per year. Perhaps around 2019 and 2020, digital might be 60-65% of console game sales.

What is the basis of this fear?

I could understand if your fear was your games wouldn't be compatible with new hardware. But has Sony been indiscriminately taking people's games collections away?
 

FinalAres

Member
Main reasons to buy digital:
-No gigantic video game collection cluttering up the house
-Easier to switch on and play which has a genuine psychological effect in which games you play
-Cheaper, but only on Steam

I'm also at a point in my life where I don't need to sell old games to buy new games, and I'd rather keep a big collection of games, digitally like iTunes used to offer, thank keep chopping and changing what I have.
 

redcrayon

Member
Why are publishers so aggressive on steam?

In a world where there is only one mall to shop in, vendors within that mall HAVE to find ways to attract customers.
Steam both competes with other online stores and has dozens of releases a week, with new games disappearing almost instantly so promotion and visabilty matter. I'm not really sure how that's a valid comparison to, for example, PSN being the only way to buy PlayStation games where there are only so many releases compared to PC and zero competition.
 

bigjig

Member
2 things:

1. I expected this to be a Nirolak thread
2. leeh redeemed?

As long as XBL and PSN keep have amazing sales, it will keep getting higher.

Like right now I dont have a PS4. And I'm about to buy 2 games digital for PS4 because they are on sale.

I don't really get how your example applies specifically to digital. How is that any different than finding two physical PS4 games on sale and buying them before getting the console?
 

Jumeira

Member
Can anyone explain why?

I mean sure as someone who is from Europe it makes sense that I will sign up for the digital US store and buy my games from there since it's cheaper, but I'm sure there are only few who are like me and the vast majority consists of people who actually choose to buy digital even though:

1) it's more expensive or as expensive
2) No physical box and manual so you can't build a nice collection on your shelf or enjoy looking at the box on your way home and enjoy that new game smell ;)
3) You can't really loan it to your friends or trade it with them (and no sharing your user name and pass to a friend is not a good enough solution)
4) You can't sell it
5) No refund or trade in like you can with a physical copy at the store
6) Most of the time you are actually getting it later than most since lots of places breaks embargos
7) Always having that fear that someday your digital games won't be supported

Resons to buy digital:

1) No need to get out to the store
2) No need to switch discs

Hmm is it me or physical currently is like>>>>>>>>>> over digital?

And still so many people still choose digital, it's baffling.

1. It's convenient. I can be at home, or in US, my account will move with me. Don't have to carry games around. Just a username/password

2. Nobody cares about that, it's a niche ritual for certain gamers

3. You can share games, trading doesn't really take place anymore

4. True, your right here

5. Microsoft allow refunds on XBL now

6. Again this is a exception so shouldn't be used as a point. It's quite rare for this to happen

7. I feel as more money is spent on DLC laws will evolve to protect consumers. More importantly given consumers scepticism re digital purchasing has been a long battle of assurance from companies, I doubt they'd implement something that would undo the hard work they've put in to get to this point.


Just to show you how much of a game changer digital is. I have 2 Xbox one's. One at my flat, the other at my house. I can travel in between them and be able to play my games without carrying anything with me, just switch on my machine and continue playing from where I left off.

I can use my phone to purchase games form work and have it available regardless of which point I choose to visit.

That to me is highly efficient and extremely convenient. Game changer.
 
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