Massive shift in UK console game sales, now 30-45% digital

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Garth
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PostMassive shift in UK console game sales, now 30-45% digital
by Garth » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:02 pm

UK console game sales now 30 - 45% digital
Confidential data shown to GamesIndustry.biz reveals massive shift in UK game sales

The tipping point for digital in the UK console space is approaching faster than previously expected.

Confidential digital data, shown to GamesIndustry.biz, reveals that the digital-to-physical split on some AAA console games now exceed 45% in the UK.

Last year, the split was estimated at between 15% and 25%, depending on the game.

GfK data, which only counts physical sales, showed that some recent games have sold below their predecessors - titles such as Destiny 2, FIFA 18, Wolfenstein II, The Evil Within 2, Forza Motorsport 7 and Assassin's Creed Origins. However, according to the data shown to us, some of these games were actually up over their previous titles due to the significant increase in downloading.

It's a potential blow to the physical retail market, although one publisher told us that it's the lack of discounting from retailers that may have resulted in this rapid switch.

"UK retailers have been selling new games closer to their RRP, so although digital titles are still quite expensive, they're now closer to their physical counterparts in terms of price," a senior source said. "Some consumers have clearly found that the convenience of digital offsets the now slight premium - whereas before they were paying upwards of £15 more for the privilege, that's not the case this year."

Another publishing boss said: "The challenge retailers face is how they react to this. To protect their revenue, the temptation may be to keep prices high, but this might only cause the digital acceleration to speed up further."

EA's financials this week showed that 36% of their PS4 and Xbox One sales are digital on a global basis, and that includes territories with lower broadband penetration. Last year that number was 30%. The firm says that 25% of FIFA 18's sales have been digital after three weeks, whereas FIFA 17's number was just 16%. Madden's download share is also up 9% to 34% of total sales.

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2 ... nt-digital

That's quite a jump over last year!

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PostRe: Massive shift in UK console game sales, now 30-45% digital
by OrangeRakoon » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:06 pm

I wish we got to see actual digital sales figures

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PostRe: Massive shift in UK console game sales, now 30-45% digital
by Lagamorph » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:11 pm

Digital will never be my main method for consoles so long as it's more expensive than physical.
At least on PC digital is way cheaper most of the time. Not to mention increasingly the only method for some titles.

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PostRe: Massive shift in UK console game sales, now 30-45% digital
by Trelliz » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:24 pm

Lagamorph wrote:Digital will never be my main method for consoles so long as it's more expensive than physical.
At least on PC digital is way cheaper most of the time. Not to mention increasingly the only method for some titles.


What few physical pc games remain are a box with a steam/origin/uplay code inside with the nearly immediately redundant disc anyway.

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PostRe: Massive shift in UK console game sales, now 30-45% digital
by jawafour » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:27 pm

Over the past four years I have transitioned over to downloading games for my PS4. I like discs but, increasingly, they are really just download keys. With Switch I prefer to purchase carts albeit the trend for third-party published games requiring large chunks of micro SD storage is frustrating.

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PostRe: Massive shift in UK console game sales, now 30-45% digital
by rinks » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:30 pm

And people still pay attention to the charts that exclude downloads. What is the point of those charts now?

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PostRe: Massive shift in UK console game sales, now 30-45% digital
by Gemini73 » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:33 pm

I've got around 20 games for PS4, with over half being digital purchases. The X1 50/50, and for PC aside from a handful of older boxed games all are digital.

I've no problem with digital console prices simply because their not beyond my disposable income.

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PostRe: Massive shift in UK console game sales, now 30-45% digital
by Lagamorph » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:35 pm

Trelliz wrote:
Lagamorph wrote:Digital will never be my main method for consoles so long as it's more expensive than physical.
At least on PC digital is way cheaper most of the time. Not to mention increasingly the only method for some titles.


What few physical pc games remain are a box with a steam/origin/uplay code inside with the nearly immediately redundant disc anyway.

With how fast my internet is, and how ridiculously slow Steam is with disc based installs, it's faster for me to download a game than use the disc anyway.

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PostRe: Massive shift in UK console game sales, now 30-45% digital
by jawafour » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:36 pm

Gemini73 wrote:...I've no problem with digital console prices simply because their not beyond my disposable income.

I guess that’s fair enough... if you are able to put, say, £60 to £80 down for a game then more power to you. I’d suggest that the high pricing in the monopolised digital storefronts isn’t really a good thing, though.

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PostRe: Massive shift in UK console game sales, now 30-45% digital
by lex-man » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:43 pm

I've been full digital for years now being manly a PC gamer.

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PostRe: Massive shift in UK console game sales, now 30-45% digital
by <]:^D » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:49 pm

are you not scared buying a digital download that you wont be able to play it in the future?

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PostRe: Massive shift in UK console game sales, now 30-45% digital
by KK » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:50 pm

Reasons still to go physical for me include the ability to sell the games on. Funnily enough I never used to do this, but now I like to recoup some or the majority of the money back (particularly if it's short) or just to save space.

I don't tend to buy games at launch any more, but as pointed out I have noticed the price difference between physical and digital has decreased. However after about a month or two this gap widens, physical dropping much faster than digital, before then marrying back up again later. For example Rise Of The Tomb Raider on Digital has been at parity at various points with physical (£24.99, then £19.99) throughout Dec 16/17, though there is an art book with the disc copy.

I wouldn't download a seasonal based update either, like FIFA. I personally would rather have that £15-£20 back.

All comes down to how much disposable income you have, and whether you think you'll ever want to return to those games at a later date.

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PostRe: Massive shift in UK console game sales, now 30-45% digital
by Lagamorph » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:51 pm

<]:^D wrote:are you not scared buying a digital download that you wont be able to play it in the future?

Given the way patching and games as a service is going the same can increasingly be said of physical releases.

Isn't the new Call of Duty single player unplayable/locked out without the Day 1 patch to prevent early receivers playing before launch?

Last edited by Lagamorph on Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostRe: Massive shift in UK console game sales, now 30-45% digital
by Gemini73 » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:51 pm

jawafour wrote:
Gemini73 wrote:...I've no problem with digital console prices simply because their not beyond my disposable income.

I guess that’s fair enough... if you are able to put, say, £60 to £80 down for a game then more power to you. I’d suggest that the high pricing in the monopolised digital storefronts isn’t really a good thing, though.


If the rise in digital sales continue to rise over their 2-3 years, (which they no doubt will), it's not unreasonable to assume that the next batch of consoles will be digital only. This might lead to lower pricing IF it's to be believed that one of the core reasons for AAA digital console pricing being high is to keep it in line with bricks and mortar retail.

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PostRe: Massive shift in UK console game sales, now 30-45% digital
by Gemini73 » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:54 pm

<]:^D wrote:are you not scared buying a digital download that you wont be able to play it in the future?


No. I'm still playing Quake, so it's safe to assume I'll still be able to play TW3 20 years from now.

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PostRe: Massive shift in UK console game sales, now 30-45% digital
by KK » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:58 pm

Lagamorph wrote:
<]:^D wrote:are you not scared buying a digital download that you wont be able to play it in the future?

Given the way patching and games as a service is going the same can increasingly be said of physical releases.

Isn't the new Call of Duty single player unplayable/locked out without the Day 1 patch to prevent early receivers playing before launch?

It's funny if you look back at the uproar surrounding Sim Shitty in 2013, then the always online connection with Xbox One, but here we are in 2017 with something like Gran Turismo Sport that is almost bust without an online connection.

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PostRe: Massive shift in UK console game sales, now 30-45% digital
by <]:^D » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:58 pm

eh? Quake wasnt a digital download

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PostRe: Massive shift in UK console game sales, now 30-45% digital
by jawafour » Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:00 pm

<]:^D wrote:are you not scared buying a digital download that you wont be able to play it in the future?

I’d go along with Laga in suggesting that disc versions often require downloads and patches; I have very few disc games for PS4 which would operate as well without access to downloads.

Buy, yes, I am wary of digital storefronts being closed down when manufacturers feel like it. I have a number of digital downloads for my Wii and, with the Store soon closing, it will be impossible to re-download them.

Gemini73 wrote:...it's not unreasonable to assume that the next batch of consoles will be digital only. This might lead to lower pricing IF it's to be believed that one of the core reasons for AAA digital console pricing being high is to keep it in line with bricks and mortar retail.

I would love to think that publishers would start selling new games cheaper via the download channel... but, recognising how they are money-driven hives of evil, it’s probably unlikely.

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PostRe: Massive shift in UK console game sales, now 30-45% digital
by Moggy » Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:02 pm

I like the idea of a (console) digital future, but only if the marketplaces are opened up. The prices are ridiculous compared to the physical versions and it desperately needs competition to shake it up a bit.

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PostRe: Massive shift in UK console game sales, now 30-45% digital
by Lagamorph » Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:04 pm

KK wrote:
Lagamorph wrote:
<]:^D wrote:are you not scared buying a digital download that you wont be able to play it in the future?

Given the way patching and games as a service is going the same can increasingly be said of physical releases.

Isn't the new Call of Duty single player unplayable/locked out without the Day 1 patch to prevent early receivers playing before launch?

It's funny if you look back at the uproar surrounding Sim Shitty in 2013, then the always online connection with Xbox One, but here we are in 2017 with something like Gran Turismo Sport that is almost bust without an online connection.

It's like the loot box approach publishers are taking. Introduce it gradually and make it clear you can still avoid it completely (you can get everything in game, it's just cosmetic, etc), getting people used to it bit by bit, so that when you go full on it's not as much of a controversy.

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