Do you still buy physical games? Or, have you gone fully digital? I’ve been mostly digital, and more and more people are joining every day.
EA CFO Blake Jorgensen touched on digital game sales at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference this week. During his presentation, he said about 25% of all EA game sales are full-game downloads. That’s up from 20% EA reported in November.
There is a lot of variation in this figure, though. Factors including the specific game, geography and bandwidth infrastructure influence how many digital sales there are.
Bandwidth is one of my biggest issues. You’ve got to love Comcast data caps. Combine that with the insane size of games these days and it’s easy to blow through a cap with a handful of digital games and their day-one patches. I was looking at the Gears of War: Ultimate Edition for Windows 10 yesterday. One of the requirements gave me a ‘WTF’ moment. 60 GBs of hard drive space required. That shit is ridiculous.
How will the shift towards digital games affect retailers? For EA, it’s all about giving the consumers choice. “We want the consumer to decide,” said Jorgensen. “We have great retailer partners; we want to continue to maintain those great retail partners. And they perform a lot of discovery and marketing services for us. We believe there is a world where the retail partners are always going to be around.”
Jorgensen added, “But also a lot of consumers, just like music and books and movies and TV have adopted the way to download digitally is ultimately the way of the future. We try to make sure we’re available in any place where people want to buy and consume games.”
Amazon is shifting me away from digital games
I bought most of the big releases on Xbox One since launch, and nearly all of them were digital. But, I’m going to shock Comcast and not exceed my data cap from now on. And Amazon is helping.
I already buy tons of stuff on Amazon, so when they announced Prime Members get 20% off new video games, I was onboard. Those of you with Best Buy’s Gamer’s Club membership have been enjoying cheaper games for a while now.
Not being able to pre-load games sucks, but you can’t pass up The Division for $48.
Have cheaper games via Amazon or Best Buy memberships turned you back towards physical games? Would a similar style membership offer straight from Microsoft or Sony keep you on digital? Now that would be interesting. Depending on the price, I would probably bite.