Video game publishers have revealed that sales of digital games for 2020 have begun to surpass physical sales figures.
Video games data analyst Daniel Ahmad has taken to Twitter to share some stats on the increase in digital downloads, citing figures from EA, Take-Two Interactive and Sony.
In a recent earnings call, EA stated that 52% of its “console full game unit sales in the past 12 months were via digital download.”
Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of Rockstar Games and 2K Games, sports similar figures for the financial year of 2020, with 55% of sales being digital downloads.
Sony has also said that “51% of all games sold on PS4 in [financial year] 2020 were digital.”
As we move towards next-gen, which is already promising free game upgrades for those who buy current-gen digital games that they wish to play on the PS5 and Xbox Series X, it’s likely that we’ll see even higher numbers moving forward.
Though the technical advancements of our day and age are almost certainly a factor in the increase of digital sales, the impact of the global pandemic and lockdown also can’t be ignored.
Earlier this year, Frontier Developments’ CEO David Braben commented on the disastrous events of 2020 and how they could shape the video games industry moving forward. Speaking at GamesIndustry.biz’s Investment Summit Online, Braben said that the COVID-19 pandemic could play a huge role in the shift from physical games to digital.
“We’ve seen an acceleration in the transition from physical to digital,” he said. “That is a good thing. It’s probably two to three years before physical more or less goes away, and it’s probably accelerated that timescale a bit.”
From the numbers we’re seeing, the decline of physical video games is now looking more likely than ever before.
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