Discs heading the way of the dinosaur as gamers embrace downloads


Studies of gamers in Germany revealed that the cheaper the game, the more likely it is to be downloaded. PC gamers too were very likely to download games. –dpa

While the exact reasons may be less clear – the pandemic? Convenience? An inevitable development? – more people are downloading their video games instead of buying discs or other physical formats.

Does this spell the end of being able to buy a physical copy of a game? Given the latest download figures from industry association GAME and market researcher GfK, it's a fair thing to worry about.

For example, six out of 10 video games in Germany (58%) were bought by download in 2020, up from 45% in 2019.

The cheaper the game, the more likely it is to be downloaded, the research finds, based on an ongoing, representative survey of 25,000 consumers and their purchasing and usage habits for digital games.

Eight out of 10 game purchases below the price of US$30 (RM126) are purely digital, GfK finds.

So while downloads are increasing in terms of volume, only 41% of the sums paid reaches publishers and retailers through downloads, up from 33% in the same period last year.

Platform still play a key role: While most games on PCs are now bought as downloads – 94% – only 35%are bought for consoles such as PlayStation, Nintendo Switch and Xbox. – dpa

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