An increasing number of gamers buying full games digitally

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We already knew that the digital market for games was huge. Collectively, gamers spend a ridiculous amount of money of extra content, aesthetic upgrades and all sorts of other in-game purchases. However, while retail purchases continue to decline, most gamers still tend to walk into stores and pick up the odd game that they might want. That trend is starting to change.

The cool people of Super Data look into the digital games market each month; September was a particularly lucrative month with digital game revenue hitting $5.4 billion, up 11% year over year. The numbers just keep rising, but it’s a specific trend that is the most interesting:

The space with the biggest proportional gains was digital console, where year-over-year earnings increased 29% to $326 million despite player numbers remaining stable during this period. Most growth in the space came from existing players buying more full games digitally, as average monthly full game spending jumped 39% to $132.46.

So, despite the number of players remaining constant, it’s the way those gamers are accessing content that’s shifting with more and more people opting to buy their games digitally, even on console. Of course there will always be a (rather large) portion of society that buys the odd game upon wandering into a retail outlet, but it’s interesting to see that more hardcore gamers are making the change to digital. As internet infrastructure continues to improve, making it quick and easy to download full games with relatively low wait times, I predict we’ll continue to see this trend grow locally as well.

As for the top selling digital titles on console in the period they sort of follow the retail trends, proving that even the magic of Kojima can’t overthrow the power of football and shooting with friends.

  1. FIFA 16
  2. Destiny
  3. Grand Theft Auto V
  4. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  5. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Last Updated: October 22, 2015

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let's get on with it!

  • Michael Matusowsky

    Can confirm, last physical copy of a game I got was Battlefield 4. Since then I’ve bought probably more than 10 games that come with boxes. When you have a fast line, it doesn’t even matter.

  • Hammersteyn

    It’s super convenient to have MP games installed digitally. Way to lazy to swap discs these days 😛

    • Nikola

      True wish I got Destiny digital, but when you think about it we are super lazy ahahah I mean it’s like two steps and change the game lol

      • Hammersteyn

        I have to recline my Lazyboy in the upright position first. The struggle is real!

        • Nikola

          ahhh fuck u have a Lazyboy I soooo want one of thise flip! Ok I understand your situation is much worse.

          • Hammersteyn

            It’s a big proper leather one too. It almost swallows me when I sit. Spent most of my Christmas bonus on it XD

          • Nikola

            I am buying one next week now hahah screw fallout 4 it can wait!

        • Brady miaau

          Our Lazyboy (from my Oupa) is in the babies room, not in the TV room. It was in the TV room for a while and it was awesome to game while sitting in it, not lounging back, but sitting.

  • Nikola

    I prefer physical any day I like to have a copy on my shelf. But coop games I buy digital so I can share it with my brother and we can play together!

  • CypherGate

    Obviously they will increase. We practically forced to get into this whole digital thing.

  • Deceased

    I’m one

    Digital since 2010

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