Home Gaming Top publishers’ digital revenue surpasses physical

Top publishers’ digital revenue surpasses physical

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Digital Money

The end days are upon us. Stock up on dehydrated food goods and batten down the hatches. Okay, maybe it’s not that extreme, but time they are a’changing and it’s going to have a serious impact on a range of gamers.

According to the good people of Super Data, digital distribution continues to grow. We already looked at how much it grew in the past month and how it might affect E3 in the future. However, there’s a whole lot more at play.

EA and Activision both surpassed the 50% mark for digital vs physical sales for the year. While we’ve seen from quarter to quarter that digital can surpass physical, the data for the full year is pretty staggering. Just last year, EA and Activision were at 45% and 42% respectively for the digital percentage of total earnings. This year? 52% and 51%. Take-Two and Ubisoft are also seeing the shift towards digital; last year they took in 18% and 19% respectively in digital versus physical, but this year it’s already up to 37% and 29%.

Digital distribution may 2015

What does this mean for consumers? Well, in theory, it should mean more convenience as everything goes digital. No need to swap discs, everything will be downloaded and stored on your hard drive or in the cloud. However, long term, there could be some much more dire consequences.

Could this translate into new strategies for local distributors, or will they be forced into decline, leading to fewer local events? Will a shift in spending translate to changes in gaming media and focus? In the same way the eReaders changed the book publishing industry, and the internet completely revolutionised the way musicians are able to make money, it may be time for gaming to change its model. Publishers will probably still continue to see profits soar, but I’m curious how it will affect everyone else in the industry, and if consumers will see products that are better or worse as a result.

Last Updated: June 12, 2015

49 Comments

  1. oVg

    June 12, 2015 at 12:05

    Then again, you could by the physical copy for $20 cheaper with a music CD, Compendium, Manual, Stickers and a map.

    The Witcher 3 is $20 more on the PSN store, WTF?

    Reply

    • Brady miaau

      June 12, 2015 at 12:06

      Yeah, I bought from CNA, was the cheapest by about R100 than next cheapest

      First non-digital game on my Xbox One. Do not like that, but R899, really? no map, no disk, no stuff?

      Reply

      • oVg

        June 12, 2015 at 12:08

        and a free A1 Ciri poster. KILL THE TREES, its cheaper than digital πŸ˜›

        Reply

        • Brady miaau

          June 12, 2015 at 12:41

          Do you know, I have not gone through the box. I got the thank you letter, and have packed the box away in the permanently closed tv cabinet.

          Must look properly

          Reply

          • oVg

            June 12, 2015 at 12:43

            The Wolf stickers went straight onto the PS4 and Car. The map is already laminated and framed. The compendium gets a good back story going (love you Triss) and the manual gets opened up during the load shedding so I can sit in the dark smelling the lovely new game smell from flicking the pages πŸ˜›

          • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

            June 12, 2015 at 12:44

            πŸ˜€
            Still thinking where to put my stickers.

          • oVg

            June 12, 2015 at 12:44

            On the shiny bit of the PS4

          • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

            June 12, 2015 at 12:47

            Doesn’t work on a PC. The boxes get replaced over time. Need something I’ll keep.

          • oVg

            June 12, 2015 at 12:47

            Blow up doll πŸ˜›

          • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

            June 12, 2015 at 12:49

            Hahaha.

          • Brady miaau

            June 12, 2015 at 12:45

            Want to reply, I have your stickers right here, or something rude, but I lack the energy.

            so, good luck with that

          • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

            June 12, 2015 at 12:46

            Hahaha.
            I’ll take that, it’s good enough πŸ˜‰

          • Brady miaau

            June 12, 2015 at 12:44

            Hmm. Must look. Really.

            On your actual car? Your real life car, you put a sticker on the car? I would not do that.

          • oVg

            June 12, 2015 at 12:46

            Has to be done. So those car thieves know who they are fucking with. I will track down their foot prints and Igni their ass otherwise.

          • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

            June 12, 2015 at 12:47

            XD

          • Brady miaau

            June 12, 2015 at 12:49

            So, you think the average car thief will recognise the wolf and the significance thereof?

            I am extremely tempted to buy prestik on the way home and stick the picture up in entrance hall of the house. Yeah, thats the ticket.

            Did not want intimate fun-time this weekend anyway. (a joke, really, wife will a) not mind, probably, and b) a joke, is all

          • Mossel

            June 12, 2015 at 13:56

            On the window man. Not the body work, do you think we are savages?! Or worse…woman?

          • Mossel

            June 12, 2015 at 13:55

            hahaha! Dude same here! I plakked that sticker on my PC and car as well! Driving around likebaus. Still need to laminate the map though…that might take years seeing that I haven’t even framed my degree in 4 years.

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            June 12, 2015 at 12:55

            You should see the art book you get. That thing is a hardcover monster.

    • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

      June 12, 2015 at 12:12

      It’s whole conversion thing. Screws everything up.
      Because we’re one of the most price sensitive markets in the world, they HAVE to adjust our prices when they’re in Rand, or it just won’t sell as well in general. As long as it’s in dollar, it will always be more expensive to buy digitally.
      Just look at Origin. It’s in Rand. Witcher 3 was by far the cheapest there. Even cheaper than the physical copy.

      Reply

      • oVg

        June 12, 2015 at 12:15

        Or you can have ONE publisher out there who gives fuck about gaming because the game is made and published by gamers.

        R699 for a 2015 AAA PS4 game WTF? Thanks CD Projekt Red I will pre-order your next game Cyberpunk even if its shit.

        Reply

        • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

          June 12, 2015 at 12:24

          DCPR didn’t do anything amazing that other companies can’t also do. All they did was what the customers asked for. That’s how you succeed.

          Reply

          • oVg

            June 12, 2015 at 12:26

            A pity more developers are not able to publish their games. Instead they have to whore themselves out to Captain Corporate.

            But I blame the gamers for dropping so much hard earnt cash from their fathers credit card on shit.

          • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

            June 12, 2015 at 12:27

            I agree.

          • oVg

            June 12, 2015 at 12:27

            My Axii worked πŸ˜‰

          • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

            June 12, 2015 at 12:30

            O_O

      • oVg

        June 12, 2015 at 12:17

        The conversion thing is a joke. There are Vita games on PSN that are almost the same price as the Witcher 3.

        COD the shittiest game on the Vita is R599 when I last looked.

        Reply

      • Mossel

        June 12, 2015 at 13:53

        Unless you pre ordered it on Kalahari with a R100 discount voucher before they closed down…hehehe.

        Reply

  2. Brady miaau

    June 12, 2015 at 12:05

    Well, at every article about game sales, the author (Geoff, mostly?) says that the figures must be taken with a pinch of salt, as they do not include digital figures.

    So, with the extremely impressive year on year increases for digital revenue, it sort of leaves these figures as more or less meaningless

    Reply

  3. Captain JJ the_scarrrr

    June 12, 2015 at 12:10

    I buy 90% digital.
    Except for Ubisoft. Thanks to Uplay
    That I just don’t buy either way.

    Reply

    • oVg

      June 12, 2015 at 12:11

      Ubisoft sucks Nekker balls.

      Reply

      • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

        June 12, 2015 at 12:13

        Hahaha
        You speak the truth.

        Reply

      • Blood Emperor Trevor

        June 12, 2015 at 12:51

        Which are spicy. I really did learn so much last night talking to a troll in W3.

        Reply

    • oVg

      June 12, 2015 at 12:12

      I know, lets make an anti DRM game and let the pirates download the patches for free. 4million sales in 2 weeks later CD Projekt Red are eating caviar for lunch.

      Reply

      • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

        June 12, 2015 at 12:14

        That’s silly. You HAVE to have an irritating, FORCED client that does very little but irritates the shit out of you. THAT’s how you sell games.

        Reply

        • oVg

          June 12, 2015 at 12:20

          U-Play was designed for DATA farming. They say it beats Piracy but that is all bollocks.

          Reply

          • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

            June 12, 2015 at 12:29

            It’s fine if it beats piracy, but they’ve lost more customers through implementing Uplay than they will ever lose sales through piracy. A pirate won’t buy a game if he can’t find it to download somewhere, he’ll download something else. A paying customer on the other hand won’t buy a game if it’s too much of a hassle to run it.

          • oVg

            June 12, 2015 at 12:30

            I still dont understand why gamers support this shit when its them who are paying the price for being honest.

          • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

            June 12, 2015 at 12:33

            Neither do I. I’m done with Ubisoft until its simpler and more logical to use their games. Now when I want to run something I have to open Steam, click play, then wait for it to open UPlay, then click play again and just hope to holiness that the game actually starts.
            And buying on Uplay is out of the question. It’s in Euros.

          • oVg

            June 12, 2015 at 12:35

            BUT BUT THE DIVISION BRO!!!

            lol Im looking forward to the shit storm hate fest that that game is going to get.

          • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

            June 12, 2015 at 12:43

            Yea. I’m skipping that one too.
            Looks cool and all, but I’m also over the whole “New York is the only city that movies and games ever play off in” thing

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            June 12, 2015 at 12:48

            Because ME4 & Final Fantasy 6,543!

          • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

            June 12, 2015 at 12:49

            ^ Final Fantasy . Hehehehe

  4. Aries

    June 12, 2015 at 12:32

    Mostly got hard copies, though I have a decent amount of digital games as well

    Reply

    • oVg

      June 12, 2015 at 12:37

      Resogun for FREE Thats the only digital game I have lol.

      Hard copy for the WIN I am not dishing out more money for a 1TB drive.

      Reply

      • Aries

        June 12, 2015 at 12:41

        I like hard copies, makes me care for the games, most of my digital games are either not installed or I dont play them anymore even though are, I want to start a proper collection, most of my old copies at my sister’s, built my nephew a gaming pc, he cant read yet but he knows how to install his games,though he mostly plays minecraft

        Reply

        • oVg

          June 12, 2015 at 12:50

          and if they are shit you can trade it in, otherwise it just gets deleted off the drive to sit on a cloud forever, well untill the digital owners decide to shut down the cloud πŸ˜›

          Reply

  5. Blood Emperor Trevor

    June 12, 2015 at 12:49

    I like the convenience of digital, but I’ve also decided against buying a couple of games simply because I don’t want to dl 30/40 gb. Games are only going to get bigger.

    Reply

  6. Patricia A. Bradley

    June 13, 2015 at 11:06

    Make Extra 62$ daily@ lazygamer

    >/

    Reply

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