Digital or Physical Gaming?

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Industry giants EA are stubbornly perusing their ambition of a digital future for gaming claiming “The consumer will ultimately consume games digitally”.

The claim was made by EA CFO, Blake Jorgensen at the Nasdaq investor meeting, who went on to say: “If it’s a choice of getting in the car and driving to the store and the weather is bad outside, if you want to download it I think you’ll see more people do that”. If bad weather was a reason to go digital, Britain would have dropped physical distribution years ago.

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Size matters

He drove his point home by saying: “Like in books, music, film and TV, we see that the consumer will ultimately consume [games] digitally.” There is some degree of legitimacy to this statement as sites such as Netflix and Amazon Prime are digital only and they are very popular entertainment outlets.

It is however worth pointing out that games are much bigger than movies or books. Finding Dory takes 4.5 GB to download while Final Fantasy XV takes just over 50 GB, so digital distribution is still much easier for films than games.

With services as cheap and convenient as Steam, Origin or GOG there is no doubt that digital downloads are growing. But there are still countless gamers who prefer the traditional way of buying games: going to the shop, browsing around, coming back home, opening the box, getting a whiff of a fresh new game and expanding their collection.

Has anything changed?

I remember when back in 2012 EA Labels president, Frank Gibeau said in a published report that they were “going to be a 100 percent digital company, period. It’s going to be there someday. It’s inevitable”. Four years later and the physical distribution of games is still going strong.

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Yin and Yang

I’m certainly not anti-digital. It’s a great idea with a lot of nice perks but physical gaming continues to have its charms on a lot of gamers, and anyway, can’t we just carry on having both? I’m sure that just like Ying and Yang or Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, Digital and Physical can carry on co-existing in balanced harmony.

Feature Image Via MpAA


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