A new report from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) shows that in the US digital sales made nearly three times as much as physical sales in 2016. NPD figures report that 74% of the sales of the sales is US come via subscriptions, digital game downloads, digital add-on content, mobile apps and social media games- while the further 26% comes from psychical boxed copies of the games. GamesIndustry have reported that in comparison to this physical sales make up 50% of revenue in the UK.
Meaning that the larger amount of games being sold are digital each year, and this has risen every year since 2010 – at that time the digital/physical split was at 31:69. The total spend over the industry has also risen every year. In 2016 these categories together generated the total of $24.5 billion, with an extra $3.7 billion coming from hardware and $2.2 billion form VR.
Back in November 2016, Blake Jorgenson (EA’s CFO) said he believes by buying physical copies of games could soon be a thing of the past, when he stated;
“Like everything else, the consumer is ultimately going to default to convenience. 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 you want you can check the full report from ESA here