Digital Game Sales Will Overtake Physical Game Sales, Says EA Exec

Nothing can stop the digital revolution. Movies, books, music, TV, all moved to digital- and the same fate awaits video games too. We’ve already seen this, with Steam, PSN, XBL, and Nintendo eShop (not to mention Google Play and the App Store) gaining significant footholds in the market. And in the future, digital game sales will overtake physical game sales.

That’s what EA CFO Blake Jorgensen believes at any rate.

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ARESWARLORD407d ago (Edited 407d ago )

I buy almost all of my games digital on my PlayStation 4 I own 1 non digital game.

Movefasta1993407d ago (Edited 407d ago )

all my ps4 games are digital,the sales are too good too pass by.
LMAO at them disagrees,how could you disagree with a fact?Does it effect your life so much that there's somebody who simply prefers digital?Game sharing alone with friends and being able to take your entire library with you on holidays to play with cousins ect are other advantages digital has over phsyical.
And devs get more money when a person buys digital.

frostypants407d ago (Edited 407d ago )

Fyi, generally physical editions are cheaper. If PSN is offering a game for whatever price, it's probably been offered for that price on Amazon two or three times already.

Digital is just a convenience, aside from indie titles that can only be found online.

Look at GTA V. It's $60 on PSN. But you could easily find the physical edition for $40...not even on sale.

darthv72407d ago

Physical is just one medium that games are on but you dont play from the disc anymore so it makes little sense to buy it. With expandable hdd for xb1 and replaceable ones for the PS4 it makes more sense to just get the games digitally on the system and never have to put a disc in to install or validate an already installed game.

LamerTamer407d ago (Edited 407d ago )

Not everyone has stellar internet connections. For me it would require me to leave on the PS4 for a couple of days just to DL a full game. Then there are data caps. I can install/re-install a game from disc in MINUTES.

Then there is the fact due to DRM you have too many restrictions plus when they pull the game down you can lose access to it.

The only advantage to digital is it allows you to be lazy because getting up to put in a disc is way too much work for some people.

toddybad407d ago (Edited 407d ago )

Sale prices are usually higher than standard prices for discs. I do buy digital but mainly on the cheap indie titles or serious mass saving offers. Digital pricing is generally exorbitant.

fllysurfer407d ago

Indeed physical is still cheaper and you always get some back reselling. There´s also the designer aspect of the box and content, special and limited editions.

In some aspects, digital will never be able to replace physical media.

Army_of_Darkness407d ago (Edited 407d ago )

No sure why you guys are getting disagrees for buying mostly digital?! Lol! I used to prefer physical games until psn started having amazing flash/special theme sales up to 80% off! Now this is how you convince people to transition from physical to digital :)

_-EDMIX-_407d ago

@frost- Agreed.

It's basically waiting for a sale for digital vs. Always having the cheaper option for physical forever.

If anybody doesn't believe me they could go up and look up the price of Black Ops 2 on Steam lol

Physicals never going to go away as long as consumers continue to demand and purchase it simply because most consumers to not have a strong Trust of Publishers all you have to do is go on Xbox Live and PSN and Steam and look at the prices of their games to realize that they really don't care about consumers getting something cheaper.

Not only that but how many consumers are jumping for joy to pay more money for an option that takes longer to play your game that's also more limited? Lol


The majority control this in the majority have already made their decision many times that physical is the format they choose their content to be played on

I mean I thought this conversation should have been over when Microsoft reversed their policies in PlayStation 4 was completely destroying that platform in sales.

The entire internet almost went up in Flames because of that entire Fiasco which goes to show just how much people are passionate about owning a physical disk I'm sorry but the majority don't have that much trust in these companies to seriously hand away so much consumer rights.

Nope. Digital is only convenient this generation because of physical still exist as an option..

I'm comfortable with digital on a short leash lol

DarXyde406d ago (Edited 406d ago )

You shouldn't let disagreement deter you and force you to elaborate. Some people will hit the button because they don't like you. It's not a big deal.

That said, people can totally disagree with what you said. You mention the sales being too good to pass on...For YOU. If people are disagreeing with purpose, that's a valid reason. I somewhat disagree with you because, while the sales are enticing, I sometimes opt against them because then I lose complete ownership, resale value, and pay the difference and then some when my data caps out.

Also, don't assume developers get more money. Digitally, they likely pay more in publishing fees to keep it on the respective networks. In reality, the platform holders could make the case that the title would have missed those sales.

Unspoken406d ago

According to Overload and and quite a few other naysayers, the digital market doesn't exist and can't possibly contribute to sales....

indysurfn403d ago (Edited 403d ago )

Why can't people see the future BEFORE it is complete?

It has already happened that online stores have went out of business. And you cant take someone to court if
they stop supporting servers for RE DOWNLOADING a game you 'own'.

You can't trade in or sell your digital games.

Usually disc sales are cheaper than the best sales!

Digital is the only place to get some indie games.

Digital is better than driving 50 miles for some people, unless you can get the game, and back before a download would have.

Xbox live for Xbox (original has been disconnected years ago!)
Playstation network for PS2 has been disconnected for a few years too

You can't lend your budy your digital game without getting off your account and for some people box!

If they are charging you full price for a game you can get and trade in and save 25 dollars what the Hey do
you think they will do once most games are digital? What reason would they drop the price, if they are not doing it now? There will be
no competition of another store having the game on sale! NON!

They only have server expense which is CHEAP way less than a penny per game. And they are charging most times FULL PRICE! in about five years you will have your library of games your machine will go out and BAME they may not have support of the previous consoles! I can right now plug in my GENESIS and play herzog zwie! Or SNES, and play FFIII.

This will be the first Gen that will have disappearing libraries and the biggest pain will be by people who only buy digital. meanwhile I will be able to play mine forever!

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XStation4pio_Pro407d ago (Edited 407d ago )

Me too. Easier. Less hassle, no clutter or scratching. I feel like discs are inefficient relics of a past when solid state storage wasn't good enough to support growing game file sizes. Now I can fit hundreds of gigs on my fingertip or even better, never need any kind of disc other than a hard drive that prerably would be solid state (that whole spin to read thing sucks and is slow)

toddybad407d ago

This would all be true if it wasn't for trade ins and exorbitant digital pricing.

LamerTamer407d ago

Horrid download times and DRM are big deal breakers though.

mcstorm407d ago

It depends on how you look at it. Ok can't trade in my games I get on digital but you never really got a lot for them anyway. I also decided to share my games with my brother and we say that we want xyz games and he will get one ill get the other but as we have set our consoles to shair we can both play both games at the same time.

If Microsoft also keep to there word that all consoles will play Xbox one games and 360 games going forward digital also makes seance to. For me I see a lot more + sides than - to digital but I also see why people will want it to hand to.

It will be interesting to see if the next Xbox comes with a disk drive for games or a cartage style like the switch. With a digital options.

I don't see consoles not offering disks/carts going forward but I do see Mott and more people going digital

_-EDMIX-_407d ago


Except you're not trying to think about this in regards to a policy change for a majority of people you're narrow-mindedly thinking about it in terms of a singular persons specific situation.

I'm sorry but you stopped helping the people in regards to policy when you start thinking about your situation and not "our" situation.

When on Earth did you represent the majority of consumers? The bare minimum that is needed to play a game should simply be the system and a disc, this puts every human being on an even playing field.

Anything else would simply be considered an option not the main distribution platform.

All of the situations you just brought up are all specific to you they're not something that technically makes sense to every consumer.

You cannot help people or try to speak on behalf of a group of people if you're also unaware of what their needs are in the first place.

Don't get me wrong that's amazing that you have that situation, but that's completely irrelevant to the majority.

wonderfulmonkeyman406d ago

Doesn't Steam have a digital trade-in option on their store?
Pretty sure they do...

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BizarroUltraman407d ago

Im the opposite. I buy Xbox One games digital. Got 6.5TB of space and over 140 digital titles. On PS4 Pro I have 11 digital games and 11 physical even split.

407d ago Replies(5)
COMMENT-OF-THE-YEAR407d ago (Edited 407d ago )

I now prefer buying digital games as well. I'm not against buying disc games however with my schedule it's just easier for me to preload the game and have it there on release night. I guess convenience would be a good word for it. To each their own though. e

ziggurcat406d ago

I stopped buying physical discs in early 2014 - Infamous Second Son was the last physical copy of a game I purchased. The only physical copy I have on Xbox One is Halo 5, and that's only because it came with the Xbox One S bundle I purchased.

I went digital mostly because (in the case of the PSN Store), I'm not charged sales tax, and also the game is made available to you at midnight EST (which makes it 10pm the day before the release date for me).

Soc5406d ago

Only issue is you no longer have value for those games, with physical you can trade them in or sell them
That makes a big difference

babadivad406d ago

I'm surprised they haven't already.

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 403d ago
crazychris4124407d ago

Just what they want so they have an excuse next generation to end physical sales and the used games market. So everyone has to buy new full price since sales are rare and there is little competition. It sucks when you have dozens or even hundreds of games that just sit uninstalled and you can't sell them. I have over 100 games on my PC, 50 are installed but have only played 15 this year. Wish I could get something for the games I no longer play and have 0 intention of playing.

XXanderXX407d ago (Edited 406d ago )

I would think this where the MS Sell license back to digital sellers comes back into play for those that want to sell games .

@andrewsquall it may have not been their concept but they weren't against it , personally I hope said concept becomes a reality .

@Unspoken Never mentioned buying games this comment

BizarroUltraman407d ago

That would be cool.. also refund would be cool to.

andrewsquall407d ago

It wasn't Microsoft. Right before the main 180 happened at the end of June 2013, Microsoft already announced a brief 180 in early June 2013 where they said it was up to EACH AND EVERY publisher to come up with their own resell system. When publishers were asked quickly how this would work they had no answer since they were put on the spot so abruptly by Microsoft.

So what this came down to now was that when you bought a game it WASN'T resellable by default unless extra effort is put in to "enable" you to resell it by the specific publisher. That would have been "cool" alright.

Here is a reference straight from the official Xbox website
"Trade-in and resell your disc-based games: Today, some gamers choose to sell their old disc-based games back for cash and credit. We designed Xbox One so game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers. Microsoft does not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of these games."

Cmv38407d ago

Im a Sony guy, but i was not against some of the digital practices ms wanted to try. I was against the xb1 when it went away from those things. Aside from tv tv tv, ms had some good ideas.

A fair market for digital games need to exist. If i can't sell the game, it costing 60 up front, seems a little too much. Trading or selling the license makes a lot of sense.

Christopher407d ago

***I would think this where the MS Sell license back to digital sellers comes back into play for those that want to sell games . ***

As long as it doesn't come with the daily DRM check-ins. I think it's the DRM and the fact that they wanted to make that the standard that most people were against, not a digital option, but a forced digital future with DRM noone wanted.

darthv72407d ago

There will still be a market for used games. hell I just went to a gaming expo over the weekend and came away with PS2, PS1, NES, Xbox and PS3 physical games. The move to digital for new content doesn't suddenly negate the desire for older stuff.

Unspoken406d ago

Nice tinfoil but one,

Why did you buy games you weren't going to play, two

Why did you pay full retail? Never go full retail.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 406d ago
SonyStyled407d ago

I don't think physical will disappear. Part of the gaming hobby is having a physical collection to hold on to. I think the same way with music cds. Walking into a store with thousands of physical games however I see thinning

Weapon_of_choice407d ago

What does it matter if it is physical on a disc or neatly on your hard drive. It's still a collection.

LamerTamer407d ago (Edited 407d ago )


Because HDDs WILL fail and if they pull down the game you lose it. Not only that re-downloading "your" library could take forever. When it is on disc you own it, takes minutes to install. When it is online DRM restricted license to use only, you don't really own it. They can pull it at any time for any reason (and they have and will continue to do it).

Weapon_of_choice407d ago

I can backup my whole harddisk countless times, I can't fix scratched lost discs.

curtis92407d ago

I'm in the same boat but if I'm being real, most of the games I no longer play would net me a solid 50 cents in trade in. Just isn't worth it. And from time to time something will remind me of an old game and what do ya know? I have it! And then I play it.

TheOptimist407d ago

Well Re-sale is just like piracy if I am tbh. Piracy on PC is just mass sharing of te game. Here you sell a game to a friend where the company doesn't get any monetary value and then he gives it to a friend and so on. In none of the cases are the sales going to teh company, so might as well totally stop it if companies are trying to stop piracy.

jukins407d ago

Overtake key word. . . Pay attention they didn't say replace they said Overtake. Don't know why so many people are mad. Like the article said we all enjoy streaming music movies as well as downloading them because convenience. They console makers aren't idiots and know a good bit of the install base doesn't have access to high quality Internet or just prefer to buy physical. Physical will be here for at least another gen calm down

bluefox755407d ago

Once they get rid of the used game market, they won't have to make as many sales because they won't need to compete with the non-existent used game market. You'd be out of your mind to think that they'll pass on the saved costs of going digital to the customers.

supes_24406d ago

crazychris412419h ago
"Just what they want so they have an excuse next generation to end physical sales and the used games market. So everyone has to buy new full price since sales are rare and there is little competition. It sucks when you have dozens or even hundreds of games that just sit uninstalled and you can't sell them. I have over 100 games on my PC, 50 are installed but have only played 15 this year. Wish I could get something for the games I no longer play and have 0 intention of playing."

This exactly. The main reason I'll never go completely digital. The only digital I have are free PSN/LIVE games. I hate the price for digital, look up a game released in January and it's still $59.99. Go to GameStop for the same game and pay $20 used or $35 new. Yet you have people here saying digital is better? They sound like devs pushing digital sales so they can make more money by not having to make discs, cases and cover art. Will they take that into consideration for digital only? No they won't. At a business tactic

ShaunCameron406d ago

They still have to pay for bandwidth and server maintenance, though.

TheOptimist406d ago

Because Steam Sales of games in January are down to 40$ by Summer and 20$ till the end of the year.

madpuppy406d ago

I agree, Digital releases benefit the Publisher above all. Of course EA would love to stop making physical copies. first, they cost money to make, package and store, and they also have to split the sales downstream.
by cutting out production and the downstream split, the publisher can double or more increase profits as well as eliminate used sales. If anyone here thinks that the publisher is going to drop the price of their games by going Pure digital, your living in a fantasy land.

Prices will stay much longer at full price, maybe even indefinitely. the liability of producing a game is cut in half because you don't have to sweat warehousing any product. and if you don't like it, you might as well get another hobby.

Frankly, your doing yourself no favors buying 50.00 and up games digital. It's bad for the Consumer. Unless, you like paying top dollar for everything, you have no friends or just hate people.

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S2Killinit407d ago

Be quiet EA we don't like thee.

S2Killinit407d ago

Do you like them like them? (;

_-EDMIX-_407d ago

Lol, I also like Electronic Arts this generation in regards to them making correct business moves but I definitely don't support their clear bias against physical games in their attempt to try to control the market.

I like them delaying lots of their games and allowing developers to have more time and put more polish on their games I also like that they're also creating new intellectual properties currently.

That doesn't mean I agree with this move lol

andrewsquall407d ago

True, the new Mass Effect will be the first EA game I have bought this gen and after that awful reveal at the VGAs 2 weeks ago, that hype has been extinguished lol.

Weapon_of_choice407d ago

EA been flooding the market with shallow games for two decades.

_-EDMIX-_407d ago

Lol Electronic Arts is always trying to turn their hat sideways and pretend they're "rapping" with the kids even going as far as to taking a chair and sitting in it backwards so they could "rap" with the gamers lol

Electronic Arts has an implicit bias to having digital game sales because they could control and manipulate the market by keeping a game at a specific price. They also have this belief that by cutting out the used Market they're going to increase their sales tenfold but they're not even aware that some of those Gamers may have never even purchased those games if they weren't provided on disk used.

Even though I personally feel Electronic Arts has definitely made lots of great move this generation in regards to policy-making in their development style from delaying their games more to be higher quality at release that even giving out free content with Titanfall 2 they're clearly still the same company that wants to get a master Prophet so it doesn't really shocked me that they're trying to sway public opinion in the respect of trying to make it sound as if digital is inevitable.


We the consumers control that future. Microsoft was not going to make a digital-only platform unless consumers supported it and it was consumers that forced Microsoft's hand to bend to their will so Microsoft completely understood that it was consumers that gave them a business in the first place.

This is what's going to happen to Sony and Nintendo and Microsoft if they legitimately dare make such an attempt.

Don't be fooled by these companies, they only have as much power as consumers allow them to have.

If you guys keep purchasing physical this company clearly will have no choice but to do what consumers want.

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moegooner88407d ago

They said same thing last gen and physical media is still the more popular option this gen, so yeah.

Lennoxb63407d ago (Edited 407d ago )

That's why they said in the future. And if you take a look, physical sales are slowly fading. More popular still. But on its way out.

Recent surveys have found physical to be diminishing yoy. Each year slightly less physical copies are being bought and more digital. Look at music for example.

yomfweeee407d ago

Look at what? Got some charts or anything?

toddybad407d ago

There isn't really a market in reselling music though.

ABizzel1407d ago

Digital won't surpass Physical, unless:

1. They drop the price of digital games significantly faster and rival the used market.
2. Dramatically increase storage space for said digital games.
3. Continue to count digital only games and digital only content as digital sales in comparison to retail.

They're already doing #3 which is why digital revenue is even in the same ballpark as retail sales. When you add digital content and games that only have digital versions then it help boost the revenue for digital, because you can't get that content or games any other way, unless a GOTY edition comes out.

The problem with digital is trading games with friends (digital sharing isn't there yet across all platforms), cheaper retail and used gaming pricing (digital rarely wins this battle, which is insane considering the lack of medium they need like game cases, shipping cost, disc cost, paper manual cost, printing, packaging, etc...), and just as important storage space.

Digital will continue to grow, but it won't be the main revenue unless storage massively increases in consoles, with larger HDD storage dropping in price, and external HDD support for all consoles (PS). And the price combats and wins against retail and the used game market (Best Buy stomps digital with GCU, black friday deals are too good, and used/borrowed games for those who buy them are often significantly cheaper).

bluefox755407d ago (Edited 407d ago )

They have a vested interest in getting rid of it.
@Lennoxb63 Just because is decreasing doesn't mean it will disappear. Hell, people still buy vinyls, and digital music has a far higher convenience factor than games do. There will always be a market for physical, because there will always be a demand. How low that demand drops has yet to be seen.

frostypants407d ago (Edited 407d ago )

Can't deny that digital is gaining market share though. Not saying I like it, but it's indisputable.

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PhoenixUp407d ago

On consoles and dedicated handhelds physical media is still the most dominant. Fortunately it's going to remain that way for a long time.

MRMagoo123407d ago

exactly and as long as there are impulse buyers physical is here to stay. you can't just buy a digital game and get playing it instantly like you can with a disc