Games industry is going 100% digital - Take-Two

President Karl Slatoff says physical game sales are probably going away on a 5-20 year timeline, weighs in on loot boxes

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maybelovehate18d ago

As far as I am concerned it has been all digital for over 5 years now.

Sgt_Slaughter17d ago

Personal experience =/= actually how a situation is

maybelovehate17d ago

It's how my situation is. It's how Phones, Tablets and Computers have become. It is happening.

naruga17d ago (Edited 17d ago )

if they go fully digital ...then i stop gaming ....for no fing reason i will pay 70 $ for smthing that is just memory in my HDD storage...and with just one update can be blocked , locked , unlocked , patched .....f^&ckd and whatever the companies want to do with it

darthv7217d ago

@sgt... technically speaking, maybe is right. This gen the physical media is nothing more than an alternate delivery system for the actual game data. You dont play anything from the discs themselves hence regardless if you install from disc or install from the net... you are playing a digital game

ULTp0ltergeist17d ago

@naruga Just put in your ext. HDD. It's no different from a disc, also games will no doubt get cheaper once digital becomes the way to buy games.

kreate17d ago (Edited 17d ago )


If ur installing from a disk, how is that digital?

In terms of physical vs digital.

UCForce17d ago (Edited 17d ago )

@ULTp0ltergeist But not everyone have strong internet connection. And often time, download on digital game can be very slow. And there is physical disc that people can buy and put their dics in console without rely too much on internet connection. I always said that there have to be option for consumers to choose. People decide which one they choose and buy.

Highlife17d ago

I only buy digital copies of games that are multiplayer or coop. That way I can run the game on 2 ps4's at the same time. So family members and I can play at the same time.

DarXyde17d ago


It's a matter of ownership to me. If you have one million in cash, you have one million dollars. If you have one million dollars in your checking account and your bank goes under, without some level of backing, you're broke. Am I making sense? I'd rather physical possession of my purchases if it can be helped.

The day gaming goes all digital is the day the industry begins to be met with ruin. Platform holder-controlled pricing + data caps + potential repeal of net neutrality is asking for chaos.

I worry that future GTA/Red Dead games will only be accessible via digital distribution and that sets an industry precedent like season passes.

indysurfn17d ago (Edited 17d ago )

With xbox one X we see HUGH high resolution textures even after compression. For instance forza 7 is over 100gb installed. Who will download 100gb 9 times, and then have to go buy a hard drive? Who can download 100gb?

Especially if net neutrality is taken away by Donald Trump as promised on DEC 14th. Comcast can say game traffic is second largest to video(and it is), and throttle it down.
Net neutrality stops that, but Donald is taking it away with the old red tape smoke screen.

We can STOP digital if we fight it. Like we did during Microsoft reveal. We frced them to backtrack. We defeated the largest publisher in the world on Micro transactions on the largest IP in the world. We can do it.

Dont be a fooled once they go digital they can make a game $120 and there will be nothing naturally keeping the prices down like used games do.

indysurfn17d ago

@ULTp0ltergeist I wish you was right. But looking at digital games now and prices now. They should be lower NOW much lower, Think about it. They cost just as much most of the time from the USA to EU. In fact some times that cost MORE! 5 alarm fire alert. What will they do when there is no physical competition? Expect prices to rocket UP.

Why are digital games the same price as physical? Stores make 24-30$ a game that should be shaved off! There is no disc manufacturing that should be taken off. There is no wholesale/distribution centers that get a cut. Why are prices NOT already lower than physical by these amounts, because it is a monopoly?

The reason Steam is lower is because there are still physical versions of the games.

indysurfn17d ago

So basically Take-Two Interactive is pushing this. Otherwise they would not say these things because they know it will cause people to fight or give in. So my though on Take-Two Interactive is screw TAKE TWO TWICE!

UltraNova16d ago

Wanted to show the PT demo to some friends last weekend who liked horror movies but never played a scary game before. The only horror the experienced was looking at me when I realised in horror that the game file was locked.

Damn a digital only future... at least let us burn the damn files on disc.

bouzebbal16d ago

i buy the AAA adventure games on disc because i play for longer sessions at the time and they usually take up most space on HDD. sports/fighting/platforming games i buy them digital. i like to be able to switch to one of these to play for 30min or less.
100% digital is bad imo.

andibandit16d ago

I don't see the problem with going all digital. Sure there are cases where it's not convenient for a certain group of consumers, but companies rarely work from a perception that their product must be valid for everyone.
I do feel that the pricing is still off.

SolidStoner16d ago (Edited 16d ago )

Digital only means not owning your purchase! It means you loose ALL money, and you rent a product to use it...

I have Blu ray, I can sell it, trade it, buy it, give it to a friend to play! Wonderful world we live in right now! We will have to fight for our rights! Its coming!

SolidStoner16d ago

Those who defend digital only must be "big corporations" or some kind of uneducated fools...

It all will start with digital only.. and then this ->>>

+ Show (13) more repliesLast reply 16d ago
Gardenia17d ago

At some point everything will be digital but it still will take a long time. The biggest problem for me would be that I can't sell my games anymore

mark_parch17d ago

Gardenia That's true but with game share and backwards compatibility games can be half price and playable on future consoles. I hated the idea of digital games at the beginning of this gen but now I game share with a friend all my games are dirt cheap and I have I huge digital library of nearly 200 games which will stay with me through future consoles

maybelovehate17d ago

Games were never meant to be resold to begin with. I don't think the industry will look at that as a roadblock. the concerns right now are regarding countries with limited internet bandwidth. Compression technologies will have to get much better and they are making some big strides here.

Dragonscale17d ago

"games were never meant to be resold to begin with?" Utter bullcrap.

ULTp0ltergeist17d ago

True, but things change and consumers can still hold their compnaies accountable by allowing us to sell our games or trade em'. I think it could be more convenient in an all-digital age.

mj_msv17d ago

You can still sell digital games if you are clever and planning to do so, just make a new account for every game you buy, and eventually sell the accounts with one game each on! Its atleast doable :)

steven83r17d ago

"Games were never meant to be resold to begin with" How old are you? This whole digital acceptance of yours leads me to believe you are maybe 20. Those of us who have been gaming for 20 or more years like the idea of collecting physical discs and letting friends borrow. You can't do that with digital on PSN. I've been selling games since the SNES days. You sold or traded among friends. That's how it's always been.

The_KELRaTH17d ago

If you buy something then you have the right to sell it - whatever the product. Games are no different to books, videos, CD's etc etc but just because it's on a digital media it's allowed the publishers to find away to bypass your rights.
I really don't understand why our governments haven't come down hard on this practice to protect the consumer. What's the point in having all these laws to protect the consumer for physical and invisible (Insurance etc) products and then completely ignore digital.

Yi-Long17d ago

The EU has already stated it needs to be possible for people to sell their digital purchases. So if I buy a game on Marketplace, Steam, PS Store, whatever, and I'm 'done' with that game, the EU says I have a right to then sell that game again.

XtaZ17d ago

With Microsoft's Xbox DRM plans you could still sell and trade your both your digital and physical games.

DarXyde17d ago (Edited 17d ago )

Games were never meant to be resold?

Son, you can find used sex toys on the internet if you look hard enough.

Plenty of things were not meant to be resold, but they are. And that's a choice between the parties involved. If I purchase a bike from you and sell it a year later, that's my business . I bought it, acquired ownership, and parted with it at a reduced price (meaning we're both taking a loss).

You're also talking about destroying the rental market. I encourage you to think more critically about the problems involved. At the end of the day, it does not matter what the industry wants. If the plan is to sell games, developers and publishers would do well to avoid upsetting consumers too much. Ask Microsoft how that went.

They might miss out on a number of sales, but that will only encourage console piracy. I guarantee it.

bigmalky16d ago

And how will backwards compatibility work then too? Will the licences transfer to our new consoles, or will they be revoked when a new system comes out? No, they'll charge you on an online store to play them again.

No future of retro gaming or collecting. You bet they'll screw us over.

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 16d ago
UCForce17d ago (Edited 17d ago )

Then you are gamer who completely forgot about traditional gaming. You are realistic without idealistic. Me ? I’m both.

darthv7217d ago

son... there hasn't been "traditional" gaming since consoles have been able to do more than just play games. Traditional gaming for me is the 2600, NES, Genesis days. Since then these boxes have become entertainment devices to provide music, movies, internet as well as games.

Nyxus17d ago

@ darth: most consoles still have gaming at their core, with some additional functionality.

darthv7217d ago

True as that may be Nyxus... I believe the last gaming only system released was the gamecube. out of the box it did not play music or movies, just games. It wasnt until you modded the system that you could do those other things but it's heart and soul was games.

Every other optical based system going back to even the TG16 CD could do more than play games out of the box. My point is when you start expanding the abilities of a gaming system to include non gaming features then it's no longer a "traditional" game console. It becomes a multimedia player / home entertainment device.

It does not matter if people ONLY play games on these devices, the point is they are capable of more.

TFJWM17d ago

@darthv72 So "traditional" gaming never existed on PC?

darthv7217d ago

@tfjwm... you are correct. Gaming on PC was much later in its lifetime unlike console gaming. PC were more for productivity and it wasn't until much later that someone started fiddling around with some code to develop games for it. Which is interesting because games for consoles were created using PC's and then coded to specific types of hardware.

The nature of a PC makes it more than just a gaming device hence there really was never any "traditional" gaming on PC. I remember the days of choosing which sound card (soundblaster, roland soundscape, etc), which graphics card (ATI, S3, etc), which type of controller (gravis gamepad, microsoft sidewinder, etc) and the games would say what types of hardware they were compatible with.

Ahh... the good old days.

TFJWM17d ago (Edited 17d ago )

@darthv72 I get what your saying but traditional isn't the correct term imo. By your logic if PS3 blocked DVDs from being used on it, it would be a traditional gaming system which makes no sense...

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 17d ago
2pacalypsenow17d ago

Gaming is not 100% digital.

Just on the Switch, physical is outselling digital.

When there are no Physical media for gaming then it will be 100% digital.

Jinger17d ago

I'm full digital on my switch as of right now just like all of my other consoles and PC

2pacalypsenow17d ago (Edited 17d ago )

You only buying digital, does not mean gaming is 100% digital.

darthv7217d ago

physical does not mean what it used to... not in this gen anyways. None of the games released on disc for the ps4 or xbo actually play from the media. They are installed and it only serves as a quicker delivery system than download only but ultimately the end result regardless of download or installed from disc is you now have a digital game to play.

rainslacker17d ago


regardless of how it's stored on the console itself, for all intents and purposes, physical media still performs similar functions as it did before. You can do what you always could with physical games, and you have to insert the game to actually play the game on the console.

Just because the console uses the HDD now doesn't change the delivery method of content to the system still being physical, and as such, physical is still a thing, and all perks that come from physical still exist....regardless of the murky TOS crap.

darthv7217d ago

@rain, well consider this. Once you have downloaded the game, you dont need anything more to play it. I get that using a disc to install may seem more convenient but that is really in the case of if you uninstall the game and want to install it at a later date.

Now take this into consideration, you lose the disc.... what then? You misplace it and you are screwed because you cant put it in to unlock the game that may be already installed on the hdd. Having the digital version there is no disc to use to play you just..... play.

There are pros and cons to both sides but the bottom line is that these discs serve less purpose to really own other than shelf candy. i got enough shelf candy when it comes to sega cd, saturn, ps1/2/3, pretty much all other optical based systems that actually use their media for games instead of just installs.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 17d ago
Jinger17d ago

The beginning of this gen I went full digital.

Zabatsu17d ago

Good luck removing physical items out of the equation. The only ones that earn by doing something like this, is the distributors. Not the gamers. I like the idea of having digital downloads and I do like it too, I buy digital games now and then. But it's not the same, not holding your game in your hand. You own it. You can do whatever with it. If we'd go all digital with games, you'd have to live with the fact that they could strip the possibility of you ever downloading the game again. No thx. Give me my physical copy if I want it. It's the same idea people are having with future food. Getting all nutrition that you need from tablets instead of eating real food. Why would you ever want to replace something you, yourself can control and let somebody else do it?

The ones that think like this, are the greedy distributors who want to save money, which in turn gives more return and they also get more control. I bet that President Karl Slatoff isn't pro Net Neutrality.

Let people chose and have both digital and physical available versions of games available.

ImGumbyDammit17d ago (Edited 17d ago )

Please.... stop with the false worst case scenarios. "They could strip the possibility of you ever downloading it again". A future contingent argument is false and based on no evidence. I could say aliens come down and blow up the digital distributions centers. Both, are as likely with no evidence.

However, I can play that game with physical media and it 100% more likely to happen. Your mom could throw out your games, it gets donated it to the local thrift store, you scratch the media so badly it is unplayable, girlfriend breaks it into little pieces because you forgot her birthday while binge gaming, you baby sister uses it as a chew toy and tests her frisbee throwing capabilities by tossing it across the room, it gets stolen, you leave it in your car on a 105 degree summer afternoon and it gets warped, your friend borrows it and loses it, your house burns down, and so on and so on.

See... easy game to play and with my list of scenarios it has probably has happened in one way another to everybody here that has owned physical media. Can you say the same with your argument? Has Microsoft or Sony (or Nintendo) ever stopped you from accessing your paid digital content?

I personally don't care one way or another. Although from an environmental point physical media is very wasteful. But, other than that, if physical media sticks around to make people like you happy fine with me. But, I am sorry to say it won't be true for long. If not by the start of the next generation, it will be true by the end of it. Digital will be the only way games are distributed sooner or later. Except for two games (given to me), I am all digital on my consoles this generation and have been happy with my own choice.

As far as food concern. What is this a 1970's sci-fi? Tablets? Think 3d-printed food. It is more likely (and actually happening) than 1960's astronaut food tubes and soylent green tablets of food. Then, of course, after 3D printed we will make the great leap into matter reconstructors like those found on shows like Star Trek.

FyBy17d ago

I cant agree and also cant disagree. For me, last 6 years is digital experience. But many people still buy boxed games. They have two reasons:
1)They can resell games
2)They collect special editions

Many, many people are still on boxes.

maybelovehate17d ago

You can still have special editions. Just instead of a disc it will have a digital code.

darthv7217d ago

Wasnt that sonic mania special edition still a digital code? You got the fancy statue and box but no actual physical game.

FyBy17d ago

@darthv72 yeah that would be great. But for example I bought GT Sport digital deluxe (it has only digital content) and on eBay I bought physical content from collectors edition. If there is some digital limited edition with physical extra content it’s way to go imho.

FyBy17d ago

@maybelovehate yeah that would be also a solution. Also one other solution would be to physical disc have unique Id, which you can register and you will no longer need to use that disc. But if you sell it, no one can activate that game again.

rainslacker17d ago (Edited 17d ago )


Yeah, we can have that now. But if I'm going to collect games, then I expect to have a game that I own, that I can do with what I want. If I just wanted the swag that comes in special editions, then I would go and buy that.

Collector's editions of games tend to imply to me that there is more to collect than just some random crap. I want a game with my random crap.

There are games now that do this, One of the Halo games and the new Sonic game did this, and while the extra stuff was cool, it didn't have a collectible game inside. It was just random crap and a digital code which expires if you dont use it. I don't open a lot of my collector's editions, nor do many collectors, so seems pointless to get something with a digital code.

I wonder if people, and these publishers forget the backlash MS got from gamers almost 5 years ago. I'm not sure why these publishers think that in as short as 5-20 years gamers are suddenly going to be OK with MS dystopian future of game ownership. Let the publishers try I suppose. It took 15 years for music digital sales to surpass physical sales, so if in about 20 years game publishers are willing to give up half their potential customers to go all digital, then more power to them. Maybe by then, the overall lack of creativity in gaming will make me not even care anymore, and I'll just either quit gaming, or stay retro.

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spreadlove17d ago

Clearly not, as MS tried going all digital less than 5 years ago. However, it was the right path that people will soon see the light of, but it is too late.

17d ago
Anon197417d ago

I'm in the same boat. Went all digital about 4 years ago. Physical media is a pain in the ass. Also, if Sony drops PSNow to 9.99 (cdn) and let's me pay monthly, I'm there.

superwiiman17d ago

Not a fan of digital games. The thought of not being allowed to pass my games library on once I'm gone after all the money I spend does not please me.

UCForce17d ago

As far as I am concerned it will be unbalanced.

Skankinruby17d ago

For once I completely agree with you

melrex17d ago

Near the end of last gen I started going all digital

sprinterboy17d ago

Agree, I've been full digital this gen, not overly keen on the day 1 launch prices, but after 2 or 3 weeks we get discounts sometimes big ones, gts bf was £22.50, Easter and Halloween deals etc.

I normally go through my back catalogue during the summer months then buy all the discounted deals on the top notch discounted titles in those above mentioned psn deals during autumn and winter, saves me a fortune tbh.

Masaharu17d ago

maybe cause you're a sucker that buys stuff you can't resell

sprinterboy17d ago (Edited 17d ago )

Or maybe I don't resell my games, think about it. I personally don't support used games

yellowgerbil17d ago

it will NEVER go full digital. some systems MAY but there will always be a niche for physical to the point where companies like Limited Run will release Indies in physical format for collectors/people who want to OWN

SolidGear317d ago

What if you don't have Internet?

RememberThe35717d ago

That's great for you bro but I have bitch ass Comcast and they like to charge for data use. So I'll be buying my games on disc til Burnie Sanders becomes president, break up these damn monopolies, and cows fly over the moon.

Christopher17d ago

Just FYI, worldwide, physical and digital are split. Going full digital removes 50% of the potential market right now. The growth of digital has only slightly increased as they include DLC and season passes in the digital sales arena.

So, regardless of what you do, there are tens of millions of gamers who buy physical.