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Why do gamers still buy physical games?

The physical games market may be in decline, but it remains a hugely lucrative area that's worth billions of dollars worldwide.

Indeed, when it comes to AAA launches, an estimated 75% of an average game's sale still comes via physical goods sold via Amazon, GAME, GameStop and the rest.

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gamesindustry.biz
Obelisk926d ago

Resell.
Collectionism.
Sense of property.
Some better offers than digital.

These are my reasons. And I'm not changing my mind.

Agent_00_Revan6d ago

Pricing is one of the biggest reasons for me. It still baffles me why digital is the same as physical, many times more expensive. There's no disc production, packaging or shipping, yet the price is still the same. Then on top of that, there's no resale, locking you into that purchase forever.

darthv726d ago

I have been into collection the CE's and steelbook editions lately. You dont get any of those extra goodies when you buy digital.

As for pricing, I think the reason digital still retains its price is because there is no "stock" to have to worry about just sitting there. Retailer will put things on clearance to move product, digital doesnt have thet kind of overhead to deal with but I agree... they should be at least 10-15% lower in price than a physical equivalent.

ProjectVulcan6d ago (Edited 6d ago )

Read the recent news where Apple removed movies that people had BOUGHT from the Canadian Itunes store and therefore the people could no longer access them. At all. They were offered a few token rentals as compensation. No refunds. Total power over what you have paid for.

Then you'll continue to go out buying physical copies of games.

ShadowKing-6d ago

Some gamers also prefer buying physical, so they can trade in later when they finish due the fact they don't have much money to spend on new games all the time to add to what obelsik92 also said.

TheKingKratos6d ago (Edited 6d ago )

Yeah, i would always buy a CD
I'm 30 years old so maybe i'm old school but i will always stay that way

darthv726d ago (Edited 6d ago )

Piggy backing on what vulcan eluded to... sometimes its not up to the service company to keep digital items from being removed. Licensing can pose a problem and has posed a problem with companies like Sega and such. where they no longer have the license of an item within their games and so have to force the removal of those games from all marketplaces. (outrun online arcade, sega rally and afterburner climax to name a few)

I am not an apple buyer but i assume something similar happened with these movie titles in regards to licensing and as such those titles had to be removed. It's not up to sony or MS or Apple or even Steam to maintain the license to distribute as they are all just the repository for the content. Licenses are solely the responsibility of the publisher.

Many never think of it like that, they only seek to blame the service provider for pulling the plug when really their hands are tied (in most cases).

Army_of_Darkness6d ago

Haven't bought a physical copy for the last 2 years... Probably never will ever again. I just love digital downloads now! Used to be all physical copies kinda guy once apon a time.. I have no interest in reselling. The feel of ownership is still intact because I can download the games over and over again without any limitations so I'm happy :)

Babadook76d ago (Edited 6d ago )

@ Obelisk I Agree with those but my biggest reason is I can borrow to and from friends once we finish the game.

xander707696d ago

Vulcan is exactly right. You do not want to be forced into digital only. Digital can be taken from you, without notice, and often times it can be extremely difficult, if not impossible to get back the things you PAID for. With physical media, that can't happen.

But it also needs to be said that similar dangers would apply to online-only consoles. Something that I think the big companies will try in the future. And sadly, more and more gamers are becoming receptive to it.

No Way5d ago

Agent - I agree, it's ridiculous (and robbery) that digital games are the same price (or more) as physical copies... even months and months after physical copies have lowered in cost..

DarXyde5d ago (Edited 5d ago )

And you can lend it to friends/ borrow.

Digital costs the same and the prices are uniquely controlled by the platform holders. No, thank you.

The only benefits to digital, in my opinion, are convenience and no need for physical space beyond the console.

Both still install to the HDD, but have you all seen the size of a lot of games now? It's murder for those with limited bandwidth.

DreadGara5d ago

Add to that you can lend, trade with your friends and have it on the go whenever you needs it 👍

denawayne5d ago

I'm all for people buying physical. But since I'm getting older (I'm 45 now), physical things like collectors items just don't mean much to me anymore. I have no interest in reselling my games. And being able to launch any of my games on the fly is so appealing to me. To each his own I guess.

rockwhynot5d ago (Edited 5d ago )

Allow me to add to the list:

1) Resell.
2) Sense of property.
3) If data corrupts and internet is not available, one can use the disc to reinstall the game.
4) Can pop in any Xbox game disc using anyones Xbox and play it right away accompanied by a portable usb 3.0 external ssd. And when not accompanied with a portable usb 3.0 ssd, at least one can still play any game on anyones Xbox after waiting for it to install.
5) Really cool game related materials within the game's box.
6) When no internet or slow internet is available in order to install the game to the system, physical game discs offer fast install times so at least one can still play.
7) Trade and lend to friends. They are games after all :)

jensen865d ago

Didn't read the bfor i posted but yeah spot on

zeee5d ago

I'm never going digital. The day they stop supporting physical copies, I will stop gaming.

Lynx02075d ago

I 100% understand your reasons.
Of course if I 1) have money , 2) don't care about "sense" of property, 3) don't collect plastic on my shelf and 4) am not interested in reselling (if I like the game, why should I resell?), than I don't buy physical at all. That's why I've gone full digital a long time ago.

IamTylerDurden15d ago (Edited 5d ago )

I don't understand the folks who push for digital? There is a contingency of people out there who swear by digital and will defend it to the death. They feel like digital is far more advantageous than physical, which is a complete falsehood. Little do they know, they are simply pushing the agenda of greedy publishers. A digital-only future is a future with less choice. A future completely controlled by the publishers.

No resale, no trades, no borrowing, no physical ownership/collection, no used game prices. Digital-only will force people to invest more money in storage, wait for long downloads, and absolutely destroy those with poor Internet or data caps. Taking away retailers and giving publishers total control over price is a scary notion as well.

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Aceman186d ago

Physical>>>>>di gital 95/5% all day everyday.

rainslacker6d ago (Edited 6d ago )

There seem to be a lot of people that think that digital game purchases are the norm. That isn't the case. Maybe on PC, and certainly on mobile, but not on consoles. Console physical sales still make up roughly 70-80% of the market.

Because physical games are still the dominate product in the console space, perhaps the better question that should be asked is, "Why aren't more people buying digital?". Then it doesn't come across as condescending and acting like the people who prefer or just do physical for whatever reason are behind the times.

To me, it's a delivery mechanism. Digital is fine but I like to own my games, and anyone who says "You don't actually own it", is just deflecting the reality of what I get from my physical purchases and ignoring the fact that their psuedo-legal intellect on the subject just doesn't match up with reality. I like my game collection, and anyone who thinks I'm silly or stupid for "wasting space", is welcome to kiss my backside. I'll show them my paypal receipts for the $10K I made selling off part of my collection a few years ago, and ask how much their hundreds of games are worth on their hard drive or sitting on a server somewhere waiting for a download with what will hopefully be an active license if they even remember its there one day when they want to play it.

Soc56d ago

Exactly!
And if sony and microsoft want to sell more digital then sell digital cheaper than physical. duh
Theres much less overhead yet we pay the same???

deadfrag5d ago

The same and sometimes actually more..is baffling the way publishers try to screw people with digital purchasing prices.And i have to love the idiotic people that buy digital and say its better because you dont need to get up to change the disc on ..moronic!

HentaiElmo5d ago

Why people keep asking the same stupid question.
Physical disk won’t go away till there’s no blackout,no online security check,no x/y system online store problems like servers going down or games servers taken down.

trooper_5d ago

I like to own physical copies. Anything can go wrong with digital.

Retroman5d ago (Edited 5d ago )

Like, why is this a article?? for Pete sake this is mention every 3-6 months. do gamers need to repeat (because we prefer it) since 2007
give it a Break editor's .....sheesh.

The article should say.....: (Why do editor's keep repeating they're selves every 3-6 months. )

TheSaint5d ago

Digital is more expensive than physical in the UK, £60 digital (base version) and £45 - £50 physical, it's dumb as fudge.

Quetzll5d ago

The reason digital costs more is to give incentive for people to buy the remaining discs in stock. No publisher wants all those discs they paid for to sit in a warehouse.

blackbeld5d ago

Because I can resell it to somebody after finishing the game. Thats the only reason why I prefer physical games.

3-4-55d ago

Retains value and choice of freedom to play when I want.

If a game gets pulled digitally it's gone...if a license is lost...it's gone.

I'll always have that physical copy.

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Spurg6d ago (Edited 6d ago )

I'm done stacking up games but that doesn't mean I don't like the option

lxeasy6d ago

All my games are digital but some gamers like having the physical stack.

denawayne5d ago

This. Do you what you want with your money. Some people say they buy physical so that they can always have the game to play later. Personally, I can give a rat's ass if I play a game again after I finish it or the next iterration comes out. When I was younger, I used to think I will keep all my games so I can play them again later. I haven't gone back to play any of my games from the past and I'm ok with that. But that's just me. I've gone all digital this generation and I'm loving it.

81BX5d ago

Same. Majority are digital but I like steelbooks

KillZallthebeast6d ago

Typically I buy physical for any console. However digital is a must for pc which also doesn't bother me either way.

rainslacker6d ago

I shelve mine personally. Before I moved I had an awesome game room, and a big "closet" off that game room which had built in shelving expanding out in rows in the room itself.

I realize not everyone has that much space though, nor do they actually collect thousands of games from over the years.

I think people that buy physical really don't have a problem with the people that prefer digital. They really don't care that I can tell. They'll certainly express their reasons for preferring physical or why they don't like digital though.

But damn if I haven't seen quite a few digital proponents(not you, you're comment is cool) seem like they're personally insulted by someone preferring physical, and being extremely condescending towards those who don't share their ideals on how to spend their money. For them it seems personal that they have to get everyone on board the digital train for some reason, and I could never figure out why.

denawayne5d ago

I've gone all digital this generation. But I'd be lying if I didn't think it was cool to walk into somebody's game room and see a closet full of a thousand games.

KillZallthebeast5d ago

Lol nothing for me beats a literal library of games.

Nyxus6d ago

Physical is going nowhere. :)

Oliver_Twist6d ago

because the option is available?

Shiken5d ago

I will always prefer having a phusical library to show off, and not have to worry about losing digital games if a license expires or the network closes down.

EddieNX 6d ago (Edited 6d ago )

Maybe because it's infinitely better than downloading them? You can sell physical games, collect them and sometimes, they increase in value. I even enjoy going shoping as opposed to being sat on my arse downloading stuff.
In 15-20 years will today's digital games still even work?

Digital makes no sense to me at all, except smaller titles.

pleasuretokill6d ago

I buy digital games on Steam only. When they are on DEEP discount (50-90% off)

BlaqMagiq16d ago

Say it louder for the ones in the back.

Dirtnapstor5d ago (Edited 5d ago )

In 15-20 years, the physical versions will be just as obsolete. Unless you have the appropriate console. No different than digital really, you still have to have the hardware to run it.
I love digital, but at the same time I love all the extras one can get buying the physical editions. The one drawback I see is “what if your account gets banned...” How about don’t be a dumbass in the first place?!

denawayne5d ago (Edited 5d ago )

"In 15-20 years will today's digital games still even work?"

I'm not arguing with you, and most people seem to agree with you, but aren't physical copies just a license that you bought the game? It still needs to be downloaded onto the hardware just like a digital copy. The reason I bring this up is because there's a lot of games that require a download patch on day one. So if the servers go down, is that physical copy still going to work?

Dirtnapstor5d ago (Edited 5d ago )

Exactly. People cannot see beyond the end of their nose. At this point in the game, a disc serves as a digital key.

Lynx02075d ago

On console, maybe. What about Steamworks? Will physical bought games still work in 15-20 years?

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