UK Charts: Physical Call of Duty launch sales lowest in 11 years

But it's the biggest digital launch in Activision's history.

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OhReginald96d ago

For obvious reasons. Publishers today are going all digital or slowly weening consumers to go digital without giving them a choice (i.e. multiplayer only games or exclusive digital only content). Simply to destroy pre-owned game market as the publishers don't profit from it. If you bought the physical copy of black ops 4, you wouldn't be able to access it until you download the day one patch that is the same size as the full digital copy download....

Skull52196d ago (Edited 96d ago )

I’m sure all physical media is at an all time low of sales. Simple fact is digital is better and everyone is learning that and taking advantage of it. The days of the disc drive are numbered.

Mr_Commander96d ago (Edited 96d ago )

your days as sane person is numbered.

LOLcheeseORZ96d ago

Physical is always better because you have more control and freedom over them.

Rude-ro96d ago

Simple fact is, you are right.
Just like iTunes etc.. people that want to play NOW on second one are boosting digital sales.
100% truth, I went digital with every game I wanted for the last two years AND my stance is against the digital only drm draconian style future that it will go to.
I just wanted to back up your point with honesty.

iain0496d ago

I’ve been a mix of disc and digital. Next gen will go all digital purely out of laziness. I just hate changing discs.

yomfweeee96d ago

There is a difference between digital music and digital games.

#1. No one ever really sold of their music. Certainly not like selling used games.
#2. Music is a much more mobile and quick thing. So the on demand digital aspect is much greater. Console games are different. While digital certainly is faster, it isn't that big of a convenience to change disc's when you're probably plopping down in a chair for an extended session.

No Way96d ago

LOLcheeseORZ - Like what? What type of control and freedom do we have?

Fluke_Skywalker96d ago

I haven't bought a physical copy of a game for a long long time. Simply because I can't stand the sound of the PS4 disc drive. Petty reason, but true story.

neutralgamer199296d ago (Edited 96d ago )


I don't know why you think your preference is best for all. The day gaming is all digital it will lose a huge chunk of its base

It's amazing to me that you think every gamer has same internet speed and unlimited data to download

The days of disk drive are for sure numbered but not for another 10-15 years

Physical media still makes up for almost 50% of game sales. Do some research and during your research don't mix up digital sale numbers from actual game sales with the money publishers generate by the way of dlc and micro transactions

EA generated so much revenue from ultimate teams doesn't mean those are digital sales

That's where I see so many gamers like you who mix digital sales with digital revenue

Skull52196d ago

Just gotta rip physical discs off like a bandaid. PC market has been all digital for a decade and no one complains, in fact people quite like it. Time for consoles to follow suit. If you guys want to quit gaming because of it that’s your call.

Realms96d ago

Sure skull sure whatever you say but you fail to mention that while PC for the most part has gone all digital they also have the lowest price point on games. Unless publishers lower the price on digital only games there is no way in hell I will ever go all digital and just because you find it convient doesn't mean everyone feels the same way you do about digital games.

CobraKai96d ago (Edited 96d ago )

In what way? I find no performance increase in digital vs physical.

Plus I will never have to worry about losing my physical copies (unless stolen). Plus I can also buy games that are no longer on the digital market. That’s the freedom LOLcheeseORZ is talking about. When everything goes pure digital, we lose the freedom to loan games to friends/family, buy preowned games, only having to replace a faulty system and not an entire back catalogue of games, not have to worry about hard drive space as we can delete the install and still have the game. When it’s all digital, we lose all that. Publishers will wont have to drop the price of their games. We lose out

SolidGamerX96d ago

LOL, your drivel is hilarious.

Gwiz96d ago

" Digital is better " well 'ello there non conspicuous Activision person lol.

bouzebbal96d ago

don't ask me, i never bought one of these.
but i can say that people are finally starting to get bored of the same... but incredible longevity nontheless..

Chexs199096d ago

That so-called simple fact only applies to the publishers. There isn't a single advantageous part in there for the consumer.
With maybe the exception of being able to pre-install it.

So, simple fact is, publishers are basically the owners of your content, not you. And they can discontinue availability whenever they damn well please.

sonarus96d ago

I can’t remember the last time I bought physical copy of a game. The ONLY time I buy physical copy is when I intend to give it away to a friend when I’m done. I don’t need rack to keep my cds in fact I have been buying mostly digital since late PS3 cycle. I understand everyone has their preferences but the value of physical disc just isn’t that great for me

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rainslacker96d ago (Edited 96d ago )

All sales are up across the board. Some fluctuations each year, but overall, gaming has been doing better than ever, and digital is making some progress in percentages sold, but not as significant as some people seem to believe. It still doesn't make up half of the new game marker.

I don't need to rip off physical disc like a band aid. So long as they're offered, that'll be my preferred method of buying games. There is no indication that Activisions best digital launch is now a majority of the total sales. If they were, they probably would, because all the big pubs have been trying to imply that digital game sales are higher than physical since last gen. If they had a bonifide case of that happening, they say so.

Hungryalpaca96d ago

Many console gamers buy physical. I only buy digital on my pc. On my PS4 I buy physical.

Muzikguy96d ago (Edited 96d ago )

Nonsense. Physical will always be better. Don’t ever let a company tell you what you should be doing. I find it crazy that people will deliberately let companies have control over them and what they can do.

Smitty202096d ago

I like to have physical discs mainly n wouldn’t want that to go away anytime soon but I do have some digital games

Cobra95195d ago

Lord, the denial here.

No one is a stauncher defender of game ownership than me. But guys, sorry, this ship has sailed. Disc distribution is quickly becoming niche, at best. Optical drives themselves are passe. You seldom see them in new PCs. Consoles will go disc-less at some point, I have no doubt. Even the diminishing crowd determined to buy physical still need to download hefty updates, often the first day. Connectivity is a practical requirement. And once connected, there is no reason to avoid digital distribution. Selling used games? Is that really still a thing? If so, how much of one? I haven't even thought of getting rid of my games since the cartridge days.

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kevnb96d ago

Pc gaming is always a few years ahead, physical is almost dead there already.

badz14996d ago

PC and consoles are different. Used physical copies are useless on PC because there is only 1 license per copy but consoles don't have that kind of DRM and IMO it should stay that way.

Inzo96d ago

"physical is almost dead there already."

And yet physical media still account for more than 75% of all sales.

4Sh0w96d ago

lol, pc & console physical discs both only have 1 license per disc....physical disc on pc is dead because pc gamers are always ahead of the curve, digital is the future. I prefer gaming on consoles, but all the crying from these caveman console gamers is just silly, actually I think console gamers are the worst, they actually have slowed progress in many cases because alot of times they complain even when the industry gives them several options for gaming, they cry, cry, cry no make everyone game the same way I do. No, the industry is going to move along with or without you.

4Sh0w96d ago

Inzo, you got it backwards when you add pc overall digital accounted for 79% of all game sales in 2017, of course this is ALL game sales, most data suggests its about even on consoles but definitely when you include pc, alot of gamers on pc haven't brought physical disc in years:

kevnb96d ago (Edited 96d ago )

@badz149 I think the drm difference is slowing things down a little, but more and more I see less physical games for sale in stores. The file sizes of games are holding a good chunk of gamers back, but we will get past that. DVDs and blu-ray are dying off quickly as well.

Inzo96d ago (Edited 96d ago )

PC gamers are always ahead of the curve except when it comes to games, there the PC is mared by snor fest after beautiful snor fest. And no one is complaining about progress, I for one prefer physical media because the is more value in it for like trading in or reselling. So why would I want to go digital when I can save money?

kevnb96d ago (Edited 96d ago )

@Inzo what are you on about? Snorefest? PC gamers are a little more nerdy and arent into sports games and super linear games that pretty much play themselves just so you can enjoy the story.

rainslacker96d ago (Edited 96d ago )

I think the markets surrounding both is very different, and always was. There wasn't much of a second hand market for pc games. A lot of games could be hard to come by because of dwindling pc sections at stores even before digital became commonplace, which happened due to decreasing physical sales in the face of rather easy piracy through things like like Napster and an uptake of internet usage overall.

Console market was affected by this as well, at least the piracy, but up until last gen, there was no alternative for distribution. Plus it was dirt cheap to produce discs, and publishers weren't yet trying to kill the used game market or make a couple extra bucks by not printing games and cases.

Digital is fine in my opinion, but retail sales are still steadily rising overall. If there is a slump in software sales in the bigger picture, it affects digital as well. Having an influx of people willing to buy digital, or switching over to it, hasn't killed the physical market, and I see a lot of people greatly overstating the mix in sales between them....probably based on their own preference, publishers obfuscating the facts, or some misguided notion that they're making significantly ore off it, despite the console maker still taking about the same cut as retail, so they're making a few more dollars per game, and having less copies available through the used game market.

Physical.isnt almost dead. It still makes up a majority of new game sales. It's not even close like it was with cd music for a while. 20-30% is the typical percentage for digital sales. Some games may be a bit higher, but overall, that's the percentages. It would take an active effort by the console makers and publishers to really.kill it off, and I don't think they're ready for that. Ms showed that the market wasn't ready for, and even they knew they couldn't forgo physical distribution. Biggest set back for them was applying digital drm to

kevnb96d ago (Edited 96d ago )

@rainslacker pc games started having trouble at retail around that time for a few reasons. Digital wasnt what it is today, but even right from the beginning steam started hurting retail enough for less and less stores to carry the games and the same thing is happening to console games now; its was a snowball effect. I also wont deny the parts to play the latest games were very expensive around the time the 360 came out, and the jumps in requirements were happening way too quickly for people to keep up.
Also, microsoft started a marketing campaign to get people onto xbox instead of pc, this included getting publishers to talk about how pc wasnt what it used to be and the focus had changed. It was also the time of windows vista and direct x 10. I actually think microsoft would still be trying to kill off pc gaming on windows completely if it wasnt for mobile operating systems starting to take huge chunks of market share.

kevnb96d ago (Edited 96d ago )

@rainslacker the percent of digital sales for playstation is rising rapidly, Im not sure how people on here are so blind to it? I get that you guys dont want it to happen, but its time to face the music. Its a snowfall effect, as digital sales grow retail carries less games which increases digital sales even more until you get to the point where pc gaming is now. Retail sections will get smaller and you will only be able to get the latest and greatest games (current AAA big marketing budget), smaller games wont even bother with physical because they wont be able to compete for the limited shelf space. All this is already happening and might even accelerate if gamestop goes under.

And yes 2013 was too early to push people all the way digital in the console space, microsoft learned you have to let it happen gradually and not just force everyone into it.

Muzikguy95d ago


Who are all these crying people? I don’t see console players holding anything back. That would be limitations of the console itself. Quit blaming people for things when it’s nkt their fault. I’d say that there are some people that should not want certain things to happen in the industry but seem to not care. So much is detrimental to it, but it’s almost like people will take that with “convenience”. Not all change is good. People seem to forget that

rainslacker95d ago

As I said, PC and console software sales cater to different markets.

Articles like that conflate revenue with new game sales. Many people use this misappropriation as evidence that digital has taken over. On PC, yes, digital is pretty much the only option for the most part. But on consoles, that's not the case. Digital new game sales are steadily rising, but also staying about the same overall. There is a wide margin depending on the type of game, and the popularity of the game. But generally they fall within 20-30%. I don't know of any console sales of a game which has sold more than the physical release of the same game, with a couple exceptions where it was just a digital code in the box, so the retail sales were extremely low anyhow.

Digital has not taken over physical on consoles. It's gaining in percentages, but physical is also selling more overall than it used to. Over time, we'll see more digital gains, but many people are prematurely saying that it's the way of the future, without any understanding of how the numbers publishers put out are derived, or released with the purpose of obfuscating the fact that retail is still the majority rule for console software.

I do indeed believe that retail is starting to hurt because of digital, but it isn't just digital sales causing that. It is also places like WalMart and Amazon which hurt many retail store's ability to even stay open because of the excessively low margins that exist on new games for said retailer. Bigger stores, or places like Amazon, can afford it, because they are more than just games. Amazon can for the same reason, and having a comparatively much lower cost to operate for any given sub-product they sell. Digital didn't help either, because it means that a good portion of the market, even if it's not a majority, or even 25%, still isn't shopping, so there are fewer dollars to go around.

Smaller games don't usually bother with retail anymore. And a lot of them never bothered with retail before. The retail distribution process was out of reach of anyone without a publisher, or enough money to publish themselves and manage the supply chain, which is a task in and of itself. If we didn't have digital, it doesn't mean those games would likely go retail, it means we likely wouldn't see them. There were some strides for that kind of thing through publishers who you paid a fee to to distribute one's game, but they mostly just existed outside the western markets.

Then there are the games which just don't sell enough overall to make a retail release worth it, as it does cost more upfront money to do a retail release, as opposed to just self publishing on a digital store front, where the money is spent from the revenues that come in, and no expenditure up front beyond licensing costs for the consoles themselves, which is pretty small for indie games.

In short, digital is making strides, but it's not the majority of the market in terms of new games sold, and as long as publishers need those new game sales, and not just overall revenue, we'll continue to have retail sales. There would have to be a major shift in the market, or a concerted effort to just forgo the retail market, for things to change to the degree they have in PC anytime in the near future. Maybe in another couple console generations.

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Purrfection96d ago

The game has no campaign and is basically an online game now much like Destiny. That's why it makes sense to buy digital purely for convenience. Nothing stopping you from buying physical and trading in your game in a few months.

Gahl1k96d ago (Edited 96d ago )

That and they get the whole cake with people buying digital--physical copies cost money to make, digital costs zip, especially when the publisher is the distributor (like Activision, bethesda, recently, EA and Blizzard).

kevnb96d ago (Edited 96d ago )

It has a cost, but it’s much less and less middlemen.

rainslacker96d ago

The console maker still takes about 20% of the sale. Same as steam. They don't have to print discs or worry about distribution, so they make a few dollars there.

parris96d ago

Hmm I find it strange that people are so quick to say it's digital that caused it's drop, it's like people are trying to avoid saying the more likely thing that CoD is finally losing some of it's interest as it ages and there are more options for people who want shooters. Across the board you see games that are on really high sequel counts starting to lose there steam, it's not really that surprising that CoD would be subject to this as well.

kevnb96d ago

Well if you actually look at the numbers digital is way up from last year and its getting to the point where it is snowballing, many retail stores have stopped selling video games completely and the ones that do carry less of them.

JackBNimble96d ago

I don't get what your point is.

1)You still have a choice to either buy physical or digital.

2)You still have the option to resell your game.

3)Day one patch seems fairly common this Gen also.
It's an online only game so...

prankster10196d ago

So much sense said. I wonder how long it will be before the likes of GAME and Gamestop feel the pinch...

NeoGamer23296d ago (Edited 96d ago )

For me, the lack of a true single player campaign killed any chance I would buy it on day one.

Digital or physical I lost interest when they killed the true SP campaign. For the first time since Call of Duty 3 I did not buy the game on day one.

Sevir96d ago

They aren't going all digital, the bandwidth simply isn't there world wide to support that move. It's still the lowest selling COD and it's likely because the franchise is running out of steam. THANK GOD... They need need a new franchise and they need to leave COD alone when this generation ends...

asm12096d ago

That sucks cuz I prefer physical because it tends to be less memory.

rainslacker96d ago

I think games like this tend to be more convienant with digital. It's a good pick up play game where you might end up.jumping in while playing a different game because your friends come on, or you just gave an itch.

MMOBytes96d ago (Edited 96d ago )

The X1 originally was going all digital, sell games cheaper and allow customers to resale their games via marketplace. That was until the idiots complained.

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NobleRed96d ago (Edited 96d ago )

Never buy digital. If the game sucks at least you can sell the game.

DarkVoyager96d ago

You can check out reviews or watch people play the game online. It’s not like you’re going in blind.

Sunny_D96d ago

Except reviews are subjective. Everyone can be praising the game yet you may hate it.... and vice versa.

playnice96d ago

demos sure, reviews? What, seriously?

CobraKai96d ago

The only real review that matters is one’s own after playing it for themselves. A dung beetle’s opinion on the feces it eats is probably more valuable than the “reviews” people hold in such high regards.

What’s next letting Rotten Tomatoes tell you what movies to like and not like without seeing it for yourself? Sheesh.

NonShinyGoose96d ago

I like being able to trade something in and get some money back once I'm done with it. Can't do that with digital

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mcstorm96d ago

You ever thought of just getting a refund?

Sunny_D96d ago

Tell me where you can get a full refund for opening and then playing a game you didn’t like?

rainslacker96d ago

Refunds games is exceedingly rare in the US. Dunno about the EU where they have some consumer protection laws about such things. Game stop won't even take back an open copy they sell as new. They have these stickers they put on for that, but they aren't consistent in putting them on.

mcstorm96d ago

Are did not know you could not get a refund in the USA but in the UK you can I've done it a few times.

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Moe-Gunz96d ago

This is why I find Share Play a bigger feature than people think.

KratosKonundrum96d ago

This doesn't make sense. For example, Xbox and Steam have generous refund policies for digital purchases. If you purchase a game digitally and you immediately think it sucks you can return it for a full refund. If I go to GameStop and buy a new game, as soon as I unwrap it it depreciates in value.

If a game sucks there's no reason to hold onto it for more than a day. Otherwise you're "renting" if
one factors in the depreciation or you're attempting to scam the publisher by playing a game for hours and then attempting to get a full refund for hours of "non enjoyment".

If you disagree with me, let me know why. I fail to see it any other way. Convince me.

Majin-vegeta96d ago

You can wait a day or two and you can find a used copy.Still have 7 days to return it

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Inzo96d ago

Agreed and still there are people who dont see the sense in that logic.

TheOtherMoon96d ago

Oh, good, another logical response to a change in market trends...

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REDGUM96d ago

And yet this won't get anywhere near the attention that B5 got for basically the same title!

Majin-vegeta96d ago

Well yea...50gb update will do that.

playnice96d ago

it's probably an important factor... but there is much more to it.