Digital Sales Have Vastly Overtaken Physical Game Sales In The UK

A new report from the Entertainment Retailers Association in the UK shows that nearly 90% of all game sales are now digital.

By LCLupus, Posted 10 Jan 2023

Gaming has changed a lot over the last few years as the internet has become a larger aspect of gaming life. Once upon a time, a gamer could only by physical games on a disc or cartridge, but things have changed considerably. Things have changed to the point where a report just released that revealed that digital game sales now encompass nearly 90% of all game sales in the United Kingdom. The age of the disc is ending.

Entertainment Retailers Association, BBC, United Kingdom, UK, Game Sales, Digital Games, Physical Games, Latest, News

This news is from the Entertainment Retailers Association, or ERA, and was reported by the BBC, and it details how 89.5% of all game sales are now digital, with around 30% of those sales being mobile game sales which can only be digital. That leaves only about 10.5% of game sales being physical. Physical games are clearly, like physical copies of practically everything else, on the decline.

The ERA chief executive, Kim Bayley, explained that while exact sales figures cannot be definitely determined, because digital storefronts like Steam and the PlayStation Store don’t give out their figures, that the nearly 90% figure is likely as close to accurate as researchers are able to be. Bayley further explained that it used to be easier to track because all physical games obviously had to be sold in physical stores, and that modern games could be sold practically anywhere.

It is also likely that factors such as the Covid-19 pandemic led to increased digital sales seeing as leaving your home to buy a game was typically frowned upon when you could just buy things online. The convenience of digital goods and the ease with which they can be stored, without using real-world space, makes digital products an easier contemporary sell for many consumers.

There will likely still be those who want physical games for a long time to come, but as more hardware ditches disc drives entirely, such as all modern laptops, physical game sales will likely continue to die too. The end of an era may be at hand, but that simply means that a new era has begun.

Justin van Huyssteen (@LC_Lupus)
Senior Editor, NoobFeed

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Platform(s): PC, Mobile
Publisher(s): Valve Corporation
Developer(s): Valve Corporation
Genres: Digital Distribution
Themes: Content delivery, Digital Rights Management, Social Networking
Release Date: 2003-09-12

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