Analyst: Downloadable titles make up 92% of PC games market

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#1 Posted by faizan_faizan (7866 posts) -

Anyone paying vague attention to the PC games market has long known that it's a space dominated by downloadable titles? Still, it's a bit astounding to hear a report estimating that a full 92 percent of PC game sales in 2013 came from digital downloads, as DFC Intelligence recently told British tech site PCR.

That may sound high, even to people who haven't bought a PC game on a disc for years, but it lines up with other numbers reported throughout the industry. Last year, Payday 2 publisher Starbreeze announced that 80 percent of its 1.58 million first-month sales came from downloads, for instance. And let's not forget the scores of PC games that are totally ignoring retail sales for 100 percent downloadable releases these days, from Dota 2 to Day Z.

source

#2 Edited by SolidTy (43733 posts) -

Considering the same DRM that prevents selling/lending/trading/gifting/collecting is in the physical copies of PC games, there is little reason to buy physical retail copies of PC games.

You get DRM either way. I'm surprised it's not a higher percentage actually.

Companies gain so much with DD, it' only makes sense. I hope the console sector continues to offer choice between DRM free console physical copes and DD copies.

I do buy PC games of course, but since they have DRM I'm always buying them cheap. That's the trick. You give up a lot of consumer advantages, so you make sure you don't pay a premium for DD. That's how I see it, but I've been gaming since Atari so I know my views are ancient, especially compared to the new generation of gamers who are far more willing to purchase full priced DD games despite the many consumer disadvantages.

#3 Edited by CrownKingArthur (4894 posts) -

i think the last physical pc game i bought was supreme commander, and i only bought it physically because it was $5NZD for the gold edition, so better value than i could get online at the time.

ironically, i just typed the key into steam and downloaded it. my computer doesn't have an optical drive.

so i would be at 99% digital.

#4 Edited by farrell2k (6337 posts) -

I will only ever buy a physical copy of a game when it is $10 or more less expensive. Having physical copies of games lying around is a huge annoyance.

#5 Posted by Pray_to_me (2863 posts) -

PC gamers can't sell or trade their games so what's the point?

#6 Posted by wolverine4262 (19382 posts) -

Last physical PC game I bought was Spore. Big mistake.

Personally, id take DRM over a used game market any day. PC games are generally significantly cheaper than console games, and they will be available in my library forever.

#7 Posted by lawlessx (46771 posts) -

PC gamers dont go to gamestop to buy games. We have other outlets

#8 Posted by topgunmv (10246 posts) -

The last physical pc game I got was bioshock infinite, but that was because it was way cheaper than digital versions.

Before that it was the witcher 2 for all the free swag it came with.

#9 Posted by lundy86_4 (43526 posts) -

I haven't bought a retail game for PC in years. I find it far more convenient to just use Steam.

#10 Edited by jedikevin2 (5212 posts) -

My Last bought Retail Pc game came from Walmart

#11 Posted by Wasdie (50001 posts) -

Good. Retail games on the PC have sucked for years.

I would take light DRM through the DD services like Steam, Origin, and Amazon over the crap that comes with retail games. You can't escape DRM sadly. DRM for the consoles is the fact you need to have a copy of the disk or have to be logged into your online account to play your PSN/XBL games. The services I mentioned do a good job of keeping the DRM as logical and unobtrusive as possible. It's only when devs decide to layer their own on top of the retailer's DRM does it become a major headache.

DD = more profits for devs and publishers which means they don't need to sell millions of copies to make their money back which in turn allows them to develop more niche titles. It's a win-win for gamers.

#12 Posted by melonfarmerz (1188 posts) -

@Pray_to_me said:

PC gamers can't sell or trade their games so what's the point?

You act like selling or trading games is even an advantage.

#13 Posted by LegatoSkyheart (25549 posts) -

Retail hasn't been really too nice to PC. Although I will say the PC Gaming section at my walmart has gotten a bit better, but the Games are still stuffed in this weird corner next to Vita games (that haven't been updated in a year).

Hopefully this means my Walmart will start carrying Steam Cards.

#14 Posted by MonsieurX (30415 posts) -

@melonfarmerz said:

@Pray_to_me said:

PC gamers can't sell or trade their games so what's the point?

You act like selling or trading games is even an advantage.

For consumers,yes.

For publishers,no.

#15 Posted by uninspiredcup (8927 posts) -

That would explain Ubisoft trying to hike the price to laughable levels.

#16 Edited by mikhail (2269 posts) -

I can't even remember the last physical PC game I bought. It's been at least 5 years, probably longer. I haven't even put optical drives in the last two PC's I built. So nice not having to deal with a bunch of discs and boxes.

#17 Posted by Alcapello (953 posts) -

How sad..

#18 Edited by blue_hazy_basic (27866 posts) -

@SolidTy said:

Considering the same DRM that prevents selling/lending/trading/gifting/collecting is in the physical copies of PC games, there is little reason to buy physical retail copies of PC games.

You get DRM either way. I'm surprised it's not a higher percentage actually.

Companies gain so much with DD, it' only makes sense. I hope the console sector continues to offer choice between DRM free console physical copes and DD copies.

I do buy PC games of course, but since they have DRM I'm always buying them cheap. That's the trick. You give up a lot of consumer advantages, so you make sure you don't pay a premium for DD. That's how I see it, but I've been gaming since Atari so I know my views are ancient, especially compared to the new generation of gamers who are far more willing to purchase full priced DD games despite the many consumer disadvantages.

1. Aren't you a collector of games? So why do you care about re-selling them.

2. Used games industry (not the small scale selling of games, but places like gamestop) is an absolute cancer on the video games sector.

Thank god physical games will disappear soon.

#19 Edited by Heil68 (45145 posts) -

That's why I dont buy PC games until they are under $10.

#20 Posted by AmazonAngry (945 posts) -

and this is one of the root causes as to why PC gaming is in such dire straits

#21 Posted by Roler42 (767 posts) -

@amazonangry said:

and this is one of the root causes as to why PC gaming is in such dire straits

Yep, just a matter of time before PC finally dies, I mean it's been dying for so long!

#22 Posted by PonchoTaco (2173 posts) -

Only physical copy of a game I have is Oblivion/Bioshock combo. It was on sale at Micro Center for $3.

I have 200+ games downloaded to my PC through various applications: Steam, Origin, etc.

#23 Posted by clyde46 (46578 posts) -

Why bother with hundreds of discs when I can bring my whole gaming collection with me around the world. All I need is a username and password.

#24 Posted by AmazonTreeBoa (16745 posts) -

I know the last PC game I bought a physical copy of was Guild Wars Nightfall and I got that the day it released. That was in 2006.

#25 Edited by AmazonTreeBoa (16745 posts) -

@Pray_to_me said:

PC gamers can't sell or trade their games so what's the point?

Because with PC game sales like steam's summer sale for example, you save more buying the game that way than you could ever make selling/trading your console copy. That's why.

When you can get a game like Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut for $4.99, you tend to not give a shit that you can't trade/sell your game. You just saved more than you would have ever made trading/selling it.

#26 Posted by intotheminx (703 posts) -

Not surprised. I've been playing primarily on PC for 6 years and I've never bought a physical copy of a game. It's much easier to purchase through Steam and to avoid cases/discs taking up space.

#27 Posted by Gamerno6666 (1533 posts) -

@amazonangry said:

and this is one of the root causes as to why PC gaming is in such dire straits

You mean kicking the consoles arse in revenue?

#28 Posted by Cloud_imperium (3624 posts) -

True . Hopefully there will be some sites in the future that will share digital sales numbers too .

#29 Posted by pyro1245 (855 posts) -

haha 8% still buy physical copies? No reason for that except collector's editions.

lol DRM. lol trading in games.

@SolidTy said:

...

I do buy PC games of course, but since they have DRM I'm always buying them cheap.

...

So what do you call the hardware and disc requirement when buying physical games for other platforms? Surely it can't be some form of management of digital rights?

#30 Posted by RoboCopISJesus (1408 posts) -

@amazonangry said:

and this is one of the root causes as to why PC gaming is in such dire straits

Idiot.

#31 Edited by Dasein808 (531 posts) -

These peasant arguments are reminiscent of their initial rejection of online multiplayer over split screen multiplayer gaming before they had online capabilities. (i.e "Oh yeah? Well I'd rather game with my bros on the couch. Virgin nerds!")

Keep clinging to the old ways and being a decade behind in EVERYTHING.

PCs will continue to forge ahead into the future while you guys play pat-a-cake with balls of your feces in the back of your caves.

If they're not complaining about the absence of a used games market, then they're bitching about the scratched discs that the resellers continue to try and sell.

#32 Edited by GarGx1 (2751 posts) -

@roler42 said:

@amazonangry said:

and this is one of the root causes as to why PC gaming is in such dire straits

Yep, just a matter of time before PC finally dies, I mean it's been dying for so long!

Dying so hard in fact it's making more money than ever!

http://www.pcr-online.biz/news/read/pc-games-have-surpassed-console-games-globally/033849

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-01-28-pc-gaming-market-to-exceed-USD25-billion-this-year-dfc

#33 Posted by RoboCopISJesus (1408 posts) -

@GarGx1 said:

@roler42 said:

@amazonangry said:

and this is one of the root causes as to why PC gaming is in such dire straits

Yep, just a matter of time before PC finally dies, I mean it's been dying for so long!

Dying so hard in fact it's making more money than ever!

http://www.pcr-online.biz/news/read/pc-games-have-surpassed-console-games-globally/033849

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-01-28-pc-gaming-market-to-exceed-USD25-billion-this-year-dfc

PC must be a fucking vampire god considering how long its been dead yet is more successful than 6 consoles combined.

#34 Posted by speedfog (3224 posts) -

Last I bought on disk was BF4 and Titanfall. The instal is WAY faster then.

#35 Posted by wis3boi (31462 posts) -

@melonfarmerz said:

@Pray_to_me said:

PC gamers can't sell or trade their games so what's the point?

You act like selling or trading games is even an advantage.

it's an advantage for the console crowd who has a much bigger "hit it and quit it, flavor of the month" mentality to games

#36 Edited by Motokid6 (5704 posts) -

Do people type their OP's anymore? I understand posting an article, but that's it? Just copy, paste and post?

Oh, sorry. You typed source. Well.. gee wiz.

#37 Posted by Truth_Hurts_U (9253 posts) -

@SolidTy: <---- this....

There isn't any reason to buy physical any more since DRM is required.

#38 Edited by faizan_faizan (7866 posts) -

@Motokid6 said:

Do people type their OP's anymore? I understand posting an article, but that's it? Just copy, paste and post?

Oh, sorry. You typed source. Well.. gee wiz.

What the hell do you expect me to add to this? My opinion?

#39 Posted by happyduds77 (1476 posts) -

Digital is the future. I am so addicted to buying games on steam that I started buying most of my console games from PSN and Xbox Live.

#40 Edited by SolidTy (43733 posts) -

@blue_hazy_basic said:

@SolidTy said:

Considering the same DRM that prevents selling/lending/trading/gifting/collecting is in the physical copies of PC games, there is little reason to buy physical retail copies of PC games.

You get DRM either way. I'm surprised it's not a higher percentage actually.

Companies gain so much with DD, it' only makes sense. I hope the console sector continues to offer choice between DRM free console physical copes and DD copies.

I do buy PC games of course, but since they have DRM I'm always buying them cheap. That's the trick. You give up a lot of consumer advantages, so you make sure you don't pay a premium for DD. That's how I see it, but I've been gaming since Atari so I know my views are ancient, especially compared to the new generation of gamers who are far more willing to purchase full priced DD games despite the many consumer disadvantages.

1. Aren't you a collector of games? So why do you care about re-selling them.

2. Used games industry (not the small scale selling of games, but places like gamestop) is an absolute cancer on the video games sector.

Thank god physical games will disappear soon.

1.) Yes, I'm a longtime collector. I didn't say just about re-selling them though, did I? "selling/lending/trading/gifting/collecting". These are all important to me, not just selling. I have family/friends that borrow or trade games with me occasionally. About reselling, it's the same as my other non-games collection. I have a old baseball card collection and it's nice to me these old baseball cards are NOT digital baseball cards in the event I ever want to sell them. Some of these cards are worth a pretty penny (Thanks Dad!). I have old rookie basketball cards as well. I have other things I collected from my youth like comics. They sell digital comics today and I would never buy those. It's nice to know that IF I fall on hard times and have to sell any of these items I've collected, I can. Perhaps I'm not as immortal as I resonate on the forums and my offspring would appreciate my collection or selling it rather. In any event, it's something I consider when buying games and other things. It's also nice to take a game out of my collection, one prized by my friends/family members, and give that game freely to a them as a gift.

2.) I support developers and buy 98% of my games brand new for my modern machines. I've been doing this since at least the Sega Genesis/SNES era. Definitely did it a lot in the PS1/N64/Saturn era. I still operate the same today. In threads on used games, I've even spoken about my stance which is to buy new and support the developers so the idea of throwing used games into an post is a bit a strawman tactic. Still, while I never brought up used games specifically or suggest anywhere that I love them, I am not against their existence. I don't buy used games unless it's for my older systems like Genesis or Atari. I'm thankful I can track down older titles for NES, SNES, Dreamcast, or Saturn. I'm sorry you find used games a problem. I assume used cars, used CDs, used DVDs, Used Blu-Rays, used housing, used lawnmowers, used baseball cards, used comic books, and used anything could be considered equally cancerous depending on what forum we are on, but to each their own. It's a nice way for collectors to increase their retro game collection. Eventually the PS4/Xbone/Wii U will be retro consoles. It's nice to know those machines will still have collectors games for them. Used games also are useful when a game goes out of print and you are trying to track down a limited, hard to find relatively modern game even. I also don't really rent games either. Again, though, I'm all for the option.

As far as Gamestop, I'm not a fan. I've repeated that here for years, so I'm even going into an anti-Gamestop diatribe as I find their operation disgusting. They are exploiting the used games industry, but that's again off topic to anything I was talking about. I've already spoke WAY too much about used games as it is.

As I said, I'm all about the OPTION to Gift/Sell/Trade/Lend/Borrow/Collection. I didn't mention used, (Used/Rent/etc) but yes, some of my family enjoy my games after I complete them and I guess you wouldn't approve. Still, I would support used and rented games over mega corporations that want to remove them to make even more money. I'm sorry to hear that you are against physical media, but I've heard you say this many times before so and I can understand your stance once you invested so much in the opposite direction. To each their own. I'm not calling for the destruction of Digital and you are calling for the end of Physical. Maybe I should be more active and call for the end of digital. I won't support digital at full price as long as I'm able. When the time comes, if it comes, then I'll make decisions on what I'll do in that future scenario. Maybe I'll just quit gaming if DD takes over consoles? Whatever. I wasn't going to buy an Xbone until they reversed their DRM decisions and they did so I bought one. DD for console to me is a complete rip off because I don't trust the networks to stay active forever, so I have to get DD cheap considering all that I'm giving up.

We are in for another generation of gaming (Wii U, PS4, Xbone) with lot's of physical media. Yay. As I said in the post you quoted, "I've been gaming since Atari so I know my views are ancient, especially compared to the new generation of gamers who are far more willing to purchase full priced DD games despite the many consumer disadvantages." I admit my views are ancient, what else could I post? That's how I feel and I know how you feel as I feel we have this discussion every year or so? I don't usually quote your DD kills physical posts though, I just post my own take in threads. You quoted me on this, so I posted more than normal as I wanted to reiterate my stance is EXACTLY where it was last year and every year I've ever been on Gamespot as an active poster (almost a decade). I feel both DD and Physical can be enjoyed. I own hundreds, maybe over a thousand DD games, but it's not my preference. I know some games can only be bought with DD and I accept it, but I wish there was an alternative. Conversely, the same holds true for physical console games. I enjoy many of the same games you do so I think we'll be okay. :)

Thank god physical games are still here today as they've been for decades.

#41 Edited by SolidTy (43733 posts) -
@Truth_Hurts_U said:

@SolidTy: <---- this....

There isn't any reason to buy physical any more since DRM is required.


Thank you. :)

#42 Posted by remiks00 (1911 posts) -

@Wasdie said:

Good. Retail games on the PC have sucked for years.

I would take light DRM through the DD services like Steam, Origin, and Amazon over the crap that comes with retail games. You can't escape DRM sadly. DRM for the consoles is the fact you need to have a copy of the disk or have to be logged into your online account to play your PSN/XBL games. The services I mentioned do a good job of keeping the DRM as logical and unobtrusive as possible. It's only when devs decide to layer their own on top of the retailer's DRM does it become a major headache.

DD = more profits for devs and publishers which means they don't need to sell millions of copies to make their money back which in turn allows them to develop more niche titles. It's a win-win for gamers.

I agree with all of this.

#43 Posted by CrownKingArthur (4894 posts) -
@wis3boi said:

@melonfarmerz said:

You act like selling or trading games is even an advantage.

it's an advantage for the console crowd who has a much bigger "hit it and quit it, flavor of the month" mentality to games

yes. or for those who need to 'recycle' their game money, treat the game as an asset which still has value.

buying and selling games, it's OK. i stopped liking it after I realised it keeps your library small. i prefer paying a lower initial price, and having a library which only grows. just swings and roundabouts, innit?

#44 Edited by SambaLele (5424 posts) -

I can't understand people that think DRM is the same as not being able to sell/lend/gift/etc the product you bought.

DRM is a tool to fight piracy, not to eliminate the second-hand market. The license based business model is one thing (the contrary to the property based business model, in which you own what you bought, not only paid for a restrictive license of use), DRM is entirely another.

#45 Edited by SolidTy (43733 posts) -

@happyduds77 said:

Digital is the future. I am so addicted to buying games on steam that I started buying most of my console games from PSN and Xbox Live.

Digital for PC for me.

But not on consoles for me.

#46 Edited by DigiTM64 (155 posts) -

I just cannot believe now Ubisoft have the new titles such as Unity and Farcry4 at $75US on Steam in Australia. Yet the PS4 version from MightyApe is $69.99. So now PC games are becoming more expensive than console. WTF?

#47 Posted by SolidTy (43733 posts) -

@digitm64 said:

I just cannot believe now Ubisoft have the new titles such as Unity and Farcry4 at $75US on Steam in Australia. Yet the PS4 version from MightyApe is $69.99. So now PC games are becoming more expensive than console. WTF?

Ubisoft has really lost a lot of respect from me and countless friends of mine.

#48 Posted by dakan45 (18621 posts) -

"80 percent of its 1.58 million first-month sales came from downloads,"

Publisher= sony

Sony exlusives on sony console sales= about as much!

Yet sony doesnt release their games on pc.

Makes as much as sense as tomb raider being exlusive to the system with the least userbase and sales.

#49 Edited by R4gn4r0k (16623 posts) -

@Wasdie said:

Good. Retail games on the PC have sucked for years.

I would take light DRM through the DD services like Steam, Origin, and Amazon over the crap that comes with retail games. You can't escape DRM sadly. DRM for the consoles is the fact you need to have a copy of the disk or have to be logged into your online account to play your PSN/XBL games. The services I mentioned do a good job of keeping the DRM as logical and unobtrusive as possible. It's only when devs decide to layer their own on top of the retailer's DRM does it become a major headache.

DD = more profits for devs and publishers which means they don't need to sell millions of copies to make their money back which in turn allows them to develop more niche titles. It's a win-win for gamers.

What makes it a headache for me is that I, as a consumer, have no assurance that these companies will never go down or their services will never go down.

Making me have zero assurance on whether I'll still be able to play my game so many years down the line.

We all saw what happened when GFWL was supposed to go down. People really wondered if they would still be able to play their GFWL games. And we still don't know, GFWL was kept alive.

Look at all the DRM keeping people from playing their games: Diablo 3, Watch_dogs and Uplay being down in general, PSN going down...

I like revisiting games. Will I still be able to play my Steam,PSN,Origin,Uplay,Xboxlive,GFWL-activated games in 20 years ?

Who knows

#50 Edited by Wasdie (50001 posts) -

@R4gn4r0k said:

What makes it a headache for me is that I, as a consumer, have no assurance that these companies will never go down or their services will never go down.

Making me have zero assurance on whether I'll still be able to play my game so many years down the line.

We all saw what happened when GFWL was supposed to go down. People really wondered if they would still be able to play their GFWL games. And we still don't know, GFWL was kept alive.

Look at all the DRM keeping people from playing their games: Diablo 3, Watch_dogs and Uplay being down in general, PSN going down...

I like revisiting games. Will I still be able to play my Steam,PSN,Origin,Uplay,Xboxlive,GFWL-activated games in 20 years ?

Who knows

Well DD services have a better chance at survival than per-game DRM.