More Gamers Than Ever Buy Games Online


According to a report by the NPD Group acquired by Gamasutra, gamers are embracing digital distribution. Given the choice between a digital and physical copy of a game available at the same price, 35% of those polled opted for the digital copy, up 10 percentage points from last year’s total.

Other research suggests that this will be a bad year for consoles and handheld platforms in the retail market, and therefore a bad year for brick-and-mortar game business in general. This is interesting in light of remarks made by Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney during his recent GDC Taipei keynote, where he predicted a future full of digital, “freemium” games that will replace going to a store and buying a “piece of plastic.”

What say you, readers? Do you still like having a “piece of plastic,” or is it all-digital, all the time?

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5 Comments on More Gamers Than Ever Buy Games Online


On June 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Why only Steam and origin? There are a handful of other DD services more or less as prominent as origin in the second rank behind Steam, such as impulse and gog. I fear you may be giving EA’s rickety malware platform undue prominence in your choice of article tags and title image.


On July 1, 2012 at 12:00 am

Impulse is now Game Stop Online or some crap, and either way it wasn’t that great a service.

DD isn’t even in the same league as Steam. it JUST popular enough to have some Pre-Order Bonuses for PC only titles.

GoG is a different service. it doesn’t really sell new games.

Origin isn’t malware by anyone’s definition. i deal with malware/spyware/viruses/all that on a daily basis. only paranoid idiots or people who are steam fanboys say that it is. Origin is still a piece of without calling it malware.

now for the topic at hand, i prefer digital. i have a good internet connection myself, and its less clutter in a closet or shelf.


On July 1, 2012 at 11:00 am

Well… I kind of like my plastic. I was reminded of that, when I wanted to share “Journey” with my dad. No disc to give him, to try it out for himself. *shrug*

Ben Richardson

On July 1, 2012 at 11:31 am

Fair enough, Peggle20. We’re not big fans of Origin either.


On July 2, 2012 at 5:22 am

Definitely digital download. Plastic is overrated. The boxes take up space/gather dust. Disk space is cheap and takes up minimal space. Also, if the disk dies for whatever reason, just replace and re-download. Replacing plastic is more hassle. I like Steam but I love even more. No DRM. The way it’s meant to be played, dammit!