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04-20-2017, 02:09 PM #1
Digital sales now represent 74% of the US game market
Suddenly, I don't sound so crazy...
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) today released its annual report, Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry, shedding light on the continued growth of games in the US. While physical format sales are steadily declining, the total picture for the US games industry is actually quite positive, with overall sales climbing each year since 2010, when the industry totaled $17.5 billion. In 2016, the total spend on games content was $24.5 billion and if you factor in hardware, accessories and VR, that figure rises to $30.4 billion. Digital has been accounting for a bigger and bigger portion of the sales total each year, and in 2016 that portion was 74%, including full game digital downloads, subscriptions, DLC, mobile and social.
The flourishing games business has contributed over $11.7 billion to the US GDP last year, and the ESA notes that there are over 65,000 employees at game companies across the nation currently, with the average compensation in 2016 being $97,000. All told, there are 2,322 developer locations across all 50 states with 526 publisher locations across 44 states.
As for the consumers pouring the money into the market, the ESA reports that 67% of US households now own a gaming device, with 65% of households being home to a person who plays at least three hours a week. As you might expect, the PC tops the list at 97% ownership, and smartphones aren't far behind at 81%. Consoles now sit at 48% and, interestingly, 11% of US households now have a VR device (which likely includes mobile VR). On that last point, ESA (citing EEDAR) also found that 1-in-3 of the "most frequent gamers" are likely to buy a VR device in the next year.
04-20-2017, 02:16 PM #2
I did make the decision with this console generation to go digital. I've still got a few disc games here and there, usually just picked up on impulse while walking past a game store that had a sale on used copies, but I actually number less than 10 disc-based games with the vast majority of my PS4 games on digital.
I actually prefer the convenience, especially since this generation required full installs to the hard drive anyway, so just needing the disc around for an authentication check seemed a bit redundant. And the PSN has actually been pretty decent with sales that I've picked up quite a few titles at pretty low prices.
04-20-2017, 02:24 PM #3
Once I feel confident in that games are going to transcend their hardware, I'll be buying digital mostly. When the One launched and didn't support XBLA games, I basically signed off. So, we'll see. I'm feeling more confident with everything this time around. So, I'm 50/50.
04-20-2017, 02:35 PM #4
You said an internal hard drive was equal to DRM, PC BD drives can play UHD-BD with firmware updates, people will just download 4K transfers and the newest one: UHD-BD was DOA!
I seem to recall arguing for digital and you saying it was just a way for companies to strip ownership.. right?DarkRedRain (XBL, PSN, Steam)
Xbox One – The Leader in 4K Entertainment.
Originally Posted by Digital Foundry
04-20-2017, 02:55 PM #5
The one disc game I bought this gen was Bloodborne. I picked up the digital copy when it went on sale and threw out the disc, just so I could be 100% digital.
04-20-2017, 02:56 PM #6
Nintendo did it. MS did it.
As a PC User, I despise any effort to limit my ability to control my purchased hardware. Again, if you don't understand that, then that's your problem. It's not "crazy." It's actually a very reasonable request to want to have hard drives being swappable. I've had several HDDs die. It's a pain if you can't self fix it.
*Now, I can give you that my hatred for external harddrives is petty...but that's solely a preference thing and doesn't subtract from my bigger point in unswappable harddrives being anti-consumer.
Actually, I don't think I talked about firmware updates on BD drives. However, some of them did actually get firmware updates. I think that was Fav that started that conversation. It's literally just a file on a disc.
Digital is a way to strip ownership. I can't fight against the inevitable. I've stated this.
UHD-BD is a DOA format. Investing into it is silly and a waste. It's the last cash grab for physical media. Writing has been on the wall since BD.
You seem to have created some false narrative that I agree with everything on which I argue on. I've always argued in favor of consumer rights and ownership. However, I also see the writing on the wall and see the inevitable outcome. I might not like the lack of ownership, but that doesn't mean I don't see it coming.
If you accept digital then why can't you see how a physical format media is DOA? If the percentage is already at 74% for games...imagine the percentage for films. Sales were slumping during BD, they ain't climbing for UHD. Liking what a format offers doesn't change its worth or it's inevitable death. UHD-BD is a DOA format. It's meant to only appease a short term market as the content for 4k streaming increases.
Where do you see UHD-BD in 5 years?
Last edited by twonunpackmule; 04-20-2017 at 04:34 PM.
04-20-2017, 03:34 PM #7
It's not 74% of game downloads. It's 74% of revenue, which includes subscriptions and mobile sales. Think about all the money that gets dropped on mobile stuff like Clash of Clans and Game of War, along with XBL and PSN subscriptions - that's part of that 74% figure.
04-20-2017, 04:31 PM #8
I have a friend that is pretty much exclusively into Pokémon Go. I played it for three days until I discovered that it's impossible to play in Alaska. So, I missed that boat due to location.
04-20-2017, 04:40 PM #9
I wish it did, because I'd like to see Game Stop go out of business. I think they are a parasitic company.
04-20-2017, 04:49 PM #10
04-20-2017, 05:12 PM #11
Yeah, they closed some stores. There was also a report that their worst internal policies have been revised to be less terrible.
But they're still making a killing screwing players. If people would just buy points cards (if needed) and watch for digital sales, they would have no need for Game Stop.
04-20-2017, 05:34 PM #12
04-20-2017, 07:32 PM #13
04-20-2017, 08:19 PM #14
04-20-2017, 08:28 PM #15