Market research firm EEDAR (Electronic Entertainment Design and Research) has been compiling data on console title distribution over the years—as digital market research firms do—and their most recent report shows that, now, roughly two-thirds of console titles released in 2014 were digital-only, with only 3% being physical only, and the rest being both physical and digital. The “traditional market,” as EEDAR has taken to calling the mixed-release and physical-only market, has been declining in both number of publishers and titles over the years.

Physical distribution has been on a fast decline since 2010, with now only about a third of console titles seeing physical media hit store shelves. EEDAR defines physical+digital releases as a title that sees both distribution methods employed within 90 days of one another, and anything beyond that as one or the other, meaning titles that had physical releases but saw a digital release much later do not count towards the combined field.

This trend may, in part, be because the number of active publishers working in a purely digital marketplace has been dominant over traditional market publishers that bother with physical releases. As more and more smaller publishers shy away from the troubles of physical production and lean towards digital-only distribution, physical distribution is becoming less viable even among larger publishers. That said, it seems that publishers that do operate in the traditional market release more titles in a given year than their digital only competitors.

Source: Games Industry

Our Verdict

Stefan Terry
One of my earliest memories with games was just after Pokémon had come out in the states for the first time. I remember, after having watched the show for a couple weeks, stumbling across a friend with an original Gameboy playing Pokémon Red version using a Weedle. When he told me he was playing Pokémon, I told him I didn't know there was a Pokémon that had a pumpkin for a head. Boy games have come a long way. Speaking of games, I also contribute to making them somewhat professionally, and ocassionaly write about them. You should see some of that games writing stuff, I hear it's real popular with the kids these days.


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