Physical media in the PC gaming sector is nearly dead
Think for a moment about the last 10 PC games you purchased. If the statistics presented by analyst DFC Intelligence are correct, than at least nine of those games were digitally downloaded as opposed to physical copies. Long gone are the days when you'd walk into Software Etc. and emerge with a bag full of game boxes containing floppy disks, and later CDs. According to DFI Intelligence, 92 percent of all PC game sales around the world in 2013 were digital .
DFC Intelligence provided that tidbit to PCR , though it didn't say what the outlook for 2014 looks like. However, there's no reason to believe that trend is reversing, especially if you've walked into a GameStop lately -- the PC section has been reduced in most stores to a sad little rack that would normally hold a few accessories.
Going digital isn't a bad thing, nor has it hurt developers and publishers. DFC said earlier this year that the PC games market leapfrogged console gaming in revenue for the first time.
"Among core gamers there is a heavy overlap with most console gamers also playing on a PC. The big difference is that consoles are now the luxury item and PCs are the necessity. Just a few years ago the reverse was true. This means PCs have the broader audience," DFI Intelligence owner David Cole explained at the time.
It's not hard to believe. As our sister site PC Gamer points out , EA announced in its Q1 financial results for fiscal year 2013 that it made more money from PC sales than PlayStation 3, and it credited digital sales as the reason why.
Welcome to the future.