Update at 5.39pm
In relation to the latest news related to the stop to physical games in some European countries, an Electronic Arts spokesperson said:
“We have not stopped physical distribution of our games in Germany, Austria or Switzerland and players will continue to purchase our products from retailers. Recent reports claiming otherwise inaccurately reflect the information contained in EA Germany’s corporate financial statements. “
The range of users who prefer to retrieve their games in digital format compared to physical format is now constantly increasing: a step that has worried the most nostalgic fans and not only, but which appears increasingly inevitable.
After all, just think that since this generation we have seen consoles that allow you to buy games only digitally , such as Xbox Series S (which you can find at a discount on Amazon) or the version without a player PS5 optical.
It seems that a first fundamental – and worrying – step towards the abandonment of physical games was Electronic Arts : as revealed by a report by GamesWirtschaft.de (translated by ResetEra ), the publisher seems to have no more intention of publishing any copies physics of your own titles in German-speaking countries.
This inevitably represents further evidence of the deep crisis faced by the sector: a previous report had in fact revealed that the price increase of next-gen titles had made it possible to save physical games. An increase which, obviously, may not be sufficient in the next period.
The latest annual report from EA Deutschland points out that big changes for Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Scandinavia : due to the continuous passage of users towards the digital market, the publisher has decided to stop producing physical games in these countries.
All proceeds from digital downloads would in fact be “ processed ” through an affiliate: this has had a negative impact on sales, forcing Electronic Arts to undergo a profound internal restructuring.
Some important contracts have already been concluded this May, but as soon as an internal restructuring is completed, the publisher will no longer intend to « generate sales with packaged products » – in other words, physical games – in German-speaking countries.
For the moment, Italy would therefore seem to be “saved” and not involved in this profound restructuring of the market, even if it seems inevitable to start reflections on the possible fate of physical games around the world.
Although users have repeatedly stated that they want to continue to rely on physical games, the latest market trends could soon make changing habits inevitable.
It goes without saying that this step, for the moment implemented only by EA Deutschland, will also initiate deep reflections on videogame preservation itself. A debate recently reopened also by Hideo Kojima, who while admitting the comforts of the digital format continues to prefer the physical format today.