Physical Console Games Are Quickly Becoming a Relatively Niche Market
These divergent trends suggest that the decline in new physical releases is not simply an artifact of consoles like the Xbox One and PS4 nearing the end of their lifecycles. Instead, as a whole, publishers seem to see a physical release as a less relevant market for an increasing proportion of titles. But the transition away from physical console games is not distributed evenly across all publishers. The largest publishers are much more likely to go through the hassle and expense of a physical release for their marquee titles. Among major publishers, a slight majority (56.4 percent) of distinct titles released in 2021 were available as physical releases. That’s still a major decline from 2018, though, when nearly 80 percent of titles from those publishers merited a physical launch. When those large publishers are filtered out, though, physical game releases quickly become a very minor part of the market. Just 8.1 percent of new games from those smaller companies were available on physical media in 2021, down in terms of both proportion and raw numbers from 2018.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.