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The digital era is here and we are seeing more and more of our gaming items and services being moved onto a digital-only platform. We think it brings some amazing opportunities. However, we also think there are quite a few downsides to this as well. So sit back and have a read –
Do You Prefer A Harden
Let’s talk about hard copies – This opinion is more aimed at console players as PC is mostly digital now anyway. A lot of serious collectors prefer to have a hard copy of the game, as a console gamer previously it’s quite satisfying seeing that lineup of games on your shelf in all its glory – Especially if they are special editions. This also poses another issue, special editions usually come with a bundle of extras whether that be game guides or merch, could this mean the end of big game bundles or will there be collection points?!
A Physical Place – Not The Gym!
Next up is physical shops, we are not going to lie! We love a physical shop, you know the ones you actually walk around. We know these can be hard work but they make our high streets a better place. If everything goes digital it would just be shopping from home, we know that is probably really attractive to some people however we need to get out more – even if it is just going to the local GAME for a chat or even to CEX to pay crazy prices for retro games!
Just about all of the big games, these days have a digital download version available, however, they are all ridiculous in size. On top of this, we then need to take into account saved data, patches that may increase the game size, and any digital add-ons purchased. PC gamers can upgrade their machine if they need the extra space, however, console gamers would be stuck with whatever storage they bought in the first instance. There is however a chance that this would enable manufacturers to cash in on either local storage hard drives or subscribed cloud services,
Talking of cloud services, this is a substantial enabler for digital gaming and storage. It would mean you could pay for the storage you need and not actually have a physical version at home, HOWEVER! Where would this leave offline gaming? If your games and data are cloud-stored and you need online access to retrieve them, when your internet goes down you will be pretty stuck – Time to bring out Battleships or your aged copy of Hero Quest.
Then we have the time-old favorite of microtransactions, but how would going fully digital change this? Well, today if you go into a shop and buy a full copy of the game you get the full copy of the game, minus extras that are bought via microtransactions. Due to this, you get the majority of items available at that time, because let’s face it developers would get some serious stick if they started spitting out each game type to a different disc and selling them separately. However these days there are no rules with online transactions and they can charge you as much as they want for what they want. More recently Black Ops 4 has had an online-only version of the game release – This we are not saying is a bad thing because the price was decent and some people might only want the online gameplay. However imagine if you had to buy each level of a campaign mode for a game, then on top of this having to pay for each online gameplay mode (TD, Battle Royale, etc.)
It’s not a rant we promise…
This might seem like a bit of a rant but a digital future could wipe out a lot of the gaming industry in terms of collectors and the stores we visit. There are a lot of positives such as environmental effects, which we will discuss in a later post, however, we can’t help but feel unless there is more regulation around online transactions across the board this would put a lot more power in the hands of the big developers.
We would love to know what your thoughts are and whether or not you would like to see the future of gaming fully digital.