We’ve been told for the last couple of years that digital is the way of the future and that retail sales of games are all but down and out, but how true is that in 2012?
Well thanks to statista and the ESA we now have an idea of how it looks in the US market at least. Taking into account the US has a solid Internet penetration, not quite as good as some Asian countries but still better than average.
We can presume South Africa is on a similar trajectory if still a few years behind thanks to Telkom and their limited ADSL offerings.
So the big talking points on this one that I saw are that obviously physical retail copies are still far and away the dominant form and while digital is obviously growing it is still a long way behind, and in fact if you look at the *’s it’s even further away than it looks.
Take a look at the caveat under the digital sales compared to retail sales (includes add on content and social net work gaming). Which means under digital sales they are including Call of Duty map packs which are absolutely huge along with things like Farmville and the like which don’t feature in the thinking of most AAA console game developers.
So while gaming as an industry is growing and pulling in new gamers the core gamer that you pretty much all are for reading this is still massively dependent on retail and physical copies and that isn’t going away anytime soon.
I’m not entirely sure if I care whether my game arrives in a box or through the Internet right now but I know for many the actual physical copy is a big deal.
What do you read into this infographic?