Digital may be the biggest sector in video games, but research from the Entertainment Retailers Association says that 77.1 per cent of UK consumers prefer their games in boxes.
Writing for MCV, ERA boss Kim Bayley explained that British gamers are hugely in favour of physical releases for a variety of reasons, including the tangibility of a boxed title and the permanence and security of owning a physical item.
Those who said they preferred digital cited the medium’s immediacy and its space-saving quality.
It is clear that digital is far from winning the hearts and minds of Britain’s gamers,” said Bayley. Hard discs have attractive traits which digital struggles to replicate.
Strikingly, when respondents are classified by social class, it is C2s [skilled manual workers], the biggest buyers of games overall who skew most dramatically (84.2 per cent) in favour of physical.
When quizzed on the reasons why they prefer to buy hard copies, the Top Five answers are unsurprisingly tangibility (owing something I can touch, feel, look at and collect) on 23 per cent, permanence and security on 16.5 per cent, convenience 12.9 per cent, habit 11.6 per cent and the ability to trade titles for other games on 7.7 per cent.”
On the other hand it is worth acknowledging that those who favour digital copies also have arguments in their favour, a substantial 32.4 per cent citing ‘instant access to games’ and 17.6 per cent mentioning the fact that they are space-saving.”